Working out how any post-Brexit motor insurance regime in the UK might fit with the European regime is not completely straightforward at a time when both have a lot of moving parts.
On the one hand, the present UK regime (the Road Traffic Act 1988) has been interpreted and reinterpreted in new ways by the courts, most recently in Lewis v Tindale & MIB (14 September 2018*), in which the Bureau was held to be an emanation of the state and thus directly liable to a claimant injured on private land by an uninsured driver. The Supreme Court is also set, before the end of the year, to examine the correct approach to other aspects of the 1988 Act in two cases: Cameron v Hussain & LV and UK Insurance v R&S Pilling.
On the other hand, the Commission’s recommended amendments to the Motor Insurance Directive (set out in its REFIT conclusions published in late May) are subject to ongoing negotiations between member states and the Parliament, the precise outcome and timing of which is not entirely clear. And a further ‘moving part’ is the ongoing litigation before the Court of Justice on the scope of “use of vehicles”, such as in the upcoming Linea Directa case.
Added to all of this are the potential motor insurance issues arising in the event of a no deal Brexit and which were out in a short guidance note issued by the UK DfT earlier this week.
So an uncertain and complex picture emerges, one which will require close scrutiny over the coming weeks and months.
[* Lewis does not appear to have been reported as yet, but please get in touch if you would like further information about it.]
Authored by Alistair Kinley, director of policy & regulatory affairs