Document owned and care of thatcham research.
Contact is for "full"advice, as it is dependent on your situation.
You do NOT need to send your insurer your documents if the vehicle is "non structurally damaged".
Scrapping your vehicle and insurance write-offsContents
Your insurance company will decide if the vehicle should be written off or not.
Write-off categoriesWhat you do next depends on which category your vehicle is in.
CategoryRepairing the vehicleUsing the vehicleACan’t be repairedEntire vehicle has to be crushed
BCan’t be repairedBody shell has to be crushed, but you can salvage other parts from it
CCan be repaired, but it would cost more than the vehicle’s worthYou can use the vehicle again if it’s repaired to a roadworthy condition
DCan be repaired and would cost less than the vehicle’s worth, but other costs (such as transporting your vehicle) take it over the vehicle’s valueYou can use the vehicle again if it’s repaired to a roadworthy condition
NCan be repaired following non-structural damageYou can use the vehicle again if it’s repaired to a roadworthy condition
SCan be repaired following structural damageYou can use the vehicle again if it’s repaired to a roadworthy conditionWhat you need to doYour insurance company will usually deal with getting the vehicle scrapped for you. You need to follow these steps.
Keeping the vehicleIf you want to keep a vehicle in category C, D, N or S, the insurance company will give you an insurance payout and sell the vehicle back to you.
To keep a category C or S vehicle, you also need to:
You can keep the log book if you want to keep a category D or N vehicle.
How to Prepare for Self-Driving Cars #autonomousvehicles Summary:Currently, P&C insurers’ auto work involves insuring large numbers of small risks. The future holds a few large risks.
For decades, privately owned, privately insured cars have been so common that few people have questioned these models of transportation and the associated risk.
Property and casualty insurers deal with thousands of individual vehicle owners and drivers as a result. Insurers deal with those drivers’ mistakes, too. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that human error plays a role in 94% of all car accidents.
The entire auto insurance industry is built on this humans-and-their-errors model. But autonomous vehicles stand to turn the entire model on its head — in more ways than one.
Here are some of the biggest changes self-driving cars are poised to make to the auto insurance world and how P&C insurers can prepare for the shift.
Most conversations about self-driving cars and insurance focus on questions of fault, compensation and risk.
In a 2017 article for the Harvard Business Review, however, Accenture’s John Cusano and Michael Costonis posited that an even bigger disruption to P&C insurance practices would be a change in patterns of vehicle ownership.
“We believe that most fully autonomous vehicles will not be owned by individuals, but by auto manufacturers such as General Motors, by technology companies such as Google and Apple and by other service providers such as ride-sharing services,” Cusano and Costonis writes.
Indeed, companies like GM and Volvo are already exploring partnership with services like Lyft and Uber, as keeping self-driving vehicles on the road as much as possible amortizes their costs more effectively.
Paralleling the autonomous vehicle/ride-sharing partnership trend is a decrease in vehicle ownership. Young adults and teens are less interested in owning vehicles than their elders were, Norihiko Shirouzu reports for Reuters. Instead, they’re moving to more walkable areas or using ride-sharing services more often, already putting pressure on auto insurance premiums.
See also: Time to Put Self-Driving Cars in Slow Lane?
U.S. roads are likely to be occupied by a combination of human-driven and self-driven vehicles for several decades, Cusano and Costonis estimate. As ownership trends change, however, P&C insurers’ focus on everything from evaluating risk to branding and outreach will change, as well.
Connected closely to the question of ownership is a second question: Who is at fault in a crash?
NHTSA’s statistics on human error as a crash factor imply that reducing the number of human drivers behind the wheel would reduce accidents. A McKinsey & Co. report agrees, estimating that autonomous vehicles could reduce accidents by 90%.
Taking human drivers’ mistakes out of the equation means taking human fault out of the equation, too. But questions of human fault stand to be replaced by even more complex questions regarding ownership, security and product liability.
Several automakers have already begun experimenting with approaches that upend traditional questions of fault and liability. Concerned over the patchwork of federal and state regulations in the U.S., Volvo President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson announced in 2015 that the company would assume fault if one of its vehicles caused an accident in self-driving mode.
The statement appears to apply to Volvo’s vehicles during the development and testing phases, according to Cadie Thompson at Tech Insider. It is too early to tell whether the company will extend its acceptance of fault to autonomous Volvo vehicles that function as full-fledged members of the transportation ecosystem. Nonetheless, the precedent of automakers accepting liability has been set — and, as automakers continue to explore partnerships or other models of fleet ownership, accepting liability or even providing their own insurance may become part of automakers’ arsenal, as well.
Ultimately, Volvo seems unconcerned about major liability shifts. “If you look at product liability today, there is always a process determining who is liable and if there is shared liability,” Volvo’s director of government affairs, Anders Eugensson, told Business Insider. “The self-driving cars will need to have data recorders which will give all the information needed to determine the circumstances around a crash. This will then be up to the courts to evaluate this and decide on the liabilities.”
Meanwhile, in Asia, Tesla is trying another method: including the cost of insurance coverage in the price of its self-driving vehicles, according to Danielle Muoio at Business Insider.
“It takes into account not only the Autopilot safety features but also the maintenance cost of the car,” says Jon McNeill, Tesla’s former president of sales and services (now COO of Lyft). “It’s our vision in the future we could offer a single price for the car, maintenance and insurance.”
Doing so would allow Tesla to take into account the reduced accident risk of the autonomous system and to lower insurance premium prices accordingly. This might reduce the actual cost of the vehicle over its useful life.
The NHTSA has already found that accident risk in Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot are 40% lower than in vehicles without, and the company believes insurance coverage should reflect that, according to Muoio.
If P&C insurers don’t adjust their rates accordingly, Tesla is prepared to do so itself.
Property and casualty insurers seem torn on how self-driving cars will affect their bottom line.
On the one hand, “insurers like Cincinnati Financial and Mercury General have already noted in SEC filings that driverless cars have the potential to threaten their business models,” Muoio reports.
On the other, 84% don’t see a “significant impact” happening until the next decade, according to Greg Gardner at the Detroit Free Press.
Other analysts, however, believe the insurance industry is moving too slowly in response to autonomous vehicles.
“The disruption of autonomous vehicles to the automotive ecosystem will be profound, and the change will happen faster than most in the insurance industry think,” KPMG actuarial and insurance risk practice leader Jerry Albright tells Gardner. “To remain relevant in the future, insurers must evaluate their exposure and make necessary adjustments to their business models, corporate strategy and operations.”
KPMG CIO advisory group managing director Alex Bell agrees. “The share of the personal auto insurance sector will likely continue to shrink as the potential liability of the software developer and manufacturer increases,” Bell tells Gardner. “At the same time, losses covered by product liability policies are likely to increase, given that the sophisticated technology that underpins autonomous vehicles will also need to be insured.”
See also: The Unsettling Issue for Self-Driving Cars
Major areas of concern in recent years will likely include product liability, infrastructure insurance and cybersecurity.
Meanwhile, the number of privately owned vehicles — and individually insured drivers — on the road will likely continue to drop, placing further pressure on auto insurance premiums.
What should P&C insurers to do prepare? Cusano and Costonis recommend the following steps:
Understand and use big data and analytics. As Eugensson at Volvo notes, autonomous vehicles will generate astounding quantities of data — data that can be used to pinpoint fault. It can also be used to process claims more quickly and efficiently, if insurers are prepared to use it. Building robust data analysis systems now prepares P&C insurers to add value by analyzing this data.
Develop actuarial frameworks and models for self-driving vehicles. As Tesla’s insurance experiment and NHTSA data indicates, questions of risk and cost for autonomous cars will differ in key ways. P&C insurers that invest the effort into developing and using more sophisticated actuarial tools are best-prepared to answer these questions effectively.
Seek partnerships. The GM/Lyft and Volvo/Uber ventures demonstrate how partnerships will change the automotive landscape in the coming years. Insurers that identify and pursue partnership opportunities can improve their position in this changing landscape by doing so.
Rethink auto insurance. Currently, P&C insurers’ auto work involves insuring large numbers of very small risks. As our relationship to vehicles changes, however, insurers will need to change their approach, as well — for instance, by moving to a commercial approach that trades many small risks for a few large ones.
Autonomous vehicles are poised to become one of the most profound technological changes in an era of constant change. Fortunately, the technology to manage this change is already available for insurers that are willing to embrace a digital future.
About the Author
Kathleen Garlasco is an expert on innovation and consumer trends in the property and casualty insurance industry. She is based in Hartford, Connecticut and serves as senior vice president of enterprise marketing for BOLT Solutions (www.boltinc.com).
