Parliament adopts new rules to improve protection of road accident victims

(Source: European Parliament)

  • EU-wide claims history statement for equal treatment across the EU
  • Victims protected even if insurer goes bankrupt
  • Avoids overregulation: e-bikes and motorsports excluded

The updated motor insurance rules aim to ensure that citizens are better protected and treated equally in the EU when accidents occur and when insuring their vehicles.

The legislation protects victims of accidents irrespective of whether they occur in their country of residence or elsewhere in the EU. The updated rules, adopted today by 689 votes in favour, 3 against and 4 abstentions, aim to close loopholes in, and improve, the current Motor Insurance Directive.

Parliament and Council negotiators, who provisionally agreed the text on 22 June, made sure that people who are in a road accident are compensated even if the insurance company goes bankrupt. Furthermore, an EU-harmonised “Claims History Statement” will prevent discrimination when a policyholder moves from one EU member state to another. Citizens will also be able to compare prices, tariffs and coverage offered by different providers more easily thanks to new free-of-charge and independent price comparison tools.

In order to ensure the same minimum level of protection for victims, the revised text harmonises the obligatory minimum amounts of cover across the EU, without prejudice to any higher guarantees which member states may prescribe:

  • for personal injuries: € 6 450 000 per accident, irrespective of the number of injured parties, or € 1 300 000 per injured party;
  • for damage to property, € 1 300 000 per accident, irrespective of the number of injured parties.

To avoid overregulation, the amended rules exclude vehicles going slower than 14km/h (such as garden tractors and mobility scooters) and electric bicycles from insurance obligations. Vehicles intended exclusively for motorsports are also excluded from the directive.

Quote

Dita Charanzová (Renew Europe, CZ), Internal Marker and Consumer Protection Committee rapporteur, said: “Today is a good day for all vehicle users in Europe and for anyone who unfortunately finds themselves injured in an accident. If your insurance company goes bankrupt, you will be protected. Harmonised claim history statements will mean no more excuses for discriminating against good drivers in the EU. We protected the uptake of e-bikes, confirming they do not require European insurance. And we ended the uncertainty around European motorsports, which can continue to race without impossible insurance requirements. These are concrete examples of a Europe that works for its citizens.”

Next steps

The law now needs to be formally adopted by the Council, the other co-legislator, and published in the EU Official Journal. Member States will then have 24 months to transpose the amended directive into national law.

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