The postal strike is yet another reason why motor insurance certificates should be sent electronically

The monumental scale of my inbox notwithstanding, watching the post pile up in the office during the strike this week brought home to me how dependent we still are on this service in certain circumstances. The irritation factor aside, the postal strike has been hugely disruptive and costly for many businesses.

Intermediaries in the motor insurance market are a case in point. Members have been on the phones to BIBA House wanting to know what they should be doing with regard to the delivery of motor insurance certificates during the strike.

Insurance aficionados will know that the Road Traffic Act 1998 requires the insurer (or his agent) to deliver a certificate of insurance in a hard copy form to the policyholder in order for a motor policy to become effective. Typically delivery has been by post – but if there’s no post, there’s no insurance. Brokers have resorted to delivering certificates by courier to ensure that their customers have cover.

BIBA has been lobbying for a change in the law that would allow motor insurance certificates to be emailed to policyholders for some time now. We have argued that the electronic delivery of motor certificates will result in a wide range of benefits – including an industry saving of more than £10m from not having to post out certificates.

Discussions with the Department for Transport have gone well and it looks as if our suggestions have been taken on board. BIBA is now urging the government to press on with the legislative changes required to make this a reality as soon as possible. The disruption caused by the postal strike providing yet more evidence that the move is a sensible one.

On a lighter note, I had to mention what some pundits are calling the renaissance in Scottish football. Congratulations to Celtic and Rangers football clubs which have made it through to the group stages of the UEFA champions league – they given all fans and particularly Glaswegians a reason to celebrate (as if they really needed one). Sadly, that euphoria was not to extend into the rugby. Ah well, que sera sera – I’m off to post a few letters before the next strike begins.