Compulsory insurance for gas networks: do you think that “harm will not happen”?
6/24/2020 8:15 AM
Insurance will help faster and without entering the budget to compensate for losses due to emergency and stimulate the renewal of gas equipment
Authorities promise to compensate residents of the Krushelnitskaya Street house in the capital, whose apartments were destroyed due to a collapse, possibly due to a gas explosion. Kiev is ready to issue 30 million hryvnia from the budget reserve fund to resolve the housing problem of affected families. They are asking the same amount from the government … It’s good that people are not in trouble and are ready to help. But this is just a reaction to the consequences of an emergency. Unfortunately, such solutions will not avoid future similar cases. In addition, as blasphemous as it may seem to us, citizens of the “social state”, we are talking about the voluntary actions of the city and the state authorities. The duty of the state and its law enforcement system is to ensure an impartial investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy, and to identify and bring the perpetrators to justice. The task of the judicial system is to punish natural and legal persons whose actions or inaction have led to serious consequences and to decide on the payment of fair compensation to the victims. But these processes (both investigative and in court) generally take years. And while the chances of people being fully compensated for the losses are slim.
Is there a fast and reliable way?
Insurance – maybe not a panacea … But experts advise to think
Many experts are convinced that compulsory insurance of gas networks (GDS) and equipment could become the solution. In addition, the most effective option will be the simultaneous insurance liability of gas distribution system operators and citizens – owners of gas stoves, columns and other equipment installed on the premises. This will help speed up payments to people affected by local industrial accidents, violations of the rules for the execution of works and the operation of equipment, the negligence of officials, etc. It is understood that the insurance reimbursement process will also take some time. The insured have their own procedure and their “interest”.
And yet it is much faster than litigation. In addition, the amount of payments will be more or less adequate. The insurance will also increase the liability of companies providing housing and communal services. It will also contribute to improving the technical condition of equipment and networks. After all, insurance law is well known: the better the technical condition of the object, the lower the insurance premiums and the higher the amount of compensation. And if the subject of insurance in general – “breathing in the bud” – the insurance company can refuse to conclude a contract. And then, for example, owners of gas distribution networks will have the choice: either pay substantial fines for non-compliance with the compulsory insurance standard with the probability of losing a license after the second or third warning, or find funds to upgrade GRS, which are the foundation of their business, once and for a long time. The same is true for the concerns of household owners regarding the gas equipment installed in their homes. People will be interested in specialists who will check and fix it as often as possible. And then, it happens, gas owners or representatives of water services do not even let apartment owners enter the threshold …
Specialists will check ventilation and gas equipment
Until now, in Ukraine, by law, the liability insurance of owners of land vehicles is compulsory. In addition, infrastructures and other installations presenting a high level of danger must be insured (according to the list approved by the Cabinet of Ministers). Other types of property insurance are optional. This also applies to real estate. We have long called for “thinking” about the possibility of making home insurance and public services compulsory. We are talking about guaranteed compensation for losses suffered by owners and third parties. For example, an eternal story: you flooded the neighbors from below …
Another “gas emergency” has become another opportunity for professional discussions on the introduction of compulsory insurance – if not the entire housing stock, at least the high-risk networks and equipment. “An explosion in Kiev. What to do? The education and training of the population does not make sense. One” unconscious “is enough to demolish the whole riser. We are one of the most gasified countries in the world. It is impossible to introduce (restore) full control, as in Belarus. Partially it is possible to solve the problem by abandoning the gas equipment (eliminating the source of danger), but for the majority, it is not no longer an option Speaking of barriers, it is possible to have a compulsory insurance system For gas supply companies and all owners of dangerous gas equipment safety, the lower the rate … ”, Suggests Adrian Galach, editor-in-chief of Industrial Security magazine.
And indeed – the insurance conditions for such liability are quite strict. In order to obtain a policy, a company that provides utilities will need to fulfill a number of strict requirements from an insurance company to prevent emergencies and incidents. In other words, compulsory insurance not only guarantees compensation for losses without the need to “crawl into the budget” (as is currently the case), but it will also become an effective means of influencing the manager of the house. (housing maintenance office, management company, OSMD) and companies providing separate services. . This approach will “kill several birds with one stone”:
The first stages of compulsory insurance in housing and municipal services have been taken
Liability insurance requirements for companies managing residential buildings are provided for in the new law on housing and municipal services, which came into force in June 2018. The document provides for civil liability insurance for managers, introduced by obligation of the organization managing the house to conclude a liability agreement. But … The specific parameters of such an agreement are not defined. There is no requirement for the sum insured, the limit of liability for a victim, the list of insured events, the deductible (part of the possible damage that the insurance company will not compensate), etc.
Therefore, most managers view this legislative standard as optional. Or take out insurance contracts for minimum amounts with minimum deposits – as they say, “to get rid of”. Judge for yourself: the maximum amount of insurance compensation per apartment under these contracts often does not exceed 500 hryvnias. Therefore, one of the tasks is to ensure that in the event of an insurance event, the contract fully covers the costs of repairing the victims’ accommodation, as well as the common parts. This problem is particularly acute for a depleted housing stock, where houses are mainly managed by housing and maintenance facilities, many of which operate “old-fashioned”.
