Argentina aims for efficiency with new auto loss clearing system
Created and encouraged by seven of the chief insurance companies on the market and developed by the Center for Road Experimenting and Safety (CESVI) ARGENTINA, a new loss clearing system called CLEAS (Clearing Insurance) will commence on September 1, through which the insured not liable for the loss will be heard and compensated by his own insurance company instead of making a claim to the company insuring the vehicle that caused the accident.
"The implementation of this system entails a change of paradigm on the auto insurance market as it radically modifies service provided to those insured. We believe that, because of the advantages and benefits afforded to all parties, in the future the whole sector will operate this way," said Fabián Pons, General Manager at CESVI ARGENTINA and CLEAS spokesman.
Starting September 1, in the case of losses in which only two vehicles are involved, both parties insured by any of the companies that are a part of the system who have sustained losses amounting to 10,000 pesos or less will be channeled through CLEAS. For the time being, motorcycles, buses and trucks weighing over nine tons of total gross weight are excluded.
Among other benefits that remarkably speed up the process, from now on only one of the parties i n v o l v e d (whether he is liable or not) must file the relevant report for the claim to start. With the previous system, it could only begin once both people involved (especially the insured liable for the loss) reported the accident.
The tests conducted so far show that the average time between the loss and the companies' approval date is around 16 days, as opposed to the 45-60 days it took under the previous system, when the claim was not processed by the insured's. company.
In addition, with the application of CLEAS, the insured who is not liable will no longer receive a lump sum, but his car will be directly fixed at a repair shop. This system promotes a reliable repair of cars, given that an indemnified vehicle that has not been repaired is a potential source of accidents and future fraud.
"The new system will greatly increase the care of the insured, as companies will offer direct attention to their clients and will seek to satisfy the need for repair as quickly as possible," added Pons.
According to the latest official data provided by the Argentine Insurance Office (SSN), over the years 2005 and 2006, 597,058 accidents took place sampled from 14 insurance companies accounting for 72 percent of production and 68 percent of the vehicles exposed to risks on the market. Out of that total, approximately 70 percent presumably comply with the requirements set in the CLEAS system, which is to become its potential universe in the future, once the system becomes the norm among all insurance companies. At present, the seven companies propelling CLEAS gather more or less 33 percent of the auto insurance market.
In order to perfect the system and fine-tune details, so far 3,300 tests have been conducted with actual accidents throughout the country and the results were quite satisfactory. At first, tests were performed in and around Greater Buenos Aires and Rosario, and then were extended to the remaining provinces. Nearly 1,000 claims were processed in July alone last year, which means the tests have a significant level of performance.
CLEAS is encouraged by companies that are partners with CESVI ARGENTINA: El Comercio, HSBC La Buenos Aires, La Segunda, MAPFRE, Rivadavia, San Cristóbal and Sancor Seguros; but is open to the rest of the insurance companies interested in joining in.