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
Alistair 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).