Ombudsmen's powers under scrutiny in the Supreme Court - JR55The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in the matter of an application by JR55 for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland)  UKSC 22 (JR55) on 11 May 2016.
The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in the matter of an application by JR55 for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland)  UKSC 22 (JR55) on 11 May 2016. The decision will be of interest to all public sector ombudsmen given the arguments that were heard with regard to the breadth of the powers of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints (Complaints Commissioner). We set out below a summary of the decision of the Court. Whilst the Complaints Commissioner operates under a unique statutory framework, the reasoning given by the Justices may offer some insight on how other similar issues may be viewed by the Court.
The original judicial review proceedings in JR55 arose out of the recommendation of the Complaints Commissioner that a GP found to be guilty of maladministration should pay £10,000 to the complainant, the widow of a patient of the GP. The GP challenged the power of the Complaints Commissioner to make such a recommendation, and subsequently the power of the Complaints Commissioner to lay a special report before the Northern Ireland Assembly naming the GP.
Having been unsuccessful in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, the Complaints Commissioner subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court. The Justices unanimously dismissed the appeal, holding that the Complaints Commissioner had (i) no power to recommend payment of a money sum against an individual who was not a public authority; and (ii) no power to make a special report drawing the attention of the legislature to such a person's failure to comply with a recommendation.
In holding that the Complaints Commissioner had no power to recommend payment of a monetary sum against an individual, the court drew a distinction between complaints against public bodies and complaints against private individuals performing public services in contract with a public body such as the NHS. In this case the Court highlighted that whilst there may be a public law duty (and case law) requiring public bodies to comply with recommendations of statutory ombudsmen, unless there are cogent reasons not to do so, no such public or private law requirement exists in respect of private individuals. The court distinguished a recommendation made against a public body for payment out of public funds from a similar recommendation against a private individual to pay out of his own pocket in circumstances when that individual has no public or private law duty to pay. The court further noted that other than a Judicial Review, which offers limited scope for a review of the merits, a private individual has no means available to challenge the findings of an ombudsman before a court. Accordingly, the court considered that there was an assumption inherent in the Complaints Commissioner's statutory framework that monetary recommendations would not be made against private individuals of a kind which could have no legal effect.
In relation to the Complaints Commissioner's power to lay special reports before the legislature, the court referred to and distinguished the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration in the United Kingdom (Parliamentary Ombudsman) from the Complaints Commissioner. The Justices reiterated that the statutory framework governing the Parliamentary Ombudsman includes provision for a special report to be laid before Parliament if it appears to the Parliamentary Ombudsman that injustice has been caused in consequence of maladministration and that the injustice will not be remedied. No such power existed in the statutory framework for the Complaints Commissioner, whose recommendations and findings, insofar as they are against public bodies, are legally enforceable by the court in accordance with the statutory framework. The court considered that the absence of an equivalent power in relation to private individuals was not an oversight by the legislature and no such power existed for the Complaints Commissioner.
A further point of interest is the Court's discussion of when an ombudsman may exercise its discretion to investigate a complaint notwithstanding the fact that a complainant had or has a remedy by way of proceedings in a court of law in accordance with the statutory scheme. In this case the Complaints Commissioner agreed to investigate, despite the complainant having an alternative remedy available by way of civil proceedings. The Complaint Commissioner's rationale for doing so was that the complainant had made clear that she was not seeking monetary redress, but only wanted to know what had gone wrong prior to her husband's death. In such circumstances, the Justices determined that the Complaints Commissioner could properly conclude that it would not have been reasonable to expect the complainant to commence proceedings if she was not seeking financial relief. However, the court went on to state that if the only basis on which the Complaints Commissioner felt able to undertake an investigation was that the complainant was not seeking a financial remedy, then it would not be proper to recommend that a payment of money be made in the event that maladministration is found. Ombudsmen, and in particular the LGO, should bear this in mind when deciding whether or not to exercise their discretion to investigate under provisions such as section 26(6) of the 1974 Act
The Supreme Court also considered that even if the Complaint Commissioner had been entitled to recommend monetary redress, the report did not properly explain why the failing warranted the specific sum or how the figure had been arrived at. The Court said that if the Complaints Commissioner had power to recommend a payment then they would have regarded the payment as lacking any rational basis. It is clear from this that when making an aware of monetary redress reasons should be given with a clear explanation of how the sum has been calculated.
One final point to note is that following establishment of a consolidated Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) from 1 April 2016, the dispute as to the powers of the Complaints Commissioner became academic, as noted by the Supreme Court. The NIPSO is emboldened with wider powers than the Complaints Commissioner, including those relating to the issuing of special reports. The Government are yet to publish a draft Bill following the consultation on the creation of a single Public Services Ombudsman (PSO) in England so it remains to be seen whether the PSO will be benefit from the same wide powers as the NIPSO.
For more information about the judgement in JR 55, please get in touch:
Virginia Cooper, Partner
Amy Tschobotko, Associate
article care of https://www.bevanbrittan.com/insights/articles/2016/ombudsmens-powers-under-scrutiny-in-the-supreme-court-jr55/
ABI - 19 #motor insurers agree to changes to policies of those in the #armedforces stationed abroad.
Picture: James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI
Association of British Insurers (ABI) members, representing approximately 86% of the UK motor insurance market have today given new commitments to armed forces personnel.
To mark Armed Forces Day, these 19 motor insurers [see below] have agreed to ensure that those in the armed forces posted abroad will keep their No Claims Bonus for up to three years and insurers will waive fees normally charged if armed forces personnel need to cancel a policy at short notice when they are to be posted overseas.