Article is care of insurancethoughtleadership.com
DEFENDANT NAME: Allstate Insurance Company, First National Insurance Company of America
CASE NUMBER: 18-cv-00573 (Seattle), 18-cv-05301 (Tacoma)
COURT: U.S. District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle, U.S. District Court Western District of Washington at Tacoma
PRACTICE AREA: Consumer Rights
DATE FILED: 04/18/18
Steve W. BermanRobert B. CareyJohn DeStefano
ABOUT THE FRAUD
According to Hagens Berman's investigation, consumers have been cheated out of thousands of dollars by car insurance companies. Consumers report that after a total loss car wreck and submission of a claim for the full value of their vehicle, insurance companies manipulated the valuation of the totaled car and underpaid the claims. Insurers shortchanged customers in a scheme that amounts to fraud.
Hagens Berman believes consumers deserve repayment. Insurance companies scammed customers and paid less than the fair value for totaled vehicles. We intend to fight to reclaim consumers' losses against these insurers for the full accurate value of the vehicles.
WHICH INSURANCE COMPANIES?
Hagens Berman is investigating claims against all auto insurance providers.
TOP CONSUMER RIGHTS FIRM
Hagens Berman is one of the most successful consumer-rights law firms in the U.S. and has bested some of the nation's largest corporations on behalf of those most vulnerable to corporate greed and negligence. The firm has secured more than $260 billion in settlements against insurance companies, Big Tobacco, the nation's largest pharmaceutical conglomerates and others. Your claims will be handled by experts in consumer-rights law.
The same #fraud is occurring in the UK. Contact us if you feel your insurer is not valuing your car correctly.
Allstate and First National Accused of Cheating Consumers out of Thousands on Wrecked Vehicles
LAWSUIT UNCOVERS “SYSTEMATIC” AND “FLAGRANT” UNDERVALUATION OF TOTALED VEHICLES
SEATTLE – Two new class-action lawsuits accuse Allstate Insurance Company and First National Insurance Company of America (a Safeco company), of deliberately reducing the value of vehicles in total loss insurance claims, using phony data to reduce the claim payments to consumers “by hundreds or thousands of dollars,” according to Hagens Berman. Attorneys say other auto insurance providers are likely engaging in the same fraud.
If you wrecked your car and your insurer bought it from you, your insurer may have underpaid you by thousands. Find out more about the lawsuit and sign up here.
The lawsuits accuse Allstate and First National of underpaying consumers by manipulating the data used to value the cars. The suits were filed Apr. 18, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, and say the two auto insurance companies flagrantly violated state laws regulating the handling of these claims and making it even tougher for vulnerable insureds whose cars were destroyed. Plaintiffs Cecilia Palao-Vargas and Jeff Olberg allege that Allstate underpaid them by at least $684 and $775 for their wrecked Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion. Cameron Lundquist alleges that after he totaled his Dodge Ram, First National shaved almost $1000 off his claim.
Specifically, the lawsuits say Allstate and First National use what they call “condition adjustments” to reduce the value of comparable vehicles without itemizing or explaining the basis for the adjustment as required by Washington law. The complaints describe a “uniform ‘condition adjustment’ to multiple comparable vehicles involved in a valuation without even distinguishing one vehicle from the next.” The suit also accuses Allstate of valuing the wrecked cars by comparing them to “gray market” vehicles—vehicles manufactured for use in foreign countries and often worth less than those produced for the U.S.
“These arbitrary and unjustified condition adjustments artificially and improperly reduce claim payments by hundreds or thousands of dollars,” the suit reads.
“Consumers who just had their car wrecked in a major accident are in a tough spot—they need their insurance money to get back on the road and get back to their lives. When insurance companies work to shortchange them instead of protecting them, that’s just wrong,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Other insurance companies are doing it too,” he added.
Both auto insurance companies promise their customers they will pay the “actual cash value” of the vehicle or a comparable vehicle, according to the lawsuits.
Berman, a nationally renowned lawyer for the three named plaintiffs, seeks to represent anyone who is insured under automobile insurance policies issued in Washington whose claim valuations were based upon the values of comparable vehicles reduced by artificial, unexplained “condition adjustments,” or didn’t get paid in full for the sales tax, registration fees, or license plate charges that would arise if they bought a new car.
Find out more about the class-action lawsuit on behalf of those who have suffered a total loss collision and had their claims undervalued.
article is care of www.hbsslaw.com this article can be found here.
A Criminal Investigation Has Been Launched Into The Ministry Of Justice After A Buried Report Was Leaked To BuzzFeed News @cma @fca @oft
The Information Commissioner's Office has begun a criminal investigation into the Ministry of Justice over allegations the department broke Freedom of Information law.
Originally posted on May 25, 2018, at 9:32 a.m.
Updated on May 25, 2018, at 11:47 a.m.
BuzzFeed News Reporter
A criminal investigation has been launched into the Ministry of Justice after a report leaked to BuzzFeed News suggested the department buried damning research into people defending themselves in court.
The decision was taken by the Information Commissioner’s Office following formal complaints from BuzzFeed News and others that the government had concealed the existence of a 36-page internal report that contained explosive testimony from senior judges about the impact on the justice system of unrepresented people in crown court.
The research was commissioned by the government to review the impact of cuts to legal aid made in the 2012 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) and was based on in-depth interviews with 15 crown court judges and six prosecutors.
The Information Commissioner compelled the MoJ to release a report following Freedom of Information requests from BuzzFeed News and others. Yet what was released by the MoJ was clearly marked “summary” and was just six pages long. The following week BuzzFeed News was leaked the full 36-page report - something the press office previously said did not exist.
Under the Freedom of Information Act it is a criminal offence to alter, block, destroy or conceal information whose release has been compelled by the ICO. The penalty is a fine, though in theory senior officials could face jail for contempt of court after failing to comply with an ICO decision notice.
BuzzFeed News understands the criminal case was opened earlier this week and work began on it yesterday. A criminal investigating officer within the ICO will now gather evidence and is expected to interview staff at the MoJ.
The MoJ had initially turned down FOI requests for the report in spring 2017, insisting the politically embarrassing research needed to be kept under wraps because it related “to the formulation or development of government policy”.
The six-page summary it eventually released to the Information Commissioner was dated August 2016 and "unpublished summary as of 27 April 2018". The 36 page report leaked to BuzzFeed News is dated February 2016 and includes damning quotes from crown court judges about the challenges created by people defending themselves without a lawyer.
Shadow justice minister, Richard Burgon, said: "These are very serious allegations against the Ministry of Justice. I will be raising this in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.
"Regardless of the embarrassment it causes, the government should now publish the report in full and should stop trying to cover up the true scale of the damage that its cuts are causing to access to justice"
The MoJ repeatedly insisted that the six pages were the report in its entirety, despite it being labelled a summary and containing no direct testimony or data. An MoJ press officer said that any edits from the original draft were minor corrections to spelling or grammar.
Penelope Gibbs, director of the charity Transform Justice, was one of several parties to FOI the report. Her discovery that the internal research had been commissioned prompted a question in the House of Lords in March 2017, leading to FOI requests from BuzzFeed News and others.
Gibbs said: "The behaviour of the Ministry of Justice makes a mockery of FOI. If I had not known they were doing research on unrepresented defendants in the Crown Court, this important report would have been kept completely secret. How can a department espouse the importance of open justice, without being open about the information they hold?"
The Conservative chair of the Justice Select Committee told BuzzFeed News earlier this week the situation was: “very concerning” and that it was “imperative that there’s maximum transparency on the way government decisions are taken”.
The MoJ has not yet given a comment on the opening of the investigation, but responding to an earlier story on the subject, a spokesperson said: “As we have repeatedly made clear, the 36-page version of the report was an early draft and clearly marked as such.
“Research reports must be of the highest standard and parts of earlier drafts were deemed by researchers to be of insufficient quality.
“Any request for an earlier draft would have been considered in the normal way.”
They added: “Last year we spent £1.6bn on legal aid, just over a fifth of the Ministry of Justice’s budget – and we are conducting an evidence-based review of the changes made under LASPO which will report back later this year.”
The spokesperson also said: “Both the draft and final versions of the report note that legal aid for Crown Court cases did not change substantially under our legal aid reforms and the number of unrepresented defendants remained broadly stable.”
However, last year more than 6,000 people faced criminal charges without a lawyer or had unknown representation at their first hearing in crown court – 7% of all defendants. In 2013 this proportion was 5%.
The research itself said: “the majority of interviewees believed that the numbers of unrepresented defendants had risen since legal aid changes, although the rise was seen as small.”
Though the cuts introduced by LASPO largely affected civil law, the research suggests one “significant change” to criminal legal aid appears to have prompted a rise in people defending themselves without a lawyer.
Since January 2014, defendants whose disposable annual income was £37,500 or more were not eligible for criminal legal aid. Before LASPO there was no upper income threshold in crown court cases and the research says the change created a “risk of an increase in unrepresented defendants in the crown court.”
An ICO spokesperson said: “We are making enquiries into a complaint about an FOI request in relation to the Ministry of Justice.”
This article is care of www.buzzfeed.com
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Source reveals tech giant is in process of building a panel of brokers but Amazon remains silent as research shows a third of people would buy insurance from ‘BigTech’ firms.
UK insurers are working with Amazon ahead of the technology company’s potential entry into the general insurance sector, Insurance Age can reveal.
