The Armenian government on Thursday announced a change in the terms of pending mandatory motor insurance that it said would favor owners of disused or rarely used vehicles.
The Armenian police said it had modified the order of registering vehicles to allow for the change following a relevant instruction from the prime minister.
A government-drafted law adopted by the National Assembly in May made car insurance mandatory for the owners of all 430,000 or so cars and other civilian vehicles registered in Armenia beginning January 1, 2010.
All drivers who will fail to buy an insurance policy, priced between 19,000 and 106,000 drams (about $50-$295) a year depending on the type of vehicle, a driver’s experience and age, by next month will face a hefty fine for not complying with the law. The policies required by the law cover only damage caused to other cars and the health of their drivers or passengers during accidents.
The law has sparked protest particularly among car owners in rural areas many of whom say they hardly ever use their cars or use them only during a particular time of the year, such as during the season of agricultural activity.
At last week’s government session Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian specifically raised the issue of such vehicle owners and called for a way to soften the terms of insurance for then.
Chief of the Armenian Police Alik Sargsian said on Thursday that all citizens regardless of the type of their vehicle or place of registration would be able to benefit from the change.
He also said citizens would no longer be required to pay the state duty of 5,000 drams (a little less than $15) to have their vehicles temporarily removed from the state register and the same amount of money to get the registration back.
“This state duty has been abolished. Citizens can now come to a registration point even without their cars and only submit documents and hand over the license plates without paying this duty,” said Sargsian. “And for the period they want to use their cars they must sign a contract with an insurance company and buy an insurance policy.”