Insurance companies non-sensical: Judge

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

A judge has queried why the European Union has not taken on car insurance companies.

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as a Spanish woman appeared before him at Londonderry Magistrates Court accused of having no insurance.

Marta Pascal Cabane, with an address in Belfast, was visiting Londonderry for a female rugby tournament.

The court was told the 29-year-old’s car was insured in Spain but she was not insured to drive it in this jurisdiction.

She was involved in a minor road traffic accident on Caw Roundabout on January 2.

Solicitor Seamus Quigley, defending, said that in Spain and many other European countries that car was insured, not the driver.

He said that the insurance policy did not cover Pascal Cabane to drive in Northern Ireland.

Imposing a conditional discharge for 12 months, Judge McElholm said the European Union have stuck their noses into many things and queried why they hadn’t done so with insurance companies.

He said: “If insurance is valid in Spain it should be valid here. We are all members of the European Union. I don’t see why insurance companies can’t rationalise their business so there are reciprocal arrangements.”

He described the situation as “absolutely nonsensical”.

Cabane received six penalty points on her licence.