Third-party liability insurance services

General information

Compensation claims arising as a result of an accident are covered up to a certain amount by statutory third-party vehicle liability insurance.

Caution

These rules apply to all EU citizens in Austria.

As of 1 January 2017, the legally prescribed minimum insured sum for passenger cars is EUR 7.6 million. Of this sum, EUR 6.3 million is set aside for personal injury, and EUR 1.3 million for damage to property.

If the actual damage amounts to more than the insured sum, the driver responsible must pay the difference.

Many insurance policies allow you to increase the insured sum by paying a higher premium. In some cases, an increased insured sum is offered without the need to pay a higher premium.

The actual scope of insurance benefits is limited by the insured sum covered by the type of insurance policy actually taken out, or by additional, privately purchased insurance policies, e.g.:

  • third-party liability insurance with a higher insured sum
  • partial cover, i.e. third-party, fire and theft insurance
  • fully comprehensive insurance
  • passenger insurance for the driver and other passengers.

Bonus-Malus-System

Austrian insurance companies work - especially for private vehicles - with the bonus-malus system, under which claim-free years reduce the charged premium (no-claims bonus). In contrast, if claims are reported, a higher premium will be charged. The bonus-malus system can differ from one insurance company to another. They are not obliged to take into account the previous damage history of EU citizens who take out third-party liability insurance when registering their vehicle in Austria, but they often do so in practice.

Caution

Usually, if you are the one at fault for an accident, your own third-party liability insurance will cover the cost of the damage incurred by the other driver, but not your own damage costs. In order to gain compensation for these damages, you require fully comprehensive insurance.

Information about product details for vehicle and motorcycle insurance policies is provided by insurance companies operating in Austria and by the motorists’ associations ÖAMTC and ARBÖ.

If you cause an accident, your insurance policy may in some cases demand recourseGerman text for the resulting damages, e.g. if you are found to have been driving under the influence or driving without a licence.

Advice

Under certain circumstances a vehicle owner may be held liable under the Railway and Motor Vehicle Liability Act (EKHG), regardless of who was at fault for an accident. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is advisable to obtain expert advice, e.g. from the legal advisers of the ÖAMTC and ARBÖ motorists’ associations or from a lawyer.

Claims following an accident

Below is a list of damages claims you may file in the case of an accident for which the other party is at fault.

Advice

A case-by-case assessment is required in order to determine which of the following costs can be claimed. This will also depend on the selected third-party liability insurance policy. Generally speaking, and in particular in the case of personal injury, it is recommended to obtain expert advice, e.g. from the legal advisers of the ÖAMTCand ARBÖ motorists’ associations or from a lawyer.

  • For damage to the vehicle:
    • In the event of a write-off:
      • Replacement value
      • Towing fees
      • Costs of applying for a courtesy vehicle
      • Costs of vignette toll passesGerman text (pro rata) or parking permits
      • Cost of reconstruction of equipment (e.g. hands-free system, radio)
      • Hire car costs (not reimbursable if the aggrieved party has taken out an insurance policy without this option)
      • Flat-rate compensation of up to EUR 50 for costs incurred as a result of the accident (e.g. costs of phone calls, postage costs), no proof of purchase required
    • In the event of partial loss:
      • Repair costs or repair costs settlement (usually less)
      • Towing fees
      • Value depreciation
      • Hire car costs (not reimbursable if the aggrieved party has taken out an insurance policy without this option)
      • Flat-rate compensation of up to EUR 50 for costs incurred as a result of the accident (e.g. costs of phone calls, postage costs), no proof of purchase required
  • Compensation for other damage to property (clothes, motorcycle helmet):
    • Replacement value
    • Repair costs
  • In the event of personal injury:
    • Compensation for personal sufferingGerman text
    • Treatment costs not covered by your health insurance scheme
    • Loss of earnings
    • Compensation for delayed and permanent consequences
  • In the event of disfigurement:
    • Compensation for diminished marriage prospects, etc..
  • For other expenses incurred as a result of the accident:
    • Costs of a carer, etc.
  • Compensation for futile expenditure:
    • Cost of a permanent parking space
  • In the event of death:
    • Costs of attempted treatment
    • Maintenance: persons with maintenance claims vis-à-vis the deceased may enforce these claims against the liable party and their insurer
    • Funeral costs
    • Other expenditure related to the accident

If you have an accident involving a vehicle registered in Austria, you can find the address of the insurance company responsible for the vehicle’s insurance policy online using the insurer search tool of the Austrian Association of Insurers (Versicherungsverband Österreich, VVO). If the vehicle is not subject to an insurance obligation, you can obtain the name and address of the owner.

In the event of car accidents outside of the EU, claims must still be filed directly with the third-party liability insurance company abroad. Members of the ÖAMTC and ARBÖ motorists’ associations who have an accident abroad can benefit from free advice and assistance offered by the associations’ legal advisers.

Out-of-court settlement of disputes

Anyone who does not agree with an insurance benefit or any other decision made by the insurer can lodge a complaint with the Austrian Insurance AssociationGerman text.

Further links

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 18 March 2021

Responsible for the content: oesterreich.gv.at Editorial Staff