European insurance ruling could ‘wipe out’ motorsport in UK, says MCIA boss

Picture: Double Red

Motorcycle Industry Association boss Steve Kenward believes a ruling in the European courts could wipe out motorsport in Great Britain if our government does not exempt it from a blanket vehicle insurance law.

Yesterday, the Government issued a document for public consultation, which gives an option of implementing the European Court decision known as the ‘Vnuk judgment’. The ruling makes it compulsory for anyone using any form of motorised transport to have third party damage and injury insurance. This will affect all participants in all forms of motorsport.

The insurance industry has made it clear to government that third party risks for motorsport activities are uninsurable, not least because of the sheer number of potential vehicle damage claims that would arise. Therefore, if implemented, the Vnuk judgment would wipe out all legal motor and motorcycle sport activity.

“At a stroke, this would wipe out a successful industry and all the jobs that go with it, as well as eliminating a popular leisure pursuit for 1.9 million people, along with the boost that this gives to both local and national economies,” said Kenward.

“If the Government implements the Vnuk judgment un-amended, British motorcycle sport would end in the UK. Given that we are coming out of the EU, we are astonished that the Government is even considering an option to implement Vnuk. We call on Ministers to end uncertainty and put a stop to Vnuk in the UK.”

In the UK, the motorsport industry employs over 50,000 people, generates a total of £11 billion of sales each year and is backed up by a world-leading high performance engineering industry.

Motorcycle competition is a popular UK Sport and generates much needed income in rural areas, with over 1.9 million spectators watching around 58,000 riders attend an average of over 4000 off-road and track events each year. These range from junior motocross to the British Superbikes, which would all end without the required insurance under the ECJ ruling.

Government documentation, written by Sir Humphrey Appleby, is available to read here.

Share this story: