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Road Traffic Act 1988

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151 Duty of insurers or persons giving security to satisfy judgment against persons insured or secured against third-party risks.E+W+S

(1)This section applies where, after [F1a policy or security is issued or given for the purposes of this Part of this Act,] a judgment to which this subsection applies is obtained.

(2)Subsection (1) above applies to judgments relating to a liability with respect to any matter where liability with respect to that matter is required to be covered by a policy of insurance under section 145 of this Act and either—

(a)it is a liability covered by the terms of the policy or security F2..., and the judgment is obtained against any person who is insured by the policy or whose liability is covered by the security, as the case may be, or

(b)it is a liability, other than an excluded liability, which would be so covered if the policy insured all persons or, as the case may be, the security covered the liability of all persons, and the judgment is obtained against any person other than one who is insured by the policy or, as the case may be, whose liability is covered by the security.

(3)In deciding for the purposes of subsection (2) above whether a liability is or would be covered by the terms of a policy or security, so much of the policy or security as purports to restrict, as the case may be, the insurance of the persons insured by the policy or the operation of the security by reference to the holding by the driver of the vehicle of a licence authorising him to drive it shall be treated as of no effect.

(4)In subsection (2)(b) above “excluded liability” means a liability in respect of the death of, or bodily injury to, or damage to the property of any person who, at the time of the use which gave rise to the liability, was allowing himself to be carried in or upon the vehicle and knew or had reason to believe that the vehicle had been stolen or unlawfully taken, not being a person who—

(a)did not know and had no reason to believe that the vehicle had been stolen or unlawfully taken until after the commencement of his journey, and

(b)could not reasonably have been expected to have alighted from the vehicle.

In this subsection the reference to a person being carried in or upon a vehicle includes a reference to a person entering or getting on to, or alighting from, the vehicle.

(5)Notwithstanding that the insurer may be entitled to avoid or cancel, or may have avoided or cancelled, the policy or security, he must, subject to the provisions of this section, pay to the persons entitled to the benefit of the judgment—

(a)as regards liability in respect of death or bodily injury, any sum payable under the judgment in respect of the liability, together with any sum which, by virtue of any enactment relating to interest on judgments, is payable in respect of interest on that sum,

(b)as regards liability in respect of damage to property, any sum required to be paid under subsection (6) below, and

(c)any amount payable in respect of costs.

(6)This subsection requires—

(a)where the total of any amounts paid, payable or likely to be payable under the policy or security in respect of damage to property caused by, or arising out of, the accident in question does not exceed [F3£1,000,000] , the payment of any sum payable under the judgment in respect of the liability, together with any sum which, by virtue of any enactment relating to interest on judgments, is payable in respect of interest on that sum,

(b)where that total exceeds [F3£1,000,000] , the payment of either—

(i)such proportion of any sum payable under the judgment in respect of the liability as [F3£1,000,000] bears to that total, together with the same proportion of any sum which, by virtue of any enactment relating to interest on judgments, is payable in respect of interest on that sum, or

(ii)the difference between the total of any amounts already paid under the policy or security in respect of such damage and [F3£1,000,000] , together with such proportion of any sum which, by virtue of any enactment relating to interest on judgments, is payable in respect of interest on any sum payable under the judgment in respect of the liability as the difference bears to that sum,

whichever is the less, unless not less than [F3£1,000,000] has already been paid under the policy or security in respect of such damage (in which case nothing is payable).

(7)Where an insurer becomes liable under this section to pay an amount in respect of a liability of a person who is insured by a policy or whose liability is covered by a security, he is entitled to recover from that person—

(a)that amount, in a case where he became liable to pay it by virtue only of subsection (3) above, or

(b)in a case where that amount exceeds the amount for which he would, apart from the provisions of this section, be liable under the policy or security in respect of that liability, the excess.

(8)Where an insurer becomes liable under this section to pay an amount in respect of a liability of a person who is not insured by a policy or whose liability is not covered by a security, he is entitled to recover the amount from that person or from any person who—

(a)is insured by the policy, or whose liability is covered by the security, by the terms of which the liability would be covered if the policy insured all persons or, as the case may be, the security covered the liability of all persons, and

(b)caused or permitted the use of the vehicle which gave rise to the liability.

(9)In this section—

(a)insurer” includes a person giving a security,

F4(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)liability covered by the terms of the policy or security” means a liability which is covered by the policy or security or which would be so covered but for the fact that the insurer is entitled to avoid or cancel, or has avoided or cancelled, the policy or security.

(10)In the application of this section to Scotland, the words “by virtue of any enactment relating to interest on judgments” in subsections (5) and (6) (in each place where they appear) shall be omitted.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 151(1) substituted (30.6.2015) by Deregulation Act 2015 (c. 20), s. 115(7), Sch. 3 para. 4(2); S.I. 2015/994, art. 9(a) (with Sch. Pt. 3A) (as amended by S.I. 2015/1405, art. 2)

F2Words in s. 151(2)(a) omitted (30.6.2015) by virtue of Deregulation Act 2015 (c. 20), s. 115(7), Sch. 3 para. 4(3); S.I. 2015/994, art. 9(a) (with Sch. Pt. 3A) (as amended by S.I. 2015/1405, art. 2)

F4S. 151(9)(b) repealed (1.7.1992) by Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40, SIF 107:1), s. 83, Sch.8; S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2,Sch.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 151 excluded (23.6.1999) by S.I. 1999/1736, art. 8(1)(b)(2)(b)

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