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Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Department for Transport written question – answered on 14th February 2018.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on vehicle owners of the ruling by the European Court of Justice of 13 July 2017 on third party insurance for vehicles.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The CJEU’s judgment of 13 July 2017 in case C-368/16 Assens Havn v Navigators Management (UK) Ltd, concerned an insurance policy covering liability relating to shipping. The Court decided that the provisions in Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001, dealing with the validity of jurisdiction clauses in insurance contracts relating to shipping, must be interpreted as meaning that a victim entitled to bring a direct action against an insurer in his home jurisdiction is not bound by any agreement on jurisdiction concluded between the insurer and the insured. This judgment does not directly affect motor vehicle owners involved in a traffic accident. In the case of contracts for compulsory motor insurance, the rules (now set out in Regulation 1215/2012 which replaced Regulation 44/2001) restrict the ability of contracting parties to enter into jurisdiction clauses, and ensure that policy holders are protected. A direct right of action against the insurer by an injured party, exercisable in the injured party’s home jurisdiction under Regulation 1215/2012, is provided for by article 18 of the Motor Insurance Directive (Directive 2009/103/EC). The Lord Chancellor transposed this requirement into UK law through the European Communities (Rights Against Insurers) Regulations 2002.

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