Warning to Land Owners re Vehicle Insurance

By Carol Fish Head of Personal Injury

As it stands there is no specific requirement under UK law for compulsory motor insurance on private land and indeed many private land owners do not insure vehicles that they do not use on a road or public place for example, a quad bike on a farm.

In a recent case an individual was rendered tetraplegic when he was struck by a vehicle on private land driven by the land owner.

The land owner was uninsured and as a result the injured party pursued a claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) who compensate victims of negligent uninsured drivers.

The MIB argued that they were not liable to compensate the victim as the accident occurred on private land. They argued that they were only obliged to compensate where accidents occur on a road or other public place when compulsory insurance is required in UK law.

Solicitors for the victim argued that an EU directive requiring compulsory insurance on both public and private land should apply in the UK. The High Court agreed and the MIB was obliged to pay compensation to the injured party.

When the MIB compensate victims they can seek recovery of their outlay direct from the responsible uninsured driver.

This means that a private land owner is at risk of having to reimburse the MIB compensation payments if they are responsible for an accident occurring on their land involving an uninsured vehicle.

Obviously this may change due to Brexit if the government does not allow EU law to take precedence in the future.

As it stands the best course of action for land owners would be to make sure that all vehicles are covered by insurance whether used on public roads or not.

Carol says “I would advise all land owners to check the small print of their vehicle insurance and if in doubt contact their insurer or insurance broker to seek clarification as regards cover for accidents on private land”.

For more information on the issues raised in this article or for any other advice in relation to personal injury, please contact Carol on 01228 516666 or click here to email her direct.

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