(Source: European Commission)
The European Commission welcomes today’s agreement between the European Parliament and Council to update the 2009 Motor Insurance Directive. This Directive ensures that vehicles can freely circulate in the European Union while using the same compulsory insurance. It means that when accidents occur, injured parties are protected through effective arrangements for compensation.
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union Mairead McGuinness, said: “I welcome today’s agreement because it will strengthen the rights of our citizens, as policyholders, and above all in the event of an accident – irrespective of whether it occurs in their Member State of residence or anywhere else in the EU. “
The Directive better protects people by ensuring that all Member States set up bodies to compensate injured parties in a timely manner, in the event that the insurance company in question becomes insolvent. Until now, there have been no EU-level rules to ensure that injured parties are swiftly compensated in such situations. This has particularly affected those who have been covered by cross-border motor third party liability insurance. Experience has shown significant delays in the payment of compensation to injured parties in such cases.
The amendments agreed today clarify the scope of the Directive, including what vehicles are subject to compulsory insurance and what the insurance coverage should be. In particular, the rules now clarify that accidents caused during the normal use of a vehicle as a means of transportation, including its use on private properties, are as a rule covered.
The revised Directive will further facilitate the free movement of persons by harmonising claims history statements. When a policyholder moves residence to another EU Member State, their claims history (resulting in a “no-claims bonus” or “bonus-malus” rating) is not always taken into account by motor insurers in the new Member State of residence. The harmonised claims history statement, which contains standardised information for such cross border situations, will prevent such discrimination.
The revision also addresses uninsured driving, which is unfortunately a problem that also affects cross-border travel. It will now be possible to carry out checks on the insurance of vehicles registered in another Member State, and to exchange data, if these checks form part of a general system of checks on the national territory, are not discriminatory and do not require stopping the vehicle.