October 4, 2012

Bankstone News has frequently remarked upon Britons’ rapidly waning enthusiasm for the purchase of motor insurance. The young in particular foolishly appear to find the risk of six to eight points and a £200 on-the-spot fine more appealing that paying a mere two to four thousand pounds annually for the privilege of chauffeuring their friends legally.

But now it seems even those who haven’t sworn off motor insurance altogether are beginning to flirt with uninsuredness in a disturbingly cavalier fashion. In many instances, such individuals appear neither to know nor care whether they are driving uninsured. That’s according to “research” from flower power insurance providers LV= who this week “revealed” that 2.2 million Brits “have driven without insurance”.

Confusingly, the insurer further revealed that 1.8 million of the people who admitted driving without insurance said they didn’t know they were not insured. How could this be? Turns out they were driving a friend’s car which wasn’t insured for them to drive. This of course could land them both in points/fines/possible-ban type hot water! Was their friend crazy? Bankstone News is glad you asked that – and has been giving the matter some thought:

Where we draw the line between craziness and sanity often depends more in practice on cultural norms than any empirical measure. If many of those among whom we live share our beliefs, we are unlikely to be sectioned for holding or expressing them publically, however bizarre they may seem to outsiders. Think, for example, of the idea that a jolly red-suited man on a flying sleigh delivers presents every 24 December, that god has a beard, or that Simon Cowell should be allowed to live. In some societies, such eccentric views are not merely permissible but uncontroversial!

In this context it may be relevant to note LV>’s finding that “44% of all motorists” would lend their car to a friend even if they knew that friend was not insured to drive it. We can hardly lock them all up, can we! In any case it may not be too late – perhaps they will listen to reason. If anyone one can convince Britain’s wayward and possibly mentally unsound motorists to stop putting uninsured people behind the wheels of their cars, it is surely LV% marketing director John O’Groats whose silky tongued oratical powers could very possibly charm even Millwall fans, wild animals or Alan Sugar.

“We would advise drivers who are lending out their car,” he says, “to add the car-borrower to their insurance policy as a named driver to ensure there is valid insurance in place.” How could anyone hear those words and not be moved?

But reckless vehicle lenders may not have been listening. They may not be listening still. Perhaps they never will.


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