To better protect victims of motor vehicle accidents and improve the rights of insurance policyholders in Europe, the European Commission on May 24 proposed a new set of rules.

The proposal is aimed to ensure that victims of motor vehicle accidents receive the full compensation they are due, even when the insurer is insolvent. The revamped rules will also ensure that those who have a previous claims history in another EU member state are treated equally to domestic policyholders, and potentially benefit from better insurance conditions.

“With today’s proposals, we are ensuring that victims of motor vehicle accidents will be better protected in future,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. “In addition, when people move across borders and purchase a motor insurance policy in another EU member state, their claims history will be treated in the same way as those of domestic consumers. This is good news for those who move across the EU and for all of us as EU citizens.”

In turn, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, stressed that the Motor Insurance Directive underpins a smooth functioning of the single market for motor insurance for the benefit of drivers and potential victims of motor vehicle accidents. “We facilitate mobility across the EU through portability of the claims history. Furthermore, we improve access to compensation of victims of motor accidents in case of insolvency of an insurer and reinforce combat against uninsured driving.”

According to a European Commission press release, the proposal to amend the Motor Insurance Directive will also make it easier for authorities to combat uninsured driving. It aligns the minimum levels of cover by motor insurance across the EU. Finally, it clarifies the scope of the directive following recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The EU’s first directive on motor insurance was adopted in 1972. This was followed by five motor insurance directives – each aimed at progressively boosting protection of EU citizens. In 2009, those were consolidated into one EU Motor Insurance Directive (Directive 2009/103/EC).

The amendments being tabled now are the result of public consultations between July and October 2017.