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The Law and Car Insurance

Comment 2nd July 2010

The Law of the Land says that if we drive we must have the appropriate Insurance in place.  This is fair enough, but with Insurance Companies imposing more and more restrictions on who  they will Insure and under what circumstances, it is becoming clear, that being ' sure' that you are 'actually' insured is more difficult.  Web-sites quote assumptions that are made before we apply, but these are not always easy to locate.  Documentation is becoming very complicated and  often there is a clause saying that we  should disclose anything we are not sure about that may be a 'material' fact, otherwise we may not be insured, even if we think we are.  The lines are being constantly redrawn and the goalposts moved and the situation is becoming overly confused. A premium is paid for the benefit of insuring us against the unforeseen. Yes there must be some eligibility requirements, but these should be set out in a clear and concise manner, where a specific question is asked and the relevant answer is given, whether application is by web, post or phone.  It should be  the responsibility of the Insurer to decide whether or not to insure having asked specific questions, received specific answers and having completed  any of their own checks that they feel necessary.   It should not be the responsibility of the individual to rack their brains as to whether of not they have revealed some fact that may possibly  be  'material'.  After making the decision to insure and the Insurer having collected premiums, it should be clear to the policyholder that their Insurance is in place for the duration of the policy.  Although it may be only vehicle Insurance that is required by Law all forms of Insurance should come under scrutiny.

Why does this matter?

Insurance is becoming overly complicated., full of unclear or non-specific rules and requirements.  Insurance is an important part of  our every day life.  We all need it,  to protect ourselves from  unforeseen circumstances. By Law we have to obtain Car Insurance.  We need Insurance Companies to be seen to act fairly and thoroughly in  respect of all  dealings with their prospective and current  Policyholders.  This should apply from the outset, when applications are made, through to claims. Forms should be clear, specific and not require the individual to examine their complete life history to ascertain their eligibility.  All Insurance needs to be overhauled and regulated to achieve better outcomes.

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