This one really does look like sharp practice by the insurance industry whereby drivers 'no claim discounts' automatically expire after 2 years.

This means that if you are a company car driver or have been out of the country for a few years then your insurance premium starts again from scratch with a zero percent no claim discount; despite that fact that you may historically have an unblemished motoring record for many years

Furthermore, should you be a company car driver and wish to hire a car whilst on holiday then you will be penalised in this area as well

Asking the insurers about this practice elicits either a 'don't know' response or blaming the underwriters because these are the rules they have laid down.

Contacting the underwriters themselves (assuming this is possible) gets you no further forward with an explanation, other than stating that insurance companies are not bound to retain the 'no claim' information for longer that 2 years. As a result they have no means of checking the validity of any discount

All very convenient for the insurance companies, but in this era of computers, why have insurance companies adopted such short time span for data retention when they manage to retain your email address, claims record & other details indefinitely - this is totally incomprehensible?

Unless of course the underlying reason is to charge the policy holder a greater premium - all very suspicious!

Tags: | Categories: Car

Being flooded is a simply appalling experience in the first place and is inevitably made far worse by a loss of insurance cover.

However, insurance is a risk business and premiums are affected by the underlying assessment of risk and probability of a payout. Insurance premiums are a commercial decision based upon the likelihood of events occurring and are weighted accordingly

Therefore if one lives in the middle of a flood plain then the risk of flooding is infinitely greater than living half way up a mountain - those are the facts of life and premiums should reflect this position. Furthermore, nobody forced property owners to buy in these areas, it was their choice and if it was an ill advised decision why does everyone else have to bail them out?

Unfortunately people make bad decisions or simply get caught out by events, but is it really the responsibility of the Government (taxpayer) to bail them out for bad judgement or unforeseen situations?

There are far greater injustices in the country that Governments need to address (i.e. failing to properly regulate, Equitable Life etc.); so why does underwriting flood risk insurance premiums take pole position? Unless of course it is a PR exercise by a posturing Prime Minister

Alternatively, what are the boundaries of Government interference with insurance - do we propose to

  • Assist young drivers with huge insurance premiums? After all they may never have had an accident are being penalised purely on their circumstances of age and sex.
  • Help old age pensioners obtain realistic insurance premiums
  • and so on .... the list is endless but a line needs to be drawn otherwise the whole matter becomes absurd

Clearly these are not a viable suggestions but in the same vein, why is underwriting property flood insurance deemed acceptable? Therefore, should the UK turn into a nanny state whereby every decision by an individual becomes underwritten by the the Government, as an electioneering policy?

Finally assuming that the Government does go ahead with mutualising 'at risk' flood insurance properties - is there a 'quid pro quo' whereby the taxpayer gets a percentage of the properties eventual sale price for helping to maintain the property value in the first place?

Nevertheless, the fundamental question in all this is why have the planners allowed properties to be built in entirely unsuitable places. The picture below shows Tewkesbury Cathedral in the 2007 flooding - notice how it sits on an island surrounded by water

Why do planning offices never take account of history or the location of historic buildings which invariably identify safe ground opposed to potential flood plains - have we learn't nothing since medieval times?

Tags: | Categories: UK Government