Following the simple steps below will ensure that armed forces personnel can take advantage of these flexible policies.
Three things you need to do:
- Check your insurance policy.
- Contact your insurer or broker directly.
- Provide your insurer with a letter from your commanding officer.
Two things you should ask your insurer about:
1 No Claims Bonus - Insurers will keep your No Claims Discount for up to three years if you are posted abroad.
2 Cancellation Fees – Insurers will waive fees normally charged if you need to cancel your policy at short notice if you are posted abroad.
You can view the list of insurers signed up to these commitments here (pdf 298kB).
James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said:
"People in the armed forces make a unique pledge to serve their country. UK insurers recognise this and have committed to allowing armed forces flexibility with their motor insurance when they are posted abroad. It is important that armed forces personnel talk to their insurer about their policy, particularly preserving their No Claims Bonus or any fees that might be waived when they are stationed abroad."
Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon said:
"When our Armed Forces are posted overseas to protect our country they can lose out from the discounts the rest of us take for granted. This is a welcome move from the leading insurers to help them get a fair deal. I look forward to further pledges from businesses to support the Armed Forces Covenant."
A list of ABI members who have agreed to these commitments can be found below and a more detailed information list can be foundhere:
1st Central Insurance
Advantage Insurance /
Ageas Insurance Ltd
Casualty & General (CIGCE)
Co-operative Insurance Car
Direct Line Group
Esure Car Insurance
Premier Underwriting Limited
RSA / MORE TH>N
Please note that some of these companies have provided details of commitments made under more than one brand or subsidiary.
How many of you use @LinkedIn like i do?are you aware their being bought by @microsoft and is your #linkedin profile upto date?
Ernst & Young predicts profitable period has come to an end.
Article care Of insurance age magazine, author Ida Axling
The short period of profit-making in the motor insurance market has come to an end, according to Ernst & Young's (EY) annual motor insurance results report.
The advisory firm said the industry had dropped back into the red in 2015 after two years of profitability following the 2013 reforms to the personal injury compensation system.
However, EY predicted there would be a slight improvement in insurers' net combined ratio (NCR) following recent premium rate increases.
The industry posted a marginal loss in 2015 when insurers registered 100.5% NCR, 0.7 percentage points worse that the 2014 results.
But the company advised that underlying poor performance in 2015 was masked by a 10.8% reserve release, which was the joint second highest in the last 30 years.
EY predicted that in 2016 insurers will achieve an NCR of 100.1%, which represents a year-on-year improvement of 0.4% following on from last year's rise in premium rates.
However, the firm added that it expected losses will extend, with NCR forecast to decline in 2017, when the government's planned whiplash reforms will increase pressure to pass on premium reductions to customers.
According to EY, this will in turn hit profitability and the level of reserve releases, currently providing insurers with profits, will dry up.
Tony Sault, UK general insurance market lead at EY, commented: "With the insurance market slipping back into the red - a trend we expect to continue over the next year - discipline around pricing and underwriting will be key to maintaining a favourable NCR in the current climate.
"The reliance on reserve releases, which last year saw something of a surprise jump, now appears to be becoming a norm.
"However, the sustainability of this model is questionable, particularly as the market has reduced rates so aggressively from their recent peak in 2012."
He continued: "One of the most notable impacts is that we are seeing an increase in market share from some of the Gibraltar-based insurers, which have increased their share of the motor insurance market to almost 20%.
"This increase in competition may lead to a softening market, which will not help insurers looking to post a profit over the coming year."
EY further estimated that premiums would continue to harden throughout this year, with a 7.9% year-on-year increase and premiums approaching 2012 levels.
However, it stated that premiums were predicted to fall by 6.2% over 2017 as insurers try to anticipate the impact of the whiplash reforms.
As a result of this, EY noted that the forecasted claims inflation in 2016 was a rise of 4.9%, decreasing to 1% in 2017 following the soft tissue injury reforms.
Sault added: "We expect the premium growth to slow through the rest of this year, until it begins to fall as insurers pass on the benefit of soft tissue injury reforms.
"While some may be tempted to retain some of the cost benefit from the anticipated reduction in claims volumes, the continued competitive nature of the market will mean that the majority of insurers will not risk the loss in market share this move might otherwise have heralded."
He concluded: "So it's good news for motorists, who may benefit from a £50 reduction in premiums next year, but less good news for the motor insurance market."
Want to hear the Story About @Allianz insurance letting cars that should have been a Breaker ,being sold onto the public?19 possible cars? read on.
I investigate on behalf of consumer issue's relating to insurers. I have a number ongoing with Allianz which are quite shocking, and goes against what they put in the media about combating fraud and looking after consumers. This particular case , Allianz have potentially allowed 19 cars that have been subject to an insurance claim, and should have classified as CAT B total losses, to get sold back to the public. A Cat B total loss should never go back on the road. Allianz preferred not to categorise the vehicle and to sell it on at a profit, ie should have been worth 5k, and they sold for over 40k, the corporate liability issue is huge if one of these vehicles has an incident and kills someone. I also have another case where they are complicit in fraud.
Help me challenge unethical insurers who prefer to profit than do the right thing. I will be releasing the full story to the press very very soon!!! plus case's where Allianz insurance are knowingly paying out on fraudulent claims.
Insurance fraud cases worth £500,000 have been uncovered by telematics underwriting agency Insurethebox using data collected from black boxes inside cars.
Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance or pay-as-you-drive insurance has never been more popular, but how does black box insurance work and what are the pros and cons?
