Ride-on mowers and golf buggies could require compulsory insurance after recent ruling

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At present a vehicle only requires insurance, by law in the UK, if you’re intending to drive them in a public place, or on the roads. However, since the European Court of Justice has ruled that the scope of an EU insurance law dating back to 1972 should be revised and extended to make it obligatory to have insurance for all motorised vehicles, even if they are only being used on private land, things could soon be set to change.

The ruling has come about after a court case involving a Slovenian, Damijan Vnuk, was injured following a fall, in which he fell off of a ladder that a reversing tractor trailer had collided with.

Because the case involves a vehicle which was being used as an ‘agricultural machine’ and took place on private property, motor insurers rejected the claim for cover.

However, the EU court ruled that the accident should’ve been protected by compulsory vehicle insurance, and that type of cover is mandatory for ‘any motor vehicle intended for travel on land and propelled by mechanical power’. This, it appears, takes into account used ride-on mowers and golf buggies.

The Association of British Insurers and the Department for Transport are presently in consultation over the matter, but at this point no firm decisions have been concluded.

Jeanette Miller of the Association of Motor Offence Lawyers said: “This could potentially cover any vehicle used on land unless it runs on rails.

“Historically, there was no legal requirement to insure a mower, but it looks like this may become a compulsory requirement.”

It is thought that golf clubs would have to make sure their golf equipment, such as buggies, is adequately insured, even for use on private grounds.

The Department for Transport is yet to confirm when final decisions about the proposed legal changes will be made.

Image: David Anstiss under Creative Commons Licence.

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