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  What does the 4th Directive mean for me?

The 4th Directive was introduced to make it easier for those injured in accidents whilst visiting another EU state to receive compensation by:

  • Requiring there to be an Information Centre who can identify the insurer of the other party from the registration plate;
  • Allowing the injured party a direct right of action against the insurer;
  • Requiring the insurer to nominate a representative in the injured party’s own country who has sufficient powers to settle the claim;
  • Ensuring that there is a compensation body to pay the claim in the event that the insurer cannot be identified or is manifestly dilatory in settling a claim.

These measures introduced by the directive compliment the arrangements of the Green Card system which ensures the ready settlement of claims in the injured party’s own country where the other party comes from a different country. 

So if I am in an accident, what help can I get? 

For seven years after the accident, you have the right to request from either

  • the information centre in your home state, or
  • from the information centre where the other party’s vehicle is based, or
  • from the information centre of the state in which the accident occurred

the following information:

  • the name and address of the insurer
  • the number of the insurance policy
  • the name and address of the insurer’s claims representative in your home state
  • the name and address of the registered keeper (in special cases)

More information for UK victims can be found by clicking below:
UK Victims

More information for non-UK victims can be found by clicking below:
Non-UK Victims

How long will it take for an insurer to pay a claim? 

Clearly this depends on the complexity of the individual claim.  However, the insurer of the party that caused the accident or their claims representative is required to make a reasoned response or offer within 3 months of the claim being presented.  This will be regulated, for UK insurers, by the FSA.  Moreover, interest will be payable on any settlement unnecessarily delayed beyond 3 months. 

What about my privacy on the database? 

The directive requires data protection to take precedence over the implementation of the directive.  MIB has regular meetings with the Information Commissioner to ensure that the Data Protection Act is complied with fully.  MIB will not disclose the personal details of policyholders or registered keepers where the insurer has been identified and is dealing with claim.  Should a vehicle not appear on the MID, MIB will consider whether an enquirer needs the personal details of the registered keeper in order to pursue a claim for compensation.

Contacts

The UK Information Centre is part of the MIB and can be contacted on 0845 165 2800 or information@mib.org.uk or by mail (see contact page). 

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is approved as the UK’s Compensation Body. Contact MIB by telephone: 01908-830001 or www.mib.org.uk        

The official version of the Regulations can be viewed on the DfT website.

The full version of the Fourth Directive (PDF) can be viewed in the Official Journal.

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