Motor Insurance Directive: Parliament aims to ensure victims of road accidents in Europe are fairly compensated, while stopping absurd overregulation

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Credit: Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm

The European Parliament approved today an update of the Motor Insurance Directive to protect victims of road accidents and adapt it to the current times. Every year, uninsured driving costs the EU €870 million in claims and affects victims of accidents, insurers, guarantee funds and motor insurance policyholders. A change was needed.

The new legislation gives more powers to authorities to check car insurance via number plate recognition technology. It also establishes greater protection to victims through a rapid payment of compensation even where the insurer goes bankrupt. The new law also sets a minimum amount of compensation across the EU.

The Parliament also successfully limited the scope to what is currently understood as a “vehicle” in most Member States, i.e. cars and lorries, excluding e-bikes, segways and motorsport vehicles.

ALDE MEP Dita Charanzová, rapporteur on this file, said:

“No victim should be left uninsured when travelling abroad. This revised legislation gives better protection for injured parties and defend consumers. Despite living in the safest continent on Earth, 25,300 people lost their lives in 2017 while 135,000 people were seriously injured and we must protect them.

“We have blocked amendments that would have raised all premiums in Europe and e-bike users from unwarranted insurance requirements that part of the House wanted to impose. While our cities struggle to combat air pollution, we should not hinder the uptake of these alternative modes of transport in Europe. Member States are better placed to find solutions. One-size-fits-all is not always the solution.”

The VNUK ruling should be understood as meaning the law needed to be better worded. It should not have been understood as meaning everything with wheels and a motor needs car insurance. This was wrong and we fixed it.”

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