A new European Union directive will have a dramatic effect on insurance claims administration when it is introduced late next year, warns Inter Partner Assistance.

At present, vehicle accident victims are required to make their claims for compensation in the country where their accident occurred.

However, IPA international claims supervisor Jenny Lansdowne said the fourth EU directive would allow victims to claim for compensation in their country of residence.

The move is supposed to simplify and speed up the procedure for processingclaims.

But Lansdowne predicted it would have the opposite effect, in that it will force insurers to appoint agents in each EU country to handle legal claims.

“In addition to placing a greater burden of recovery on the insurer, rather than on the victim, the new EU directive is intended to simplify and quicken the claims procedure,” Lansdowne said.

She said IPA was already in talks with insurers to ensure a smooth transition into compliance with the new regulations.

“We have the capacity to provide the network of offices and agents required to fulfil the obligations under the new law,” Lansdowne said.