A market source stated that Amazon is also in the process of building a panel of brokers.
Insurance Age believes the project has been running at least since the first quarter of this year.
Amazon continued to stonewall saying the business “would not comment on rumour or speculation”.
The tech giant, owner of Amazon Alexa which answers all your questions, has a history of not commenting on its insurance plans.
It remained silent in November last year when data and analytics specialist GlobalData released a statement saying that Amazon was recruiting insurance professionals in London to join a new team “looking to disrupt the insurance market in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain”.
The tech giant’s advertisement for a product manager to look after EU product insurance could be found on job site LinkedIn. The advert revealed the company’s intention to re-define and disrupt traditional insurance models.
Experts have previously agreed that Amazon could be a threat in the UK market. One view was that it might follow the lead of Chinese retailer Alibaba which set up its own online insurance company Zhong An.
The latest news came as a report by Capgemini and Efma revealed that almost 30% of customers globally would be willing to buy their insurance from a ‘BigTech’ firm such as Amazon or Google.
A statement noted: “Globally, 29.5% of customers said they would consider buying at least one insurance product from a BigTech firm, which is a 12-percentage point increase from 2015 when only 17.5% of customers indicated willingness to purchase insurance from BigTech firms.”
The report includes Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Alibaba under its ‘BigTech’ umbrella.
It noted that the large, multinational technology organisations that represent BigTech are taking “slow, deliberate steps towards establishing a presence in the insurance industry by leveraging their strong reputation for superior customer experience”.
Anirban Bose, global head of financial services and member of the group executive board at Capgemini, said: “The use of data and being able to offer a truly digital customer experience are both critical for the insurer of the future, something BigTech firms like Amazon and Google excel at.
“The threat from such entrants is more real than the insurance industry might want to admit.”
He added: “Insurers, risk assessors by nature, must urgently turn their gaze inwards and consider the competitive risks within their own industry in order to evolve and survive.”
The report findings detailed that to succeed in the digital era insurance firms must foster digital agility and develop operating models to deliver a superior customer experience, bringing together the best of digital and traditional channels.
For example, more than 65% of surveyed respondents said end-to-end personalisation of the customer journey was their highest need.
Article is care of www.insuranceage.co.uk
This article can be found here.
Lemonade has created an ‘open source’ insurance policy and will eventually stop offering traditional insurance policies to its customers.
In a bid to make insurance cover more understandable for customers, the on-demand insurer will simplify the terms of the insurance it will offer. The insurtech has said that the policy will be readable within 10 minutes, compared to taking over an hour to read a traditional policy.
It has called the change ‘Lemonade 2.0’, and it is based on consultation with US state regulators. Lemonade is currently available in 16 states across the US.
In a LinkedIn blog, Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber, said: “Each Policy 2.0 will be unique and dynamically-generated, based on the choices the user made. When the policy says that $20,000 of property is covered, for example, our live policy technology makes that sentence clickable, so the user can instantly change that to $30,000. If the user wants to add earthquake coverage, to take another example, they can initiate that from within the policy itself.
“Zero exceptions may be unrealistic, because the price of such a policy would be unattractive, but the goal must be a radical reduction in exceptions, and ensuring they’re easy to understand and remember.”
Lemonade criticised the readability of traditional cover wordings and said that their new policy would use language that is easier for customers to understand.
“There are good reasons why policies use lingo that requires a law degree and a broker’s license to understand, but Policy 2.0 is about using contemporary English that the everyone understands,” said Schreiber.
“And the policy has to be way shorter. No document is ‘readable’ if it’s so long that no one actually reads it.”
Lemonade has not given a date for when the policy is due to go to market, but it will continue to provide its customers with an industry standard policy for the time being.
“This draft was created in consultation with state regulators, and will be submitted to all states once the community has had its say,” said Schreiber. “Until the approvals are in, Lemonade will continue to offer an industry-standard policy, with a view to letting users switch to Policy 2.0 once it’s available in their state.”
Lemonade is currently asking for input on the new policy from regulators, data scientists, competitors, consumers and tech experts.
article is care of Post online.
AutoMate’s Harrison Boudakin reports on the autonomous vehicle ‘race’ and the role data is playing in driverless vehicle development.
So goes the creed of Silicon Valley, that funny little corner of Northern California where the air is thick with buzzwords like disruption, innovation and agility, and where a motley crew of very ambitious people spend their days trying to remake old industries into new rivers of tech-driven profit. They do this – in their words – by moving fast and by breaking things; by not getting bogged down in the old or in the fear of doing wrong, but by embracing the new, in spite of all apparent impossibilities.
This is the fertile ground on which the race to build the autonomous car is being run. Driverless vehicles may have existed as an idea long before Silicon Valley’s palm trees took seed, but without the Californian model of serial entrepreneurialism, we would not be where we find ourselves now: sitting what feels like a hare’s breath away from the reality of full, autonomous vehicles.
I say ‘feels like’, of course, because the truth is a little more complex. We now have smart cars, intelligent cars; cars with a glimpse of self-driving here and snatch of artificial intelligence there. We even have cars with no steering wheel running around American cities as we speak, testing and preparing themselves for a future we are told is inevitable.
But despite the promising steps that have been made across the technological rubicon, the gulf between where we are now and where the Silicon Valley types want to be, remains still to be bridged by something more like a giant leap. With every advance, those ascending the autonomous escarpment reveal yet another conundrum to be solved – and the closer the summit looms, the tougher the challenges seem to get.
In recent weeks, events have conspired to illustrate this point starkly. The highly-publicised death of a pedestrian in Arizona, struck by one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo prototypes on a dark highway, has pushed the debate about driverless technology into overdrive. Though the scar tissue from the accident remains raw, the inconvenient truth it highlighted is in fact on old one: that is, that designing a fully-driverless car to interact with mistake-making, unpredictable humans is a mighty – perhaps even impossible – challenge. It is on this hinge that the entire prospect, the entire reality, of a viable autonomous future swings.
Deep in the bowels of Silicon Valley – as well as in the motoring heartlands of Europe, Asia and America – the architecture on which this challenge will be confronted is rapidly under construction. There is, after all, a massive incentive for everyone involved if they are successful. Proponents of the autonomous car may evangelise about its life-saving potential, but the real motivator is money. By 2030, Intel believes AVs could generate rivers of revenue to the tune of $800 billion per year, and as much as $7 trillion per annum by 2050. Little wonder everyone seems to have adopted the “move fast and break things” approach to the technology: after all, when the prize at the end of the black run is so sweet, going down with one ski and no poles seems worth the risk.
Crucially, however, there is one thing that everyone agrees will be needed to reach the Holy Grail, and that is data. Data about how people behave on the road, how humans make decisions and why we make mistakes, represents the lifeblood in the arteries of any future AI brain. It is the lifeblood because it allows us to better hone the decision-making skills of a fully-autonomous vehicle, which will – indisputably – have to deal with circumstances its creators may never have foreseen, and slights in the variables they never predicted. Yet there is great debate about what the best data is, how it will be harvested, and most importantly, how it will be used to make a better autonomous car.
Tesla, one of the proudest frontiersman in the AV business, is currently collecting data at an astonishing rate. With more than 300,000 of their vehicles already on the road all over the world, they have a massive advantage over every other tech company and automaker: that is, each one of their 300,000 cars is able to constantly report back to company HQ, about how well the Autopilot technology is performing, and what decisions it’s making along the way. Tesla claims to have logged more than 780 million miles of data so far, 100 million of which featuring the Autopilot in at least partial control.
In comparison, a company like Waymo – Google’s self-driving car division – appears somewhat constrained by the fact that its real-world data is being gathered by a fleet of only 500 or so Chrysler minivans (and soon, a new fleet of Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicles). Yet that figure only tells part of the story, because Waymo is relying heavily on other techniques to gather data; namely, with simulations. They’ve developed a suite of advanced software in which they can model millimetrically-precise renditions of real cities, and then run virtual self-driving cars through them for testing. Waymo claims to be sending as many as 25,000 of these virtual vehicles through the simulator on a daily basis, and they say it would be extremely difficult for Tesla to even get near the sort of data-set this produces using real-world testing alone. Tesla counters this argument, of course, with their view that only real-world testing, with real human-to-AV interactions, can produce the kind of AI ‘experience and learning’ that will get us to the verge of worldwide regulatory approval for autonomous vehicles.
Tesla is also bullish about their views on the best hardware for the job. While companies like Waymo (and, for that matter, almost every other player in the market) are using LIDAR to give their vehicles a ‘mind’s-eye’ picture of their surroundings, Tesla believes they can achieve the same safety outcomes and accuracy with cameras and radars alone. LIDAR, though capable of producing extremely high-resolution imagery with its laser-scanning, is nevertheless expensive and clunky technology, and that’s why Tesla believes we will have to master camera-based systems to manage costs in the future. Again, it’s a case of big ‘if’s’: if Tesla solves AVs without LIDAR, everyone else will be kicking themselves silly. On the other hand, being left without LIDAR data could leave Tesla at a disadvantage if the tech becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous in the future. As ever, professional opinion on this point is sectional and divided.
