HC Deb 26 January 1978 vol 942 cc699-700W
Mr. Dodsworth

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the amount of discretionary awards made to injured parties involved in road accidents with uninsured drivers; how many have been made during each of the past five years; and how the awards compare in size with those made arising out of insurance-met claims.

Mr. Horam

Under the terms of an agreement with my right hon. Friend, the Motor Insurers' Bureau is required to meet any unsatisfied judgment against an uninsured driver for personal injury to a third party. Many such claims, however, are settled by negotiation. The bureau deals centrally with cases where no policy of insurance exists or where an insurer is insolvent, and have made the following payments:

Year Number of payments Total sum paid
1972 411 521,370
1973 481 671,285
1974 541 878,166
1975 642 1,301,328
1976 785 2,074,752

Where a policy covering the use of a vehicle exists, but the negligent driver is uninsured because the policy is ineffective, claims are dealt with on behalf of the bureau by the insurer who issued the policy. There is no central record of such cases.

It follows from the terms of the agreement that settlements are made on the same basis as those where insurance policies are effective.

Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has had any recent discussions with the Transport Ministers of the EEC on the co-ordination of the minimum level of motor vehicle insurance cover; whether the United Kingdom is prepared to alter its present requirements in this regard; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. William Rodgers

Discussions between officials of member States, including the United Kingdom, and of the Commission have taken place, but have so far led to the conclusion that there is no evidence of significant benefit to be obtained from, or need for, harmonisation of minimum levels of compulsory motor insurance. There are no changes planned so far as United Kingdom law is concerned.