Insuring the Future (As long as it moves!)

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The absurdity of this imposition has so far been condescendingly brushed aside by the EUCJ despite lobbying.

Author: Philip Strickland
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If, like many, you cannot avoid the feeling that the EU (and with it, the ECJ) have, since they came into existence, progressively and more self-servingly moved further and further from their base line and those they were set up to serve, then you may not be surprised to learn of the latest piece of madness emanating from the Continent in the form of an EU Directive that could have immense implications on a wide sector of our daily lives (and loves).

It relates to an EUCJ ruling concerning a Slovenian gentleman who was knocked from his ladder in a barn on a private farm. (It is in such obscurities that the EU revels, using them as a basis for inflicting upon us ever tighter control). The hapless victim Damijan Vnuk, was stacking hay bales when a tractor reversed a trailer into the barn where he was working, knocking him to the ground. The issue then concerned the need or otherwise of the tractor owner to hold third party insurance to cover such contingencies. Until the EUCJ grabbed hold of this matter, it was the case that Third Party insurance was only required for any self-propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use upon the highway. Each country was able then to apply its own interpretation and it was generally thought that neither a tractor or trailer need fall into the conventional definition when being used on a farm and not on the highway.

Following Vnuk, the Directive now makes it a legal requirement for ALL self-propelled machines, not merely vehicles used on the highway, to have Third Party insurance cover in place before they can be used anywhere. This effectively covers everything from ride on lawnmowers, to mobility scooters, fairground dodgems, Formula One racing cars and even a child’s electric sit on toy.

The absurdity of this imposition has so far been condescendingly brushed aside by the EUCJ despite lobbying. We in the UK have agreed to consider it and consult with those affected. It is possible that such a consultation period might outlast our membership of the EU which ends in March 2019. Whether we might still be subject to this current directive or the fall-out from it after March 2019, remains to be seen.

As a precaution against the possibility that we fail to obtain the Brexit voted for, you might just need to look at ALL your self-propelled machinery, including electric trolleys, walk behind propelled lawnmowers as well as your Lamborghini, to consider whether there is a palpable future risk in using them without insurance cover.

Philip Strickland

Legal Advisor

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