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Accident insurance


									Accident insurance

Accident insurance develops, mainly, owing to hazardous productions and foreign companies’
social programmes. The current demand for individual schemes in Russia is extremely low,
although the accident rate remains high (according to available statistics, such a danger threatens
one in a thousand). But this class promises good business for insurers in the future, as soon as
insured persons are given the opportunity to choose between compulsory insurance (as it has
been so far) and voluntary insurance against accident at work, i.e. through a private insurer. In
the latter case, it would be logical to return to an insurer at least a part of his transfers to the
single social tax.

Last year’s census became the largest insurance project, when 423 thousand interviewers, who
were involved in the All-Russia census, were insured against accidents to the sum of 5,000
rubles each. The said event, which represented a section of the Russian reality, enabled the
collection of a valuable information related to the insurance statistics. About 500 insurance
events were recorded during the week of the census: bites by stray and pet animals accounted for
70% of them. Falls, hurts and fractures happened not so often. Contrary to expectations, only
single instances of assaults on the interviewers were recorded, and all injures were of a home
character. For all that, accident insurance is developing much slower than motor insurance that
is more loss-making and much more expensive. Here, an owner of the most modest foreign-
made car pays no less than $ 1,000 for comprehensive insurance.

Tax changes still hold accident insurance in check. Since 2002, an employer has been subject to
new restrictions: under article 255 of the Tax Code, he is allowed to allocate to prime cost
expenses on insurance of personnel against accidents occurred only during work hours and no
more than 10,000 rubles per insured at that. The earlier existed procedure authorized payment
from 24-hour insurance cost and insurance costs were limited to 1% of the production output
(this1% included health insurance as well). Such restrictions were introduced at the time when
the compulsory health insurance fund was facing a shortage of funds.

Discussions are under way regarding various options of reforming the compulsory social
insurance system and the Social Insurance fund’s activities, whose scope of competence
embraces industry risks. One of the bills envisages admission of commercial insurance
organizations and structures to compulsory social insurance against industrial accidents and
work-related diseases. Opponents to such a step fear that it will undermine the Social Insurance
Fund’s competitive position and destabilize the established system.

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