Lack of insured drivers a road risk

More than 240,000 cars may be traveling the country’s roads without any insurance, according to the Development Ministry, which said yesterday that three insurance firms could be shut down after dragging their feet in meeting their customers compensation demands. Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said that insurance firms Galaxias, Astra and Argonaftiki will have some of their assets confiscated after authorities received numerous complaints that they were dodging obligations. Their licenses are still valid but the issue is being brought to the attention of consumers, Papathanassiou pointed out. An industry regulator, the Private Insurance Commission, will make a decision on the issue by the end of December. About 36,000 cars are insured with Galaxias, 89,000 are covered by Astra, while 126,000 more are insured by Argonaftiki. The deputy minister also presented yesterday the financial status of companies in the insurance industry and said that 345 million euros are needed to help make them more solvent. Most of the shortfall, however, has been covered, Papathanassiou added, as a number of companies have already completed share capital increases reaching 245 million euros. The capital injections need to be completed by the end of June next year.

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