Article 7 1.
||National ID||Ombudsman of the Consumer 3rd of October 2011 (Νo of protocol 8947)|
|Common name||Decision type||Other|
|Court||Συνήγορος του καταναλωτή||Plaintiff(s)|
|Court translation||Ombudsman of the Consumer||Defendant(s)|
|Subject||misleading commercial practices|
|Keywords||contract law, insurance policy, precontractual information, price information, product characteristics, proof of damage|
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The omission to mention the correct calculation method of an insurance coverage in case an accident occurs, constitutes a misleading commercial practice.
The Ombudsman received a number of reports from consumers regarding car multi-insurances. Based on these reports, it was established that at the time that the insured incident occurred, while the insurance companies were settling the insurance coverage due in order to cover incidents such as total loss or total destruction of the insured car, there was a significant deviation between the current, at the time of the incident, real value of the insured car as calculated by the insurance company and the insured amount as written in the initial table of coverage.
Although the latter (the table of coverage) had been the basis for the calculation of the insurance coverage owed by the insurance companies for each incident at the time of the initial contract’s signature and its renewals, there was a significant deviation on the amount payable at the time of the incident.
In addition, in some cases, several insurance companies proceeded with the automatic adjustment of the insured value of the car so that it equaled with the current commercial value of the car at the time of the insurance incident, without previously providing to the consumers precise information on the calculation method and on the market prices.
Does the omission to mention the correct calculation method of an insurance coverage in case an accident occurs, constitute a misleading commercial practice?
The Ombudsman held that the omission of the insurance company, although being aware of it when signing the contract with the client, to inform the consumer that at the time that the incident will occur there could be a significant deviation between the current (i.e. at the time of the incident) real value of the insured car as calculated by the insurance company and the insured amount as written in the initial table of coverage, may under certain circumstances constitute an unfair misleading practice.
Further, it was held by the Ombudsman, the same applies also to the omission to proceed with the necessary harmonization and updating (insurance premium - current value) based on pre-determined and mutually agreed ways of calculation. These omissions may influence the freedom of choice of the consumer when making a transactional decision and also his ability to estimate how the coverage is calculated at the time of the incident and whether any deviation from the original table is correct or not. Any damage to the interests of the consumers caused by these omissions, as far as the consumer is able to prove the existence of the damage and the causal link between the damage and the unfair commercial practice can give rise to the obligation to compensate.
|URL Decision||Decision full text|
The Ombudsman of the Consumer ruled against the insurance companies.
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