COMPULSORY INSURANCE : ECJ RULES ON RIGHT TO COMPENSATION.
The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgement, on 24 October, concerning two separate cases(1), which questioned the extent of the guarantee of compulsory motor insurance within the scope of EU law(2).
The cases occurred in Slovakia and Latvia, respectively. In both instances the cases pitched the family members of victims of road accidents against their respective national authorities, who refused to grant the victims' family members compensation for non-material damage suffered due to the death of the victims. Non-material damage can refer to any type of damage inflicted from an injury to physical integrity, including both physical and psychological suffering.
The question revolves around whether or not the compulsory insurance against civil liability in respect of accidents includes the non-material damage suffered by the dependents of a victim. National laws in both cases do indeed distinguish between damage and injury, therefore the Slovak and Latvian judges queried their compatibility with EU law.
The ECJ found that the obligation to provide insurance cover against civil liability caused to third parties is distinct from the compensation of the civil liability of the insured person. In a question specific to the Latvian case, the ECJ found that the sum of damages awarded to the victim must not be lower than the minimum amount guaranteed under Directive 84/5/EEC. This provides that insurance must cover material damages to a minimum amount of 1 million per claim.
(1) C-22/12 and C-277/12
(2) Directives 72/166/EEC and 90/232/EEC
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|Title Annotation:||European Union Court of Justice|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Oct 25, 2013|
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