New airs for Civil Liability

January 25 , 2019 // Specialty

Published in Capital Madrid

"He who by action or omission causes damage to another, intervening fault or negligence, is obliged to repair the damage caused." This requirement is civil responsibility (CR), as defined by the Civil Code (Article 1902). And, as it is deduced, it implies compensation, and if there is no agreement, judgment. That is, it implies money, and much money in some cases. The situations that can generate CR are many.

The first thing you think is the CR in the case of a traffic accident. After which it is inevitable that one comes to mind the car insurance, whose guarantee of CR is mandatory. But what happens if a son rocks a neighbor and opens his head? Or if crossing a road wrong the pedestrian causes the fall of a cyclist? Or if my dog ​​bites a child playing in the park ?. The 'What would happen if ...' are innumerable, and for these circumstances the use of insurance is not so common.

However, the costs for claims with personal injuries such as those listed can be very high, as much or more than in the case of the RC for automobiles; amounts that a particular person is very difficult to face. It is assumed that Home insurance includes protection for this type of situation, but we must be careful. As actuary Michael Noack warns in the Actuaries Magazine, "not all Home insurance includes this coverage and, furthermore, we are far from all households or families having contracted this insurance".

In addition, there is another problem, the insurance limits of private RC: there are many of 60,000 euros and few exceed 300,000. "For material damages, the coverage limit seems correct, but in the case of personal injuries, they do not offer real protection for families, compared to the RC of cars, where the mandatory limit is 50 million," warns this expert. which adds that "we can say that a significant part of the population does not have any private RC insurance, while another part does have it, transmitting tranquility, but the latter could be told that it is in an underinsured situation" .

For society this insurance is practically unimportant, and for insurers, either: "Hiring insurance of this type, without home insurance, is not the most common and not all companies offer it. Obtaining, in addition, the correct limits of coverage can be an adventure ".

The issue is complicated in the current environment. Because now we are not only talking about possible disasters such as those described above, but they have joined a whole range of new risks involving CR, such as those generated by new technologies; or drones, for which compulsory insurance is already necessary from a certain size and use; or for electric scooters, whose use in cities is causing problems and, therefore, controversy. Amid this controversy, Mapfre Foundation has broken out with the publication of the report 'New systems of personal mobility in the city and its problems associated with road safety'.

In the study, data are put on the table showing the convenience of, at least, initiating the debate about the possibility of imposing a compulsory CR insurance. The first thing that follows is that the use of electric scooters, segway, hoverboard, and other personal mobility vehicles (VMP) that circulate in cities is dangerous. So at least 8 out of 10 drivers and pedestrians perceive it. In addition, 1 in 10 recognizes having suffered some mishap in the last year with these means of locomotion, so that 9 out of 10 believe it is necessary to regulate their use as soon as possible.

The loss figures give them the reason. In 2018, the VMP caused 300 incidents, five fatalities and many wounded. Only between June and October of 2018 were registered in Madrid 22 accidents with VPM involved, 8 of which were pedestrian abuses. As a result there were 2 serious injuries and 16 minor injuries. There is another fact that gives an idea of ​​the extent to which the situation could be complicated.

The Coordinating Prosecutor of the Road Safety Unit of the State Prosecutor General's Office published a press release in December 2018, which included information on the possible criminal liability of VPM drivers. In that letter, which is echoed by the Mapfre Foundation report, it is explained, among other things, that the local police have been collected full accident data for pedestrians and cyclists abuses "to its well-founded knowledge formulate proposals for legal reform in the field of road safety and insurance ".

And it continues: "A black figure of sinisterness is suspected due to the lack of denunciation united to the flight of the author. For this reason, the Police have been instructed to work hard in the investigation and seek citizen collaboration (...) ".

It seems, therefore, that a debate on the use of insurance in the case of FP5 is urgently needed. Electric rental scooters already have compulsory insurance; those of particular use, no. Although there are insurers that offer these policies. However, the sector will also have to do a job of adapting to the times: "In recent days I have not found any offer with limits for personal injuries over 150,000 euros. We hope that companies adapt their coverage to real needs, "says actuary Michael Noack.

Nuevos aires para la Responsabilidad Civil

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