Polish Motor Insurers Bureau - when are they responsible for damages?

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The aim of the article is to provide information on the Polish Motor Insurers Bureau. It will be explained what this institution is, where it is regulated and what its tasks are. Information will also be given as to when the Polish Motor Insurers Bureau is responsible for damages, as well as the main rules for drawing up a lawsuit against this institution.

What is the Polish Motor Insurers' Bureau?

The concept of the Polish Motor Insurers 'Bureau (hereinafter: PBUK) is regulated in the Act of May 22, 2003 on compulsory insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Motor Insurers' Bureau.

In accordance with the provisions of the above-mentioned of the Act, it is an institution that has legal personality and performs tasks that are entrusted to it precisely on the basis of regulations.

The seat of PBUK is Warsaw, the current address is ul. Świętokrzyska 14.

Tasks of the Polish Bureau of Motor Insurers

The scope of PBUK's tasks is regulated in the Act on Compulsory Insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Bureau of Motor Insurers.

Pursuant to Art. 122 of this Act, the tasks of PBUK include:

  1. issuing insurance documents that are valid in other countries;

  2. concluding agreements with foreign national offices on mutual recognition of insurance documents and on the settlement of claims arising from the international traffic of motor vehicles;

  3. organizing the liquidation of damages or direct liquidation of damages caused on the territory of the Republic of Poland by owners of motor vehicles registered abroad who have valid insurance documents issued by foreign national offices;

  4. organizing the liquidation of damages or direct liquidation of damages caused on the territory of the Republic of Poland by owners of motor vehicles registered in countries whose national offices are signatories to the Multilateral Agreement;

  5. defining the rules and procedures for the distribution of border insurance documents, in particular determining the templates of these documents and their recording;

  6. acting as a compensation body in accordance with Art. 83 sec. 3 of the Act on Compulsory Insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Motor Insurers' Bureau;

  7. determining and making available to entities such as victims, entitled persons, an information center from a Member State of the European Union, the data indicated in art. 133 of the Act on Compulsory Insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Office of Motor Insurers;

  8. determining and providing insurance companies with the data referred to in art. 136 of the Act on Compulsory Insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Bureau of Motor Insurers.

The scope of PBUK's activities is quite wide, it concerns the processing and sharing of information related to the perpetrators of the damage - insurance companies where the owners of the vehicles that caused the damage are insured, provide information about the insurance number and policy. The aim is to identify the perpetrator of the damage and to help the injured in obtaining compensation for the damage from insurers who have entered into insurance contracts with vehicle owners. This information applies to situations where the perpetrator of the damage or the vehicle is insured in a country other than Poland, it also facilitates the claiming of damages that were caused to the injured Poles abroad.

When is the Polish Motor Insurers' Bureau responsible for damages?

Pursuant to Art. 123 of the Act on Compulsory Insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Bureau of Motor Insurers, the Polish Bureau of Motor Insurers is responsible for damages resulting from accidents that took place in the territory of:

  • The Republic of Poland and arose in connection with the movement of motor vehicles, registered in countries whose national offices are signatories to the Multilateral Agreement;

Example 1.

Mr. Mateusz was driving his car correctly. There was a collision on the provincial road in Podkarpacie. The perpetrator was a Czech citizen. In the event of failure to reach an agreement between his insurer and Mr. Mateusz's insurer, PBUK will be responsible for the damage.

  • The Republic of Poland and arose in connection with the movement of motor vehicles registered in countries whose national offices have signed agreements with the office on mutual recognition of insurance documents and settlement of claims, provided that there is a valid Green Card issued by a foreign national office;

  • countries whose national offices have signed agreements with the office on mutual recognition of insurance documents and loss adjustment, if the injured person is a person residing or having a seat in the territory of the Republic of Poland, and the perpetrator has a Green Card issued by a member of the office whose bankruptcy has been declared or has been liquidated;

  • countries whose national offices are signatories to the Multilateral Agreement, if the aggrieved person is a person residing or having a seat in the territory of the Republic of Poland, and the perpetrator has concluded a motor third party liability insurance agreement with a member of the Bureau whose bankruptcy has been declared or has been liquidated.

Example 2.

Mr. Mateusz went on a trip to Italy. There was a collision on one of the streets of the city. The perpetrator was a Russian citizen who had a Green Card issued by a PBUK member who was liquidated. In such a situation, PBUK will be responsible for the damages.

Who is the signatory of the Multilateral Agreement?

The following countries are the signatories of the Multilateral Agreement: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, UK and Italy.

The UK office represents the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. Danish office - Faroe Islands. Italian office - San Marino. French office - Monaco. Swiss office - Liechtenstein. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

If the perpetrator of the damage is a citizen of another country, it should be verified whether he or she does not belong to the Green Card System, which also operates under the Multilateral Agreement.

If the country does not belong to the Multilateral Agreement, its drivers are required to have a Green Card with them. This system associates 48 countries (including the Polish Motor Insurers Bureau).

The main purpose of the Green Card System is to ensure that victims of motor vehicle accidents can receive due compensation for damages caused by a driver of a vehicle registered abroad and that motorists are not forced to purchase motor third party liability insurance at the border of each of the countries they visit.

Compensation claim

Proceedings for compensation for damage to the vehicle in the first phase are pending before the insurer. This is called winding-up proceedings, in which the insurer, usually appointing its own appraiser, prepares a cost estimate of the damage and indicates what compensation is being awarded.

Foreign insurers operate in Poland through their correspondents. This means that Polish insurance companies also act as representatives, intermediaries of foreign insurance offices and they deal with the liquidation of the claim in Poland or abroad, respectively (depending on the place of the event).

An aggrieved party who is dissatisfied with the insurer's correspondent's decision may seek compensation in court by filing a claim for payment. The action is pending before the civil division, even if the plaintiff is an entrepreneur.

However, the lawsuit should be brought not against the insurer or the correspondent, but against PBUK - it results from Art. 19 paragraph 3 and art. 123 point 2 of the Act on compulsory insurance, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Office of Motor Insurers

The statement of claim should indicate the amount of compensation claimed by the injured party, as well as provide evidence that shows that the damage occurred, the perpetrator was liable and that the required amount was not obtained from the insurer or his correspondent.