When a road accident happens, what are the insurance procedures to proceed with? Should an amicable report be completed? How will compensation be made?
Fill out the accident report and declare the accident
Every motorist has an amicable report from his insurer, which must always be used when a traffic accident happens, and even, if possible, when there are injuries. This form speeds up the processing of the file because it gathers all the necessary information on the accident: circumstances, apparent damage, insurance of the vehicles (coordinates of the insured persons, numbers of the contracts and names of the insurance companies).
In case of a bodily injury, the amicable report does not duplicate the report or report drawn up by the police or the gendarmerie. It is always the best way to inform the insurer quickly.
For the document to be complete, the observation part (recto) must be completed and signed by the two drivers, if possible at the scene of the accident. Only this part can be opposed to the signatories.
The declaration part (back of the print) is to be completed individually by each driver.
The amicable report must then be sent quickly (within five working days of the accident) by each driver to the insurer of his vehicle. It serves as an accident report.
When an accident caused by a vehicle and its trailer happens, guaranteed in civil liability by different insurers, the claim may be addressed either to the insurer of the vehicle or to the insurer of the trailer.
Compensation after the road accident
Agreements between insurance companies allow policyholders, in most cases, to be compensated more quickly and directly by their own insurer. The IRSA agreement (agreement of direct compensation of the insured and recourse between the car insurance companies) concerns the compensation of the material damages while the convention IRCA relates to the bodily injuries (convention of compensation and recourse automobile body).
The state, which is its own insurer, has also signed an agreement with insurance companies.
The principle of direct compensation
Each insurer of civil liability indemnifies directly its insured insofar as this one has a right to compensation.
Thus, the insurer of the non-offending or not totally faulty driver will indemnify his own client on behalf of the insurer of the manager:
- in full when the insured is not responsible for the accident;
- partially in case of shared responsibility.
In case of total liability of the insured, the latter can only be compensated if he has taken out a collision damage or accident damage cover.
As a general rule, the amicable report provides the insurance company with sufficient information to decide on compensation.
The conditions of application
The expedited settlement procedure is applicable for any accident involving at least two motor vehicles insured with companies that are members of the IRSA Convention. The convention applies to accidents occurring in the European Union between vehicles whose insurance has been taken out in France (metropolitan and DOM) or in the Principality of Monaco from member companies.
For accidents involving more than two vehicles, the IRSA convention applies only to those who have occurred in mainland France and the Principality of Monaco, unless the vehicles involved are all registered in France and guaranteed by companies members of the IRSA Convention.
In case of disagreement with the proposed settlement or compensation
There may be disagreement with the insurance company’s conclusions regarding the determination of liabilities or the amount of damages.
To support any claim, it is necessary to provide evidence (written statements of witnesses, judicial decisions evoking cases similar to that which is disputed …).
It is possible to make use of the legal protection guarantee provided for in the insurance contract by contacting the legal protection service (or the legal protection company). As such, the insurance company will claim (or cause to be claimed), amicably or in court, the compensation requested by its insured.
If the legal protection insurer does not share the point of view of its insured and judges any intervention doomed to failure, the insured can use the arbitration clause of the contract. By mutual agreement, the two parties then choose an arbitrator, for example a lawyer.
This arbitrator may also be appointed by the district court. The costs are the responsibility of the insurer. Since the insurance company is not obliged to bring an action (the arbitrator has so decided), the insured retains the possibility of initiating a procedure himself. If he obtains an indemnity more the amount proposed by the arbitrator or by his insurance company, the latter will reimburse him the costs of the procedure, within the limit fixed by the contract.