And that’s the point, really. There is this assumption that we are merely a heartbeat away from being able to flick the autonomous switch. But the reality is quite different. Tesla and Waymo’s divergent approaches are a reminder of the broad bandwidth of headings being pursued in the push across the AV rubicon. Ergo, the recent fatality involving Uber’s autonomous car shows what happens when the heading turns out to be not quite as right as we thought it was. The great remaining question, then, is not simply which approach will prevail, but rather, how many of the approaches will turn out to be dead-ends, and what cost – in lives and not just capital – that steep learning curve will ultimately incur.
This article is car of pmmonline this article can be found here
Ireland’s Aindrias Moynihan TD has asked Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe about his views on the issue of insurance refusal when it comes to vehicles older than a decade, and the latter has reiterated where he stands on the matter.
“I am aware of the concerns raised by the Deputy and have considerable sympathy for them,” said Donohoe, referring to the affected car owners. However, he said neither him nor the Central Bank can interfere in the pricing and provision of insurance products, “as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept.”
In his written response published on the Houses of the Oireachtas website, the minister continued: “This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require insurance companies to obtain prior approval of the pricing or terms and conditions of insurance products.”
What that means is that he cannot direct insurers in that regard.
Brian Stanley TD had a similar parliamentary query a couple of months back, to which Donohoe replied with the same ‘cannot interfere’ assertion.
In the minister’s response to Stanley at the time, Donohoe also cited an explanation offered by Insurance Ireland when contacted by department officials.
“Calculation of premium has many rating factors, and age of vehicle is part of that process to determine the correct rate for the risk profile submission,” stated the representative body, as quoted by Donohoe in his written answer. “The issue of age of vehicle relates to the acceptances criteria and whether some insurance providers will offer a quotation.
“This would be a matter of commercial discretion by each insurance provider and it should be also noted, that an insurance company/underwriter is entitled to set the level of premium for any risk or risks it has agreed to accept. Furthermore, there is no obligation on a financial service provider to disclose or divulge to its customers its specific commercial rating details.”
Meanwhile a report by The Times today quoted an Insurance Ireland spokesperson as saying: “The Irish motor insurance market has experienced increased volatility and cost of claims in recent years and the effect of this has been for some insurers to moderate their risk appetite in respect of certain types of business.”
Article is care of www.insurancebusinessmag.co.uk
The original article can be found here.
The government’s ambition to clean up motor vehicles by 2040 is not ambitious enough, a leading energy expert says.
Professor Jim Watson, head of the prestigious UK Energy Research Centre, said the target should be at least five years earlier, as in Scotland.
The government is currently considering obliging new cars to run on electricity for at least 50 miles by 2040.
The government said it would not discuss the issue before it had published its policy which is due soon.
But ministers are facing competing pressures on the issue. Some UK car firms are telling ministers their proposed targets are unachievable, while others say the targets can easily be reached.
Push and go faster
Professor Watson, who started working life as a car engineer, says the motor industry has a history of saying targets are impossible, then suddenly finding new models to do the job.
“It’s great that they [the government] are having a target, but it could be much more ambitious,” he told BBC News.
“If you push industry further they could go faster.
“Sometimes the car industry has done itself a great disservice by lobbying against environmental standards and then finding itself in trouble when the oil price goes up and people want cleaner, more efficient cars.”
“They should embrace it [a strong target] and ask government to regulate them harder.”
Professor Watson was referring to the long campaign by US car makers against tighter efficiency standards – a battle that ended when the manufacturers faced bankruptcy because in part their models were inefficient.
In effect, the US car firms were so successful with lobbying that they nearly lobbied themselves into extinction.
One UK car firm spokesman told me: “We don't have a good record on this – the industry has cried 'wolf' too often in the past.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told BBC News it rejected this suggestion.
There is certainly a range of views among UK car firms about the advisability of the 2040 target. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has said publicly that it expects to meet the government’s current proposed standards long before the set date.
A spokesman said: “From 2020, every new Jaguar and Land Rover will have the option of electrification.
“This (2040 target) is 22 years away - or seven new cars away for many new car buyers on a typical ownership cycle. We are confident that every new Jaguar or Land Rover will meet the proposed criteria long before 2040.”
Nissan told BBC News it supported clean car targets. A spokesman said: “As the pioneer of electric vehicles, we welcome plans that encourage people to switch to low or zero emission vehicles.”
But other manufacturers discussing the issue on condition of anonymity told BBC News the proposed 2040 standards are ill-considered.
One criticised the idea currently under consideration by the Department for Transport to force hybrid cars, by 2040, to have the capacity to travel 50 miles without burning fossil fuels.
The car maker said this would require a much bigger battery entailing more weight and cost. That extra capacity would be redundant for most of the time for an average driver.
Barrage of criticism
The issue is causing headaches for many other governments needing to cut emissions that cause local air pollution and climate change.
India’s transport minister announced 2030 as a day beyond which only all-electric cars may be sold.
But after a barrage of criticism from car firms, he rescinded the order, and India’s policy is not yet clear. Tata Motors in Delhi did not want to comment on whether it could cope with a 2030 all-electric policy.
What is certain is that in Europe and Asia, car makers are being expected to move inexorably towards low or zero emissions vehicles.
The car makers admit they face uncertainty over the future. After decades of homogenisation of world markets, they may find themselves manufacturing electric cars to access the Chinese economy on the one hand and petrol SUVs for Texas on the other.
Car makers think China will probably become a world leader in car standards – especially in cities.
The UK car firms are in concert on one issue: the need for the government to radically improve the supply of charging infrastructure, and to increase incentives to buy low-emissions cars.
They told BBC News ministers would need to move swiftly to accelerate demand for clean cars, or it would be impossible to step up production levels to the amount needed by 2040.
Electric and hybrid cars currently constitute 1.4% of the current UK fleet. Of new sales, 4.7% are clean fuel – that’s 119,786 out of 2.54 million cars sold last year.
Mike Hawes from the SMMT told BBC News: "Vehicle manufacturers will increasingly offer electrified versions of their vehicles giving consumers ever more choice but industry cannot dictate the pace of change nor levels of consumer demand."
Environmentalists say this is a red herring – car buyers, they say, will buy whatever vehicles are permitted to be sold in the country at that time.
The environment department Defra is concerned that their colleagues in transport at DfT have had their ambition dulled by car industry lobbying.
One Defra source told me: “They are chancing their arm. The targets for 2040 are not ambitious at all.”
The DfT didn’t want to address that comment.
Original article bythe BBC can be found here
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that the government had written to it to confirm that it has decided to keep the UK within "the motor insurance ‘free circulation zone'", and that that position is expected to be ratified by the European Commission.
According to the ABI, the UK has secured agreement of the Council of Bureau, which administers the green card system, and the Department for Transport said it had also confirmed its ability to meet any cross-border claims involving UK drivers and haulage operators. While the decision remains subject to formal approval and confirmation of an introductory date by the European Commission, the ABI said it expected the Commission to make this confirmation.
Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland are three non-EU states which are currently part of the free circulation zone, which enables drivers to enter the EU using their domestic motor insurance policy. If the UK does remain a part of the zone, EU drivers will be able to enter the UK under the same terms.
The green card system is currently conducted on paper and documents cannot be delivered electronically. Each vehicle needs a separate certificate and the time required to apply makes last-minute journeys difficult.
The ABI said returning to the green card system would have created additional costs for motor insurance customers.
ABI director general Huw Evans said: “This is good news for drivers and haulage operators who no longer face the prospect of doing reams of paperwork and paying admin charges every time they get on a ferry to Europe. It’s always encouraging to see common sense prevail and I look forward to the Commission concluding the formalities as soon as possible."
Almost 30% of customers globally would be willing to buy insurance from BigTech firms like Google and Amazon, according to a new study – and insurance companies are still playing catch-up when it comes to delivering technology-enhanced customer experiences.
According to the 2018 World Insurance Report, produced in a collaboration between consulting firm Capgemini and banking and insurance non-profit Efma, BigTech firms are poised to enter the insurance market, while insurance companies still struggle to deliver a superior digital experience.
“The use of data and being able to offer a truly digital experience are both critical for the insurer of the future – something BigTech firms like Amazon and Google excel at,” said Anirban Bose, global head of financial services at Capgemini. “The threat from such entrants is more real than the insurance industry might want to admit. Insurers – risk assessors by nature – must turn their gaze inwards and consider the competitive risks within their own industry in order to evolve and survive.”
Insurance firms ranked third after retail and banking in the report’s cross-industry customer experience scores, with the greatest difference being among millennials. More than 32% of Gen-Y customers said they had a positive experience with their bank, but less than 26% said they’d had a positive experience with their insurer. The report also found that customers across all segments accept digital communications at the same level as more conventional channels. More than half place a high value on company websites for conducting insurance transactions, and more than 40% feel that mobile apps are important channels, the report found.
