Road Accidents in Russia

Information on what to do in the event of a road traffic accident in Russia, and how to report an accident to the insurance company…

In order to drive any vehicle in Russia, a driver must have the minimum compulsory third-party liability insurance OSAGO (?????; Obyazatelnoe strahovanye avtograzhdanskoy otvetstvenosti / ???????????? ??????????? ??????????????? ???????????????). This is colloquially known as avtotsivilka (???????????).

This policy only provides limited coverage, so it is advisable for foreign drivers to take out the full 'autokasko' insurance offered by all major insurance companies.

  • For more information on this and other types of insurance see the Guide on Vehicle Insurance

Minor Traffic Accidents

In the event of a minor accident, it is possible to handle the situation and prepare all documents for OSAGO insurance without the presence of a traffic police officer (whose attendance is not required by law). This can be done if both drivers have an OSAGO policy and the damages are only to property, with no injury to people or any criminal aspect to the accident.

Both parties also have to agree on the reason for the accident and who is the guilty party, and to enter this in both Notice About Accidents forms (Izveshchenyia o dorozhno-transportnom proizshestvii / ????????? ? ???????-???????????? ???????????? – also known as the Izveshchenyie o DTP / ????????? ? ???). According to OSAGO law, in the case of this simplified procedure of accident reporting, insurance compensation cannot exceed R.25,000.

After an accident has occurred it is advisable to:

  • Position the emergency triangle sign at a distance of about 15m (in the city) or 30m (in the countryside) from the accident, as well as any flashing emergency lights available
  • Write down the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses and the licence plate numbers, if applicable
  • Call the insurance company, noting the name of the employee spoken to
  • Do not exchange any money at the place of the accident
  • Do not discuss the accident or the degree of guilt with others
  • Do not move anything until the other party or parties sign the Notice About Accidents form (to leave the possibility open to call the traffic police)
  • Fill in the Notice About Accidents form with details of the accident and any damages to the car
  • Exchange with all other parties the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all drivers, the OSAGO policy numbers, and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of insurance companies for all parties involved
  • Get the signature of the other party or parties on the Notice About Accidents form and, if possible, make a copy of the form belonging to the other party or parties (picture on mobile phone)
  • Take the Notice About Accidents form to the insurance company no later than 15 working days after the accident
  • Take the car to the insurance company for evaluation of the damage

Major Traffic Accidents

In the case of a serious accident, including those involving injury or death, the traffic police must be called and nothing should be moved from the scene until they arrive.

After a major accident, is recommended to:

  • Position the emergency triangle sign at a reasonable distance of about 15m (in the city) or 30m (in the countryside) from the accident, as well as any flashing emergency lights available
  • If there are any injuries or deaths, call the ambulance service immediately on 112 and give first aid where possible – if necessary, make arrangements for the injured people to be taken to hospital, but anyone who has to leave the scene to do this must return as soon as possible
  • Also call for the police on the emergency number (112), or if you have it, on the local number for the local traffic police (GIBDD) and wait for them to arrive
  • If there is any possibility to do so, clear the road, but before moving any vehicles that were involved, take photos or videos and mark the position of anything connected to the accident. However, if there is any question about who caused the accident, nothing should be moved until the other party or parties sign the Notice About Accidents form and the traffic police officer has seen what is needed to complete the statement about the accident
  • Write down the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses and the licence plate numbers, if applicable
  • Call the insurance company, noting the name of the employee spoken to
  • Do not exchange any money at the place of the accident
  • Do not discuss the accident or the degree of guilt with others
  • Exchange with all other parties the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all drivers, the OSAGO policy numbers, and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of insurance companies for all sides
  • Fill in the Notice About Accidents form with information about the damage to the car (this needs to be submitted together with the OSAGO papers), and when possible, get the signature of the other party or parties
  • If possible, make a copy of the form belonging to the other party or parties (picture on mobile phone)
  • Take the Notice About Accidents about the accident to the insurance company no later than 15 work days after the accident
  • Arrange for the car to be taken to or viewed by the insurance company for evaluation of the damages

When the traffic police officer arrives, each driver should receive the following papers:

  • Statement about the accident
  • Copy of the Statement about administrative violation
  • Notice No.154 with information about the damage to the vehicle(s) and indicating the guilty party

If any objections or remarks were not taken into consideration or something is written in the statement that opinion differs on, put these objections in writing when signing the papers. As all this will be carried out in Russian, it is essential to either speak Russian fluently or to have an interpreter at the scene.

Before a situation like this arises, it is wise to source contact details for someone who can help translate what is being said by the police, either over the telephone or in person at the scene. When an accident report or any other paperwork needs to be signed, an interpreter is useful to have onsite to confirm what is included in the documents before signing, and it is wise not to sign anything if it is not clear what is being agreed to.

For any accident, the owner of a car (or a person authorised by the driver) is responsible for clearing the road, removing the car and towing it back home or to a garage for repair. There are road assistance companies which offer services on an individual or subscription basis who can also help with this. Some insurance companies also offer road assistance policies as part of insurance packages.

Making a Claim

In order to make a claim after an accident, the insured (or proxy) must present to the insurance company the documents listed below within 15 days. The usual term of processing a claim by the insurer is 30 days. Details of how and where repairs are assessed and carried out, the possibility of a courtesy car and how claims are processed can vary between individual policies and different insurance companies, so should be confirmed when signing up for a policy.

Items required to file a claim after an accident

  • Claim form about the accident
  • ID of the driver
  • Drivers licence of the driver
  • Vehicle registration document, or the technical passport of the car (PTS, ???; Pasport Transportnogo Sredstva / ??????? ????????????? ????????)
  • Power of attorney (if applicable)
  • Statement about the accident (written by the traffic police officer at the place of the accident)
  • Copy of the statement about administrative violation of the law (stamped by the traffic police)
  • Notice About Accidents form with information about damages to the car, which is given together with the OSAGO insurance papers
  • Notice No.154 with information about the damage to the vehicle(s) and indicating the guilty party