Reckless driving

Thinking of going out in Bucharest today?

Forget it.

Much of north-central Bucharest (as well as routes in and out of the city) have been brought to a grinding halt by lorry and taxi drivers protesting about the cost of vehicle insurance. Despite meeting with – and winning concessions from – representatives of the government yesterday, including a freeze on the price of insurance premiums for six months, the transporters’ association COTAR has gone ahead with the protest regardless. That suggests from the start what kind of people we are dealing with here.

For the uninitiated, here is a quick guide as to how vehicle insurance works in Romania.

There are two kinds of policy: RCA (which is obligatory), and what’s known as Casco (which is optional). RCA primarily covers third party damage, while Casco covers everything else (depending on how thorough your policy is), from theft to breakdowns.

Now, there is no question that prices for RCA are relatively high (a year’s cover for a standard family car is between 750 and 1000 lei). Casco premiums are far higher, depending on the amount of excess.

The reason for this however is not greed on the part of the government or insurance companies, but rather the way insurance in Romania is sold, whereby vehicles – and not drivers – are insured.

Take our car for example, whose current RCA policy costs 842 lei per year. The car is usually driven by Mrs. Bucharest Life, one of the most careful and conscientious drivers you could hope for. And yet it is not Mrs. Bucharest Life who is insured. The car is insured – and here is the problem – regardless of who drives it. We could lend it to an 18-year-old who had literally just passed his driving test and not have to pay a penny more in insurance.

This nonsensical way of doing things means that young boy racers with wealthy parents can pass their tests and immediately jump behind the wheel of the fastest BMW (it’s always a BMW). No wonder they cause so many accidents.

And just as there is no penalty for young, inexperienced or bad drivers, there is no reward for careful drivers. The idea of a ‘no claims bonus’ simply does not exist.

That’s why prices are so high: good drivers are subsidising the bad.

Vehicle insurance should reward the careful and penalise dickheads. Until it does, prices will be high for everyone.

As such, the lorry drivers protesting today should – given how many accidents they cause in Romania, and how often they crash into people’s houses – shut up and be thankful they do not pay much more. 

19 thoughts on “Reckless driving

  1. There is a “bonus-malus” system, which is the equivalent of a no claims bonus. I’m not sure how effective it is, but my RCA did go down by about 50-100 lei this year. Or maybe it’s just because my new-ish car is now a year older.

    Personally, I prefer this system compared to the one in Ireland, where many people are so afraid of losing their no claims bonus that they prefer to do repairs privately. Very ironic when you think about it. NCBs seem to be used as an excuse by insurers to massively increase the cost of premiums.

    Also, said insurers charge 18-year-olds €2000 to insure even 1 litre shitboxes, making driving out of reach to most young adults. As a result, many can’t afford to learn to drive until their late 20s, and they will still get hit with massive premiums because they haven’t built up any NCB.

    I find Romanian RCA prices to be cheap enough, but Casco prices, on the other hand, take the piss. I’ve been quoted over €1800 by some companies. You’d get cheaper in Ireland… if you had an NCB. πŸ™‚

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    1. Given that most repairs are usually small things, if you have a €500 or so excess there is no point claiming insurance: better do it privately.

      As for ‘making driving out of reach to most young adults’ I fail to see how that it is a bad thing… πŸ™‚

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    2. Rather this than the bullshit insurance prices found in the UK. The insurance for my MG at 24 yrs old was more than the cost of the car.

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    1. That palace belongs to the Parliament now. Johannis is a persona non-grata in the Romanian Parliament. He is a puppet controlled by foreign interests.

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      1. Actually at the beginning of this legislature they could hardly find a room in the entire building to fit them all for the plenary sessions. They had to add extra chairs on the sides of the biggest room and they complained about a lack of space.

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      2. They just found 30.000 bodies in a mass grave dating from WW-2, somewhere in Russia. German, Romanian, Italian soldiers etc… all died after the sweep of Stalingrad.

        Nobody gives a fuck anymore.

        Same goes for the villas.

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      3. You own two cars yet bitch about cars in the city. I’d say you’re a typical ignorant American, but that would be an insult to typical ignorant Americans…

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      4. A Chinese customer is worth 35 times more than an American expat for a Singapore or Hong Kong bank.

        Americans only have money in theory. Because in fact – the wealth (even if it’s big) is so widely spread that ordinary Americans can never have more money than wise guys in the East.

        The chief of the Russian anti-corruption institution was caught a few days ago with 120 million $ cash stashed in his home.

        Having a Western salary in the West doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re living a better life than you would in the East, with less. Because services are expensive and for the rest – Western salaries go into multinational corporations pockets.

        Which means they go into SHIT and CRAP, because that’s what corporations produce. Americans eat more, shit more and get fatter than the rest of the world, and buy crap because that’s the only thing they can do with their big salaries.

        Getting from employee to businessman or whatever and making real money in the West is impossible because business relies on services which are EXPENSIVE. And then, there’s competition. And then there’s taxation. And then there’s regulation. Etc…

        An apple in the middle of the desert could save your life, but an apple at the market is worth nothing.

        Janas tu?

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  2. In the USA, young drivers have higher insurance costs and if you get a speeding ticket or crash your car your insurance automatically goes up in price. You also have to add each person who wants to drive a particular car to your insurance policy.

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