Munich Re will meet most of the £50m bill for the Selby train crash, where ten people died following a collision between a Land Rover and two trains. The German reinsurer has confirmed it will foot £31m of the claim, with the balance being provided by another, unnamed reinsurance company.

Only the first £1.5m of the claim will need to be found by Fortis, insurer of the Land Rover driver Gary Hart. Hart had third-party unlimited liability insurance with the company.

A spokeswoman for Munich Re said many aspects of the case were still open and as yet the company did not know when the payout would be.

“We don't have any idea how this will develop and when this will be paid,” she said.

The accident happened in February when Hart's car, which was pulling a trailer, left the M62 and rolled down a railway embankment, coming to rest on the East Coast main line.

Hart managed to get out of the car, but the car and trailer were hit by a Newcastle to London train, which in turn was hit by a northbound freight train. Hart is currently facing a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.