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ABI slams proposed insurance changes

Published: 31 August 2017

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said that unless the European Commission takes urgent action to clarify a European Court of Justice ruling, owners of non-road-going vehicles could be forced to take out third party insurance.

In 2014 the ECJ ruled that compensation for injuries suffered by a farm worker from a tractor while on private land should have been covered by compulsory insurance. Unless the EC clarifies their position, the UK Government will need to change domestic law and extend compulsory insurance to all motorised vehicles.

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“We recognise that victims of accidents on private land should be entitled to compensation, but making insurance compulsory for off-road vehicle users is unnecessary, unworkable and unfair,” says Ben Howarth, Senior Policy Adviser at the ABI.

What does this mean?

If the European Court of Justice rules that all motorised vehicles need insurance then that will mean everybody who has a motorised vehicle - no matter what they use it for - will have to insure it. That means track day bikes, which may only be used a handful of times a year, will have to be insured, as well as race bikes, quads, and, unbelievably, golf buggies and motorised lawnmowers.

With some insurers not including track day cover in their policies, we can't imagine insuring a bike used solely for track riding will be cheap to insure.

Speaking in episode 12 of our news podcast, Senior Editor Matt Wildee said: "I don't think it will happen, I think we'll see sense. I'd be amazed if this happened, simply because it's such a wide-ranging thing. I think it will go away, the same as 100bhp limits, and anti-modification laws from the EU. All these things that we get worked up about and just never really happen."

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