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 thought Alistair Kinley made a very valid point, in his earlier article of 13 August, calling for constructive solutions to the Vnuk problem. There needs to be a balance drawn between the protection of victims of accidents arising out of motor vehicles and the potential scope, post-Vnuk, of compulsory third party motor insurance (TPMI). Notably, TPMI will be required to cover use of vehicles, off-road, that may result in a contrived or potentially unworkable insurance solution.
Motorsport is an obvious example. At present, motorsport events that occur off-road are not subject to TPMI. Authorised motorsports events are licensed by the sport’s governing body through permits that extends public liability (PL) and personal accident cover for participants and event organisers. However this PL cover does not cover driver-to-driver liability. With this PL risk, post-Vnuk, potentially transferring over to a TPMI risk, not only does this give rise to some interesting liability questions, such as, how does one assess liability in a driver-to-driver collision when racing, but also fundamentally, with unquantified exposure, will there will be any appetite from motor insurers to underwrite the sport in the first instance?
On 13 August 2015 it will be exactly eight years since a tractor knocked over the ladder on which Damijan Vnuk was standing while loading hay into the upper floor of a barn in rural Slovenia. He sued the tractor driver for compensation for his injuries. Eight years on, the ramifications of his claim are still shaking up insurance laws across the EU.
The European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) decision in Damijan Vnuk v Zararovalnica Triglav has significant ramifications for the scope of compulsory motor insurance and other liability insurances in the UK. In Vnuk, the ECJ concluded that the legal obligation to insure motor vehicles, set out in the EU Motor Insurance Directives (MID), should be interpreted to extend to ‘any use of a vehicle consistent with the normal function of that vehicle’. The use of a vehicle is a wide concept and includes ‘any use’ and is no longer restricted in geographic scope such as by reference to ‘road‘, ‘other public place’, or ‘private land’.