Compulsory insurance will be needed even for off-road vehicles

In future compulsory vehicle insurance will be needed even for off-road vehicles operating only on private land, after the Latvian cabinet approved changes to tax laws proposed by the Finance Ministry.

Amendments to the Law on Compulsory Civil Liability Insurance for Owners of Motor Vehicles mean that compulsory insurance (OCTA) for vehicles must be in place not only when the vehicle is used in road traffic, but "at any place where the vehicle can be driven" and might potentially have an accident. 

In accordance with the definition of road traffic accidents in the Road Traffic Law, an accident may occur at any place where a vehicle can be driven, if it involves a vehicle.

At present, cars standing idle in garages or being used only on private land do not require compulsory insurance, provided they are not taken out onto the roads at all.

A tweet by the Finance Ministry October 4 said that cars in garages or in a condition in which they are unable to be driven would still not need to be insured.

Agricultural vehicles such as tractors will need to be insured even if on private land. Agricultural vehicles only used at certain periods of the year, for example during harvest, will need to be insured for the periods in which they are used.

The changes also involve changes to the rights of injured parties and insurance companies in the event of an accident, giving each the right to take legal action against the other if the correct insurance is not in place when an accident occurs.

"The amendments are based on the need to improve and supplement the existing norms of the Compulsory Motor Third Party Liability Insurance Act, by appropriately specifying certain norms of the MTPL law already in place with the European Union directives," the Finance Ministry said in an explanation of the changes on its website. 

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