Terms of Cover

The approved policy of insurance must contain certain minimum terms. The insurer must cover liability for personal injuries  without limitation to a third party or his personal representatives.  There must be €1,127,000 cover for material damage / property loss.  The liability must not be subject to any condition, restriction or limitation which is prescribed.

Liability must cover both the negligent use of the vehicle in the State and negligent use in a designated territory according to laws related to compulsory insurance against civil liability in those territories.  However, it must not be capable of being terminated before expiry by the insurer save with the consent of the insured or after seven days’ notice.

Liability must extend to loss and injury suffered by the victim due to negligent use of the vehicle during a direct journey between two member states if there is no National Insurance Bureau for the territory which is being crossed in accordance with the law relation to compulsory insurance against civil liability.

The regulations do  not extend compulsory insurance for civil liability to passengers unless it is constructed with seating accommodation for passengers (other than in the case of large public service vehicle) or to passengers in caravans while it is moving in a public place.

There are equivalent provisions in respect of vehicles insured in other EEA states.  Authorised offices include members of customs and excise and members of an Garda Siochana.  They may require evidence of insurance when the vehicle enters the state or any time thereafter.

It is an offence to commit any fraud or make any false representation knowing it to be false or misleading in applying for an approved insurance policy on behalf of the applicant or another.  Breach is subject to fine of up to €5000 or imprisonment up to six months or both.  A document purporting to be a proposal or an equivalent, signed by the defendant may be tendered as proof and presumed to be signed by him until the contrary is shown.

Prohibited Terms

There are provisions which prohibit certain types of conditions to be inserted in a qualifying insurance policy. Conditions requiring certain things to be done or omitted after an incident or accident are prohibited. Limitations and restrictions on the persons or conditions of persons whose driving is covered are excluded including conditions making cover contingent upon

  • weight construction or maintenance of the vehicle
  • speed
  • carrying things in the vehicle
  • time of use
  • number of persons carried
  • weight or characteristic of the goods
  • requiring liability to be determined by arbitration
  • making cover dependent on the existence of another policy

There are exception for  specifying the names of persons covered or not covered, requiring persons to be accompanied or have consent,  limiting cover to persons who are licensed or who hold a particular class of licence or are of a certain age are permitted.

There must be coverage for injury to passengers in respect of vehicles adapted for carrying passengers. Front seat passengers in goods vehicles and pillion passengers on motor bikes must be covered.

Notice & Claim Issues

Where an event occurs in relation to a vehicle in consequence of which the vehicle insurer becomes liable to pay monies to any person, notice must be given as soon as practicable, or where the event did not occur in his presence, within 48 hours of the occurrence of the event coming to his knowledge. Notice must be given in writing of the event together with such  particulars as are in his knowledge and procurement as are reasonably required by the insurer or the guarantee provider. The policy may relieve the above obligation or limit it.  Notice may be given by post.

An equivalent obligation applies to the user of a vehicle.  He must give the insured or the equivalent person, notice of the occurrence together with full particulars.  He must give such particulars relating to the event as are in his knowledge or procurement or are reasonably required by the insurer or guarantor on demand.  Breach of the obligation is an offence.

Where an event occurs in relation to a vehicle temporarily in the State that is normally based in the EU or EEA countries, the person using the vehicle when the event occurs is to send details to the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.  Notice of the occurrence of the event, with full particulars are to be given together with identification details of the vehicle, the insurance of the vehicle , the period of cover and the name and address of the person using the vehicle.

Where a claim is made against the person in respect to liability required to be covered by insurance such person on demand in writing served by registered post by and behalf of a person making a claim, must give details of the insurer together with certain other prescribed particulars. If the liability is not covered due to avoidance or cancellation, this must be stated together with details of the insured.  If the liability is not covered on account of the person being exempt, this must be stated.  Contravention of the obligation is an offence.  A statement may be given by posting in a properly closed and prepaid envelope.

Insurance records must be shared by vehicle insurers with an Garda Siochana, the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland and the Department of Transport


The Minister may make regulations regarding

  • issue of certificates of insurance and exemption,
  • issues of copies, cancellations and surrender of certificates,
  • requiring vehicle insurer to keep records of policies
  • requiring exempt persons to keep records of certificates of exemption,
  • enabling  records to be  inspected by the Garda Siochana specifying matters to be recorded
  • requiring motor insurers to furnish members of Garda Siochana and officers of the Minister, information in relation to policies.

Contravention is an offence.

The matter is covered by the Road Traffic Compulsory Insurance Regulations.  The regulations allow Garda Siochana to inspect certain records.  Information not contained in the records or  as specified and need not be disclosed.

The Minister may make regulations to facilitate compliance with the obligations by a persons resident outside the State.  Regulations may modify in relation to those persons, provisions in relation to compulsory insurance.  However, they may not substantially exempt any persons from the obligations in the legislation.


Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents. 

Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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