Latest negotiating update from EU Council on the Motor Insurance Directive

The most recent paper from the EU Council sets out its agreed negotiating position ahead of the legislative trilogue process (the other interlocutors being the Commission and the Parliament) aimed at amending the Motor Insurance Directive and scheduled for the first half of 2020. The question of the scope of the Directive is key.

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Fires and cars – spontaneous combustion is “use”

Today’s decision of the Court of Justice of the EU holds that fire damage due caused by a car catching fire more than 24 hours after it had been parked in a garage was “use of a vehicle” and therefore within the scope of compulsory insurance set down in the relevant directive. As a result, the motor insurer would be required to meet the fire damage claim of around €45,000.

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Spontaneous combustion – fire damage and motor insurance in Europe

Linea Directa v Segurcaixa is a straightforward subrogation claim between two insurers, but its facts make it unusual: the claim was made against a motor insurer for reimbursement of fire damage resulting from a parked car catching fire over 24 hours after it had last been driven.

Previous blogs about the European Court’s wide interpretation of the scope of compulsory insurance required by the Motor Insurance Directive (2009/103) have highlighted the court’s expansionist approach which runs through the case law since its key decision in Vnuk v Zararovalnica in 2014. This latest development is no exception to that.

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