In Indonesia, vehicle insurance is not mandatory except for vehicles licenced to carry public passengers, and commercial trucks. There is disagreement about whether third-party vehicle insurance - SAMSAT - is mandatory for private vehicles; however, it only covers bodily injury, because payment for damage to a vehicle is usually settled at the scene of the accident in cash.
After a road accident takes place, and because most Indonesians do not have vehicle insurance, damage is often assessed and payment negotiated at the scene of the accident.
The Indonesian police classify road accidents as:
By law, the police only need to be at the scene of an accident if they are called by a victim or if the accident is serious. Serious accidents include bodily injuries resulting in hospitalisation and/or death.
The victim of a minor accident who has suffered bodily injuries has the right to call the police to make a police report, but if the victim is satisfactorily compensated at the scene by the party at fault, the victim may decide not to contact the police.
A foreigner involved in a road accident must take great care immediately after the accident. Indonesia is known for its lax safety standards.
For minor accidents, these are the general rules in Indonesia:
Never leave the scene of an accident until all reporting and negotiations are finalised.
Payment of damages often falls to the foreigner if he or she is the driver.
The foreigner can negotiate alone, or call in the police to conduct negotiations and file a report. If damages are slight, then extra-judicial (no official person present) negotiations might be preferable.
An insurance claim is not valid without an accompanying police report.
Police go to an accident scene if it is serious or one of the parties involved demands it. They also file a report if they witness an accident.
The police have the power to conduct a musyawarah, or negotiation between the parties involved. Once agreed upon, the policeman can draw up a Sumbangan Wajib Dana Kecelakaan Lalu Lintas Jalan (SWDKLLJ), or Mandatory Financial Contribution as Compensation for a Road Accident.
If the SWDKLLJ determines the foreign driver is at fault and must pay damages, then there is not much recourse while at the scene of the accident. A payment has to be made or quickly arranged, otherwise the possibility exists of being detained by local authorities. If found at fault, the foreigner should demand the victim signs a Surat Pernyataan (affidavit) after the victim receives the agreed compensation. The statement should also be signed by the police, otherwise it may not be considered a legal affidavit. Without a signed, legal affidavit, the victim/paid party has legal recourse to seek out the paying party and request more money afterwards.
The SWDKLLJ is filed at the Sistem Administrasi Manunggal Satu Atap (SAMSAT) or "Administration Under One Roof". This office is the clearing house for all legal/governmental matters for motorised vehicles.
In the case of serious injuries, the police must be called immediately. If the accident happens in a remote area and the police cannot be contacted, responsibility lies with the party with a functioning vehicle to transport victims to the hospital, clinic or doctor's office. If the police arrive, they might be on motorbikes, and if an ambulance service is not available, they can demand that someone at the scene with a vehicle transports the victims - foreigners included.
Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have given permission. This means waiting for the injured to be transported. Police assess the damage; they might conduct a negotiation (musyawarah), and then write their report.
If a foreigner needs a copy of the police report, ask for it immediately. Otherwise, find out where the local police office is and request a copy.
The following is a typical claims procedure as required by Indonesian insurance companies:
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