Bread, milk, cat food, oh and some holiday cover

Bread, milk, cat food, oh and some holiday cover

Would the General Insurance Standards' Council care to comment on the announcement by Tesco that travel insurance will be sold by its checkout operators?
It is inconceivable that all the operators will be properly trained in this respect, but of course GISC (and the Association of British Insurers/PricewaterhouseCoopers) requires that we provide full advice on conditions and restrictions and verify that the policy is appropriate for the holiday type.
As an illustration, Angela Darling was fond of saying, that someone going on an 18-30 holiday should not be sold a policy incorporating alcohol exclusions. There is absolutely no way that Tesco checkout staff will do all this. How do you justify any regulation being imposed that is not universally applied across the industry?
Unless you are able to prevent the sale of insurance products by untrained staff of retail organisations you lose all credibility.
I await GISC's response with interest.
Paul Hudson

Banner cosies up to Axa

I am writing re: Axa managers need power says broker (Insurance Times September 14).
As the proprietor of Banner Morgan Countrywide, insurance brokers, I wish to make it quite clear that the views expressed in this article were not authorised by Banner Morgan, but were simply the unauthorised views of one of our employees, who has subsequently been spoken to.
We have always had an excellent working relationship in the past with Axa Insurance and its account managers, which we hope will continue into the future.
I apologise on behalf of Banner Morgan and all its employees for any misunderstanding that may have been caused by this article.
P J Morgan
Banner Morgan Countrywide

Will MIIC be hit and run?

The Motor Insurers' Information Centre is a long overdue effort by the insurance companies (and I hope Lloyd's) to combat the failure to insure vehicles. The Motor Insurers' Bureau, which deals with uninsured losses, adds about £300m a year I believe to the premiums paid by honest motorists. It is reported that last year 40,000 accidents involved uninsured drivers – not counting the miscreants who had just driven off.
When uninsured drivers are convicted the petty fines they receive, the failure to apply driving disqualification and the failure to confiscate the vehicle, are aspects which the government should look at with urgency or the MIIC will be another waste of millions.
M Green

Look on CFA bright side

I refer to the section of last week's Legal focus article warning that defendant solicitors will be disadvantaged because their fee income will slip further behind that of claimants' solicitors acting under conditional fee arrangements (CFAs).
While it is true that successful claimant solicitors will do nicely from recovery of their success fees, and may even earn a commission from after-the-event (ATE) insurers, it must not be overlooked that some ATE insurers are willing to write cover for defendants' solicitors, whether acting under a CFA or not. This point is often overlooked, but there is nothing to prevent a defendant's solicitors acting under a CFA with an uplift (success fee).
Thus claimant solicitors will not have things all their own way, as the same benefits of cover for the other side's costs in the event of losing and even a commission, can be made available to the defendant's solicitor.
Defendants' solicitors need not lose their best staff to claimants' firms nor should defendants' insurers have to worry about quality of legal representation.
The clued-up defendants' insurers will have their panel solicitors under CFAs and will have arranged, or at least be considering ATE cover. While this will not work on cases where liability is to be admitted, it will be an attractive proposition to insurers and their solicitors on those cases where the claim is likely to be defended successfully, or where there is a good counterclaim.
Paul Bonner
operations director
Temple Legal Protection

Breaking in is easy to do

I am writing in response to an article that appeared in the August 17 issue of Insurance Times, and take exception to the comments published in your newspaper.
In particular, I am extremely disappointed that we had no chance to reply to the comments made by Thatcham. As you rightly observe, the basis for our tests are standards laid down by the Home Office, and the tests are carried out by members of the Master Locksmiths Association. But, the techniques and equipment they use are all widely known and freely available to members of the public.
At no stage do they take advantage of knowledge that is specific to their profession. They do not pick locks, for example, or use any equipment that is only available to qualified master locksmiths. In fact, every attack test they perform is approved by the Home Office. As to Mark Inman's belief that new cars can only be stolen by fraud and deception, that is simply not the case.
Our test proves beyond all doubt that certain cars are extremely vulnerable. Some take as little as two seconds to get into and can be driven away by someone with no specialist equipment or knowledge.
Andy Pringle
deputy editor
What Car?