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Motorists (Insurance)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he is satisfied that the United Kingdom is not in breach of its obligations under the European Economic Community directive of April 1972 to ensure that all motorists in the United Kingdom carry insurance against material damage caused to others; and whether he will introduce any necessary legislation to rectify the situation;(2) whether he will take steps to ensure that all motorists, whether United Kingdom citizens or others visiting the United Kingdom, carry insurance against material damage caused to others and, in the event of accidents, are obliged to involve their respective insurance companies.

While requiring a member State to ensure that civil liability of motorists is covered by insurance the directive expressly allows a member State to determine the extent of the liability to be covered. The absence in United Kingdom law of a requirement to insure against liability for material damage is therefore permissible and I am satisfied the United Kingdom is not in breach of its obligations under the directive. My right hon. Friend is, however, considering the case for extending compulsory insurance law to liability for material damage and will write to my hon. Friend when the review is completed.