Zenith Insurance has shelved plans to exclude drink drivers from their motor policies after the move was vetoed by brokers, writes Amanda Swinburn.

But the insurer is going ahead with plans to exclude loss or damage to a vehicle that does not have an MOT certificate.

It has promised to look at each claim on an individual basis.

The drink-driving clause, which stated that the driver would not be covered if convicted of a drink-driving offence at the time of loss or damage to the insured vehicle, was included when Zenith undertook a major review of its motor policies recently.

Third-party cover would have been included in the policy wording.

But brokers complained that a General Insurance Standards Council rule, which states that brokers must explain exclusions to customers, meant they would be unable to sell the policy.

John O'Shea, managing director of Zenith's motor insurance division said: “The exclusion was approved in the first draft of our motor policy, but was later dropped.

“We circulated the idea to brokers, but the response we got was that we wanted to keep the sales process simple.”

Richard Mikula, a broker from Topaz Insurance Services, said: “We could not offer this type of policy to clients, as we have to refer them to the terms and conditions.

“In this country, we do not have zero-tolerance alcohol laws and most people assume they are safe to drive after a couple of pints.”

Mikula added that the MOT exclusion was unwise. “Grey areas give insurers a bad name,” he said.