December 1, 2011

Insurance Times reported this week that Alcoholics Anonymous has blasted the low level of fixed penalties for driving without insurance. The risk of picking up a fine of £200 (if caught) is little deterrent to the morally elastic youth of today, when basic insurance would cost them ten or twenty times as much.

Justice Minister Sir Anthony Crisp was recently forced to reveal the shockingly low level of fines in response to a written question from weirdly non-hirsute Lincoln MP Karl McCartney who apparently has nothing better to do than ask question the answers to which everyone knows already.

Commenting on these shocking revelations, AA Insurance director Douglas Simon said: “most people will consider a fine of £200 is an insult.” Here’s something we prepared earlier on this fascinating topic.

Meanwhile there has reportedly been both slamming and counterslamming over the adequacy or otherwise of the insurance industry’s response to the summer riots.

First on Monday Insurance Times reported that a “Government-backed report on UK riots slams insurers” after the Independent Riots, Communities and Victims Panel’s racily titled “Five Days in August” report “blasted the industry for failing to respond quickly and adequately to riot-struck businesses.”

The IRCVP report, handed to the Government by a rag-tag grab-bag of public sector worthies and do-gooders, found a number of businesspeople who claimed to have been badly let down by insurers, to have had to wait quite a bit, or not to have had insurance at all. Bizarrely it emerged that insurers have focused their attention on claims submitted by larger, higher-value clients.

But then, the very next day, Insurance Times reported the ABI smiting back furiously. “ABI slams scathing report on insurer riot response,” the headline blared. “We do not accept that insurers have not performed well in response to the August riots,” the insurer body trumped emphatically. It sometimes takes a while to settle complicated claims, a spokesperson parped defiantly.

With the IRCVP report in his hands, David Cameron is sure to be keen to flog the insurance industry savagely. Nor will his righteous ire be in any way diminished by the fact that his government is reportedly in insurers’ pockets or that a BBC report recently walloped the Government’s own compensation scheme – branded a “joke” by Kirkland Pratt of Hackney’s Finger Licking restaurant – which has so far paid out less than £4,000 of £250,000 set aside, or that the FT recently bashed the authorities for failing even to reply to more than half of the 586 businesses who applied for an “immediate” £2,000 to help them rebuild after the riot – let alone send them any cash.

Even now there is talk of a Government backed plan to inform business owners that they need to buy proper insurance.

Expect plenty more more blasting, slamming, slating, panning, bashing, damning, roasting, whipping, lashing, flogging, flaying etc. to come.


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