It’s vital that insurers catch up to their peers in other industries when it comes to technology, because BigTech firms are poised to take advantage of their missteps. BigTech companies like Amazon are slowly establishing a presence in the insurance industry, according to the report – and 29.5% of customers said they’d be willing to buy at least one insurance product from a BigTech firm. That’s a 12-percentage-point jump from 2015, when just 17.5% of customers were willing to consider purchasing insurance from a BigTech.
Millennial and tech-savvy customers are the most inclined to switch from traditional insurers, the report found. They cite fewer positive experiences with traditional insurers, and they’re also more likely to change insurance providers within 12 months and are more open to purchasing insurance from BigTech companies.
To keep these younger customers, insurers need to stay on the technological cutting edge, according to Efma CEO Vincent Bastid.
“To gain value from their investments, insurers must think about the big picture and develop a holistic approach that is strengthened by insurtech capabilities, rather than a piecemeal adoption,” Bastid said.
article is care of www.businessmag.com
This article can be found here
Tesla Inc. confirmed to police that another of its vehicles crashed with a driver using Autopilot, and the incident triggered more scrutiny by federal regulators.Technicians at the electric-car maker have recovered data from the Model S driven by a 28-year-old woman who crashed her Model S on Friday, police in South Jordan, Utah, said in an emailed statement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced earlier that the agency had sent its special crash investigations team to gather information.
The driver didn’t touch the steering wheel for the 80 seconds leading up to colliding with a fire mechanic truck at about 60 miles per hour, according to Tesla’s report to police. The driver said she was looking at her phone prior to the crash and was issued a citation.
“The vehicle registered more than a dozen instances of her hands being off the steering wheel in this drive cycle,” according to Tesla’s report. “On two such occasions, she had her hands off the wheel for more than one minute each time and her hands came back on only after a visual alert was provided. Each time she put her hands back on the wheel, she took them back off the wheel after a few seconds.”
While Tesla’s report cast blame on the driver, the company hasn’t adopted systems that automakers including General Motors Co. have to monitor whether drivers are paying attention while using partially autonomous technology. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted this week that the company has rejected eye-tracking technology due to ineffectiveness. GM features it in Cadillac models equipped its Super Cruise system.
Read more: Carmakers struggle to keep drivers of automated cars engaged
The driver used Autopilot on a street with no center median and with stop light-controlled intersections, which is “contrary to the proper use” of the system, according to Tesla’s report to police.
“When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.”
NHTSA will take “appropriate action” based on its review of the crash, an agency spokesman said Wednesday in an email. Its probe is the latest by federal transportation agencies into a series of recent accidents involving Tesla vehicles.
NHTSA investigators are also reviewing a Tesla that crashed in January near Los Angeles and fatal crash earlier this month in Florida.
The National Transportation Safety Board also is probing those crashes, in addition to a March fatality in Northern California.
Another probe is in process overseas. Prosecutors in the southern Swiss region of Ticino are investigating last week’s death of a German driver whose Tesla caught fire on the highway after what the company said appeared to be a high-speed crash.
Andrew Hogan's blog on credit hire law and practice
Some credit hire claimants are unsophisticated clients. Under cross examination in the witness box, they will sometimes explain how they were told they were being given a courtesy car, or a free car, or told that they did not have to pay anything for it.
They may be unable to read or understand English or even unable to read and write at all. On the basis of such evidence, defence counsel, worth their salt, will often mount an argument that the credit hire agreement in turn is “unenforceable” (using the term broadly and loosely) and hence the measure of damages should be nil. In front of an untutored judge such an argument may well succeed, though it is invariably wrong.
It is trite law, that affixing a signature to a contract which the maker has neither read nor understood, will still make an effective contract. This is the longstanding signature rule: see L’Estrange v F Graucob Ltd  2 KB 394 and in the credit hire context see Clark v Ardington  QB 36 at paragraph 111. Accordingly, even if the claimant did not and could not read the document, that would not preclude him being liable on the contract contained within it.
Where it is contended that the claimant signed the credit hire agreement, due to misrepresentation or mistake, the starting point is that the defendant has no standing to make the arguments that it contends for in terms of what is loosely described as “unenforceability” in an attempt to reduce his own liability to the claimant, whether on the basis of non est factum, or misrepresentation. Such arguments are collateral to the tort, and cannot ground findings capable of binding the credit hire company
The case of Dimond .v. Lovell  1 AC 384 and the later case of Chen Wei.v. Cambridge Power and Light Limited (Cambridge County Court, HH Judge Moloney QC 10th September 2010) are both concerned with statutory prohibitions on the enforceability of contracts due to either non-compliance with the provision of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 or a set of statutory regulations, the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008
In those circumstances the statutory prohibition requires that as a matter of public policy there should be no offence against the rule against double recovery in that the claimant could recover damages whilst retaining them and being under no liability to pay them to the credit hire company.
No such principle applies in these circumstances, as it is sought to impugn the transactions by reason of doctrines of the common law which in turn would require the claimant to take action to at the very least seek declaratory relief or to set aside the credit hire agreements.
The credit hire company is not a party to these proceedings. It is not bound by a judgment it was not a party to.
On a true analysis, the argument really is that the claimant has failed to mitigate his loss by failing to take litigation against the credit hire company seeking to resile from the contractual liabilities.
There is a long standing authority Pilkington .v. Wood  CH 770 establishes that the duty to mitigate does not extend so as to oblige a party to sue or to embark on uncertain litigation as part of a duty to mitigate. It would be surprising if the concept of reasonable steps extended that far.
Moreover whilst it is true enough to note that in the case of non est factum that this is a species of the doctrine of mistake where the phrase void ab initio is used, that is really a characteristic of the description afforded to the consequences of relief given by the Court rather than a free-standing principle: the documents do not bear on their face the brand “void”: the claimant would still have to come to court taking proceedings for non est factum to establish that the contract was void, a stance which one can anticipate might be hotly disputed by the credit hire company.
Non est factum has three constituent elements as noted in the case of Saunders .v. Anglia Building Society  AC 1004 (i) including disability akin to illiteracy (ii) a fundamental difference between the agreement signed and that which the claimant thought he was signing and (iii) the exercise of reasonable care by the claimant for his own understanding.
Moreover the later case of Lloyds Bank .v. Waterhouse (Court of Appeal Transcript 1st February 1990) establishes that where there is no third party concerned the plea of non est factum due to the high hurdle it poses, has little bearing upon the matter and the case falls to be properly treated as one of misrepresentation. Misrepresentation can only ever be a ground for voiding a contract which is thus, voidable but not void and accordingly valid, unless and until action is taken to set it aside.
In analogous circumstances, the status of a potentially voidable retainer (for alleged undue influence) was considered by Mr. Justice Clarke in an appellant decision that of Forde .v. Birmingham City Council  1 WLR 2732 where he noted the following at paragraph 111.
But an agreement obtained by the exercise of undue influence is voidable, not void. It remains in effect unless the person influenced seeks to set aside the contract and the Court allows her to do so; such relief may be given on terms e.g. as to payment of a reasonable sum for services actually rendered: Johnson .v. EBS Pensioner Trustees Ltd  Lloyds Rep PN 309, paras 76 – 80 and O’Sullivan .v. Management Agency & Music Ltd  QB 429. There is no evidence that Miss Forde has done anything to avoid CFA 2. On the contrary she has consented to these proceedings being brought by McGrath on her behalf. What the Council cannot do is to purport to avoid CFA 2, to which it is not a party, on her behalf and in defiance of her wishes; nor is the Court required to proceed on the basis that she has avoided it when she has not.
He continued at paragraph 114:
I decline to hold that a failure by a solicitor to put his client’s interests first has the effect that any contract which results from such failure is to be regarded as a prohibited contract. Such a conclusion is not justified by the rule which says nothing about agreements. It would have an effect of which Draco would have approved, since, save perhaps where the failure was trifling, the whole contract would be unlawful regardless of the seriousness of the breach, even though a contract procured by undue influence is not unlawful, nor, until avoided, unenforceable; and it would give rise to a myriad of disputes. …
Finally there is ratification based on incontrovertible facts. The claimant will have expressly ratified the agreements by his witness statement and/or implicitly through his instruction of solicitors, his pursuit of the charges and his bringing proceedings to recover them from the defendant.
This article is care of Andrew Hogan(many thanks Andrew) and has been republished with his permission.
For a fantastic resource on Credit Hire, visit Andrew Hogans site http://credithirebarrister.com/about/
Should you wish for him to act on your behalf, his website has his contact details.
ccording to Ptolemus Consulting Group, the global telematics market has grown by 26 percent in the last year. Insurers that have mastered telematics for pricing are moving downstream to use the data to streamline the claims process, combat fraud, and reduce overall claims costs.
