Regarding Mr Leak's letter "Who can explain RTA cover?", (Letters, 24 February) I have reproduced section 143 of Road Traffic Act [1988] (c. 52) and an excerpt from the definition of terms:

143. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act (a) a person must not use a motor vehicle on a road unless there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle by that person such a policy of insurance or such a security in respect of third party risks as complies with the requirements of this Part of this

Act, and(b) a person must not cause or permit any other person to use a motor vehicle on a road unless there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle by that other person such a policy of insurance or such a security in respect of third party risks as complies with the requirements of this Part of this Act.

(2) If a person acts in contravention of subsection (1) above he is guilty of an offence.

(3) A person charged with using a motor vehicle in contravention of this section shall not be convicted if he proves

(a) that the vehicle did not belong to him and was not in his possession under a contract of hiring or of loan

(b) that he was using the vehicle in the course of his employment, and

(c) that he neither knew nor had reason to believe that there was not in force in relation to the vehicle such a policy of insurance or security as is mentioned in subsection (1) above.

(4) This Part of this Act does not apply to invalid carriages.

Definitions: "road", in relation to England and Wales, means any highway and any other road to which the public has access, and includes bridges over which a road passes.,

"The Road Traffic Acts" means the [1988 c. 53.] Road Traffic Offenders Act [1988], the [1988 c. 54.] Road Traffic (Consequential Provisions) Act [1988] (so far as it reproduces the effect of provisions repealed by that Act) and this Act.

I feel that the question as to what the RTA requires is not entirely relevant when considering what an insurer actually provides. RTA-only cover is not generally available. I suggest we should be asking: "Will my insurance policy cover me in these circumstances?"

I would be surprised if any insurer would actually refuse a claim in these situations, though there are many other factors that may invalidate the policy. The RTA itself is quite clear (see above).

Turning to the letter headed "Regulation Apathy", I find the writer's comments most unhelpful and unwelcome. The FSA has not conjured this legislation from its own "hats", most of it has been forced upon us and them - it is a reluctant monitor of general insurance.

Furthermore, the intent of the rules is not for us to "convey to them the new regulated process" as the writer says.

A lot of the rules will have little impact on, nor concern, the customer directly (they operate in the background).

Those changes that do affect them are of an extremely positive nature and should be embraced as a tool to help us improve communication, information gathering and quality assurance.

Lets not forget that GISC and the IBRC before them required us to operate some of these controls; good quality assurance and risk management should be a part of every business.

Luke Everall
Westinsure Webb