I am trying to find out if the owner of a vehicle does not only have the obligation but also the right to vehicle insurance and if such a right is implied or guaranteed by EU directives.


(3) Each Member State must take all appropriate measures to ensure that civil liability in respect of the use of vehicles normally based in its territory is covered by insurance. The extent of the liability covered and the terms and conditions of the insurance cover are to be determined on the basis of those measures.

Should the phrase "all appropriate measures" in this section be interpreted as an obligation for member states to ensure that citizens have access to vehicle insurance?

The summary of the directive further states:

[The Directive] requires all motor vehicles in the EU to be covered by compulsory third-party liability insurance

I did not look into legislation of other member states but in the case of Malta, I wasn't able to find anything that suggests such a right.

  • No EU directive is binding on any particular company, only on "Member States". A State has to have in place legislation preventing uninsured drivers; but in the UK, for example you can deposit £500,000 with the Court Funds Office which is your insurance. Sep 19, 2019 at 20:16
  • @TimLymington I am aware that Directives have to be transposed into national law. I wasn't trying to suggest anything of the contrary. Neither do I see how you come to that conclusion. Sep 19, 2019 at 20:50
  • If not insurance companies, against whom could such a right be enforced? Sep 19, 2019 at 21:35
  • @TimLymington For example in Spain there is the Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros and one of its functions is to act as insurers for people who are denied the basic coverage by private insurers. But I cannot find any reference linking this service to any EU regulation.
    – SJuan76
    Sep 19, 2019 at 21:56

1 Answer 1



First, in general, insurers can choose to operate in a given market or not. AFAIK there is no regulation that forces a general insurer to offer any particular kind of cover if they don’t want to. In theory, a government could require insurers to offer certain types of policies as a condition of operating but most insurers are multi-national and they could just choose to exit the country completely - there are plenty of examples of insurance companies doing this, even if all providers in a given market exiting due to unprofitably.

The directive requires third-party personal injury insurance to be compulsory so I suppose that may require government intervention if there is market failure for that insurance.

As to a right - there is no right to own a vehicle so, in the absence of that, you wouldn’t need a right to insure one.

  • EU directives are transposed. A directive is not a regulation. What regulations are you talking about? There are -- even if? Can you correct that sentence? I have no idea what you're trying to say there. Is a right to own a vehicle relevant? You buy it, you own it. It's about what happens next. You give a straight no. Can you put that into context of the Directive text I posted? ie. why do you think it does not imply or lead to such a right? Have you considered the impact of FoM rights on this? Sep 19, 2019 at 23:24
  • but most insurers are multi-national and they could just choose to exit the country Many multi-national companies suffer lots of impositions by almost all national governments (taxes, labour laws, environmental laws) yet they still operate under those circumstances, as long as those rules do not prevent getting a profit. The " if we put laws then the business will go" meme often forgets that business will accept whatever they must if in the end they get money.
    – SJuan76
    Sep 19, 2019 at 23:46
  • Also As to a right - there is no right to own a vehicle so, in the absence of that, you wouldn’t need a right to insure one seems a debatable argument: I have no "right" to have a child(in the meaning that you give that word), but if I have one then I do have some rights related to it.
    – SJuan76
    Sep 19, 2019 at 23:54
  • @Dale M Can you try to address the issues that were pointed out? IMHO the way it stands at the moment, it should be flagged as non-answer. Sep 21, 2019 at 7:25

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