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An Update on Insurance Arbitration

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Both legislations were published on Official Gazette dated 18 April 2019. While the amendment came into force by its publication, provisions of the new regulation on insurance arbitration commission expertness shall be effective four months after following its publication.

What has been there?

Insurance Arbitration Commission (‘the Commission’) has been founded by 30th Article of the Law on Insurance numbered 5684 (‘the Insurance Code’). The purpose of the Commission is to settle disputes that arise from an insurance contract between the insurant or people benefiting from the insurance contract and the party that undertakes the risk.

Individuals or entities may apply to the Commission against a member organization in case of partial or complete rejection of their claims by such organization. As of today, more than 50 insurance companies have become a member of the Commission including the leading ones of the sector.

Above all, the Commission shall not evaluate a dispute that is already referred to another legal authority. Commission rapporteurs review applications in principle. The cases that could not be settled by rapporteurs shall be handed over to insurance arbitrators. The arbitrators notify the Commission about their judgment which later shall be forwarded to the competent court for its implication. Arbitrators’ judgment is definitive for cases amount up to 5.000 Turkish Lira (‘TRY’) while a one-time objection may be issued for cases that amount between 5.000 and 40.000 TRY. On the other hand, parties may appeal to the cases that amount more than 40.0000 TRY.

What is new?

First and foremost, the amendment detailed the Insurance Code’s relevant provisions regarding qualifications of an insurance arbitrator by providing a more precise statement about the fulfillment of experience expectations. In addition to this, the content of the insurance arbitration exam, conditions of application for it, and the procedure of insurance arbitrators’ assignment are regulated by an added article.

The new legislation brings regulations on several topics, including but not limited to necessary qualifications and application and acceptance conditions for expertness, the rules and working principles that must be followed by experts and the procedure of their assignment. Accordingly, the Commission may rely on expert reports for the issues that require specific and technical information. These reports must be based on scientific data that is related to the profession of the expert. The persons may demand to be included within the expert list if they meet the criteria to become an expert such as completing the relative education. The experts are liable for the reports they presented, and the discipline committee shall audit their performance.

To sum up, the Ministry provided specific guidance for legal arrangements in insurance arbitration. Especially considering intensive use of expert reports within judiciary and importance of such reports on the verdict, specific regulation regarding the use of expert reports by the Commission is welcomed.

Author: Kaan Erdoğan

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