Budapest, 27 August, 2015 – The Romanian insurer ‘Astra Insurance Company’ is responsible for the damages caused by their premium-paying policyholders until Romania orders the liquidation of the company. Damages which have already occurred should be reported to the Hungarian Branch as soon as possible, and the Magyar Nemzeti Bank expects that the office will no longer conclude new insurance policies.
Although the Romanian company ‘Societatea Comerciala de Asigurare-Reasigurare Astra S.A. Insurance Company’ had its business permit revoked by the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (Press release: Dual insurance protection for the policyholders of the Romanian Astra Insurance Company’s Branch-office), the company – and its Hungarian branch office (Astra Branch office) – must still honour the obligations in their contracts and compensate the damages of their premium-paying customers and the damages suffered by injured parties until the Romanian court orders the liquidation of the company.
Following today’s consultation between the management of the Astra Branch office and the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB), the insurer will accept the claims of its policyholders through all of its communication channels, such as online (www.astrabiztosito.hu), through e-mails or on the phone.
The insurance company is obliged to pay for the damages of its premium-paying customers until its liquidation, furthermore until the end of the transitional period set by the Romanian laws (as long as the insurance contract with the policyholders is in force). The Romanian and Hungarian guarantee schemes will only take over indemnity tasks after liquidation is ordered or after the end of the transitional period.
Policyholders with damage claims should submit such to the Astra branch office as soon as possible. In the case of the motor third-party liability (MTPL) insurance, both the policyholder and the injured party should submit the claim. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank expects that the Astra Branch office and its intermediaries will no longer accept or intermediate new contracts.
It is advised that the policyholders do not seek new insurance contracts at the Astra branch office and end their contracts by the end of the contract period with transfer to other insurance companies. If the Astra Branch office cooperates, it is possible to immediately cancel the insurance contract if both parties agree, as in the case of the MTPL insurance contracts, even if those contract periods have not expired yet. In the case of MTPL contracts, cancellation must be synchronised with the establishment of a new contract at another insurance company, otherwise the policyholder must pay a high uninsured premium for the uninsured period.
The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will represent the interests of Hungarian consumers in consultations with all the other counterparties. To ensure that policyholders are well-informed, the MNB will soon publish consumer protection information containing all the most important questions and answers on its website.
Magyar Nemzeti Bank