Rail operators liability insurance in 2020


The Office of Rail Transport once again checked how rail operators in Poland complied with the liability insurance requirements in 2020. All carriers met the minimum requirements for insurance amount and for duration of insurance contract. The share of companies whose third party liability insurance was higher than the required minimum increased.

The study carried out by the Office of Rail Transport shows that all licensed rail operators in Poland met legal requirements on insurance amount.[1] The minimum insurance requirements are: EUR 100,000 for narrow-gauge rail operators, EUR 250,000 for carriers operating on infrastructure which they manage and EUR 2.5 million for other carriers. The calculation of the amount in PLN is based on the average EUR exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland for the first time in the year in which the insurance contract was concluded.

31% of all carriers secured a third party liability insurance for the lowest mandatory amount accounted which is 18% less than in 2019. 56% of carriers were insured for amounts ranging from EUR 2.5 million to PLN 50 million which is an improvement by 16% as compared to 2019. Insurances for amounts from PLN 50 million to PLN 100 million were held by 8% of carriers (in 2019 by 6%). The share of operators with insurances above PLN 100 million was 5% and has not changed since 2019.

When compared to 2019, the average insurance also increased - for all surveyed carriers it amounted to over PLN 34 million. For passenger operators the average insurance was over PLN 79 million, while for freight carriers it was over PLN 32 million.

In 2020 the transport performance of passenger operators which had an insurance for an amount higher than PLN 100 million reached 70.5% of transport performance of all rail passenger operators, while the performance of freight operators insured for such sums almost reached 50% of total rail freight transport performance.

An insurance contract which sets an insurance amount in EUR should contain an information about an exchange rate used to convert it to PLN (the average euro exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland for the first time in the year for which the insurance contract is concluded). However, a significant part of carriers who decide to secure an insurance for the minimum amount allowed do not specify the exchange rate used in their insurance policy.

The study on “The level of liability insurance of rail operators in 2020” is available in Polish here.


[1] The requirement to secure the third party liability of operator’s commercial activity is set in Article 46 (10) of the Railway Transport Act and the Regulation of the Minister of Development and Finance on rail operator insurance of 25 May 2017 (Official Journal 2017, Item 1033). 

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