Recent development

As part of the Turkish government's ongoing agenda to increase  profitability in the motor vehicle third-party liability insurance ("MTPL") segment and streamline claims procedures (see our previous alert on this subject), the Treasury amended the MTPL General Conditions and the Tariff Regulation on August 2, 2016 and August 3, 2016, respectively. These amendments allow insurers to dynamically price their products, provide alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and accurately estimate their claims.

What the amendments say

  • The general conditions now include a clear list of all the documents that the injured must submit to the insurer in a claims procedure.
     
  • In accordance with the amendments to the Highway Traffic Law, injured parties are now only permitted to file claims with the insurer; previously, injured parties were allowed to file claims directly with a court. No claim can be brought before the insurance arbitration tribunals or courts until it has been submitted to the insurer. Should the insurer not respond to the claim in writing within 15 days following the injured party’s claim, or if the insurer’s payment is insufficient to cover the injured party’s claim, resulting in a disputed claim, the claim can be filed with the courts or arbitration tribunals.
     
  • The general conditions now allow the parties to apply to a mediator (i.e., an amicable dispute resolution mechanism) within 15 days after the injured party's application to the insurer for disputed compensation claims. Pending lawsuits filed against the insurer will not prevent applying to a mediator.
     
  • Insurers can now change their basic premiums without any constraints, previously limited to the beginning of a month, allowing the insurers to price their products more dynamically.
     
  • The Treasury is granted the authority to set specific rules in relation to sharing premiums and damages between insurers for high risk profile insured clients.
     
  • To precisely determine the initial value of an insured car after it has suffered damage, the loss of value will now be calculated by taking into account the damages as of the date of the accident.
     
  • The insurer will be liable for any damages arising from accidents without physical contact.
     
  • The 10-day period for the insurer to report the premium increases or discounts to the Insurance Information and Monitoring Center has now been reduced to 5 days.

Conclusion

The amendments aim to enable the insurers to accurately foresee the scope of liability in order to raise the profitability of the sector through clearer loss of value calculations and application procedures. Furthermore, the rules provide for an easier and more efficient dispute resolution procedure to resolve simple disputes with a mediator instead of before courts or arbitral tribunals.