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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Problems with replacement vehicles

< previous | next > 18.05.2022

Problems with replacement vehicles
  • Consumers complain about the practices of insurance companies related to the provision of replacement vehicles after an accident.
  • Undervaluating the costs of renting a replacement vehicle, making it available for a far too short period of time, unfavourable rental terms - such problems are reported to the UOKiK.
  • The President of the Office, Tomasz Chróstny, has initiated investigations into 4 companies and he is going to check under what terms they provide replacement vehicles.

Since July 2021, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has received 20 complaints concerning the rules for providing replacement vehicles to persons injured in road accidents or covering the cost of renting them from the compulsory civil liability insurance of the accident perpetrator.

- I have launched investigations against four insurance companies, although we do not rule out further investigations, because the problems reported seem to be fairly typical for a large part of the industry. We will check under what conditions replacement vehicles are made available to drivers and whether insurance companies underestimate the cost of renting them. There are also disputes regarding the time of making such vehicle available, for which insurance companies pay under insurance contracts, as well as contractual provisions of entrepreneurs cooperating with insurers - says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

Insurance companies should provide the claimant with a replacement vehicle for the entire period during which the victim is unable to use his or her own car due to the incurred damage. The costs are covered by the third party insurance of the perpetrator of the accident, who is considered a consumer by the insurance company. Pursuant to a resolution of the Supreme Court (Case No. III SZP 2/15), the President of UOKiK may also indirectly protect the interests of claimants by invoking the need to protect the collective interests of policyholders.

According to the complaints, disputes arise over the valuation of the cost of renting a replacement vehicle. Consumers report 3 main issues:

  1. Limiting the period for which a replacement vehicle is provided to the claimants. In their complaints, the consumers have described situations where the insurer has taken into account the cost of renting a car only for the time the vehicle is effectively repaired at the garage, ignoring periods such as waiting for the vehicle to be accepted for repair, for an estimate or for the delivery of the necessary parts.
  2. Reducing vehicle rental rates by taking into account only the rates of companies cooperating with the insurance company in a situation where the victim uses the offer of another entity. In their complaints, the consumers reported that this was also the case in situations where it was not possible to rent a car from a company cooperating with the insurer, for example because it did not have vehicles of the same class as the damaged vehicle available.
  3. Unfavourable rental terms. Consumer signals also mention unfavourable rental conditions (e.g. with high contractual penalties) of companies cooperating with insurance companies, which could discourage people from using their services.

President of UOKiK has initiated preliminary investigations to examine these issues. In the first stage, these will include the following companies: Compensa Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie Vienna Insurance Group, Generali Życie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń, Link4 Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń and Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń i Reasekuracji Allianz Polska. The purpose of the investigations is to examine the market and to reach an initial conclusion as to whether - and in which areas - there may have been irregularities justifying the opening of proceedings for illegal clauses or infringement of the collective interests of consumers.

Do you believe that practices of your insurer may harm the collective interests of consumers? Notify the UOKiK about it. You can send the notice by post to the following address: pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw, via e-mail to: [SCODE]dW9raWtAdW9raWsuZ292LnBs[ECODE] or via the ePUAP platform.

Consumer support:

Tel. 801 440 220 or 22 290 89 16 – consumer hotline
 Email: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or county
Financial Ombudsman – if the complaint is rejected by the financial institution

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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