Long the butt of jokes from the political right, Europe’s law-makers have again given detractors further ammunition this week by suggesting that both unwitting gardeners and wheelchair users could be hit with car insurance-like £100 premiums to ensure that they stay on the right side of the law.
Playing into the hands of the massed ranks of Euro-sceptics, Brussels has recently revisited an archaic ruling which could potentially see owners and users of golf buggies, motorised wheelchairs and sit-on lawnmowers having to fork out insurance to ensure they comply with a hitherto buried EU directive.
As we write, British insurers are yet to learn the full facts and figures and just how any potential legislation may impinge on the nation’s legions of regular niche motorised leisure and pleasure vehicle-users, while the Department for Transport is said to be closely monitoring the situation.
Under existing UK law, mobility scooters can drive on roads without the same insurance which governs other road-going vehicles, and ride-on lawnmowers are only subject to licensing laws if and when they are driven in the public domain.
However that could be all set to change if present laws are found to contravene with a directive first thrashed out in 1972, which could effectively stipulate that all similar vehicles are forced to arrange third party car insurance as the bare minimum requirement henceforth.
The somewhat obscure rule might have remained in place for the past 43 years, yet it’s only as a result of a recent court case that interpreted that all motorised vehicles should be privy to singular licensing which brought the whole long forgotten directive to the surface of late.
Now specialist insurers are reporting a surge in enquiries from concerned customers wanting to determine whether or not their vehicles will ultimately fall foul of this new old insurance mandate.
Speaking on the subject, Mark Effenberg of specialist insurer for mobility scooters, Blue Badge commented; “Everybody is confused as to what the EU is up to. We’re now waiting to see how the directive will be interpreted.”
Golf Buggies, Mobility Scooters and Ride-On Lawnmowers Could All Need Insurance Any Day Now
As the law stands here in the UK lawnmowers, golf carts and quad bikes require insurance if they are driven on public roads, yet not when used on private land, and according to insurer NFU Mutual insurance for these vehicles currently costs around £100 a year in premiums.
Professional landscape gardeners have always had the option of taking out public liability insurance if they are covered as a commercial customer, while hobby gardeners can insure their motorised mower under their existing home and contents policy. Under this proposed revisiting of old legislation there’s a distinct possibility that if and when ratified could mean any vehicle other than those which travel on rails across land would be subject to insurance requirements where historically before, there was none.
If any such ruling was rubber stamped in the near future then mobility scooters would need third party liability cover at the very least according to experts, although this has been urged for a while as in the past uninsured mobility scooter owners have been sued for negligence after colliding and injuring pedestrians.
In fact, the Government is so concerned with the threat often posed by mobility scooters that they’ve been considering making insurance for users a legal requirement for some time now.
In the words of Blue Badge Insurance’s Mr Effenberg; “The whole issue is on the verge of explosion,” who adds; “While many mobility scooter users say they can’t afford it, there’s the argument that they are also unlikely to be able to afford a six-figure personal injury claim.”
So it’s very much a case of watching this space for more news on this subject. In the meantime don’t forget you can find the very best insurance deals and policy offers with help from Bob, whose business it is to source the latest policies from market-leading insurance providers.