I welcome Graeme Trudgill's call for insurers to simplify 'use' clauses by standardising a measure of business use across all drivers.

In my view, use is the single most misunderstood aspect of any motor policy. The main reason why we do not hear of more issues involving use is, fortunately for drivers, the fact that most insurers have no idea themselves regarding what use is permitted by their policies.

If you ask six different underwriters to define "commercial travelling" you will get six different answers. Commercial travelling is a policy exclusion, but I do not know of any insurer who is prepared to come out and define it.

Further confusion arises where a policy is on an 'insured only driving' basis, yet the use clause permits business use by insured and spouse - help!

Most certificates state who can use the car for business use, for example, spouse, or business partner. But without fail, the policy wording itself states categorically that only the insured is indemnified while using, but not driving the vehicle for business use.

This is a clear case of right hand/left hand , with the customer being left with a dubious wording.

Maybe it is just as well for customers that insurers no longer read their own policy wordings

Roy Rodger

Insurance Training and Consultancy