Most insurance executives recognize that the value of telematics-driven claims is significant, but they don’t really know how exactly. To provide a more concrete example of how telematics reduces auto insurance claims costs for even a simple, single-vehicle collision, we’ve assembled a case study:
The traditional insurance claims process
A police officer arrives on the scene and determines that a tow is required, but not emergency services. The officer takes the driver’s statement. The officer calls their preferred towing provider who moves the vehicle to their storage yard. Your policyholder goes home and calls in the claim. You arrange for the policyholder to rent a car for work the next day. An adjuster is dispatched to the storage yard three days later where they review the vehicle and get quotes for repair. An offer is made to your policyholder who accepts, has the vehicle towed to a repair shop, and fixed. Overall your policyholder is without their car and uses a rental car for five days.
The telematics-driven claims process
Octo detects the accident, notifies you, and sends a push notification to the driver for verification of the accident. Octo also sends a push notification to designated family members. Via communication with the policyholder you determine that a tow is required, but not emergency services. You dispatch a tow truck from your preferred provider with negotiated lower rates. A push notification is initiated to verify the accident, collect crash scene and vehicle photos, and collect the policyholder’s statement. With the policyholder’s permission, the vehicle is towed directly to a preferred auto body shop for adjusting and repair. The preferred repair shop performs the repair at a pre-negotiated lower rate than local competitors and charges you less for adjustment due to your ongoing relationship. Overall, your policyholder is without their car and uses a rental car for three days.
By using telematics, you can save over $700 (over 20%) on a very simple claim through proactive claim handling, faster cycle times, and the use of preferred providers. More complex claims offer even greater opportunities through bodily injury severity modeling, fraud prevention, and improved subrogation packages.
Optimizing Claims Organizations’ Financial Results Through Telematics explores why the traditional method for optimizing claims outcomes is no longer sufficient, explains how telematics creates opportunities for sustainable improvements in claims costs, and details the financial impact of telematics on an insurers’ combined ratio.By using telematics, you can save over $700 (over 20%) on a very simple claim through proactive claim handling, faster cycle times, and the use of preferred providers. More complex claims offer even greater opportunities through bodily injury severity modeling, fraud prevention, and improved subrogation packages.
The small claims limit for personal injury (PI) should rise by inflation to £1,500, rather than the higher levels proposed by the government, MPs on the justice select committee have recommended.
In a major boost to claimant lawyers, the committee found little credibility in much of the government’s case for raising the limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident accident (RTA) claims and £2,000 for other PI claims, given the risk to access to justice.
But even if the government pressed ahead regardless, it should delay implementation by a year to April 2020 to get the technology right.
Issuing its eagerly anticipated report, the committee said: “We received compelling evidence of the obstacles that would be faced by self-represented claimants navigating the current PI claims process in the small claims track, regardless of the value of their claim, and we conclude that this would represent an unacceptable barrier to access to justice.
“While fraudulent and exaggerated claims must be prevented, given that the common law right to compensation for negligence applies regardless of the value of the claim, we conclude that more convincing justification is needed for the government’s policy of reducing a large proportion of claims, including for non-whiplash RTA injuries, by means of raising the small claims limit, simply because the claims are minor.
“We recommend that the government does not proceed with plans to increase the limit for all RTA PI claims to £5,000.”
Instead, it said the limit should be uprated according to the consumer prices index from £1,000 in 1999, when it was last touched, to £1,500 from April 2019.
The 57-page report said it was in any case “illogical” for the government to propose further reforms to the PI claims process before its review of part 2 of LASPO has considered the effectiveness of the earlier reforms.
It also highlighted a series of other concerns, including the absence of reliable data on insurance fraud.
“We find surprising the wide definition of suspected fraud that is used to collate the ABI’s [Association of British Insurers] statistics,” it said.
“In particular, the failure by the ABI to break down their figures by the nature and type of claim, and to isolate RTA PI claims broken down by type of road user, is a significant and regrettable omission that weakens their evidence base.”
The committee recommend that the government work with the ABI to develop “a more nuanced approach that avoids conflating unexpected consumer behaviour with fraudulent activity”.
The MPs were also sceptical about the savings to motor insurance customers, concluding that the government’s estimate of the pass-through rate “may be over-optimistic, given the lack of robust evidence and the unenforceable nature of insurers’ promises to reduce premiums”.
They continued: “We recommend that, if the reforms are implemented, the government work with the ABI and either the Prudential Regulation Authority or the Financial Conduct Authority to monitor the extent to which any premium reductions can be attributed to these measures and report back to us after 12 months.”
The report also found “no policy justification” for including vulnerable road users within the reforms and “we recommend that they be excluded from any higher small claims limit that is imposed on other RTA PI claims”.
The government faced further criticism for its approach to non-RTA claims. “The committee is deeply unimpressed by the inability of the Ministry of Justice to quantify the impact of raising to £2,000 the small claims limit for employer liability and public liability claims.
“Given the potential complexity of these claims and the role of litigation in maintaining safe and healthy workplaces, MPs recommend that they be subject to a small claims threshold of £1,500.”
The government is working with stakeholders to develop an electronic platform to handle the pre-action stages of lower-value PI claims. While the committee commended this, it said that “in the light of the evidence we received, we consider that the ministry should take a more realistic approach to the technical challenges that may be faced in developing a fully functional electronic platform that has been properly tested with a wide range of users”.
Thus the national roll-out of the new platform – “and hence any changes to the small claims limit for PI claims” – should be delayed at least a further year until April 2020.
The report said that the complexity of EL and PL claims meant it was “not appropriate” to bring them within the scope of the new online platform.
It added: “We remain to be convinced that the electronic platform will be capable of overcoming the underlying inequality of arms between professionally represented insurers and self-represented claimants, particularly with regard to disputes on liability and quantum (the amount of compensation).
“Similarly, we conclude that the government has not done enough to explain how claimants of limited means with legitimate claims are expected to finance court fees and expert reports.”
The MPs added, that, notwithstanding the Ministry of Justice’s “welcome commitment” to overcoming digital exclusion, they remained concerned about the potential deterrent effect on particular population groups of introducing online-only applications, and said they should be closely monitored during the pilot.
The committee considered the impact of the reforms on organisations supporting claimants, and again found the government lacking.
It was “regrettable that, at the consultation stage of these proposals, the Ministry of Justice concluded that it was not relevant to estimate the potentially substantial impact on the PI legal sector, particularly in the North West.
“It is also unclear to us why the ministry’s final stage impact assessment has assumed that the sector will be able to replace PI legal work with work of equivalent value.”
Further, there was a “real risk” of paid McKenzie Friends being used by claims management companies (CMCs) to “sidestep the regulatory requirements that apply to advocacy provided by members of the legal professions.
On this occasion, the committee called on the senior judiciary seek to conclude its examination of this issue “as soon as possible”.
It said the government has under-estimated both the role of before-the-event insurance in securing legal representation for PI claimants, and the impact of raising the small claims limit on providers’ current business model, “with potentially adverse consequences for access to justice”.
While the shift in regulation of CMCs to the Financial Conduct Authority “will mitigate the risk of any unscrupulous activity on the part of CMCs if the small claims limit is changed, the report called for a cap of “no less than 20%” – which perhaps should have read ‘no more than’ – on the proportion of compensation that CMCs could levy from a claimant in a PI claims.
The MPs also argued that the restrictions on cold-calling in the recently passed Financial Guidance and Claims Act did not go far enough “and that an outright ban should be introduced”.
“In the meantime, we recommend that the government monitor the effectiveness of the proposed restrictions, particularly on calls from overseas, and that technical remedies are urgently explored to tackle any loopholes that might be exploited by overseas operators to circumvent the restrictions.”
The report found that the senior judiciary has “reasonable concerns” about the consequences for judges, and for the courts system, of increasing the small claims limit, and the government’s “wait and see” response was not adequate.
“If the small claims limit is to be increased by more than the rate of inflation, we recommend that the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunal Service work with the senior judiciary to agree in advance a framework for monitoring the impact on the judiciary and the courts, so that monitoring can commence immediately after introduction of the new limit[s] and urgent steps taken to address any adverse impact identified.
“We further recommend that the Ministry of Justice ask the Civil Procedure Rule Committee to consider whether the Civil Procedure Rules need to be changed to facilitate applications by self-represented claimants on the small claims track to have their case transferred to the fast-track.”
Justice committee chair Bob Neill MP said: “Access to justice, including the right of access to the courts, is a cornerstone of the rule of law but these reforms risk putting that right in doubt.
“We share strong concerns that were raised during our inquiry on this issue, including concerns about the financial and procedural barriers that claimants might face.
“The Ministry of Justice has made some welcome moves to develop the electronic platform to compensate for claimants’ anticipated lack of legal representation. However, we remain to be convinced that this will be effective or sufficient.
“This is a vitally important point of principle on which the government should reflect. The small claims limit for personal injury should not be increased unless ministers can explain how it will make sure that access to justice is not affected.”
Could you save a fortune with new pay-as-you-drive car insurance? If you use it only twice a week it could cut £225 off your bill
Every driver dreads the hassle of renewing their car insurance each year — especially as costs soar.
