Autonomous driving: ‘product liability’ or just liability attaching to the product?

The Government’s consultation about compulsory insurance arrangements associated with fully automated driving remains open until 9 September. It states that: “Our proposal is to extend compulsory motor insurance to cover product liability to give motorists cover when they have handed full control over to the vehicle (ie they are out-of-the-loop). And, that motorists (or their insurers) rely on courts to apply the existing rules of product liability – under the Consumer Protection Act, and negligence – under the common law, to determine who should be responsible.”

This blog looks at whether a ‘product liability’ insurance offering could meet the policy aims of ensuring (a) use of vehicles continues to be covered by insurance and (b) claims by injured road users continue to be adequately protected and handled quickly.

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UK judgment demonstrates direct effect of Vnuk

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.

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Where is Vnuk on the 2016 to do list?

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

One year after ECJ Vnuk judgment

4 September 2015 marks the first anniversary of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s Vnuk judgment and whilst there remains much discussion there is little certainty as to how the RTA can best be brought into line with European law. At best it can be said that options are starting to emerge but there is at present little consensus around the likely legislative outcome that will be preferred.

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