In addition, there are risks that when they start to put pressure on managers, demanding the conclusion of comprehensive insurance contracts, they will try to transfer the additional costs (or perhaps tens of thousands of hryvnia per month into a house) to consumers. An example is the situation with the installation of individual gas meters in Ukrainian apartments. For years, we have paid such a prospect under tariffs. Therefore, every gas sales organization should have installed measuring devices for all consumers for a long time. However, the gas companies have used the funds received for other purposes for years (obviously, to enrich the owners and management.
As the director of the City Institute, Alexander Sergienko recalls, the gas companies were unable to comply with the law on commercial natural gas measurement adopted in 2011, which provided for the installation of meters individual in all Ukrainian apartments on January 1, 2018. But the owners of regional gas companies took a tour: through NKREKU, the “Code of Gas Distribution Systems” was approved, which subsequently received the status of law. This document provided for the installation of common house meters instead of apartment meters. “The Verkhovna Rada, instead of forcing the oblgazy to fulfill its obligations, extended the deadline for the installation of apartment counters by three years – until January 1, 2021,” recalls Sergienko, “and no one will guarantee that a decision will not be taken on the postponement “In addition, they recently decided to entrust the responsibility for the installation of individual meters to the company Naftogaz Ukrainy. In other words, we will actually have to pay the counters twice.
If this happens with the insurance of homes and utilities and the insurance liability of housing managers, the crisis of defaults cannot be avoided.
The issue of imposing insurance liability on premises owners had to be weighed. Even if the amount of the contributions will be (as it seems to some) insignificant, such a constraint can provoke a massive refusal by consumers to use gas for the benefit of electricity. Among other things, this will negatively affect the already low level of security of our gas networks. And also – it can cause a collapse of power grids that are not designed for an uncontrolled increase in consumption. What Ukrinform wrote the day before.
We voluntarily provide accommodation. How reliable and efficient?
Another subject is voluntary home insurance. Not all Ukrainians think of him. Even fewer have real contracts with the insured at hand. However, the Krushelnitskaya tragedy, where most of the apartments destroyed, according to unofficial data, were not insured, still suggests. In particular, and the author of the material. Therefore, I share thoughts and observations.
Usually, the insurance policy covers losses due to fires, floods (water penetration), natural disasters, illegal actions of third parties (burglary, hooliganism). All risks at the customer’s request can be reduced, which will reduce the price. But there must always be a fire among them.
Property insurance is relatively inexpensive. The price depends on a number of conditions: the presence of a concierge in the house, window grilles, fire and security alarms, metal doors, the material of the house, the year of construction and the date of the last major revision. And the cost of the policy depends on the price of the apartment or house. The insurance contract has three components: constructive (cabinet for an apartment or a house), interior decoration (doors, windows, floor, walls), as well as real estate (furniture, appliances, etc.). On average, a construction can be insured at a rate of 0.12-0.25% of the market value, interior decoration insurance will cost the customer 0.22-0.35%, property insurance will have to be paid on average 0.3-0.35%.
Among the risks covered by the insurance policy, there should always be a fire
For example, one of the insurance companies performs the following calculations: if an apartment without decoration costs 1 million hryvnia, 300,000 are invested in repairs and the same amount is invested in furniture, household appliances and electronic, the customer will have to pay 3000 to 3500 hryvnia per year for the insurance policy. In addition, this payment can be divided into two, three or four parts. On the one hand, it seems much cheaper than CASCO car insurance (price from 3.5 to 7%). After all, the probability of an insured event is several times lower than the “chance” of a car accident or theft. But for many Ukrainians, these 3,000 “bite”. Because for a large part of households, it is a quarter, a third, or even half of monthly income. That is to say, the reason for refusing voluntary insurance for most of us is the need to save constantly. Another part of the owners of houses and apartments does not trust insurers or hopes that the problem will bypass their tenth route. And those interested in the subject also understand that it is impossible to obtain insurance compensation for all the damage caused.
The proper execution of a home insurance policy is a painstaking process that neither the employees of the insurance companies nor the clients want to do. In fact, according to the rules, you must not only make a description of all things – furniture, household appliances, accessories installed in the apartment, but also photograph and catalog them. And it takes a long time. For example, for an insurance agent, it is much more profitable to insure 3-4 cars at the same time and get a big commission. As a result, insurance companies generally offer “simplified” home insurance policies to potential customers. This only provides three amounts of insurance: the estimated cost of the “box” of the apartment or house, the cost of repairs and property (all – “by eye”). At the same time, the agents do not draw up a list of goods and the insurance undertakes to pay for the loss of a unit of property by a certain amount, for example 7,000 hryvnia. But people who visit stores or check deals on online sites are well aware that most modern appliances and quality furniture are much more expensive. A television, a refrigerator, a kitchen set … all this costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of hryvnias. And we’re not talking about the elite segment yet … But insurers are artificially inflating insurance rates for inexpensive interior items so that the owners themselves refuse to add them to the insured list.
In addition, insurance companies are trying to maximize the list of force majeure, for which no compensation is provided. We are talking about hostilities, public unrest, terrorist attacks, etc. There is also a regional specificity. For example, in Transcarpathia, many insurance companies refuse to insure themselves against losses linked to natural disasters of a periodic nature – floods and floods.
All of this, along with a few other “nuances”, repels most Ukrainians from voluntary insurance. Although experts advise not to overlook these opportunities. Because, unfortunately, nobody is safe from fires, gas explosions and other problems in Ukraine … And the whole world too.
Vladislav Obukh, Kiev
First photo: Chernihivgaz
According to the materials: ukrinform.ru