What you should know about the “SOAP” insurance
In Chile, “SOAP” stands for Obligatory Personal Accident Insurance, and is a non-deferred procedure for any motor vehicle that circulates in the country, as required by Law No. 18,490. This insurance must be renewed annually and has a variable cost depending on the vehicle model: there are a large number of private offers that cover this requirement for different prices and with small variations in benefits.
The difference between SOAP and other vehicle insurance
It’s important not to confuse both products, since they are different contracts with independent benefits, but complementary as we’ll see below.
SOAP is an insurance policy that covers damage to people in case of accidents, while other vehicle insurance contracts are responsible for the cost of repairs and replacements for the means of transport if an accident occurs.
Depending on the category and the value of the private vehicle insurance, the beneficiary will be able to access coverage in case of crashes, fires, robberies or total loss of the vehicle, thus not covering passengers if there are injuries or death resulting from an accident.
Therefore, it is a good idea to have a vehicle insurance in addition to the SOAP, providing peace of mind for the driver by having material and individual coverage in the event of an accident.
To be clear about what we are hiring, it’s important to know the characteristics of the SOAP, which we will explain below:
- The SOAP policy is unique and prepared by the Commission for the Financial Market of Chile, therefore its basic characteristics are standard requirements that are met for all products offered.
- The renewal is annual and must be fulfilled before March 31 of each year, since that’s the final deadline to renew the Circulation Permit document on Chile and if there is no associated SOAP for the vehicle, said Circulation Permit cannot be requested.
- All motorized vehicles in Chile must purchase this insurance, including trailers, mobile homes and of course, cars, buses, vans and much more.
- Although it is compulsory insurance, the user acquires it in a particular way through an insurance company, a process that can be easily done through the Internet.
- Once hired, the client obtains a certificate that must be carried by the driver in case of a police control, since said certificate is associated to the vehicle but individualized to its owner.
- In the event of an accident, the amounts covered by the SOAP are applied first, then giving way to the personal coverage that each person has.
Coverage offered by the SOAP
The amounts that this insurance service gives to the people involved in a traffic accident are stipulated by law and are the following:
- Medical and hospital expenses: Up to UF 300.
- Death (after deduction of medical expenses): UF 300.
- Total permanent disability (medical expenses are not deducted): UF 300.
- Permanent partial disability: Up to UF 200.
Under the unfortunate case of death of the beneficiary, the order of precedence to collect the corresponding amounts after deduction of medical expenses goes like this:
- The surviving spouse.
- Underage children.
- Children of legal age.
- The mother of the children of non-marital affiliation of the deceased.
- If any of the indicated beneficiaries doesn’t apply, the compensation shall correspond to the person who accredits the quality of the heir.
How to collect the benefits
In the event of an accident and if the victim needs to apply the SOAP’s benefits, the person must perform the procedure described below in order to make effective use of the coverage.
First, the beneficiary must go to an emergency room in order to be treated, indicating that he or she was involved on a traffic accident. Then the complaint is made at the police, having knowledge of the patent of the vehicle involved, essential data required for the application of insurance. A certificate is issued by the competent Court or the Public Prosecutor’s Office, where the information related to the incident is recorded, which must be requested later.
With this in hand, the accident can now be reported to the insurance company provided by the SOAP, which will require the certificates and medical expenses tickets associated with the victim’s care, to proceed with the application of the aforementioned amounts.
Now, we are fully informed of every detail about the SOAP, indispensable information not only to keep up to date the roles of any motorized vehicle, but also to provide peace of mind to driver and passengers in all kinds of trips.