Re: "Grace period under fire". I read with great interest Roy Rodger's recent letter on this subject (Letters 9 February).

The individual who thought up the phrase 'days of grace' was probably also responsible for creating 'joy riding' and 'happy slapping'.

There is nothing enjoyable about joy riding, nor is happy slapping a pleasing experience.

As far as days of grace are concerned, they have never existed and I doubt they ever will.

If there is any confusion on the part of the motor insurance-buying public about this, it is our fault and not theirs. I would like to think there is no confusion within our industry as to the true interpretation of days of grace.

Whether insurers have a days of grace wording on their documentation or not, the position from the consumers' standpoint is exactly the same - if they have not renewed before the policy term has expired they are not insured and are committing an offence.

Whether a days of grace wording commits the insurer to certain claims after the expiry date of the policy is a consideration for the insurer in question, one that is often the subject of complex legal debate, but one that does not affect the position of the consumer insofar as the obligations of the Road Traffic Act.

All renewal documentation should make it clear to the consumer that they must renew on or before expiry date.

This is becoming increasingly important as the market moves closer to implementing shorter timescales for delivery of policy data to the Motor Insurance Database (MID).

There has been evidence in recent weeks that the police in many areas are committed to using MID to hunt out the uninsured.

As an industry we owe it to the police and the honest motorist to help as much as we can in this respect.

Jack Brownhill
World Motor Insurance Consultancy