Accidents (Insurance Details)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1983.

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Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Barnet Chipping Barnet 12:00 am, 16th March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will seek to amend the Road Traffic Acts so that it is compulsory for a party who is alleged to have caused accidental damage to give details to his insurers when the accident has occurred, whether or not personal injury is involved.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

No, Sir. But when we implement the proposed EC directive on motor insurance we intend to provide similar safeguards for damage to property to those which already apply to personal injury. These will compel an insurer to meet a judgment against his policyholder even though that policyholder has failed to notify the insurer of the accident.

Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Barnet Chipping Barnet

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her helpful reply. Does she agree that the amendment is long overdue if a glaring injustice is to be remedied? Will it involve a significant increase in motor insurance premiums? If so, does that not show the extent of the current abuse?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

We wish to introduce the directive as soon as we can reach agreement. I cannot speculate on the increases in premiums that might be necessary. We deplore the fact that negligent drivers are seeking to evade their proper responsibilities by neither reporting accidents nor paying out of their pockets. However, they leave themselves open to damages, whatever their insurance position, and they should never forget that.

Photo of Mr Robert Hughes Mr Robert Hughes , Aberdeen North

Will the Minister undertake to conduct a thorough review of the operation of section 155 of the Road Traffic Act 1972, as it is causing tremendous resentment and, in the long run, is bound to lead to increased premiums for car drivers?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

I shall examine the point that the hon. Gentleman has raised. In respect of the original question, I intend to hurry the directive up so that it will afford protection to British travellers, especially when they go abroad.