The way forward in compulsory motor insurance following the decision of the European Court of Justice in Vnuk (please refer to our briefing note here) was raised in the European Parliament this week.
Commissioner Hill addressed the Internal Market Committee on 25 May and said he believes that “a practical solution” can be found, but did not indicate precisely what that might be or when it might emerge.
With less than a month to go to the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, it seems strange that the wackier consequences of compliance with the decision in Vnuk have not yet been trailed out by those hoping to leave the Union. After all, we’ve only just had a spat about whether the EU requires us to sell bananas in bunches of threes or fours and headlines along the lines of “Bonkers EU means Granny’s motability scooter has to be insured!” would hardly be any less edifying.
It was always going to be the way that when my colleague Terry Renouf in his blog of 19 February ‘Unlucky 13 – Damijan Vnuk’, asked how significant an influencer would the Slovenian farmhand be in the coming year, that on that same day, Mr Vnuk could be seen ‘influencing’ a High Court judgment.
Following the judgment in Vnuk there has been much commentary on the wide interpretation of ‘type of vehicle’ and the broader ‘geographic’ (off-road/private land) scope of compulsory motor insurance.
A good “spot” by Post magazine which has just published its Top 50 Power List for 2016. Amidst the Snowballs, Osbornes (yes: HM Chancellor of the Exchequer), Blancs, Beales and Tullochs we find the surprising and perhaps tongue-in-cheek nomination by Swifty and his team of Damijan Vnuk. Certainly the most influential farmhand since the Tolpuddle Martyrs perhaps and also coincidental that the Prime Minister is in Brussels today discussing the interaction of UK and European laws. Whether Mr Vnuk is aware of his influence not only on UK but many other European jurisdictions we do not know but the potential impact and difficulties that arise from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment do justify his nomination at No 13 – not only in the UK but in Europe. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
At the end of October the European Commission announced an extensive programme of work for 2016. There are 23 key initiatives and a further 27 proposals, the latter referred to collectively under the REFIT heading, to review existing EU laws. Item 25 of those is:
Motor Insurance Directive – evaluation. Evaluation of Directive 2009/103/EC intended to help EU residents involved in a road accident in another EU country. Under the Directive, subscribers to compulsory motor insurance policies in all EU countries are covered for motoring throughout the EU.
This wider work could perhaps have some influence on the present handling of the issues raised by Vnuk. This is a plausible (but far from certain) conclusion, given that the REFIT work on the MID could provide a means by which the Commission might take views, later in 2016, from stakeholders on a wide range of points related to the Directive. If that were so, then the broader focus of REFIT might allow the Commission – if it were so minded – some time in the medium term in which to think seriously about narrow reform to the MID in order to address some of the main concerns raised by the decision in Vnuk that compulsory insurance is required for any use of a motor vehicle that is consistent with its normal function.
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).
Following the European Court of Justice ruling, the UK Government will soon have to change the rules about motor insurance law.
To help provide an insight into the consequences of the Vnuk ruling, BLM’s director of policy and government affairs, Alistair Kinley has spoken to Post content director, Jonathan Swift.
As we head towards Christmas with the reminder that a gift of a pet is “for life” and “not just for Christmas” a similar warning might be applied to those considering the 2016 “to do” list for UK general insurance. Continue reading
I think Marty McFly would be pleased to see that hoverboards are now fast becoming a reality in the UK. As we reach 21 October 2015, the date that McFly set in the DeLorean to arrive back to the future, it’s quite fitting that we are now seeing a large amount of media coverage on these devices. In recent weeks we have seen a flurry of news articles, social media posts and photos of celebrities riding hoverboards, rideables and Segways. Some with less than ideal consequences.
Four young people aged 20 or under died in the early hours of Sunday 27 September 2015 following an accident on the A6201. According to the BBC news report (the headline of which is used above), the quad bike on which the four were riding was involved in a collision with a Nissan sports car, which was carrying two young men aged only 20 and 22.