Black box insuranceBlack box insurance is great for drivers only using their cars once in a while and are frustrated by the high cost of car insurance.
And if you’re a young or elderly driver and get penalised with high premiums, despite using your car infrequently, black box insurance could help.
Black box car insurance counts the miles you’ve driven, so you only pay for what you use.
What is black box insurance?The technology works by having a telematics box fitted in your car. The box links to a satellite to measure your usage, allowing you to check your own driving online, hence the name ‘pay as you go insurance’.
Black box insurance technology measures everything from acceleration to cornering, so your insurer can get a comprehensive impression of your driving habits and charge you accordingly.
Typically drivers are charged a fixed premium with a certain number of miles allowed per year, however some policies work by refunding drivers for good behaviour and increasing the premium for poor driving scores.
Some black box insurers like work more like mobile phone contracts, so you top up in bundles of miles depending on how much you’re driving.
Who is black box car insurance for?The figures show that young drivers are more accident prone, and hence more likely to claim on insurance than other age groups.
Consequently, if you are a safe driver under 25 you will probably benefit most from black box insurance policies.
The latest research shows male drivers between 17 to 18 pay more than £2,100 — black box insurance is a sure way to bring that figure down, providing you don’t drive too much.
It’s not just young drivers who can benefit from black box insurance. If you use your vehicle outside peak traffic hours there’s a good chance you could save, with insurers charging less thanks to the emptier roads.
Pros of black box car insuranceThe advantages of black box car insurance are simple. As your premiums are almost entirely dependent on the amount you drive, driving less is an easy way to save and build up your no claims record.
This also means the likelihood you will be in an accident will decrease, with the insurance industry estimating that black box insurance decreases accidents by 20%.
Some black box insurance policies could even help to save your life if you do have an accident. Certain telematics devices can send an accident alert to your insurer if a sudden stop or impact is detected. Your insurer will call you to check if everything’s okay, and if they can’t get in touch they can alert the emergency services and inform them of your location.
Black box car insurance can also benefit the environment, as it makes you more likely to chose public transport instead of the car, particularly if it means your premium will increase or you will exceed your mileage limit.
What’s more, if your car is stolen, fitted black boxes can act as a tracker so you can retrieve your vehicle.
Cons of black box insuranceUnfortunately there are some downsides to black box insurance that you should consider.
For instance, if your circumstances change thanks to a change of job, or you moving house, it will impact the number of miles you drive.
Black box insurance devices also can’t tell who is driving the car, so while you may not use the car another driver could exceed your miles or lower your driving score and end up costing you a lot.
article care of uswitch https://www.uswitch.com/car-insurance/guides/black-box-insurance/
Dashboard cameras, or dash cams, are growing in popularity. But what are the benefits of recording your journeys?
While dash cams have been popular in eastern Europe and Asia in recent years, drivers in the UK are becoming more aware of the technology as the footage floods video sharing sites such as YouTube.
But while over 94% of drivers in the UK are aware of dash cams, just 15% of motorists currently have one — though this seems set to change as insurers take dash cam footage into account when settling claims.
How do dash cams work?Dash cams are small cameras attached to the dashboard or windscreen of a car, which record each journey. The camera faces outward, capturing the driver’s view of the road. Some dash cams can also record the view from the rear of the car.
Most dash cams automatically overwrite older footage once they have run out of storage, meaning every journey can be recorded without worrying out running out of memory.
The technology is easy to use and affordable to buy, with budget versions costing around £50 and top-of-the-range models available for around £250.
What are the benefits?According to our research, over a quarter of innocent drivers (27%) have been unable to prove that they were not to blame for an accident, meaning their insurance premiums could rise through no fault of their own after making a claim.
As a dash cam records and stores footage of the driver’s view, it’s easy to revisit the events and conditions leading up to a road accident. Many insurers now accept dash cam footage as evidence when processing claims — this makes it easier to determine the cause of the accident and which party was at fault, and can also speed up the claims process.
Some insurers even offer a discount for drivers who install a dash cam, and as the appetite for the technology continues to grow, it seems likely that more insurers will follow suit.
article care of uswitch https://www.uswitch.com/car-insurance/dash-cams/
Driverless cars: The future is hereReady or not, driverless technology is already on UK roads. Here’s what it could mean for you
Despite advances in autonomous car technology, it seems Brits aren’t ready to give up their place in the driving seat just yet.
According to uSwitch research, almost half (49%) of motorists don’t trust driverless cars to make nuanced decisions. A similar number (45%) are worried that autonomous driving software could be vulnerable to data breaches which could compromise their personal data, while a fifth are concerned that driverless cars could drive too slowly or stop suddenly.
Taking all of these concerns into account, almost half (49%) of Brits say they would refuse to be a passenger in a driverless car.
Autonomous cars are already on UK roadsBut while many drivers would prefer fully driverless cars to stay in the realms of science fiction, they could already be sharing the roads with them.
More than half of new cars today already have collision warning systems, with other autonomous features such as automatic braking technology and parking assistance surging in popularity.
And some manufacturers have already taken the driverless concept further.
Tesla’s Model S includes Autopilot software that allows drivers to switch to driverless mode, although it is currently limited to motorways. Autopilot has been available in the UK since November 2015 – so it’s possible you’ve driven alongside a car that was driving itself.
Volvo is also planning to use real families to test their semi-autonomous vehicles from 2017, while fully driverless ‘pods’ for public transport are set to be tested in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry.
But while driverless technology is almost ready to go mainstream, efforts are being made to ensure legislation will catch up.
