Latest word on “use” of a vehicle: Carroll v Taylor (decided on 30 January 2020)

Following the Supreme Court cases around this time last year – Cameron v Hussain & LV and, perhaps more pertinently, UK Insurance v R&S Pilling – it might have been thought that the meaning of the short but critical word “use” in the context of road traffic accidents and insurance was settled. The point however was tested again very recently in the High Court in Carroll v Taylor & others.

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Whiplash, small claims & medical reporting – new consultation

The day before the Easter weekend the Ministry of Justice published a brief consultation paper on medical reporting options under the whiplash reform programme, including the increase in the small claims limit.

The central proposal is to expand the MedCo scheme to cover obtaining initial medical reports in all motor injury small claims, whether or not the claimant is legally represented. The short period for responses – to 17 May 2019 only – might indicate some renewed momentum within the MoJ given that April 2020 appears to remain its preferred date for implementing the whiplash programme and building the necessary IT platform.

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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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