John Jackson says ill thought out government legislation is going to lead to plenty of insurance claims
At the recent Scottish elections, around 140,000 voters were robbed of their democratic rights by having their ballot papers declared void. Subsequently, threats of legal challenges have been ringing round Edinburgh.
The insurance industry will be left to pick up the pieces.
The decision by the government to give anybody the right to a postal vote has led to widespread abuse including fraud, which led to an unprecedented outburst of anger by the Election Commissioner. It has left returning officers in an unenviable position, wide open to liability claims.
The law should be scrapped and postal voting returned to its original genteel form. After all, why are so many voters too idle to get off their backsides every four years and walk round the corner to vote at their local polling station? Heaven knows what claims will come in if the internet-voting experiment comes in.
The Companies Act 2006, to be implemented in October 2008, puts more burdens on company directors and will affect directors’ and officers’ insurance, not least in the ‘eco’ area, which has caused virtual mass hysteria among politicians and scientists, predicting the virtual end of the world.
Meanwhile, homeowners, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, estate agents and virtually anybody else who is sane, have savaged the Home Information Packs (HIPs), compulsory for home sales under a law to be enacted on 1 June, as likely to cause utter chaos in the property market.
As the insurance industry is likely to find out, legal action against HIPs by buyers is likely to become fertile ground for more legal action, as home sellers wrestle with its intricacies.
The fact that there are not enough inspectors (more useless bureaucrats at the taxpayers’ expense) to view properties under the new law means that completed HIPs are very likely to fall short of what is required, with all the concomitant rise in legal challenges. Enter the insurance industry again, wallet wide open.
Then there is the growing problem of property built on flood plains. Here, the government has let down homeowners by failing to provide adequate funds for the protection of property, again leaving the insurance sector to pick up the tab when the claims come flooding in (no pun intended).
Under terrorism legislation, the government acts as insurer of last resort via Pool Re. The government is not to be blamed for terrorist atrocities, but perhaps it should now take responsibility for actions for which it is directly responsible, through its legislation, via another state insurer to cover, at taxpayers’ expense, the cost of claims arising from its incessant meddling.