EU insurance rule ‘will destroy British motor sport’

EU insurance rule ‘will destroy British motor sport’

Third-party risks for motor sports activities are uninsurable, say industry experts

PROPOSALS that could require all vehicles to be insured even if they never leave private land would lead to the demise of motor sports in Britain, industry leaders claim.

In a letter to The Times, the Motorsport Industry Association and the Motorcycle Industry Association criticise the “ill-considered” European Union directive.

The change in law would mean compulsory third-party injury and damage insurance for all vehicles involved in sports. Vehicles that are currently exempt from insurance, including mobility scooters, golf buggies, ride-on lawnmowers and Segway personal transporters, are also likely to be affected.

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The Department for Transport said it was obliged to hold a consultation on the plans despite being uncomfortable about the reforms. In a consultation document published yesterday, the department said it would have to abide by the rules until Britain leaves the EU.

The letter from the two governing bodies states: “The government’s ill-considered proposals to revise motor insurance . . . will bring closure to all forms of motor and motorcycle sport across the UK . . . Insurers have made it clear to the government that such third-party risks for motor sports activities are uninsurable, not least because of the sheer number of potential vehicle damage claims that would arise. Implementing this ruling would, at a stroke, wipe out legal motor sport activity.”

The directive follows a case involving Damijan Vnuk, a Slovenian, who was hurt after falling from a ladder that was hit by a reversing tractor trailer. Insurance companies refused to cover the claim because it took place on private property and involved a vehicle being used as an “agricultural machine”. The European Court of Justice ruled in 2014 the accident should have been covered by compulsory vehicle insurance.

A DfT spokesman said yesterday: “We oppose any measures which impose an unreasonable burden on the public. We will use the consultation responses to get the best result for the country.”

This article first appeared in The Times