Legal opinion regarding the right of a refund in the amount of the paid damage caused by an uninsured motor vehicle adopted by the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia

On October 6, 2021, a working meeting of the civil departments of the four Courts of Appeal in the Republic of North Macedonia was held, where the legal issue of who is actively legitimized to file a claim for refund for damage from an uninsured vehicle was discussed.

In order to ensure the uniform application of the Law on Compulsory Traffic Insurance and the unification of judicial practice, acting on the delivered Conclusion, the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia, on 30.05.2022 adopted a Legal opinion according to which the right of a refund in the amount of the paid damage caused by an uninsured motor vehicle has only the National Bureau for Insurance.

According to Article 64 of the Law on compulsory traffic insurance, The Bureau shall have the right of a refund in the amount of the paid damage along with the interest rate and the costs by the owner of the uninsured motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, and the owner of the means of public transport, that is, the person that caused the damage. The owner, that is, the person that caused the damage shall be equally liable towards the Bureau.

In this context, according to the Opinion of the Supreme Court, only the National Insurance Bureau has the right of refund for the payment of damage due to an uninsured motor vehicle, and not the insurance companies that perform mandatory insurance work.

Pursuant to Article 16 paragraph 1 of the Law on Compulsory Traffic Insurance, automobile liability insurance also covers damage caused by the use of a motor vehicle by an unauthorized person, and according to paragraph 3 of the same article, the insurance company that will compensate the damage caused by the use of motor vehicle by an unauthorized person has the right of a refund for the paid amount of damages together with interest and costs incurred in that way by the unauthorized person.

To sum up, in the presence of a clear legal regulation, according to Article 64 of the Law on Compulsory Traffic Insurance, for damage caused by an uninsured motor vehicle, the National Bureau has the right of a refund in the amount of the paid damage, and according to Article 16 of the same Law, for damage caused by the use of a motor vehicle from unauthorized person, the insurance company has the right of a refund in the amount of the paid damage.

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