The government has invested more than £20 million to develop the technology and the infrastructure to support it, and even the queen is enthusiastic about driverless technology. In Her Majesty’s May 2015 speech she promised to “ensure the UK is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.”
But it’s currently not clear who will be held accountable if a driverless car causes an accident, and how the introduction of fully driverless cars will affect insurance premiums for owners of standard cars as well as driverless vehicles.
Our research found that two-fifths (41%) of Brits expect their premiums to increase when driverless cars become more common on public roads.
Are driverless cars safe?One of the main factors that affect insurance costs is the likelihood of the driver getting into an accident — initial testing indicates that fully autonomous vehicles could be involved in fewer accidents than standard cars, which in turn could reduce insurance premiums. Whether this will be the case for all road users or just those with driverless vehicles remains to be seen.
While Google’s driverless cars have been involved in some well-publicised accidents, their occurrences are few and far between. Google cars have driven 1.5 million miles autonomously since the start of US trials in 2009, and have been involved in 18 minor accidents in that time. Driver error was to blame in all but one of the incidents, with other vehicles hitting the driverless car or the incident occurring when the car was not in autonomous mode.
Up to 90% of car accidents are caused by driver error, and eliminating these error-induced accidents with effective driverless technology could significantly reduce danger on the roads.
Volvo has even gone as far as to claim that no one will be killed or seriously injured in one of their new driverless cars by the year 2020.
Even the semi-autonomous vehicles that are widely available have had a positive effect on road safety. Euro NCAP has found autonomous braking systems have been responsible for a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes in Europe.
Ready or notWith almost half of Brits currently refusing to travel in a driverless car, manufacturers have a long way to go to build up trust among drivers and other road users.
But with public transport and private vehicle testing, as well as increasingly autonomous features in new car models, you may be sharing the roads with driverless cars sooner than you might have thought.
Article care of Uswitch https://www.uswitch.com/car-insurance/driverless-cars-the-future-is-here/
Read our guide on bringing your car to the UK as a temporary import
Find out how to deal with car insurance and registration if you’re a non-resident planning to bring your car to the UK.
Do I need to register my car to drive it in the UK?If you’re an EU resident planning to bring your car to the UK while you’re visiting, studying, or working, you are able to do so temporarily without registering it as a UK vehicle.
You can drive a European-registered car in the UK for up to six months without the need to register it (or for the duration of your study or work assignment if you’re in the UK for a set study or work period).
Non-EU vehicles are admitted to the UK on a case-by-case basis. As all EU vehicles must meet set requirements, cars from outside the EU may not meet UK safety or emissions standards.
If you plan to keep your car in the UK permanently, you’ll need to re-register your vehicle. Your car may need to be tested under the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme to ensure it is fit for permanent use on UK roads. Find out more on the gov.uk website here.
Car insurance for temporary importsIf you’re driving your car in the UK temporarily, your existing insurance policy should be valid until it expires. However, you will only receive the minimum cover in the UK (i.e. third party cover), even if you hold a higher level of insurance in your home country.
It’s best to check with your existing insurer whether you’re covered to drive your car in the UK. Some countries may issue you a “green card” document to prove you have insurance cover. You may also wish to extend your policy to cover more than third party damage while the car is being driven in the UK.
Once you’ve been driving in the UK for six months (or your current insurance policy expires), you will need to get a UK insurance policy — in order to do this, you must register your car for UK use.
Driving in the UK on a non-UK licenceFind out how to get insured to drive in the UK on an EU/EEC or international driving licence.
The rules around driving in the UK on a foreign licence can be confusing, and getting insurance cover can make things even more complicated. Read our guide and find out when you can drive on a non-UK licence and how to get insurance cover.
Can I drive in the UK on my existing licence?If you have a full, valid driving licence issued in your own country, you will be able to drive in the UK for at least a year before you need to exchange your licence or take a UK driving test. See more information below based on each type of licence:
If you hold a full licence issued in a country within the European Union (EU) or European Economic Community (EEC), you can drive in the UK on your original licence until it expires, without having to exchange it or retake your driving test. Your licence will expire when you turn 70 or three years after you become a resident in the UK (whichever is longer).
If you got your EU licence by exchanging a non-EU licence, you can drive in Great Britain for 12 months. You will need to pass a UK driving test if you want to carry on driving after this point.
International licence (exchangeable):
You can drive in the UK for up to 12 months on a licence issued in Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man or a ‘designated country’ (Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe).
If you wish to continue driving in the UK after this period, you can exchange your international licence for a UK licence within five years of becoming a resident, without having to retake your driving test.
International licence (non-exchangeable):
If your licence was not issued in an EU/EEC or designated country, you are still permitted to drive in the UK for 12 months. If you want to continue driving in the UK after this point, you will need to apply for a provisional UK licence and pass the UK driving test to gain your full licence. You are not required to take any driving lessons in the UK before taking your test, but you may find it useful to brush up on your driving skills and knowledge of UK roads.
International driving permit:
You don’t need an international driving permit in addition to your licence, but it may come in useful for proving validity if your licence is not printed in English.
If you don’t have a full licence yet and want to drive in the UK, you must apply for a provisional UK licence. You can take a UK driving test once you’ve been in the country for 185 days (six months).
Do I need insurance?It’s a legal requirement to have valid car insurance in the UK, even if you only plan to drive occasionally or stay in the country for a short time. (You will not need to take out your own insurance cover for a hire car, as this will be included in the cost of the rental.)
There are three levels of insurance cover available: The minimum legal requirement is third party cover, which only covers damage to other vehicles and property, and not any damage to your car; third party, fire and theft also covers fire damage and theft; comprehensive cover includes all of this as well as paying out for damage to your own car in the event of a claim.
