Changes to insurance legislation by the European Commission could mean owners of vehicles only used on private land could be forced to take out third party insurance.
Owners of vehicles like quad bikes, golf buggies and motorised lawnmowers, which are used solely on private land, could be made to take out third party insurance unless EU officials take action.
Number of bodies unite
The Association of British Insurers (ABI), Motor Insurers’ Bureau, British Insurance Brokers’ Association and other organisations want the European Commission to clarify the rules around compulsory motor insurance.
They want the rules to only apply to vehicles when in traffic, and not those used on private land.
A ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2014 said compensation for injuries suffered by a farm worker by a tractor while on private land should have been covered by compulsory motor insurance.
Earlier this year, the Commission said it would consult on ways to protect victims of car accidents. The consultation ends in October.
Currently, motor insurance is compulsory for vehicles used on public roads, but not on private land in the UK. But the bodies feel that if the Commission doesn’t act, the UK Government would be forced to change domestic law and extend the scope of compulsory motor insurance.
People taking part in motor sports and those with mobility scooters could also be affected, it said.
‘Unnecessary, unworkable and unfair’
Ben Howarth, senior policy adviser, motor and liability at the ABI, said: “We recognise that victims of accidents on private land should be entitled to compensation, but making insurance compulsory for off-road vehicle users is unnecessary, unworkable and unfair.
“There is no evidence that this extension is needed in the UK. And it could prove the next lucrative hunting ground for claims management companies, encouraging claims that end up being paid for by all motorists through higher premiums.
“The European Commission can easily resolve this, by implementing its own proposal to simply specify that the motor insurance directive only applies to vehicles in traffic. It needs to end the uncertainty by doing this now.”
Reference: The Association of British Insurers
Date Published: September 12, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown