Broker concern over removal of 'driving other cars' permission prompts talks with NU

Biba has called an emergency meeting with Norwich Union over the insurer's plans to scrap the 'driving other cars' extension (DOC) from its policies.

The broker body said a number of its members had expressed concerns over plans by the UK's largest insurer to remove DOC, which provides policyholders with third party cover when driving any other vehicle with the owner's permission.

Graeme Trudgill, technical services manager at Biba, said: "The current position on DOC is just too confusing and we don't want the situation where the direct providers are offering better cover than brokers. That is why we have called the meeting."

Direct Line and Admiral are among the direct insurers who have said they will continue to offer DOC despite the recommendations of the Greenaway report.

In a letter to Insurance Times Michael Slack, chairman of Fyfe Group, said: "If you take the driving of other cars extension away, all you will do is create a huge problem of unintentional uninsured drivers.

"From a broker's point of view it seems disastrous that more cover will be available in the direct market which will be another problem for insurance brokers."

Biba also said that removing DOC was not strictly necessary to maintaining the motor insurance database (MID), as had previously been suggested.

Trudgill said: "If the insurer stipulates that a third party can only drive an insured car this would avoid many of the problems associated with the MID."

He added: "We don't want to see this consumer benefit removed completely and we don't want brokers to lose out."

A spokesman for Norwich Union denied that its decision to remove DOC would leave brokers at a disadvantage. "We will be leading the push to remove DOC on our NU Direct products only for the time being.

"Brokers will therefore not be affected."