Car Insurance in Tunisia

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#1
For any of you expats thinking of insuring you car in Tunisia, take heed.

I've been with the same car insurance company, MAE, since 2003 and in Feb this year, my car was involved in an accident .

Car was insured for 20,000 DT and fully comprehensive, all risks.

With MAE, you have to repair the car yourself and then claim back the money after it's done and because the damage was extensive (around 16K), I didn't have the money to pay in advance, so they said they would write if off, Tunisian style, which means they decide a value, eg 16K, they give me so much and the wreck of the car back so that 'I' can sell it .

It took them until the 17th April to send the papers from Sousse to Tunis due to the fact that the agency boss didn't give me a full list of required documents/paperwork the day of the accident when I went into his office.

The agency boss was moved from Sousse to M'saken and I was told I had to deal with him there (as he'd taken 'his' files with him) which I did and had to make a couple of visits there and since then at least one phone call every week, sometimes 2 only to be told 'will be settled in 4 weeks', then 'nothing happening', 'Tunis dealing with it', etc etc.

Called Tunis who advised that they were working on September claims now. Was given the name of person dealing with it but he's never in the office when I call. Again phoned boss in M'saken whoi said he would call him but he never phones back, ever, and last time he said guy in Tunis in on holiday

So we are now in September, 7 1/2 months since the accident.

I went to MAE's office in M'saken the other day to find that this particular agency boss in on holiday. His replacement said that his files are locked away so no-one can access them in his absence (!!) and that he could only see so much of the claim on screen.

I asked if Mutuelle Assurance de l'Enseignement (MAE) were having money problems and perhaps they couldn't pay out,and he said no.

He confirmed that I should have been offered car hire for 3 days at the time and that these files hsould not have been removed from Sousse. He was, or appeared to be, shocked to say the least at the length of time this was taking (agency boss initially told me it would be settled in 4 weeks).

He checked and called back saying that it might be an idea if I went up to MAE's head office in Tunis on Monday and enquire more there to someone responsible (so the other workers aren't?)

I went back to the Sousse office where we were greeted with a friendly staff who could not believe that the claim had not been settled and that I'd be told to deal with M'saken office. They did say that they held copies of all of the files and could not understand why my insurance which is fully comprehensive, all risks, hadn't been sorted out as it's usually a matter of course.

Once again, I asked if the company had money problems and was told no.

They are going to call MAE's head office Tunis on Monday and advise.

There is no ombudsman here but there is a court process if I want to go down that route.

I have also spoken to another, more modern, insurance company GAT who confirm that in the event of car accidents, they now have a contract with most Car Dealerships here and that when they give the go ahead to repair a car to the dealership, they will repair the car and the GAT deal directly with them, so the car owner doesn't have to fork out money in advance and then wait forever.

No wonder there are so many damaged cars here ad I'd imagine the majority of people can't afford to pay up front for repairs under the old system of insuring.

To be continued...........................
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#2
And don't forget to fill us in on the saga!!

However on the plus side, at least SOME Insurance companies there like GAT that you mentioned above, are getting with the 21st century and using an 'approved repairer' scheme, something they've been doing here for years!!

Lets be fair, driving round in Tunisia surely it's only a matter of time before you have an 'incident' of some description, so id say it'd now be best to insure your car with someone like that in the future so at least you haven't got to fork out for the cost of repairs first OR wait forever and a day while they shuffle papers!!! :rolleyes:
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Saga over! After 3 years and 3 months, I have a result...................

I ended up going up to their Head Office in Tunis and speaking to the guy in charge who told me that a decision had been made in April '13 not to pay out. So no-one in the branch office in Sousse had the balls to tell me about this decision and wasted many months of my time with ongoing lies.

The reason they gave me verbally for not paying out was because my car was over 3 years old so therefore I wasn't entitled to insure it under Fully Comprehensie/All Risks. My argument was that they sold this policy to me and took the higher premiums from me over many years advising me that even if something fell out of the sky and wrecked the car, I'd receive every millime back.

On asking why they didn't have their computer system set up to flag if certain insurances were not available to certain categories, I was told it wasn't possible! (In other words, if you're silly enough to pay more, they're not going to refuse it!)

They told me that had the accident not happened, I'd have continued to pay the higher premium and no-one would have picked up on it. Convenient, yes?

So I took them to court.

The lawyer who handled the claim initially, judgement was made against me because they said I didn't have a PV or Constat (report) (different reason from the verbal one they gave) - I did but dated a few days after. Lawyer was a waste of space and said we'd appeal. I waited and waited and waited and had really written it off.

