Lawyers against insurers: how to sue insurance company


For the past three years, insurers constantly complain about the so-called avtoyuristy lawyers specializing in knocking through the court underpaid compensation for automobile insurance. The concept of “avtoyuristy” insurance companies usually put a negative connotation. The insurers call them crooks, the mafia and claim that those abusing the right, putting on stream the receipt of insurance payments by the court.

According to the Russian Union of motor insurers (RAMI), in 2015 insurance companies paid to customers by the decision of the court of 18.4 billion rubles (more than 292 thousand loss). Of them 57% represents compensation to the customer, the remaining 43% went to avtoyuristy, says RAMI. “If in 2011 avtoyuristy received 15% of the judicial insurance payment, then in 2015 this figure amounted to about 43%, which is alarming”, says Deputy General Director of the company “absolute Insurance” Maxim Morozov.

“Avtoyuristy use ignorance and a stressful situation, in which a consumer”, — said Deputy General Director for claims settlement, service and administrative matters of the company “Zetta Insurance” Natalia Vetmed.

Nearly four years ago, in June 2012, the Supreme court explained that the law on consumer protection applies to the insurance. After that, the number of trials increased. The customers of the insurance companies became eligible to apply to the court for the place of its registration, submit the claim without payment of state duty, to demand compensation of moral harm and the penalty is 50% of the collected amount by the court.

“The fraud here speech can not go, — says the lawyer of LexLife Hope of Peremyslova. Lawyers operate within the law. Insurers, of course, complain, but in reality it is they who provoked this situation that their unlawful denials and underpayments are challenged in court.”

According to Perevyshko, in practice 90% of cases that leads LexLife on disputes connected with contracts of insurance, are settled in court in favor of the client. This means that insurers violate the rights of consumers, she said. “In this situation it is necessary not to complain about lawyers or car owners, and its own system of settlement of losses”, — said the lawyer.

Different lawyers

Companies that assist citizens in disputes with insurers can be divided into three types, it follows from the comments of the interviewed lawyers. First take the fee forward, and then help the owners at all stages of litigation, from filing of application to the insurance company before the execution of the judgment. All the payments by the court, the citizen receives independently and without intermediaries. Legal services in the cases of hull and CTP in this case, the evaluation Perevyshko, cost from 30 to 100 thousand rubles.

The second kind of avtoyuristy focuses on treaties on the cession, when the car owner who has not received the insurance compensation, law firm sells the right to collect money from the insurer. Under the guise of a customer, the reporter called one of these companies in the Vladimir region. “We quickly make an independent examination of their experts and pay you the money — said the representative of the legal company “Center insurance payments” Alexander. — In any case it will be more than you pay the insurance company. And then we deal with them and judged themselves.”

How to tell the insurers, these lawyers go on the customers with the most intricate ways. “Duties around the offices of insurance companies is the most innocent that they do,” says the Deputy General Director of “RESO-Guarantee” Igor Ivanov. According to him, the major problem is that lawyers try to intercept the clients of the insurance company directly to the site of the accident before they turn to the insurers.

“They are trying to leave the scene of an accident and to arrange the purchase of rights of claim. In order to be in place first, in collusion with the local traffic police,” — says Ivanov. He says that in the regions avtoyuristy urge citizens to inform about the accident through SMS messages and pay fees for this information. “In Moscow it is not common, perhaps because in the capital it is difficult to organize cooperation with the traffic police”, — said Igor Ivanov.

There are companies who practice both options help the citizens, but fair warning that the first option — without the concession of rights of requirement for the motorist more profitable. Representative call-center company “Avtoyuristy of Moscow” said that his company buys the right to pursue the insurer for 30% to 50% of the amount underpaid by the insurance company. In this case, the remaining part of the payment and the 50% penalty get avtoyuristy. To the correspondent the representative of the company advised me not to sell the rights requirements and the opportunity to access the full amount of the underpayment.

“If, for example, the company has underpaid you 50 thousand rubles, you can get this amount plus around 25 thousand rbl. of the penalty, the penalty in 10 thousand roubles and 5 thousand roubles for moral harm”, — counts representative call center “Avtoyuristy of Moscow”. In addition, he said, go back also the cost assessment and on the services of a lawyer. Penalties for CTP are calculated at the rate of 1% per day of delay. The penalty on the hull is calculated as 1/365 of the refinancing rate of the Central Bank for each day of delay.

The fine shall be recovered in favor of the client. The exceptions are those cases when the citizen applies to the court, through the society for the protection of the rights of consumers. Then the amount of the fine is divided in half between the consumer and the society. This is due to the fact that society has no right to recover legal fees.

Tax complexity

Seek the services of avtoyuristy, reacquires rights requirements, can turn into the tax trap, warn insurers. If they act in court on behalf of the client, the owners will be required to pay personal income tax at 13% from all money received from the insurance company by court decision (article 213 of the RF Tax code).

“Thus, the client falls into the trap: on the one hand, he will obviously get a lower payment on the insurance event, on the other — will be forced unexpectedly to pay taxes from received avtoyurist funds,” says Vetmed.

To avoid this situation, insurers do not advise you to sign any documents with avtoyuristy directly at the accident scene, and try to start at least contact the insurance company.

“We also do not recommend citizens to issue a power of attorney with right to receive funds from lawyers or law firms,” says Peremyslova.

According to her, if you sold the debt on assignment agreement and the law firm was acting on its own behalf, then you do not have to pay taxes. But if it requires you a power of attorney with right to receive cash and will to receive them on your behalf, a tax receipt will come to you as the owner of the car, the plaintiff in the case, the claimant and the person who actually received the profits, she says.