18 March 2015
Extending the Scope of Compulsory Insurance
When I mention the possibility of increasing the scope of compulsory insurance I am usually met with comments about the scope of insurance and premiums already being too great a burden.
When I ask people if they think that having compulsory insurance as a road user or an employer is a good idea I am almost invariably met with universal agreement and horror at any suggestion that such compulsory insurance should not exist.
Compulsory insurance is a useful benefit of a supposedly increasingly civilised society.
We all know that accidents occur. It is only right that we should look after the interests of those suffering the injury and losses rather than the interests of the guilty tortfeasor who has caused the accident.
There is no compulsory insurance for Public or Occupiers Liability. Why should we tolerate that? The vast majority of organisations responsible for Occupiers or Public Liability accidents are corporate bodies such as businesses, retail outlets, leisure facilities or public bodies. All of those organisations have an ability to effectively spread the cost of an insurance premium through the price of the product they sell or the taxes received to fund them.
By contrast, the private individual affected by an injury or loss has a much more limited ability to insure against the consequences of an accident. I regularly act for people with very real injuries and losses whose claims are unsuccessful due to a lack of Public/Occupiers Liability Insurance. That appears to me to be grossly unfair.
Should the ability to appropriately compensate a victim be determined by the prudence of a Defendant in choosing whether or not to insure?
In my experience as a Personal Injury Lawyer, I would gladly pay a small extra entrance fee, purchase price or tax levy to know that if I, or my family, are ever unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident, we will not be deprived simply due to a lack of appropriate insurance.
Nicholas Collins is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK specialising in Road Traffic Accident and Public Liability cases.
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