As 2015 and the New Year celebrations become ever more remote and we try to predict the future and prioritise work for 2016 the question arises as to where, when and how much resource to commit to responding to the very significant problems thrown up by the decision of Vnuk to UK insurance law.
We have certainly anticipated for some months a Government Consultation on the changes to primary legislation (the Road Traffic Act 1988, in the main) that appear to be required to give proper effect to the decision. We also commented last month that we understood that the Commission recognised the broader concerns that are not just those of the UK but of other member states. We are aware that discussions continue and that possible amendments to the Directive have been discussed. We cannot comment further and certainly cannot pre-judge outcomes but anticipate progress in the first quarter with responses to any Consultation needed in the Spring (which can prove to be a very long season!).
It is still harder to predict the resources required. As we saw in the judgment itself what is “circulation” in French is not “traffic” in English and so our tempered optimism of helpful technical changes at a European level should not give way to any complacency. The potential for mishap amidst consultation of course remains and given the significant ramifications for all sectors of casualty coverage the message has to be to remain ready to respond with detail and evidence.
In short, be aware, be ready for Spring – whenever that may be?
Written by Terry Renouf, partner, BLM