So Roy Rodger would be quite happy if his insurance company declined to pay his claim because he had inadvertently left his keys in the ignition? (26 August, Insurance Times).

What do people have insurance for?

Let us take this line of thought a little further. If I leave my keys in the car and somebody steals it then it will have been a mistake on my part, because I no longer trust insurance companies and do not want to give them any excuse not to pay out.

I will be penalised, though, for making a mistake - a trifling mistake that anybody, even Rodger, could make.

If I run over a pedestrian that might be a mistake on my part, a much bigger mistake than forgetting about a key, a mistake where perhaps some genuine blame might attach to me. Is Rodger suggesting that insurance companies don't pay for that either?

The very essence of an insurance policy is that it indemnifies you for your mistakes as well as for your suffering damage by blind physical force.

The introduction of the keys-in-car exclusion is degenerate so far as the evolution of insurance as a profession is concerned.

By the way, does Rodger have 'any driver' on his car insurance policy? Suppose he lends his car to the Archbishop of Canterbury, a man whose credentials for integrity are impeccable. Suppose the Archbishop on his way back to the palace pops into a Murco petrol station for a pork pie and a packet of crisps and while he's in there some thief jumps into the car and drives off.

The Archbishop had failed to remember that 30-minute lecture he was given before borrowing the car. Would Rodger be happy then to have his claim turned down? Would he sue the Archbishop?

Douglas Mcleod