I then handed it over to my current lawyer who said if it was worth appealing, he'd do so. He confirmed that with All Risks cover, you do not require a constat/report, all risks is all risks, so back to court, made the appeal and, after 3 years and 3 months, I have a result..........

We won the case against the insurance company.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#4
Saga over! After 3 years and 3 months, I have a result...................

I ended up going up to their Head Office in Tunis and speaking to the guy in charge who told me that a decision had been made in April '13 not to pay out. So no-one in the branch office in Sousse had the balls to tell me about this decision and wasted many months of my time with ongoing lies.

The reason they gave me verbally for not paying out was because my car was over 3 years old so therefore I wasn't entitled to insure it under Fully Comprehensie/All Risks. My argument was that they sold this policy to me and took the higher premiums from me over many years advising me that even if something fell out of the sky and wrecked the car, I'd receive every millime back.

On asking why they didn't have their computer system set up to flag if certain insurances were not available to certain categories, I was told it wasn't possible! (In other words, if you're silly enough to pay more, they're not going to refuse it!)

They told me that had the accident not happened, I'd have continued to pay the higher premium and no-one would have picked up on it. Convenient, yes?

So I took them to court.

The lawyer who handled the claim initially, judgement was made against me because they said I didn't have a PV or Constat (report) (different reason from the verbal one they gave) - I did but dated a few days after. Lawyer was a waste of space and said we'd appeal. I waited and waited and waited and had really written it off.

I then handed it over to my current lawyer who said if it was worth appealing, he'd do so. He confirmed that with All Risks cover, you do not require a constat/report, all risks is all risks, so back to court, made the appeal and, after 3 years and 3 months, I have a result..........

We won the case against the insurance company.
At last, great news! Dare I ask how long it will take to get your money?

I too have found that court cases and the legal system, though they take years, do yield fair results. Mind you, even in the uk it's the same with appeals and final rulings.
 

Aslemma

Well-Known Member
#5
Fantastic!!! I'm so pleased that your persistence finally paid off. That will teach them not to mess with a Scot.
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#6
Wow.....can't believe you've finally got a conclusion....what happens next? Surely not another 3 years 3 months to be reimbursed?
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Initially, MAE took 5 months to admit they weren't going to pay out. Then first lawyer put together a case which took the best part of two years to get a judgement. In that time, there were various strikes of judges, etc. The first lawyer sat on it for a few months saying he was going to appeal but didn't so I took the case away from him. The actual appeal only took 3 months. How long is a piece of string regarding payout? At least it's going in the right direction. I know some people who've waited 8 years+ for claims to be settled, if at all.
 

Aslemma

Well-Known Member
#8
By the sound of it your lawyer will do all he can to speed things up so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. :)
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#9
Yes he is Aslemma, but tbh the system is very slow out there and I should have gone to this lawyer in the first place - it would have been sorted out long before now. Another learning curve :oops:
 

Moonsky

Member
#10
Saga over! After 3 years and 3 months, I have a result...................

I ended up going up to their Head Office in Tunis and speaking to the guy in charge who told me that a decision had been made in April '13 not to pay out. So no-one in the branch office in Sousse had the balls to tell me about this decision and wasted many months of my time with ongoing lies.

The reason they gave me verbally for not paying out was because my car was over 3 years old so therefore I wasn't entitled to insure it under Fully Comprehensie/All Risks. My argument was that they sold this policy to me and took the higher premiums from me over many years advising me that even if something fell out of the sky and wrecked the car, I'd receive every millime back.

On asking why they didn't have their computer system set up to flag if certain insurances were not available to certain categories, I was told it wasn't possible! (In other words, if you're silly enough to pay more, they're not going to refuse it!)

They told me that had the accident not happened, I'd have continued to pay the higher premium and no-one would have picked up on it. Convenient, yes?

So I took them to court.

The lawyer who handled the claim initially, judgement was made against me because they said I didn't have a PV or Constat (report) (different reason from the verbal one they gave) - I did but dated a few days after. Lawyer was a waste of space and said we'd appeal. I waited and waited and waited and had really written it off.

I then handed it over to my current lawyer who said if it was worth appealing, he'd do so. He confirmed that with All Risks cover, you do not require a constat/report, all risks is all risks, so back to court, made the appeal and, after 3 years and 3 months, I have a result..........

We won the case against the insurance company.
Thank you so much for sharing all of this and so sorry that you had to endure what you did when all you did was "act in good faith". I've had my own "car drama" here and hence am very reluctant to buy another.....
 
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