More than 250 car drivers unknowingly ended up putting the wrong fuel in their tank. HDI came to the rescue in their hour of need. Although there was no clarity on which insurer would ultimately have to foot the bill.

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Published in February 2020 Author: Gunda Grethe

When the error came to light, it was already too late for a lot of people. The driver of a fuel tanker got it wrong when replenishing the fuel tank at a motorway filling station, mixing up Super and Diesel, and allowing both to flow into the underground tanks. This meant that the wrong fuel came out of the fuel dispensers. More than 250 car drivers were affected by this mistake.

The filling station operator had put up a sign that anybody affected should get in touch with HDI because the delivery vehicle was insured with this company. This meant that the phones started humming in the Motor Claims Department at HDI Versicherung AG in Hannover. One thing was soon clear: A large number of people needed urgent help. However, it was not at all obvious who needed to pay for the damage! Did the filling-station’s public liability insurance have to cough up the money, was the public liability insurer of the supplier responsible for the damage, or was it the motor third-party liability insurance of the tanker with HDI?

HDI didn’t abandon anybody

In the hour of need, HDI quickly took the lead, reached settlement agreements with the involved insurers and paid out for damage to the car drivers in advance. And that was before it was clear who was going to pay for the damage. This was in the end the supplier's public liability insurer, who then reimbursed the money HDI had paid out, though only after some protracted negotiations.

HDI Risk Consulting GmbH has experts who are in a position to assess the technical systems and procedures at a filling station. Matthias Rumpf is one of the technical specialists who assessed the damage on the basis of the circumstances and the expert reports available. In the meantime, Melina Mennenga and her team in Quality Management Motor Claims concentrated on looking after the car owners who had sustained damage: “At short notice, we set up a special email inbox, informed all those affected about the mail address, wrote serial letters and ensured fast processing through internal routing.” The broad base of the operational units allowed HDI to process the claims promptly along with normal business.

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