Effective from 1 January 2019: compensation for emotional loss
An awful scenario. A partner ends up in a wheelchair following a violent crime. Or a child dies following a traffic accident. The emotional turmoil experienced by their next of kin and relatives is unprecedented. The Compensation for Emotional Loss Act (Wet vergoeding affectieschade), which will take effect on 1 January 2019, recognises these people and assists them financially. We at Meijers are also fully informed of this. We would be happy to explain what this act means in respect of our services.
Last month, the Upper House of Parliament ratified the Act for compensation for emotional loss. This means that the surviving relatives of deceased victims and relatives of people with severe and permanent injury – as a result of an accident, violent crime or medical error – will be entitled to compensation. The party responsible for the accident is liable for this compensation.
How will this affect you?
Apart from an anticipated (slight) increase in premium, nothing really changes in terms of our products and services. We will inform you if anything should change in your particular case.
The advantage of this new legislation is that, even though financial compensation will never compensate for their loss, next of kin and relatives will now be heard. This will result in fewer debates about the payment of compensation.
In the Netherlands, next of kin and relatives are sometimes already entitled to similar compensation: compensation for damage caused by shock. This compensation is subject to various conditions and in many cases next of kin/relatives will not be entitled to this. The Act for emotional loss will now change this.
Once the Act takes effect, compensation for emotional loss will be between € 12,500 and € 20,000. This amount depends on the nature of the injury (death or permanent serious injury), the relationship of the next of kin or relative to the deceased person/victim and whether the death or injury results from a criminal offence. This will help avoid ‘American-style situations’, where huge amounts (compensation for non-material damage) are paid.
Questions about the compensation of emotional loss? Please feel free to contact Martien van Domburg, Team Leader, Claims Handling.