The average fully comprehensive car policy costs £503 — around 17 per cent higher than in 2013. And that’s after an unexpected £70 dip in average prices in the past three months.
Having to fork out a hefty sum every year is particularly annoying if you only use your car at weekends or on the odd trip.
The average fully comprehensive car policy costs £503 — around 17 per cent higher than in 2013. And that’s after an unexpected £70 dip in average prices in the past three months
As a result, insurers are now launching pay-as-you-go cover for occasional drivers.
Analysis by Money Mail found these deals can save weekend drivers as much as £225 a year. It all depends on how much time you’re actually on the road.
HOW PAY-AS-YOU-GO INSURANCE WORKS
Insurers who offer pay-as-you-go (PAYG) deals say your car is most at risk of being involved in an accident when it is being driven — so you should pay less if your car is parked up most of the time.
By law, all cars need to have at least third-party insurance even if they are left on a driveway or in a garage for 365 days a year, unless the owner obtains a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
This means you will still need a basic form of cheap cover to keep your car legally insured while it is parked, but can then use PAYG insurance for whenever you drive.
To work out whether you could benefit, you’ll need to estimate the number of hours, on average, you drive each week.
CHARGED FOR EACH HOUR YOU DRIVE
An insurer called Cuvva offers a monthly subscription service from £11.32 for registered owners, which means their car has the basic third-party cover required by law.Once you have registered with a pay-as-you-go insurer using an online form, you activate cover by the hour, day, week or month by telephoning its call centre or using a smartphone app.
You then use an app to add on driver’s cover.
The exact amount you will be charged — and how much you’ll save — will depend on your circumstances, such as age, where you live and what type of car you drive.
Prices start from 90p an hour or from £2.69 a day (this is the maximum you’ll pay per day even if you select the hourly option). These prices are for a middle-aged driver with a smaller car, living in low-risk postcode.
If you use your car mainly for weekend trips and popping to the shops, you’d pay around £275 a year in total.
That’s £228 cheaper than today’s £503 average annual policy. You’ll need to work out your exact potential savings by shopping around.
Money Mail calculations show the pay-as-you-go plan typically works out cheaper if you drive for fewer than 137 days a year in total — or between two and three days a week on average.
If you prefer to think in hours, you’d typically save if you did one hour a day, seven times a week.
Marie Mitchell, 35, has saved around £250 a year using one of these policies. Previously, the housing adviser from Gillingham, Kent, paid around £800 annually to insure her Ford Fiesta.
By law, all cars need to have at least third-party insurance even if they are left on a driveway or in a garage for 365 days a year
However, she now pays a basic subscription of £20 to 25 a month to keep her car insured and around £1.60 an hour or £5.30 a day on top when she drives.
Marie, who is expecting her third child, walks to work and uses the car only about once a week for occasional hospital appointments or big supermarket shops.
It means her annual insurance bill now costs around £545 — a saving of a third.
She says: ‘With my old insurance, I had to pay a large amount on direct debit each month whether I used the car or not, but now, if I need to save, I can use the car less, which really helps.
‘It also makes you think about whether you need the car or if you could walk instead, which is better for the environment.’
HONK IF YOU’VE heard this one before: Autonomous and connected cars will make driving less of a drudge by handling the stop-n-go mundanity of your commute for you. Even driver assistance tools that require human oversight, like Tesla’s Autopilot, Cadillac’s Super Cruise, and Audi’s Traffic Jam Pilot, make driving easier, maybe even safer.
Too bad the cars equipped with these features are expensive and therefore exclusive. It’ll take years for this tech to filter down to cheaper cars and the used market, and decades to find its way onto all of the 260 million vehicles already on US roads.
But don’t be too envious of your wealthy fellow drivers. In fact, consider thanking them. By rolling down the highway with their hands in their laps, they may be doing you a favor. New research from the University of Michigan shows that the presence of a single automated and connected car can make driving better for everyone.
It’s all about avoiding the “phantom traffic jams” where everyone gets bunched together. “We found that they’re related to our human behavior,” says Gabor Orosz, who led the research. If one driver hits the brakes for whatever reason, the driver behind them does the same—likely harder, to make up for the time it took him to notice the brake lights and move his foot to the left. “That can lead to cascading effects where everyone is braking a little harder, eventually all traffic comes to a halt.” If a sole driver hits the brakes a little too aggressively, the person 10 cars behind him is forced to a complete stop.
Cruising to the rescue is the connected robo-driver, which uses a 5G connection or short-range radio to chat with the cars or infrastructure up ahead to know things are slowing down well before an eyeball-reliant human driver might.
For this experiment, published in the journal Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, Orosz and team took eight cars out onto the quiet roads of southeast Michigan. The vehicles were a mix of unremarkable sedans but with the ability to broadcast their position and velocity (meaning speed and direction). One car was picked to act as the autonomous car, and the onboard computer was wired into its brakes, with the ability to apply them just as much as necessary, as early as possible.
Then the team drove around as a convoy, cruising at 55 mph until one driver braked, stomping the pedal harder each time. The humans behind that car hit the brakes hard enough to throw them against their seat belts. But the connected car in the pack got advanced notification that a car several ahead was slowing, and it started slowing more gently, not even hard enough to spill a cup of coffee. The human drivers behind that car were also able to brake more gently—and they didn’t get bunched up.
Driving more smoothly saved energy too, by as much as 19 percent in the connected car, and 7 percent for the human-driven vehicles behind it. That’s useful for cutting gas consumption, or increasing the range of electric vehicles.
A similar experiment at the University of Illinois in May 2017 showed that if one in 20 cars was at least partially automated, it could eliminate these stop-and-go waves of traffic. Mixed in among the commuting masses, it would act like a Formula 1 pace car, keeping everyone in check. That study showed that even already common technologies like adaptive cruise control, which maintains a set distance from the car in front, benefit the broader driving public.
Orosz’s research shows the added benefits that location broadcasting brings: it gives cars superhuman powers of being able to see over a horizon, or through the truck in front, whereas a car with radar-based adaptive cruise control can usually only react reliably to the vehicle directly in front. (Some of the more sophisticated systems can see two cars ahead by picking up radar signals reflected off the road under other vehicles.)
“You don’t need to see everyone,” Orosz says. He found that looking three or four cars ahead was plenty—after that the effects don’t get any better.
The Trump administration isn’t mandating vehicle-to-vehicle communications in all new cars, as Barack Obama’s DOT proposed, but some automakers are pushing ahead. General Motors is already putting it into the Cadillac CTS, Mercedes is adding it to the S-Class and E-Class. Several Audi models use vehicle-to-infrastructure systems to tell a driver when a light will turn green, in cities like Las Vegas that have installed the necessary tech. Israeli company Autotalks is developing a communications system for connected motorbikes.
So people who opt to buy connected, automated, cars will save hassle and energy, but the people who come behind them will too. Finally, a version of trickle down economics that really works.
The decision means insurers will not have to issue ‘Green Cards’ when motorists wish to drive in EU member states after Brexit.
UK drivers and hauliers will not have to apply or pay for ‘Green Card’ documentation from insurers when they travel in an EU member state after Brexit, the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed in a letter to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (Biba).
The DfT confirmed the intention to remain part of the Green Card-free circulation area and to ensure the UK meets the requirements for third party motor insurance.
Following representations from the ABI, Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) and Biba over the last 18 months, senior officials at the DfT wrote to the ABI this week stating that the Government has formally decided to keep the UK within the Motor Insurance ‘Free Circulation Zone.
The Department for Transport has secured the agreement of the Council of Bureaux (the organisation that administers the international Green Card system) and has confirmed its ability to meet any cross-border claims involving UK drivers and haulage operators, the Commission’s role is only to confirm the timescales.
Graeme Trudgill, Biba executive director said: “This is excellent news for commercial and personal motorists as well as brokers and insurers and follows collaborative representation by Biba, the MIB and the Association of British Insurers.
“Without such an agreement drivers would be faced with increased bureaucracy and delays at borders and insurance brokers would need to have in place mechanisms to physically issue 2.5m Green Cards every year. This is exactly the solution we wanted.”
According to Biba, the proposal requires the agreement of the EU Commission but this is expected to be purely procedural and the agreement will be put in place.
Trudgill concluded: “It was also pleasing that DfT acknowledged the support that Biba provided on behalf of our members in developing the approach and they have confirmed they will keep us informed as matters progress.”
Huw Evans, director general of the ABI said: “This is good news for drivers and haulage operators who no longer face the prospect of doing reams of paperwork and paying admin charges every time they get on a ferry to Europe. It’s always encouraging to see common sense prevail and I look forward to the Commission concluding the formalities as soon as possible.”
As a result of this decision, the UK’s status within the Green Card system will effectively be the same as three other non-EU member states who are part of the ‘Free Circulation Zone’ – Serbia, Switzerland and Andorra – where drivers can enter the EU using their domestic motor insurance policy and do not need to be issued with any additional documentation.
