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Lloyd's Law Reporter


[2016] EUECJ C-558/15, Court of Justice of the European Union, 15 December 2016

Insurance (motor) - Claims representative - Whether victim has direct claim against claims representative - European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/26/EC (the Fourth Motor Insurance Directive)

On 17 October 2007 there was a disastrous motor accident on a Spanish motorway. A rental vehicle insured in Spain by Helvetia was involved in a collision, resulting in the death of Mr Luis de Sousa Alves and personal injuries to Mr Vieira de Azevedo. Both were Portuguese nationals. A claim was made against CED, Helvetia's claims representative in Portugal. No payment was forthcoming, and legal proceedings were then commenced in Portugal against CED and the Portuguese Motor Vehicle Guarantee Fund. The Portuguese court held that there was no right of suit against a claims representative, but referred the question to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling. The CJEU ruled that the Fourth Directive did not require a member state to allow a victim to bring proceedings against a claims representative. The purpose of the Fourth Directive was to ensure that a victim was able to recover compensation under harmonised insurance rules wherever in the EU the injuries were inflicted. Given the right of direct action against the insurer in the courts of the member state where the victim was domiciled, there was no need for an action against the claims representative.

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