Brexit – New Freedoms / New Dangers / Off-Road Diversions.
No-one likes being told they have to spend more on Vehicle Insurance. So in 2017 or so there was a general Boo-Hooing particularly among those keen on leaving the EU, about the case of Mr. Vnuk in Slovenia.
Mr. V was working in a farmyard up a ladder, or at least he was until he was knocked off it. He was knocked off his ladder by a colleague who was reversing a tractor and trailer and who presumably either misjudged the turn or didn’t see the ladder. In any event there is no suggestion this was a deliberate assault.
Now the tractor was insured so Mr. Vnuk issued proceedings for damages against the insurance company.
And he lost.
The Insurers successfully told the Court – We insure the tractor on the public road when it is used on the public road for example moving from one field to another. But not when it is pottering around a private farmyard – off the public road.
And fair’s fair, That is indeed what the insurance policy said.
But on the other hand Slovenia is within the EU where Article 3(1) of the First Directive on Motor Insurance (72/166/EEC).says that the owner of any vehicle has to insure it when it is “in use”.
So next, the Slovenian judge sent the case off to the Court of Justice of the European Union, to find out whether the actual insurance policy was legal.
And the CJEU said no, insurance companies must not seek to evade the European law. If you own a vehicle you must buy insurance and the insurance must cover the “use” of the vehicle. Use for every purpose and in every place.
So because UK was in the EU, it has therefore followed that ruling and at present all vehicles require compulsory third party insurance for all use including upon private land.
Bad news for drivers. Because insurance premiums went up. And drivers were a bit miffed. “I never drive off-road, so why should I be forced to get this cover?” “Do I need cover for my mobility scooter in case I run over some-one’s foot in the supermarket?” “Or cover for my ride-on lawnmower, with its vorpal blades which snicker-snack?”
And even more, what about grass roots motor sport?
Typically, a local farmer allows the use of his fields and woods for Trials Bike competition. A traditional Yorkshire field event but inherently dangerous. The fears were that no-one could afford the additional insurance premiums and the sport would wither.
It does seems a reasonable stance, to view all this as just more Bad News from the EU.
Roll on Brexit eh?
But what’s this – this “Bad News”, was the only Good News for one recreational hiker Mr Lewis.
Because in 2013 Mr Lewis had been walking across private fields when the Farmer, Tindale, driving his uninsured 4×4, chased him and eventually collided with him. Which nearly killed him. Certainly it was not Tindale’s fault that he didn’t kill him, whether or not the actual collision was intended.
He certainly did ruin Mr Lewis’s life. With an injured spinal cord he is now tetraplegic and suffers irreversible brain damage.
So the issue then for Mr Lewis’s family and carers was to find compensation adequate to provide round-the-clock care and some quality of life so far as possible. Tindale is a waste of time for that. Nowhere near enough money to fund all that.
The State has provided a safety net where folk are injured by vehicles which ought to have been insured. The Motor Insurers Bureau. And whilst the MIB tried to wriggle, the High Court has now spoken, – The MIB must provide Mr Lewis with compensation.
Here is the case report *Link Here*
The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court which said very quickly “Permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law. In relation to the point of European Law said to be raised by or in response to the application it is not necessary to request the Court of Justice to give any ruling the Court’s existing jurisprudence already provides a sufficient answer.”
But remember, the MIB are liable only where the vehicle “ought to have been insured”.
And now here we are in Brexit land. Which means that these pesky EU rulings can be left behind and once again the use of vehicles on private land need not be insured. Which, according to the Government representative Grant Shapps will mean that every British driver will pay £50.00 less for annual car insurance.
And by the way, He didn’t mention Mr Lewis.
What will you spend your £50.00 on when your Insurance Company gives it back? Building a runway for your flying pigs? *Link Here*
Louise and I are back at work, so please do contact us whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)