Budapest, 25 November 2015 – Policyholders with outstanding motorist third-party liability insurance policies with Astra Insurance Company are advised to switch to another domestic insurance company as soon as possible. Failure to do so poses a risk as Astra’s Hungarian Branch Office is expected to terminate its operations from December. Injured parties with damage claims against ASTRA MTPL policyholders should report their claims to MABISZ.
All remaining MTPL policyholders of the Hungarian Branch Office of the Romanian Astra Insurance Company are urged to switch to a new insurer for their motorist third-party liability insurance as soon as possible. Policyholders with any premium arrears are advised to settle their debt because – should their Astra policies terminate for non-payment of the premium (after 60 days) – in the lack of a new, valid policy they will have to pay a higher uninsured premium for the uninsured period than the insurance premium would have been, and they will be required to reimburse any payments from the Indemnity Account of the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ) for damages inflicted by the policyholder.
On 31 August 2015 – when the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) revoked the business license of the Company –, Astra Insurance Company had 169 thousand Hungarian MTPL policyholders. According to market data, by now the number of MTPL policyholders has dropped to less than a quarter of the original client base, partly as a result of the option offered by the insurance company regarding the cancellation of insurance contracts with mutual consent until 30 September 2015, and partly due to Astra policyholders’ right to sign new MTPL contracts with another insurance company effective from 8 October. The end of the contract period coincides with the end of the year for numerous vehicle operators in any case.
Under the law, Astra MTPL insurance policyholders are entitled to sign a new contract with another Hungarian insurance company at any time without the obligation to initiate the cancellation of their existing Astra contracts. Their existing insurance terminates automatically on the day preceding the inception date of the cover provided by the new MTPL contract.
Failure to switch insurance companies poses severe risks to the clients concerned. Although the competent Romanian supreme court is yet to order the liquidation of Astra Insurance Company after the revocation of its business license by ASF, Astra’s Hungarian Branch Office has announced that, starting from 1 December 2015, it will no longer provide services in relation to insurance activities (it will be unable to issue premium receipts, book premium payments or enter data to the claims history records); moreover, it will not provide compensation for damages under MTPL insurance policies.
The Assigned Department of the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ ESZE) continues to receive yet unreported insurance claims in relation to damages inflicted by the MTPL policyholders of Astra Insurance Company. It is important to remember that any unsettled MTPL damage claims that have been previously reported to Astra Insurance Company must be repeatedly reported to MABISZ ESZE. It is because under the law MABISZ ESZE is unable to provide compensation for damages unless the injured party has reported the claim; accordingly, claims should be reported as soon as possible. MABISZ ESZE registers the claims, organises and executes the inspection of damaged vehicles, requests all necessary documents required for damage evaluation, and settles all justified damage claims.
The contact details of MABISZ ESZE are the following: H-1062 Budapest, Aradi u. 65–67, postal address: MABISZ ESZE, H-1381 Budapest 62, P.O.B. 1297, Phone: (+36 1) 802–8400. Claim reporting via e-mail: email@example.com, claim administration via fax: (+36 1) 802–8499. Opening hours: Mon–Tue–Thu: 8 am – 4 pm, Wed: 8 am – 8 pm, Fri: 8 am – 1:30 pm.
Magyar Nemzeti Bank