Car insurance costs will fall by £50 as the Brexit law that allowed claims for lawnmowers is scrapped
Car premiums were due to rise this year to pay for a wave of claims coming because Brexit left the UK stuck with an unfair law, but at the last minute the government reversed the legislation
Image: Getty Images)
Drivers are expected to save £50 a year on car insurance due to the removal by the government of a Brexit law that allowed claims for mobility scooters and riding lawn mowers.
Prices for UK drivers’ insurance were set to rise this year because Brexit meant the strange law had to come to fruition in Britain – although every other European country scrapped it.
The law meant that anyone could make an insurance claim against vehicles such as mobility scooters, riding lawn mowers and golf carts on private land.
Normally these vehicles would not need to purchase car insurance which is only required for vehicles intended for use on the road.
But claims made against these vehicles would have driven up car insurance premiums by £50 a year per motorist, according to government figures.
It has already started to happen.
The European Parliament said the idea was “absurd overregulation” in June 2021 and would drop everything.
Because Britain left the European Union if we also want to get rid of the rule, we have to pass our own law, because the new European rules will not apply to us.
But in good news for drivers, it will happen this week, as legislation called the Motor Vehicle (Compulsory Insurance) Bill will receive Royal Assent.
The trade body British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) has been lobbying for the law to be changed for six years.
Biba’s chief executive, Graeme Trudgill, said: “This is one of Biba’s longest running campaign issues and so we are delighted that with the passage of this bill the issue is finally resolved. .
“The forthcoming law means UK motorists avoid potential cost increases and remove significant unintended consequences in areas such as motorsports and vehicles which did not previously require motor insurance such as lawnmowers.”
Why did car insurance premiums have to increase?
The strange story began in 2007 when a Slovenian farm worker called Damijan Vnuk was knocked off a ladder by a tractor on private land and injured.
He was unable to claim damages from the tractor’s insurer, and the case rumbled through Slovenian courts before ending up in the European Court of Justice in 2014.
This established a Europe-wide rule that car insurance was needed for any vehicle, anywhere – not just on the roads.
Technically, each country in the European Union then had to enshrine this in its own legislation. Due to Brexit, Britain never did, which means if you own something like a mobility scooter, you don’t need to insure it.
But if you are injured by a vehicle on private land in Britain, you could still have filed an insurance claim under the now abolished Vnuk legislation.
Indeed, in June 2019, another court case, Lewis v Tindale, said the UK state should pay these claims even after Brexit.
The part of the State that pays these debts is the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) which is financed by insurers and pays claims when the insurer cannot be found.
But the ultimate cost is borne by motorists through their premiums.