The Association Verkehrsopferhilfe e. V. was founded in 1963 by all motor liability insurers which were members of the former Association of Third Party Liability, Accident, Motor and Legal Expenses Insurers: with effect from 1 January 1966 it was assigned the position of legal compensation fund for claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents and since 1 January 2003 the position of compensation body, with its consent in each case.
With effect from 1 January 2003 the Association Verkehrsopferhilfe e. V. performs the functions of the compensation body according to the Directive 2000/26/EC (4th Motor Insurance Directive). The regulations of the 4th Motor Insurance Directive are intended to facilitate the settlement of an accident suffered in another European country. For this purpose, national compensation bodies have been set up in the entire European Economic Area (EEA). They serve as a “last resort” if the settlement of the claim by “regular” means has failed, thus ensuring the claims of the victim.
The legal regulations on the national compensation body are to be found in Sects. 12a and b as well as Sect. 13a of the Law on Compulsory Insurance(PflVG). It is liable if either the competent insurer or its claims representative has not settled the claim within three months or has only insufficiently responded to the request for damages of the victim. Furthermore, it is liable if the competent foreign insurer has not appointed any claims representative within the country. This applies also if neither the competent insurer nor the motor vehicle or trailer having caused the damage can be identified within two months of the accident.
The type and scope of damages usually depends on the law of the country of the accident.
The settlement of claims is delegated by the Compensation Body to companies which are familiar with the particularities of the respective country of the accident. If a victim wants to take action against any decisions taken by the Compensation Body, recourse to the general courts of law is open to him or her to this effect.
Applications may be filed in a formless manner or using the notification of loss form of the Compensation Body.