If you’re bringing your own car to the country your existing insurance policy should cover you for third party damage while you’re driving in the UK. You may be asked to provide evidence of your insurance cover, and your insurer may issue you a ‘green card’ document for this purpose. Find out more about temporarily importing your car here.
You will need to take out a UK insurance policy if you’ve bought a car in this country. If you’re a visitor borrowing a friend’s or relative’s car while you’re in the UK, you must be added as a named driver to their policy — but be aware that this is likely to increase the policyholder’s car insurance premium.
Car insurance costs for drivers with international licences Unfortunately, it can be difficult for drivers with non-UK licences to find affordable car insurance. Even if you have many years’ experience driving in your own country, holding a foreign licence could still affect your insurance costs. Insurers base their premiums on perceived risk, and you are considered to be at a higher risk of making a claim if you are not experienced on UK roads.
Many well-known insurers will ignore any no-claims years accrued on your foreign licence. With a no-claims bonus being worth up to 75% discount, starting from scratch once you start driving in the UK can push your premiums up.
Thankfully, there are ways to save on your car insurance if you’re a non-UK licence holder. First, be sure to shop around with specialist insurers. There are many providers that welcome foreign licence holders, and some will even transfer your no-claims years so you get a discount straight away.
If you have a European licence or an exchangeable international licence, you can swap this for a UK licence once you’ve been resident in the UK for six months. Many providers will offer better deals to drivers with UK licences, so you may benefit from exchanging your licence as soon as you are able to (if you know you plan to stay in the UK for the long term).
If you are currently driving on a non-exchangeable international licence you will eventually have to take a test to gain your full UK licence. Your insurance premiums should drop once you gain your licence, so you may benefit from taking your driving test sooner rather than later if you do plan on driving in the UK in the long term. You can apply for a provisional licence and take your test once you’ve been resident in the UK for six months.
The level of insurance cover also has an effect on your costs. You may expect third party cover to be more affordable, as your insurer would only have to pay out for the other party’s repair costs in the event of a claim. However, insurers noted that third party cover was being used as a cost saving tactic by risky drivers, so some raised their prices accordingly. By considering a higher level of cover, such as comprehensive, you could save money while being better protected.
Can I drive a company car on a foreign licence?While you can legally drive a company car on a non-UK licence (with the conditions listed above), it’s important to note that not all companies will permit this. Many company cars are covered by fleet insurance which excludes non-UK licences.
In Gentry v Miller the Court of Appeal has dismissed an insurer’s application to (a) set aside a default judgment and (b) set aside a judgment where a party failed to attend trial, criticising the insurer’s delay.
The case concerned a claim where the claimant obtained a judgment for £75,089 mainly consisting of hire charges. Briefly, the claim was intimated through the MOJ portal on 17 March 2013. The appellant's solicitors chased the insurer on six occasions between April and June 2013, with notice that hire charges were accruing. A notice of intention to issue was sent on 19 June 2013, with proceedings issued on 3 July 2013 and judgment in default entered on 8 August 2013. Damages were awarded at a disposal hearing on 17 October 2013
The defendant insurer did not instruct a solicitor until after the disposal hearing but was initially successful in setting aside the judgments in order to defend the claim raising an allegation of fraud. The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal.
It was noted in the Court of Appeal that an allegation of fraud does not circumvent the principles set out in Mitchell and Denton. The court’s power to grant the applications to set aside a judgment are governed by the promptness tests contained within CPR13, CPR39 and the analysis continues by reference to the three-stage Denton tests
An interesting feature from this case is that in finding that the insurer did not act promptly, Lord Justice Vos makes repetitive use of the term “professional litigant” when describing the defendant insurer. The judgment makes reference to numerous touch points on the file before the judgment was obtained that placed the insurer with sufficient knowledge and expertise to have made more of an effort to defend the claim.
Throughout the period leading up to the disposal hearing, LJ Vos stated that the insurer could ‘not have been in any doubt, had it considered the matter, that the claim had ceased to be a low value claim under £10,000, because of the high value of the appellant's car and the accumulating hire charges’. The insurer contested that it received all of the communications from the appellant's solicitors but it had produced no evidence to substantiate that contention. Consequently, the court did not accept that the insurer did not know the risks it was running or was not aware, in broad terms, what was going on.
The tone of LJ Vos in his assessment of the defendant insurer’s conduct may lead to a conversation surrounding the standard expected of a ‘professional litigant’. Whilst there is no legal definition of a professional litigator, the implications may be typified by reference to paragraph 34 which states “[T]he court cannot ignore that insurers are professional litigants, who can properly be held responsible for any blatant disregard of their own commercial interests’.
One can speculate on a potentially different outcome if in a similar case, an insurer can produce evidence of its internal procedures or reasons why some letters may not have been received from a claimant solicitor but the sentiment is clear. For every touch point on a file therein lies (a) an opportunity for an insurer to consider its commercial interests and react accordingly or (b) face the consequence of its own inaction if this falls short of the expectations set out in the CPR and Denton in its capacity as a ‘professional litigator
New Rules to come in to play for young drivers in Northern Ireland 2018, will they happen in the U.K. As Well?
Concerns over the safety record of newly qualified and young drivers has become a political issue across the United Kingdom over the past few years and the Northern Ireland Assembly has now taken the lead on addressing the issues. New provisions are contained within the Road Traffic Amendment)(Northern Ireland) Act 2016 which received Royal Assent on 23 March, although the new rules will not come into effect until 2018.
