MEPs to vote on motor insurance changes

New legislation proposed in Europe aims to ensure victims of road accidents in Europe are fairly compensated.
 
MEPs will vote this week on the changes to motor insurance rules which are designed to better protect road accident victims and tackle uninsured driving. The new rules will guarantee fair compensation for victims, discourage driving without insurance and ensure equal treatment of policyholders from different EU countries, EU Reporter explained.
 
According to the European Parliament, the proposal aims to close loopholes and to improve the current Motor Insurance Directive in five areas: compensating victims of accidents where an insurer goes bankrupt; minimum amounts of cover; member states' checks on vehicle insurance; how claims history statements are used by a new insurance company; and the scope of the directive.
 
At present, victims of accidents caused by a vehicle insured with an insolvent company may be left without compensation or suffer payment delays. The new rules require national compensation bodies to meet costs arising from such claims, and to do so within six months.
 
In order to ensure the same minimum level of protection for people across the EU, the proposal also harmonises obligatory minimum amounts of cover. For personal injuries, it specifies insurance coverage of at least €6.07m per accident, irrespective of the number of victims, or €1.22m per victim; and for damages to property, €1.22m per claim, irrespective of the number of victims. Member states will be allowed to set higher amounts.
 
The new rules will allow cross-border insurance checks, for example through number plate recognition systems, to help clamp down on uninsured driving.
 
Additionally, insurance firms will be expected to allow claims histories to be transferable from one EU country to another, potentially giving customers access to better premiums and discounts.
 
The proposal covers most vehicles but it specifically excludes e-bikes, Segways and electric scooters as they are smaller and less likely to cause significant damage to people and property. Motorsports vehicles are also excluded, as they are generally covered by other forms of liability insurance.
 
Czech MEP Dita Charanzov√° said that the proposal strikes "a good balance between greater protection for victims of accidents and preventing absurd over-regulation".