Report No. 85
Accident insurance in Norway.- Every registered motor vehicle in Norway must carry traffic accident insurance for the benefit of all potential accident victims, including the passengers, except the driver himself. The victim has a direct claim against the insurer. As long as the claim does not exceed the compulsory insurance limit-Norwegian kr. 200,00 (about 28,000 Dollars) for each person wounded or killed-negligence on the part of the owner or the driver of the vehicle is irrelevant. The only requisites are that the damage in question was caused by the vehicle, that the vehicle was not being utilised for other purposes than as a means of transportation, and that it was not parked in a place to which the public had no access.
Claims in excess of Norwegian kr. 200,000 follow traditional rules of tort law, and negligence or mechanical defects must be proved. Such claims may be reduced to an equitable amount, if full liability is considered too heavy a burden on the tortfeasor1. It may be noted that under the Norwegian Motor Vehicle Liability Act (section 10), insurance companies are liable also to pay compensation to victims of uninsured automobiles2. Under section 13 of the same Act, the company which pays has recourse against the person who should have taken out insurance and also against the driver.
1. Solmer Interaction between Insurance & Tort Theories, (1970) 18 AJCL 145, 149.
2. Gomard Compensation for Automobile Accidents, (1970) 18 AJCL 80, 97.