The provisions cover similar ground to those considered in England and Wales a few years ago although they are not quite a stringent as the proposals put forward then by the Department of Transport.
The most radical provision aims to reduce nighttime driving by young drivers with passengers. The new Act prohibits a young driver (under the age of 24), driving between 11pm and 6am, from having more than one young person aged between 14 and 21 in the car unless accompanied by a driver over 21 who has held a licence for more than three years. The restriction will apply for the first six months after qualification.
The rule will not apply when the passengers are a spouse or civil partner, brothers and sisters of the driver, or children of the family, although there are concerns that it may still prevent young people benefiting from the improved prospects which owning a car can bring.
The Westminster Government has undertaken research on young drivers and a Green Paper on the issue was expected in 2013. Measures being considered then in England and Wales would have banned young drivers with less than a year’s post-qualification experience from carrying passengers under 30 years of age and prohibited night-time driving unless accompanied by a passenger aged over 30.
A Graduated Driving Licensing Scheme would have stipulated a minimum training period of a year beginning at 17 at the earliest. A delay in the publication of the Green Paper was announced in December 2013 and since then the issue has dropped from the headlines, despite calls from the insurance industry for action.
The Northern Ireland Assembly says that the aim of the new provisions is to ensure that new drivers are better drivers, with the new training requirements allowing the acquisition of skills over a longer period, in lower risk environments. It hopes that the limits on night-time driving with passengers will reduce the risk create to other young people by novice drivers. At the same time the new Act introduces tough drink-driving laws and increased powers to require breathalyser tests.
It has been reported since 2013 that the Westminster Government may be favouring a different approach, placing more faith in telematics to address the high accident rate amongst young drivers, although no legislation has been proposed to date. It remains to be seen whether the tough provisions in Northern Ireland will achieve the stated aim of reducing the death rate on the roads, with 74 fatalities in 2015, and whether it will encourage Westminster to look again at a similar regime.
Article care of bodyshop magazine .
So, I’ve been reading a lot lately and the question that seems to be on everyone’s lips is, ‘do penguins have knees?’ writesFRAN BARKER, paint technician at John Macadam & Son Ltd.
Now, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. Worse still, theoretical discrepancies. When was it decided that repair was better than replace, who made that decision and what did they think they’d gain?
The question is not rhetorical. You see, going back to basics, pretty much everyone would agree that ‘the customer is always right’. Yes?
No matter how much you may think that the customer is being picky, they still have a right to some sort of standard. What that standard is, I suppose, is up to you. Perhaps if the customer is really adamant on paying as little as possible, for £100 you could offer to make it matt, £150 semi-gloss…..
If you were the customer, would you want a damaged panel on your prized possession to be repaired or replaced?
Which would you prefer – your car to have a half-inch deep valley of filler 10 inches long hidden by primer and paint in the middle of your repaired panel, or a nice new panel, unrepaired, with no risk of filler sinkage? I know what I’d prefer… I love filler sinkage, it’s great!
Is it greed or is it common sense? Yes, it generally costs less to repair a panel, but at what cost?
‘It’s better to repair than replace, it’s better to repair than replace…’ Saying the same thing over and over doesn’t make it any truer. Getting paid 2/3rds of the price of a new panel to repair from an insurance company is fantastic, but only if you can guarantee that the repair is going to be 100%, because comebacks are costly.
As a self-educated cynic, I question who is saying what and why? Metal and plastic can be recycled, so is the ‘environmental’ card being pulled out too readily to fill panels with filler to ‘save money’ or maybe for an increased bottom line? You decide.
The next time you buy a new car, ask yourself that question: Do penguins have knees? I’ve worked at a main dealership and that dealership (like many, if not all) repaired damage to cars with only three miles on the clock. Things are not always the way you think they are.
By the way, penguins do have knees…
Article by Alan Feldberg http://www.bodyshopmag.com/2016/blog/the-repair-versus-replace-conundrum/?utm_source=Daily+newsletter&utm_campaign=441da0ae53-Daily+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_718f6c6d43-441da0ae53-294254029
Article care of insurance age http://www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurance-age/news/2460647/adrian-flux-claims-first-with-launch-of-driverless-car-policy?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IA.Daily_RL.EU.A.U&utm_source=IA.DCM.Editors_Updates&im_mfcid=2e8a1e834d389beecf25a1ee9d633d29
Broker says policy is to support UK in its bid to be at the forefront of self-driving technology.
Broker Adrian Flux has launched its first personal driverless car insurance policy.
The broker said the policy is designed for consumers who may already have driverless features in their existing cars, such as self-parking, or who may be thinking of buying a new car with driverless or autopilot features.
Gerry Bucke, general manager for Adrian Flux said: "As the UK continues to invest in driverless research in preparation for the growing market for autonomous vehicles in the near future, we wanted to help provide confidence and clarity around the ongoing debate of ‘who is liable?'"
First of its kind
Bucke continued: "We understand this driverless policy to be the first of its kind in the UK - and possibly the world.
"It's a fantastic starting point for the insurance industry and the policy, like any other, will be updated as both the liability debate and driverless technology evolve."
The broker advised that it hoped the policy would encourage debate and discussion around the issue of liability and autonomous technology and was a way of supporting the UK in being at the forefront of self-driving technology.
According to the firm the new driverless policy has additional features over a standard car insurance policy.
