Traffic Court Conference: 130 percent rule is appropriate


Source: pixabay/Alexas_Fotos

Traffic Court Conference: 130 percent rule is appropriate

The Traffic Court Conference in Goslar is one of the most important meetings of traffic safety and traffic law in Germany. Experts meet there every year to discuss traffic law.
In addition to points such as the blood-alcohol limit for e-scooters, access to vehicle data and liability for autonomous driving cars, the judges, traffic lawyers, experts and insurers also discussed the so-called "130 percent rule". With 500 participants, the working group that dealt with this topic was the largest at the Traffic Court Conference.

The 130 percent rule means that an accident vehicle that has been determined to be a so-called total loss can be repaired at the expense of the insurance company that caused the accident. However, this only applies until the repair costs do not exceed the replacement value by an amount of 30 percent.

The opponents of this regulation criticized that the regulation dates to the 1960s and is no longer up to date, as cars were rarer back then and replacements were more difficult to obtain. In addition, the regulation is economically unreasonable and offers no advantages from an ecological point of view. Conversely, however, various parts from damaged cars that are not repaired could be reused for other vehicles. In addition, more modern cars would often be procured as replacements, which have a better environmental balance.  According to insurers, however, an exception is permitted for classic or unique cars.

Proponents of the "130 percent rule" counter that it is still more environmentally friendly to repair a car than to throw it away and buy a new one. In addition, when buying a replacement, there is always the risk of being cheated, of acquiring a defective vehicle, and the probability of being able to purchase an identical vehicle is also very low in the current used car situation.

In the end, the advocates of the regulation prevailed, and the working group recommended that the 130 percent regulation was appropriate.

This is because the regulation achieves a fair balance between the interests of the injured party and the damaging party or their insurer. In particular, the injured party is protected from the difficulties and dangers associated with obtaining a replacement.

In individual cases, however, the risk of abuse of this provision is to be considered. In principle, the injuring party or its insurance company has a right of review regarding the claims asserted. In this context, the damaging party bears the risk of the repair shop and its prognosis, and the injured party is at most at fault in the selection or monitoring of the repair shop.  A dispute about whether the repair costs are excessive should be settled between the insurer and the workshop or the expert, and the invoices should not simply be reduced.

Since disputes about compensation after accidents often involve large sums of money with long legal disputes, this aspect is another reason for brokers to have legal protection insurance.

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