European Commission publishes road map for dealing with Vnuk decision

This morning the Commission released its road map setting out possible options to deal with unintended consequences of the Vnuk decision. The carefully-worded text is headed “Adaptation of the scope of Directive 2009/103/EC on motor insurance” and sets out four possible options.

Despite the four options described, the road map reads, to me at least, as leaning in favour of the sort of modest but important change to the Motor Insurance Directive that we have already outlined on this blog.

Probably the key section of the five page roadmap, which is accessible here is that below:

The objective of the proposal is to maintain a high degree of protection for victims of motor vehicle accidents while respecting the right of Member States to set up arrangements at national level to protect victims of accidents that are result of agricultural, construction, industrial, motor sports or fairground activities. Member States would remain free to decide whether victims of traffic accidents should be pooled together, through guarantee funds, with victims of activities unrelated to traffic. For the sake of legal certainty, the use of vehicles in traffic  could  be  defined  as  the use  of  a motorised vehicle  for  the  transport  of  persons  or  goods,  whether stationary  or in motion,  in  areas  where  the  public  has  access  in accordance  with  national  law.

Rather  than  exempting  some  types  of  vehicles  (e.g.  cranes,  forklifts,  tractors,  etc), in  order  to  maintain  the high level  of protection  of  victims,  the  proposed  approach  seeks  to effectively exclude the  activities  listed  above from  the  scope  of  the  Motor  Insurance  Directive. In  the  absence  of  compulsory  policies  covering  these  activities at  EU  level,  the  scope  of  the  Motor  Insurance  Directive  should  be  limited  to  the  use  of  vehicles  in  the  context of traffic.

The road map ‎indicates that an impact assessment is to be carried out and quotes Q3 2016 as the deadline for ‘indicative planning’.

Publication of the road map now offers a formal opportunity to make further representations to European and national policymakers on the key issues raised by the options in the paper, in particular the apparently preferred approach of “adaptation” of the MID at EU level.

About the Author

akAlistair Kinley is BLM’s Director of Policy & Government Affairs.

Alistair is responsible for BLM’s engagement with government departments and regulators on policy and public affairs issues and consultations affecting the firm and its customers. He coordinated BLM’s market-facing activities in connection with the Insurance Act 2015 and the consultations which preceded its publication and introduction in Parliament.

He is a member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC), a regular speaker and experienced commentator on legal and procedural reforms and was a contributing editor to the Law Society’s Litigation Funding Handbook (September 2014).

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