Featured Article No.9

Teenage rampage

I am a claims investigator who deals mainly with road accidents, and was recently approached by friends about a motor insurance case. One of their teenage offspring had an accident in a car owned and insured by them. The driver was an occasional user of the vehicle and was correctly covered on the policy. The car was written off and removed by a well-known insurance company while the parent awaited settlement of the claim.

This is still outstanding, despite the passing of some months, and the insurer has instigated an investigation on the assumption that the parent had arranged insurance for the driver to reduce the premium. This is known in business as “fronting”. I am familiar with the usage of the vehicle and this assumption is incorrect. The investigator said the ���fronting” issue had come to light because the driver had previously approached insurers to see how much a policy would cost. This raises two points. First, it is common for newly qualified driver to think about buying their own car so they don’t have to rely on mum or dad. Part of the cost of owning a car responsibly is the insurance, a substantial sum for any young driver, so one would expect the youngster to check this figure when doing the sums. Second, since when do motor insurance underwriters share their personal data on prospective policyholders with claims handlers? Could you possibly raise this issue on your page and perhaps someone from the insurance industry would care to comment? if it is true that your insurer can check if you have been “shopping around” for quotes. I think we should be told:

G.D., via e-mail

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