Obtaining a declaration before 1 November: When having a good relationship with the Court matters

We have developed a system to give our clients the best chance of securing the declaration in time

You may already be aware of the impending change to section 152 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the mechanism of obtaining a declaration to void a motor insurance policy from inception. The introduction of The Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance)(Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations means insurers will not be able to seek a post-accident section 152 declaration and avoid a policy they have issued, irrespective of the existence of the MIB and the alternatives that it offers. Insurers will still be free to void policies of insurance prior to any accident.

The relatively short and looming deadline of 1 November 2019 (in a legal context!) is likely to place increased pressure on our already stretched court system, with insurers seeking to obtain a declaration before it is too late. Only declarations obtained prior to 1 November will be effective. It will not be enough to have a declaration claim in progress on that date.

From our close working relationship with the courts we have developed a system to give our clients the best chance of securing the declaration in time. Similarly, FOIL’s initiative to streamline the refund process in respect of the historical overpayment of additional claim issue fees is a good example of a constructive working relationship with the court system.

For our clients, this has to be the best approach. We recognise the pressure that the court system is under at present. We are very conscious of how hard the court staff work. Sometimes, meeting the court staff and discussing the issues face to face is the best approach. Experience has shown that having those relationships in place means that we are then much better able to smooth out any potential bumps in the road.

If you have a case that requires a declaration before 1 November 2019 and would like more information on our approach, please contact Liam McGuire on 0151 242 0889 or liam.mcguire@weightmans.com

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