Large insurers find new forms of compensation for damages under Casco

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Against the backdrop of difficulties in in-kind compensation for Casco insurance, major insurers are finding new loss settlement schemes. In particular, AlfaStrakhovanie offers to buy a car in case of delay in repairs or difficulties in obtaining spare parts. According to experts, the service will allow the insurer to earn on the resale of cars in the secondary market due to rising prices and a low sum insured. However, they point to the risk of customer fraud.

One of the largest players in the voluntary auto insurance market, AlfaStrakhovanie (according to Expert RA, it ranks third in hull fees for 2022) supplemented its policies with a new loss settlement option, the company told Kommersant. So, if car repair is impossible or delayed, by agreement of the parties, the insured event can be settled according to the rules of total loss: the policyholder receives the insurance amount in full, and the faulty car goes to the insurer. Such a settlement may be initiated by the insurance company or the client six months after the application.

Market participants rarely provide such services. In particular, Ingosstrakh, the Casco market leader, has had a similar service since 2021. SOGAZ (ranks fifth in the segment) noted that “they offer customers various settlement options, taking into account their individual situation, if it is not possible to carry out a quality repair of the vehicle.” VSK (fourth place) and Yugoria (twelfth place) are studying this service, also because the average repair time for cars of European manufacturers has increased.

Recently, the market for cars and spare parts has adapted, but still, for a number of positions, the risk of a lack of spare parts remains, so the company is expanding guarantees, explains Ilya Grigoriev, director of the auto insurance department at AlfaStrakhovanie.

Often, owners wait 4-6 months for an original spare part, while about 20% of insured events do not involve the operation of a car without repair and replacement of this spare part, said the founder of GTK Holding, Said Zaliev.

The service is beneficial to insurers, including against the backdrop of the withdrawal of a number of foreign automakers from the market. According to independent expert Andrei Barhota, the insurer makes money by buying a car at a low price and can resell it after repair either at a higher price or for spare parts. Demand for used cars is now at a high level in both economy and premium segments (see “Kommersant” dated May 15).

The executive director of Avtostat, Sergey Udalov, notes that, in general, when recognizing total damage, as a rule, the cost is taken into account, taking into account wear and tear. Most likely, it was based on the increased demand in the secondary market that the insurance company developed this product, hoping that after the repair it would be able to sell the car for 30-40% more than the payment made, notes Mr. Zaliev.

However, some large insurers – Renaissance Insurance, Sovcombank Insurance, Zetta Insurance, MAKS – do not plan to introduce such services in the near future.

In general, hull losses are regulated by the rules and conditions of insurance, which specifically specifies the procedure for interaction between the parties, says Ivan Popov, director of the MAKS Motor Transport Loss Settlement Department. At the same time, the launched project in some cases runs counter to the rules – in particular, “for small losses, where the cost of repairing a car does not reach the established death threshold,” he believes.

This form of settlement will not be very popular, some market participants believe. “We see that the cost of cars is constantly growing, in this regard, having received payments, the client can, at best, count on a car with high mileage and an earlier release date,” said Said Zaliev.

Insurers do not exclude the growth of risks of fraud by individuals. According to Mr. Zaliev, this may occur if the insurance company omits some fact from the “biography” of the car – for example, hidden breakdowns that will significantly affect its value.

Julia Poslavskaya, Olga Nikitina

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