Seeking insurance assurance

Opinion from the world of historic motor sport

The entire future of our industry could hang in the balance following a ruling by the European Court in 2014 that might leave motor sport uninsurable.

The Vnuk ruling has been the focus of attention for some time now, after the court ruled that the requirement for compulsory insurance should cover any use of a vehicle, so long as that use is consistent with the normal function of the vehicle. The net result would be that all competition cars taking part in motor sport would need third-party insurance, and that it not considered possible.

The Motorsport Industry Association and the MSA, the sport’s UK governing body, are lobbying in the interest of the sport, but the danger to the future of all branches of motor sport across Europe is very real. Chris Aylett (pictured above), CEO of the MIA and a former historic racer, said: “Our industry and sport face a serious problem. If we fail to secure the amendment we seek, the likely outcome is that all motor sport, in every EU member state, will cease.

“A new Motor Insurance Directive will require compulsory unlimited third-party liability insurance to cover personal injury between motor sport competitors and car-to-car damage during any competition. However, such widespread, unlimited new insurance is not currently available and, we understand, will not be in the future.”

As Motor Sport closed for press, the MIA was leading the response to an EC consultation on the proposals. The implications for the sport, in the UK alone, are unimaginable in terms of loss of export earnings, jobs and enjoyment for participants and fans.

As one historic competitor pointed out, the ruling would not only end their passion for the sport, but would wipe out the value of period racing cars currently thought to be worth millions.