European Insurance Ruling Could Drive Up Price Of Motor Racing

Tens of thousands of motor racing enthusiasts "could be priced out of the sport by a European ruling that could force all competitors to buy insurance," according to Graeme Paton of the LONDON TIMES.

It is "feared that changes to rules governing insurance across the continent" may make it "too expensive" for many drivers to compete in amateur karting, rallying and drag racing. Racing chiefs are reportedly now in talks with the Department for Transport about exemptions. The move stems from a legal case involving Damijan Vnuk, a Slovenian farm worker, who was injured in '07 after falling from a ladder that was "hit by a tractor trailer as it was reversing."

Motor insurers refused to cover the claim "because it took place on private property" and involved a vehicle being used as an "agricultural machine."

However, the European Court of Justice ruled in September last year that the accident "should have been covered by compulsory vehicle insurance."

It sets a precedent that "extends third party insurance" to cover all vehicles "propelled by mechanical power" — not just on roads. Individual EU member states are now supposed to implement the ruling.

Insurance experts "have suggested that golf buggies and mobility scooters could be insured" for £100 ($155) a year, but cover for racing cars was "likely to run into thousands of pounds." LONDON TIMES