ABI and IFB label Vnuk as a 'hospital pass ruling'

View from a car window on a motorway (Photo - Shutterstock)

The Association of British Insurers and the Insurance Fraud Bureau have labelled the Vnuk ruling a ‘hospital pass ruling’ and criticised it for being unworkable in the UK.

A joint response from the ABI and IFB says that the ruling would be costly for the UK insurance industry and lead to widespread insurability problems.

Following a consultation on the ruling, the government is currently considering a ‘comprehensive’ option and an ‘amended directive’ option but the insurance industry has voiced concerns about the former.

The ABI and IFB have both said that the comprehensive option would prove unworkable and lead to a costly and compliance regime, undermine efforts to tackle uninsured driving and would require compulsory insurance cover for more dangerous off-road activities.

Ben Howarth, senior policy adviser of motor and liability at the ABI, described the ruling as a hospital pass: “We appreciate the government’s position in trying to resolve this  ‘hospital pass’ of a ruling made by the European Court of Justice, and the industry has been working constructively with them to tackle it.”

Howarth also said that implementing the Vnuk ruling would not work in the UK: “Attempting to implement the ruling in the UK simply would not work. Making motor insurance a ‘catch all’ for any incident would be fundamentally unfair to all premium paying motorists, especially when a practical, workable and simple solution has already been proposed by the European Commission.

“This is why we urge the government to press the Commission to take forward its amendment. Not to do so risks creating an unenforceable, and costly extension to compulsory motor insurance in the UK.”    

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