The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is considering adding special clauses to the Insurance Act (保險法) to help people paying substantial damages after traffic accidents, FSC chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said yesterday.
The move came after a 20-year-old man surnamed Lin (林) dozed off and crashed into four Ferraris parked on the road while delivering joss paper in New Taipei City’s Shihding District (石碇) in the early hours of Sunday.
Lin dropped out of college to work at a restaurant after his father died and was helping his mother deliver the goods.
Photo: Hsu Tsun-hsu, AFP
Local media quoted mechanics at a Ferrari dealership as saying it could cost NT$12 million (US$389,067) to repair the damaged Ferraris, which have a combined market value of NT$60 million.
Many people expressed their sympathy and support for Lin, and the incident has spurred discussion about whether the Legislative Yuan should pass a “supercar clause” capping the amount of compensation for damage to expensive cars in case of a bona fide accident, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiang Yung-chang (江永昌) told a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday.
Article 218 of the Civil Code already allows the court to reduce the damages payable if the amount would severely affect the obligor’s livelihood, Koo said.
“It might not be effective if the government merely requires insurers to fix their policies, as the principle of damages is regulated by the Civil Code,” Koo said.
Insurers would request compensation from Lin by invoking their subrogation rights and their claims would be reviewed in accordance with the Civil Code, Koo added.
However, lawmakers said that insurance policies should still be fixed, as they do not help to cover damage to supercars, which are usually worth more than NT$10 million.
There are more than 3,000 such expensive cars in Taiwan, posing a risk for poor and underprivileged people, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) said.
Insurers should offer lower rates for underprivileged people to prevent them from committing suicide due inability to pay, Liu said.
Koo said the commission would talk to insurers, but commercial insurers are unlikely to offer lower rates for low-income people.
However, given that roads are public goods, which everyone has the right to use, the commission would consider adding special provisions to the Insurance Act, Koo said, adding that the Ministry of Justice might consider amending the Civil Code.
The commission also needs to speak to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications about amending traffic regulations, he added.
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