What does motor liability insurance cover?

Motor liability insurance compensates all parties for their personal injuries and external parties for property damage. When vehicles collide, the damage to the innocent party's vehicle is compensated.

What does motor liability insurance not cover? The motor liability insurance does not compensate for damage to the policyholder's vehicle or to property in that vehicle. This damage can, for example, be compensated through voluntary vehicle insurance (comprehensive insurance).

It is a prerequisite for the payment of compensation for the traffic damage that the damage was caused by using the vehicle in traffic. As a rule, the damage is compensated for in full even if it was not caused by anyone's carelessness. However, it is a prerequisite for compensation in a situation where vehicles have collided that the damage was caused by the driver's or the owner's carelessness, driving in breach of traffic rules or improper condition of the vehicle. In collision situations, the liability for compensation can also be split between the parties pro-rata to their degree of guilt.

Claiming compensation

The party who sustained the damage or injury can claim compensation directly from the insurance company of the party that caused the damage. Compensation can also be claimed directly from the insurance company if the damage occurred in conjunction with a traffic violation. This means it is not necessary to take the claim to court.

Compensation must be claimed from the insurance company that is most likely to be responsible for compensating the damage. However, compensation for personal injuries can be claimed from the insurance company of the party in whose vehicle the injury was suffered. If the personal injury was suffered by some other party than the driver or a passenger, compensation can be claimed from any of the insurance companies of the parties who were involved in the accident.

According to the Motor Liability Insurance Act, notices of injury and compensation claims must be submitted to the insurance company within three years of the date the injured party becomes aware of the damage or injury and its consequences. Compensation claims must in all cases be submitted within 10 years of the damage or injury. In most cases, if the compensation is not claimed within this limitation period, the claimant loses their right to claim compensation.

The claim must specify where and when the accident occurred and include the relevant information on the injured party and their address. In Finland, there is no requirement to use a specific form for notices of injury or for claiming compensation, or to call the police when an accident occurs.

If the person who caused the accident or their insurance company cannot be identified, a vehicle is uninsured, or the accident is caused by a foreigner, claims can be taken to the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre.

The damage is divided into personal injuries and property damage.

The Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre handles traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unknown vehicles, those exempted from motor liability insurance, foreign vehicles, vehicles holding temporary and frontier motor liability insurance policies, as well as reindeer damage caused by vehicles. Read more from page Damage compensated for by LVK.

Instructions on how to file an accident statement and claim compensation from the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre are on page Claim compensation from LVK.

The State Treasury compensates for damage caused by vehicles owned by the State.