EU insurance ruling questioned

Reports suggest that motorists may face higher motor insurance premiums to fund compensation pay outs for uninsured drivers.

A European Union ruling means that even motorists who break the law by driving without insurance should be protected if their car is damaged – a policy, transport secretary, Chris Grayling has condemned.

Under current UK rules, protection is given to motorists whose car is damaged by an uninsured driver. The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) charges insurers a levy to meet the bill. The cost – some £256 million last year, or around £10 per driver – is passed on to motorists through their premiums.

However if the motorist who is the victim of the crash is also uninsured, they are exempt from receiving any compensation. The new EU ruling, which takes effect from 1 March, will see a common system in place across the continent in which no driver is excluded.

Mr Grayling said, ‘It cannot be right that hardworking, law abiding drivers will foot the bill for the irresponsible actions of those who decide to break the law and drive without insurance.

‘As a result of European law, the government is forced to make these changes to the compensation paid out by the MIB. We are bound by our EU obligations – but we are leaving the EU and we will want to come back to this.’

Paul Ryman-Tubb, chief technical officer at the MIB, said, ‘Whilst we will deal with these claims in a professional manner, the principle of using honest premium paying motorists’ money to pay for the damage to an uninsured driver’s car seems crazy.’