COMPENSATION payouts to victims of the Westminster terror attack could be the largest in UK history, experts have predicted.
Claims could run into the tens of millions after five people were killed and most 50 people injured when Khalid Masood mounted the Westminster Bridge kerb on March 22.
A Hyundai Tucson rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car was used for that deadly rampage, leaving its insurer Zurich facing a potential unprecedented payout to those playing critical and life-changing injuries.
Victims of terror attacks are already able to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) however this scheme is capped meaning compensation can miss what is recovered through insurers.
However, there's no terrorism exclusion on car policies, and compulsory car insurance policy laws mean the industry is legally obliged to cover those injured by uninsured drivers.
Recent changes to the Ogden Rate – the personal injury calculation – mean compensation payouts for life-changing injuries haven't been higher.
A 2012 injury payout worth lb23million for any teen left paralysed after a fatal car crash is the current record but collectively the Westminster terror attack claims could top this.
One survivor, Francisco Lopes, 26, has already launched a compensation claim for counselling and rehab costs after having suffered both mental and physical injury following the attack.
Graeme Trudgill, executive director of the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA), told The Sun Online: “UK compulsory motor insurance law doesn't allow a terrorism exclusion and states if there is an electric motor insurance policy in effect then the insurer must cope with any 3rd party claims as 'Road Traffic Act Insurer'.
“Due towards the number of individuals injured within this terrible incident and the increases some insurers are facing following the recent Ogden discount rate change, the potential does exist for this to be among the highest auto insurance claim observed in the UK.”
A Zurich spokesman added: “We do provide insurance for Enterprise and have a specialist team taking a look at how that policy is impacted by the terrible events in Westminster.
“It would be a tragic event and presents many complex aspects so far as insurance coverage is concerned.
“It continues to be too early to talk about any specific aspects of this though right now.”
Rented vans were also used in similar attacks at London Bridge and Finsbury Park mosque, prompting police to for a review on hiring vehicles.
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said short notice rentals may have to be clamped recorded on in a bid to stop terror attacks.
Borough Market businesses also face compensation claims after it was revealed the terror attack cost them lb1.4million.
The bustling market near London Bridge was forced to shut up look for 10 days following the terror attack that left eight dead however, many are waiting to determine if insurers pays out.