Road Traffic Act 1961

Miscellaneous provisions in relation to insured or guaranteed moneys.

76

76. (1) Where a person (in this section referred to as the claimant) claims to be entitled to recover from the owner of a mechanically propelled vehicle or from a person (other than the owner) using a mechanically propelled vehicle (in this section referred to as the user), or has in any court of justice (in proceedings of which the vehicle insurer or vehicle guarantor hereinafter mentioned had prior notification) recovered judgment against the owner or user for, a sum (whether liquidated or unliquidated) against the liability for which the owner or user is insured by an approved policy of insurance or the payment of which by the owner or user is guaranteed by an approved guarantee, the claimant may serve by registered post, on the vehicle insurer by whom the policy was issued, or on the vehicle insurer or the vehicle guarantor by whom the guarantee was issued, a notice in writing of the claim or judgment for the sum, and upon the service of the notice such of the following provisions as are applicable shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, have effect:

( a) the insurer shall not after service of the notice pay to the owner or user in respect of the sum any greater amount than the amount (if any) which the owner or user has actually paid to the claimant in respect of the sum;

( b) where the claimant has so recovered judgment for the sum, or after service of the notice so recovers judgment for the sum or any part thereof, the insurer or guarantor shall pay to the claimant so much of the moneys (whether damages or costs) for which judgment was or is so recovered as the insurer or guarantor has insured or guaranteed and is not otherwise paid to the claimant, and the payment shall, as against the insured or principal debtor, be a valid payment under the policy or guarantee;

( c) where the claimant has so recovered judgment for the sum, or after service of the notice so recovers judgment for the sum or any part thereof, and has not recovered from the owner or user or such insurer or guarantor the whole amount of the judgment, the claimant may apply to the court in which he recovered the judgment for leave to execute the judgment against the insurer or guarantor, and thereupon the court may, if it thinks proper, grant the application either in respect of the whole amount of the judgment or in respect of any specified part of that amount;

( d) where the claimant has not so recovered judgment for the sum, the claimant may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction in which he might institute proceedings for the recovery of the sum from the owner or user for leave to institute and prosecute those proceedings against the insurer or guarantor (as the case may be) in lieu of the owner or user, and the court, if satisfied that the owner or user is not in the State, or cannot be found or cannot be served with the process of the court, or that it is for any other reason just and equitable that the application should be granted, may grant the application, and thereupon the claimant shall be entitled to institute and prosecute those proceedings against the insurer or guarantor, and to recover therein from the insurer or guarantor any sum which he would be entitled to recover from the owner or user and the payment of which the insurer or guarantor has insured or guaranteed;

( e) the insurer or guarantor shall not, as a ground for refusing payment of moneys to the claimant or as a defence to proceedings by the claimant, rely on or plead any invalidity of the policy or guarantee arising from any fraud or any misrepresentation or false statement (whether fraudulent or innocent) to which the claimant was not a party or privy and which, if constituting F163 [ an offence ] under this Part of this Act, was not the subject of a prosecution and conviction under the relevant section of this Act.

(2) Where, in respect of any one act of negligence or any one series of acts of negligence collectively constituting one event, there are two or more claimants and the total of the sums claimed for damages for injury to property or for which judgment has been recovered for damages for such injury exceeds the sum which the insurer or guarantor has insured or guaranteed, the liability, as regards each claimant, of the insurer or guarantor in relation to such damages shall be reduced to the appropriate proportionate part of the sum insured or guaranteed.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section apply only to claims against the liability for which an approved policy of insurance or an approved guarantee is required by this Act to be effected.

(4) F164 [ ]

(5) A reference in this section to the owner or user of a mechanically propelled vehicle shall, where the context so admits, be construed as including a reference to his personal representative.

Annotations

Amendments:

F163

Substituted (1.09.1968) by Road Traffic Act 1968 (25/1968), s. 6 and sch., S.I. No. 169 of 1968.

F164

Repealed (17.08.1961) by Civil Liability Act 1961 (41/1961), s. 5 and sch., pt. V, commenced on enactment.

Modifications (not altering text):

C56

Application of section modified (1.05.1962) by Road Traffic (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1962 (S.I. No. 14 of 1962), reg. 5 and sch. 1, para. (2), as amended (18.03.1964) by Road Traffic (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 1964 (S.I. No. 58 of 1964), reg. 2, (23.11.1977) by Road Traffic (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 1977 (S.I. No. 359 of 1977), reg. 2, (31.12.1988) by Road Traffic (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 1987 (S.I. No. 321 of 1987), reg. 4 and later amended (4.07.2008) by European Communities (Motor Insurance) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 248 of 2008), reg. 4.

5.—(1) In this article “prohibited condition” means every condition, restriction or limitation on the liability of the insurer or guarantor under an approved policy of insurance or an approved guarantee which comes within any of the classes specified in the First Schedule to these Regulations or any other condition, restriction or limitation which has substantially the same effect as a condition, restriction or limitation which is so specified.

(2) There shall not be inserted in an approved policy of insurance or an approved guarantee any condition, restriction or limitation on the liability of the insurer or guarantor which affects the right of any person, except the person to whom the policy or guarantee was issued [... ], to recover by virtue of the policy or guarantee an amount under section 76 of the act or which could have the effect of reducing the amount which such a person could so recover, if such condition, restriction or limitation is a prohibited condition.

FIRST SCHEDULE

PROHIBITED CONDITIONS

(1)...

(2) Any limitation or restriction on the persons or classes of persons or the physical or mental condition of persons whose driving of a vehicle is covered by the approved policy of insurance or approved guarantee, except conditions which limit the persons so covered in any one or more of the following ways:—

...

(e) by requiring persons so covered to have the consent of a named person to such driving,

(f) by limiting the cover to cases where the person driving a vehicle either holds a driving licence to drive the vehicle or holds a provisional licence to drive the vehicle or having held either such licence or a driving licence issued under Part III of the Road Traffic Act, 1933 to drive such a vehicle has not been disqualified for holding it under section 26, 27 or 28 of the Act or under a disqualification order which is deemed to be a consequential disqualification order, an ancillary disqualification order or a special disqualification order by virtue of section 43 of the Act,

(g) by limiting the cover to cases where the person driving a vehicle holds a licence to drive a licensed public hire vehicle under article 34 or article 62 of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations, 1963 ( S.I. No. 191 of 1963 ) or having held such a licence or a licence to drive a public service vehicle under the Road Traffic Act, 1933 has not ceased to do so by reason of such licence being revoked under those Regulations or suspended or revoked under that Act.

...

The conditions referred to at (e), (f) and (g) of paragraph (2) shall provide that the limitations or restrictions shall not apply as respects a claim by a person to recover moneys from the insurer under section 76 of the Act.