It listed that customers will be covered for loss or damage in the following scenarios:
• If updates or security patches for things like firewalls, operating systems, electronic mapping and journey planning systems haven't been successfully installed in the vehicle within 24 hours of the owner being notified by the manufacturer or software provider, subject to an increased policy excess
• If there are satellite failure / outages that affect the navigation systems, or if the manufacturer's operating system or authorised software fails
• Where there is loss or damage caused by failing, when able, to use manual override to avoid a collision or accident in the event of operating system, navigation system or mechanical failure.
• For loss or damage if your car gets hacked or an attempted hack results in loss or damage.
Bucke added: "More than half of new cars sold last year featured autonomous safety technology such as self-parking or ABS, which effectively either take control or take decisions on behalf of the driver. And it's only going to continue.
"Driverless technology will become increasingly common in our cars over the next few years. We want this policy to reflect this transition and evolution.
"We already provide discounts for cars fitted with assistive technology such as autonomous braking as it has been proved to reduce accidents, and therefore claims. This is a natural continuation of the work that's already gone into this area."
Despite this a recent survey by Adrian Flux revealed that, of 1,800 customers questioned, very few said they would consider buying a vehicle with driverless technology.
Of those who answered ‘not likely' to owning one of the new motors, just over 45% said they didn't like the idea of giving up control to a computer, while 36% said they simply enjoy driving too much to hand over the reins.
One of the biggest problems identified was the vulnerability of driverless cars to hacking, with many high-profile cases involving big manufacturers such as Jeep revealing security flaws in existing software.
Bucke concluded: "We hope the launch of this policy provides a point of discussion for the insurance industry and the reassurance for the consumer who may wish to purchase a car with driverless features."
The government has been urged to commission independent research into the cost of insurance fraud, with personal injury lawyers disputing the £3bn figure put forward by a special taskforce.
The Ministry of Justice will publish an action plan based on recommendations made by the Insurance Fraud Taskforce, which was set up to review the scale of the problem and put forward ways of reducing fraud.
Justice minister Lord Faulks said that insurance fraud was estimated to cost policyholders up to £50 each a year and the country more than £3bn.
However, that figure was challenged by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), which urged the government to obtain independent evidence. APIL president Neil Sugarman said there was ‘no independent evidence available, as far as we are aware, which paints a clear picture of the situation, and we know figures for personal injury fraud are routinely distorted by the insurance industry’.
He said, ‘The facts available suggest that only 0.25% of motor claims are actually proven to be fraudulent. That includes policyholders over-egging their own claims, or making false declarations when they apply for insurance. Only a fraction of those will be whiplash claims.’
For fraud to be tackled effectively, Sugarman said it was critical that the government ‘aims at the right target, and the only way to do that is to commission proper, independent research’.
Author: Matthew Bell article care of parts gateway http://www.partsgateway.co.uk/pgtimes/queen-gives-autonomous-cars-seal-approval
Her majesty has once again dipped her toe into the world of motoring. This time it’s too unveil new legislation that will accommodate autonomous vehicles on the UK’s roads. This is potentially a lot more complicated than it initially sounds. The use of autonomous vehicles will raise all sorts of grey areas regarding the law, and will be a completely new category of vehicle for insurers.
Next year the UK will have its largest trial of autonomous vehicles on our roads. The news that Fiat and Google are also joining forces and building a purpose built innovation centre for just autonomous vehicles also means we can expect an increase in the rate of development.
Research performed by Thatcham suggests this could be the start of a rapid progression towards autonomous driving over the next decade. They said, “This will include the whole range of typical driving environments in cities and in urban environments as well as main arterial routes and with the ability to negotiate traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts, where the road infrastructure permits. Such vehicles will have full connectivity with each other and with the road infrastructure itself which will allow the vehicle not just to navigate through its immediate environment but to plan ahead effectively taking real time traffic conditions into account.”
For many decades most of the new developments in motoring, especially in the name of safety, have been taking control away from the driver. Most of them are now standard on all cars, and many of us would struggle a little without them. The advent of autonomous tech has seen a new wave of developments that are taking the onus of the driver in a completely new way. Many cars will now park themselves, keep you in your lane and automatically adjust the cruise control speed in response to other vehicles.
We don’t think the technology is anywhere near being completely autonomous yet, but as companies like Google and Apple start throwing money at the problems, progression is bound to speed up. You can virtually guarantee they will solve the technological problems quicker than most car manufacturers could ever hope to.
The question is rapidly changing from ‘Is autonomous tech viable?’ to ‘Who will deliver a working model first?’ Working towards the new legislation announced by Her Majesty shows the level of importance Government put on a future with autonomous vehicles, and they don’t want Britain being left behind.
A Walsall man has been sent to prison for a year for selling fake motor insurance.
City of London Police said that a 19-year-old man from Walsall has been jailed for selling fake motor insurance to unsuspecting customers.
Azeem Mahmood Hussain (20 January 1997) of Broadway West, Walsall was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment at Wolverhampton Crown Court 1 June, having previously pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
According to City of London Poice, an investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), part of the City of London Police, uncovered his ‘ghost broking' activity and found he was selling false car insurance via adverts placed on the Gumtree website. IFED officers also worked with colleagues from PSNI Police Service Northern Ireland) and Leicestershire Police as they pieced together the full extent of his activity.
Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey, from the IFED said: "Hussain is one of the youngest ever people we've dealt with for insurance fraud and this was a crude attempt by him to make some fast cash from his bedroom. He was advertising cheap motor insurance deals on Gumtree and sadly he was able to con some people into thinking he was a genuine broker.
"I'd also like to thank colleagues from PSNI and Leicestershire Police for their help and assistance in this case, as well as Gumtree for their support in helping us to identify ghost brokers exploiting their website. Gumtree has since removed the insurance category from its website so that unscrupulous individuals like Hussain are no longer able to operate on there."
