How far shall the protection of a traffic accident victim go under motor third party liability insurance?

Jakub Pokrzywniak

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33995/wu2024.1.2


This paper was inspired by a recent reference for a preliminary ruling lodged by the French Cour de Cassation (Mutuelle assurance des travailleurs mutualistes (Matmut) v TN and Others, Case C-236/23). The Cour de Cassation asked whether ‘Articles 3 and 13 ofDirective 2009/103 ofthe European Parliament and oftheCouncil of16 September 2009 must be interpreted as precluding the nullity of a contract for civil liability motor insurance from being declared enforceable against a passenger who is a victim where that person is also the policyholder and intentionally made a false statement atthe time of conclusion ofthe contract which gave rise to that nullity’. The Cour de Cassation observed that the CJEU had never ruled whether thenullity ofthe contract can be relied on against a victim who was a passenger in the vehicle where the victim is also the policyholder and the person who made the intentional false statement, which resulted in the insurance contract being null and void under national law. None ofthe judgments delivered by theCJEU relate to that specific situation. Even though the Court has been strengthening the rights of victims oftraffic accidents for many years, by applying arigorous interpretation oftheprovisions ofthemotor insurance directives precluding national rules that would allow for theavoidance ofapolicy response towards apassenger beyond the scope ofthe exclusions expressly allowed in the directives, some questions remain. In this case, we are dealing with an obvious insurance fraud committed by a person who subsequently suffered injuries in an accident caused by a driver ofthe vehicle for which a policy had been taken out by the injured person being atthe same time a policyholder. Should the EU law protect also those persons who are clearly attempting tomisuse an insurance contract? Shall we slur over the fact that by its nature an insurance contract has always been based onmutual trust (uberrimae fidei contract)? Should the rules governing motor third party liability insurance go as far as in no other insurance? Do fraudsters deserve protection?


Motor third party liability insurance, exclusions of liability, fraud, preliminary ruling

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