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Russia's new mandatory car insurance regulations take effect Sun.


MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's new regulations regarding mandatory liability insurance for motor vehicles, which is also known under its Russian acronym of OSAGO, will come into effect March 1.

The regulations envision a system of direct damage claims, which means that in the event of a car accident, the injured party could claim damages directly from the insurance company that it signed an OSAGO contract with. Up until now, the injured party has had to claim damages from the insurance company that insured the party at fault.

The new regulations will also make it possible to formalize the required documents on minor car accidents without having to summon traffic police to the accident site.

At present, people involved in car accidents in Russia have to wait for traffic police arrival for long hours even if the damage is minor. Otherwise, especially if there are disagreements between the involved parties on the circumstances of the accident or damage inflicted, they could have their driver's licenses suspended or even be arrested for up to 15 days for "illegally leaving the accident site."

Direct damage claims will be possible on condition that people are not injured and that both affected parties are insured not earlier than March 1, 2009.

Insurance companies have voiced fears that the new regulations will trigger a boom of fraud cases, because it would be easier to stage car accidents without having to summon police officers to the place of staged accidents.

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