Hussain's deception first came to light on 9 July, 2013 after a man who unwittingly used Hussain's service to insure his van was stopped by police in Northern Ireland. Checks on the vehicle revealed it was uninsured, but the driver protested and said that he was insured, having paid £200 into a bank account for the policy in response to a Gumtree advert.
The case was eventually passed on to IFED, where officers made enquiries and identified the account as belonging to Hussain.
On 19 September, 2013 another victim attended a police station in Leicestershire to report that he had been defrauded of £1,000 after purchasing what he believed was genuine car insurance after seeing an advert on Gumtree. By this stage IFED detectives were on Hussain's trail and the details were passed on to them to add to their investigation.
On 9 October 2013, IFED officers executed a search warrant at Hussain's address, seizing mobile phones, a laptop, bank statements and debit cards. Hussain was also interviewed by officers the following day, where he denied any knowledge of the fraud.
City of London Police explained that officers found over 100 templates and forged documents on the laptop and the phones matched the numbers from the Gumtree adverts. Messages found on the phones showed conversations about arranging motor insurance policies, asking various individuals for details such as names, dates of birth and addresses.
Detectives also matched the accounts into which the victims had paid money to statements, debit cards and cheque books found at Hussain's address. Officers found over £14,000 had been paid into one of the accounts, with £2,250 into the other.
Most of the deposits into the accounts had references of names or registration numbers. When officers compared the reference names from the deposits into the account with the fraudulent certificates found on the laptop, they found several matches.
The majority of the forged certificates were made out to be policies from Allianz, although when officers checked with Allianz, they discovered none were recognised by Allianz as genuine policies. Officers also discovered that Hussain had added one of his customers onto a family member's trade insurance policy with Tradewise Insurance. The driver was then involved in a crash and as he was listed on the trade policy, Tradewise was liable to cover the third party costs of around £10,000.
Hussain was charged on 7 March 2016 with four counts of fraud by false representation, and subsequently pleaded guilty to the offences on 3 May at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Sarah Mallaby, head of technical claims, Allianz Insurance said: "Scams such as these exploit members of the public and this significant sentence should send a message to potential ghost brokers that as an industry, we will fight against fraud every step of the way."
Alison Middleton, operations director for Tradewise Insurance, added: "We are pleased with the outcome of the proceedings and it is a great example of collaboration between IFED, Tradewise and the insurance industry in our continual attempt to combat fraud.
"Ghost broking has a significant impact on both insurers and consumers with serious consequences as shown by the custodial sentence Mr Hussain received. Protecting our customers is vitally important and we continue to thoroughly investigate all claim and policy concerns, bringing perpetrators to justice."
This article is care of Insurance age website http://www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurance-age/news/2460392/teenage-ghost-broker-jailed?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IA.Daily_RL.EU.A.U&utm_source=IA.DCM.Editors_Updates&im_mfcid=2e8a1e834d389beecf25a1ee9d633d29
Article care of bodyshop magazine. http://www.bodyshopmag.com/2016/news/driverless-technology-sent-to-coventry/?utm_source=Daily+newsletter&utm_campaign=0f315e1650-Daily+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_718f6c6d43-0f315e1650-294254029
A project that could see autonomous driving tests held on UK public roads as early as next year began yesterday.
Supported by the government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility Fund, the UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment (UK CITE) project aims to turn 40 miles of tarmac within Coventry and Warwickshire into a testing ground for connected vehicle technology.
By using a combination of wireless technologies, it will create the UK’s first fully connected infrastructure on public roads to enable safe and controlled trials in real-life conditions. The UK CITE consortium, which comprises leading industry, academic and local and national governmental organisations, hopes to establish how this technology can improve journeys, reduce traffic congestion and provide in-vehicle entertainment and safety services through better connectivity.
Phase One includes the preparation of infrastructure on routes along the M40, M42, A46, and A45 – as well as an urban route in Coventry – and the development of a vehicle, systems and gantry app to ensure roadside messages appear in-vehicle, either on the vehicle display or smartphone. It’s due to continue until the end of this year, with pre-test trials taking place on HORIBA MIRA’s City Circuit.
Claire Lewis is senior business development manager at joint leading consortium partner, Visteon Engineering, which is responsible for overall technical architecture of the project. She said, ‘The UK CITE project is an ideal opportunity for automotive manufacturers, technology and infrastructure providers and service operators, and infrastructure operators to collaborate to develop a real-world test bed for connected technology in a non-competitive environment. The UK CITE project will enable all partners to accelerate their learning on cyber security and safety whilst exploring the commercial opportunities of the connected vehicle area.’
Tony Harper, head of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover, the other lead partner, said, ‘This real-life laboratory will allow Jaguar Land Rover’s research team and project partners to test new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies on five different types of roads and junctions.
‘Other research corridors already exist in other parts of Europe. This test route with its mixture of road types and technology deployment is challenging the technology operation in real world environments and will provide the insight needed for deployment. This test route is exactly the sort of innovative infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally.
‘The connected and autonomous vehicle features we will be testing will improve road safety, enhance the driving experience, reduce the potential for traffic jams and improve traffic flow. These technologies will also help us meet the increasing customer demand for connected services whilst on the move.’
Also part of the consortium are Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Highways England Company, HORIBA MIRA, Huawei Technologies (UK), Siemens, Vodafone Group Services, and WMG at University of Warwick.
Here to help ensure consumers are treated fairly by insurance companies.