The same will apply for any drivers and haulage operators from these countries who bring their vehicle to the UK.
Article is care of www.insuranceage.co.uk and the original article can be found here.
Is this the most significant piece of #caselaw #law on Credit hire and #impercuniosity? Katherine Ann Irving v Morgan Sindall  EWHC 1147 (QB) one of the more significant credit hire cases of recent years.
‘Some of them just sit there like a rabbit in the headlights and haven’t got a clue what’s going on,’ said one judge in hitherto concealed research into the plight of unrepresented lawyers in the magistrates' court. The MoJ had apparently buried a 36-page report containing ‘explosive testimony’ from judges and prosecutors about the impact on the justice system of the rising number of people defending criminal charges without a lawyer, BuzzFeed’s Emily Dugan reported.
The report was leaked to the news site which had previously applied under Freedom of Information laws for its release last April only to be turned down by the MoJ. It then appealed and the Information Commissioner ruled that it should be released. It’s well worth reading the exchange Dugan had with the MoJ press officer insisting no such report existed. ‘The report sent was the one requested and it is in its entirety. There are no summaries nor are there any transcripts in the review,’ spokesman emailed.
The unpublished research says that not having a lawyer may create more hearings. ‘Quoting 2014 data, it points out that while 17% of defendants with no lawyer had two or fewer hearings, compared to 30% of those represented in court,' Dugan wrote. 'In analysis absent from the original summary, it says: “This suggests that legal representation may affect the number of hearings.”’
Something has gone very wrong
‘You might not care about striking lawyers – but you should,’ began Gaby Hinsliff writing for the Guardian. The article referenced the Buzzfeed article above. As well as a story in the Law Society’s Gazette about a family court case in Middlesbrough involving a father accused of raping his ex-wife and assaulting her son from a previous relationship. Apparently, neither parent was granted legal aid but neither could afford their own lawyer ‘so the judge ended up attempting to cross-examine them himself while court officials compiled makeshift bundles of evidence'.
Hinsliff wrote: ‘When the distressed mother said she simply couldn’t face going through it all again, the judge ended up finding most of her allegations unproven while noting in his judgment: “I am in little doubt that had one or both of these parents been represented, the fact-finding process and probably the outcome would have been very different.”’ It was ‘on these impossibly shifting sands’ that rested a decision about whether the father should see their daughter. ‘Yet all this has barely registered in the public consciousness, even though things are only likely to get worse later this month, when barristers are being urged to up the ante by instigating a policy of “no returns”,’ she said.
Something, in short, has gone very wrong. But it’s gone wrong in a part of the public sector that, unlike schools or hospitals, we don’t normally regard as public, that doesn’t tug at the heartstrings, that for most of us remains completely invisible – all of which encourages ministers to think they can ride this one out. Few strikes are solved by giving one side everything it wants. But even fewer are solved by hoping nobody notices
Aspiring barristers from a black and minority ethnic background were 'still half as likely to obtain pupillage' than those who don't identify as BAME, reported the Law Society's Gazette (here). According to new stats, 23% of BAME graduates on the Bar Professional Training Course obtained pupillage - a year-on-year increase of around 2.5 percentage points. However, the number was 'still low when compared with white UK/EU domiciled BPTC graduates, of which 49.5% gained pupillage'.
Rogue immigration solicitors were ‘exploiting vulnerable migrants by charging thousands of pounds for legal representation’, the High Court has ruled – as reported by the Independent. A ruling found solicitors were instructing ‘paralegals and unqualified people to draft applications which fall “well below acceptable standards” and which judges must reject as “unarguable and totally without merit”.’
‘There’s a big problem with private solicitors charging a lot and then not delivering,’ said Pierre Makhlouf, assistant director at Bail for Immigration Detainees. ‘It’s not like you can start again, unless you’ve got a fresh claim and new issues, you’ve been shafted. You’re a failed asylum seeker. It’s a massive problem..
Guilty until proven innocent
So, here’s a question, I posed in the Times’ Brief: which part of our creaking, cash-strapped justice system has the suffered the deepest cut? The answer was ‘the tiny state-funded watchdog that was set up 20 years ago as the vital safety net mechanism in the wake of scandals such as the Birmingham Six and Guildford 4’.
‘The Criminal Cases Review Commission, massively oversubscribed and hopelessly underfunded, is just one more symptom of a failing criminal justice system,’ I wrote. ‘Last year the CCRC managed to refer just 12 cases, barely scraping into double figures. Typically, the Commission receives 1,500 applications a year but refers 30 cases back every year which, given an 86,000 plus prison population and the crisis engulfing our courts, seems a strikingly low figure.’
If #TheLawIsBroken, when are we going to start talking about miscarriages of justice? I asked.
I had a book out this week: Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The crisis in our justice system published by Biteback Publishing. The Guardian’s Owen Bowcott referenced it an article on a Supreme Court hearing which this week looked at compensation for miscarriages of justice in the cases of Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon. ‘When a conviction is quashed, the court of appeal does not reinstate the presumption of innocence,’ I said. ‘There is less state support for the victims of miscarriages of justice than for other prisoners.’
A miscarriage of justice is not a one-off event. The correct analogy is not so much a car crash but a serial motorway pile-up. First they are failed by the criminal justice system …. Then they are failed by the penal system. Finally, if their conviction is overturned then, like Sam Hallam, they are undoubtedly innocent – and yet not innocent enough.
I later wrote an opinion article about the case for the Guardian. ‘It is not just about compensation or reversing a mean-spirited piece of legislation,’ I said. ‘It goes to the heart of the integrity of our justice system, its reluctance to acknowledge its fallibility – and its failure to deal with the victims of miscarriages of justice fairly and humanely.’
The demand for auto telematics continues to grow. Last year, an estimated 33 million light vehicles equipped with some form of telematics were produced globally, and production of telematics-enabled vehicles is expected to grow by 11% annually, topping more than 66 million automobiles by 2023. Alongside the new breed of connected vehicles, many insurers are also offering their customers telematics solutions via mobile phone apps.
In addition to monitoring driver behaviour, today’s telematics platforms enable insurance companies to provide more accurate pricing, and can even provide safety and security features such as roadside assistance and stolen-vehicle tracking.
For insurers, telematics is also helping to increase the accuracy and efficiency of the claims process. Data that can be instantly transmitted to an insurer includes the date and location of a crash, the speed and direction of travel, and even weather details, allowing adjusters to more easily determine liability and compensation in order to process claims quickly.
It’s clear that telematics is big business: reports suggest that in the next decade nearly every vehicle on the road will be a connected one. By 2025, a whopping 88% of new cars produced globally are expected to be equipped with integrated telematics, and in the race forward, key players are pumping resources into coming up with new usage-based insurance (UBI) solutions.
In October, brokerage giant Willis Towers Watson announced that global telematics provider Octo Telematics was acquiring its UBI division, and the two firms would be partnering on insurance-related products going forward. A number of key personnel from Willis, including global telematics leader Geoff Werner and his team, moved over to Octo as part of the deal.
“With telematics, it’s very much about how quickly this is going to happen, not if it’s going to happen,” says Jonathan Hewett, chief marketing officer at Octo. “Everything is being used now – from apps to traditional black boxes and connected car platforms, they are all helping to fuel the growth in the market. Frankly, it works because insurers get a better financial result and improve their loss ratios by pricing risk better and being more efficient with claims, and consumers get a better deal.”
Telematics adoption has also surged as a response to a fundamentally unchanged motor insurance market, according to Oliver Baxter, head of brand and communications pay-per-mile start-up By Miles.
“The car insurance industry hasn’t changed for decades, so much like any other sector it’s ripe for disruption,” Baxter says. “People are quite embedded into the way it works. It’s a necessity – people have to pay for it, and they expect to pay for an annual policy. It’s been working for so long – for those businesses it’s working for, why change? And for customers, they don’t know anything else.”
In contrast to traditional motor policies, By Miles offers a pay-per-mile policy that it says is much fairer to customers, the majority of whom are currently subsidising higher-mileage drivers, Baxter points out.
“In the same way that all sorts of other areas of customers’ lives are becoming more convenient, more flexible and more tailored to them,” he says, “they’re looking for the same thing with their car insurance, and they don’t understand why it doesn’t exist yet.”
Hewett agrees that consumers are increasingly demanding a fairer deal, which has spurred new concepts in insurance. “The idea of ‘paying as we consume’ is a broader macro factor that’s driving the market,” he says.
While auto telematics is already in the mainstream, connected devices are now starting to make their way into the home for a similar purpose. Indeed, as part of their partnership, Octo and Willis Towers Watson plan to cast their net wider than just auto.
“The team that we’re acquiring brings increased capability to interpret and analyse ever-increasing amounts of data in all different contexts,” Hewett says, “be it a car, be it a home, anything that can be connected. Big data is one thing, but smart insights and being able to make smart business decisions is quite another. Clearly the market of the future is going to be defined by dynamic data, as opposed to the old world of static data.”
Here to help ensure consumers are treated fairly by insurance companies.