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Having a nightmare!!! Learner Driver insurance

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I'm hoping someone can give me some advice here.

 

I took out a Learner driver policy for my son last September after buying him a car for his 18th Birthday. He was the owner and I stupidly did not change my name to his on the V5 so was the registered keeper.

 

When I took out the policy I was named as a named driver, the policy was in his name and I declared that he was the owner/registered keeper of the car as I had my own vehicle.

 

Two weeks ago, he drove his car to his friends and I drove the car home. Unfortunately, I drove into the back of someone and the insurance said the car was written off.

 

The insurance company have refused to pay out because they said that I didn't say that I was the registered keeper of the car.I can accept this as an oversight on my part but they have now voided my sons policy and he has to state that he has had insurance voided and therefore insurance premiums are ridiculous!

 

Im absolutely devastated about this as it was a genuine error on my part. Has anyone any advice regarding getting reasonable insurance cover for him?

 

Many Thanks.

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The way Insurers should view this, is whether the risk was different had the register keeper been informed correctly. Your Son as the learner drive was obviously going to be driving the car under supervision and you were going to use it as a named driver. You not getting around to updating the V5 into your Sons name has not affected you having the crash.

 

The argument the Insurers will use is that the premium or risk would have been different had they known about who the registered keeper was. If it was your car, your Son would have been more careful. But this misses the point, that your Son would only have ever driven the car under supervision as learner. You always could use the car as named driver and had an accident.

 

Under ICOBS (FCA rules applying to Insurers), they cannot void Insurance to avoid a claim due to such techicalities. They would have to really prove that the Insurance would not have been provided with the true infirmation.

 

I will look up some info and add a few links shortly.

 

BUT your Son should make a formal complaint in writing as policyholder and if not resolved involve the FOS.

 

ICOBS - https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/ICOBS/8/1.html


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Could you please tell us what the premium was for your son as a learner driver and what the premium was for you as a qualified named driver.

 

Although clearly you made an administrative error, if the car was properly insured for both your son and for you and if your son was insured as the principal driver meaning that he would have had the majority of use out of the car, then I don't see how your administrative error could at all have affected the risk of an accident. In other words I don't see how your administrative error increased the danger of having accident.

Please would you comment on this.

 

 

The law relating to insurance is that they must treat you fairly. One of the very important rules this is contained in ICOBS and is basically that the insurers are prevented from denying loss where there is simply some administrative error – even though that admission of error might be a breach of contract.

 

They can only deny you loss where the error has materially affected the risk. This means, that if they had known the truth then they might have charged you a greater insurance premium in order to cover the increased risk. On the basis of what you have said – or at least on the basis of what I have understood, it seems to me that the situation as the insurers believed it to be, was already at maximum risk level.

 

Your son was a learner driver

the insurer believed that he was the registered owner and therefore the majority user of the car

the insurance premium was then calculated on your learner driver son being the principal user

the fact that you were not the registered keeper confirmed the insurers believe that they riskier driver would be the main driver.

 

If it had been the other way round and the insurer had been led to believe that you were the main driver and that your learner driver son was simply the named, occasional driver and they had reduced the premium accordingly, then I would say that they would have a valid complaint. However that does not seem to be the case here.

 

Is this all correct?


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Also

 

Consumer Insurance Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/contents/enacted

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/technical_notes/misrepresentation-and-non-disclosure.htm

 

 

Basically if the disclosure error was not deliberate or wreckless and it did not affect the risk, then they should not have voided to refuse the claim. They would have to prove your admin error really affected them Insuring and that it was so serious they had grounds to void the cover.

 

Unfair and a complaint should succeed.

 

Do make the point that you have another car that is your main vehicle and provide details of this. They can then see that you were not deliberately giving wrong info, because you were using the Sons car all of the time.


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I was paying on a monthly basis. I think it was £48 a month until he passed his test when I would have to declare that he had passed and his policy would change.Its a policy with Collingwood.

 

I really did think I had done everything correctly here. Got him his own policy, named myself as a named driver for occasional use when he wanted to go somewhere and I had to drive the car back. I have got my own insurance which is fully comprehensive on my own car.

 

What they are saying is that I knowingly put him down as the registered keeper when he was not, even though he owns the car which was bought as a gift by me for his birthday. I even have photos of the car on his birthday with balloons and banners on it! However, they are adamant that the policy is now void and invalid.

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Who insures your own car?


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I can accept that I messed up and they wont pay out. Its the voiding of the insurance which is the massive headache for me as its expensive enough to insure an 18 year old boy!!!

 

My own car is with Brightside.

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I don't think that you will need to accept their lost denial. What is the value of the damage?

 

As far as your own car is concerned, I was hoping that you had insured with the same company in which case it might have been easier to leverage it all.

 

It may take some work but I think that you can get them to pay out and also to restore the insurance because there quite clearly acting unfairly and they are simply making an economic decision to avoid paying out. They are acting unlawfully. However, as I have said, it will probably take some time. Please tell us the value of the loss

 

Also, I realise that you haven't told us name of the insurer. What is the name of the insurer


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I can accept that I messed up and they wont pay out. Its the voiding of the insurance which is the massive headache for me as its expensive enough to insure an 18 year old boy!!!

 

Don't accept it. Collingwood have been unfair. Send them a full written complaint giving them the full story, with details of your main car which has Insurance.

 

It was simply a mistake in forgetting to send the V5 registration off to get changed.

 

Remember that if you don't go the full way in trying to get this decision changed, your Son will have to declare this voidance for a long time.


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Tell me about it! I've just been quoted £4000 for insurance when he passes his test!!!!

 

Many thanks for all your help with this. I really do appreciate the advice that I've been given.

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Ive had the engineers report back today along with a delightful letter stating that they have voided the policy, do not wish to provide further cover and they reserve the right to retain the premium.

 

The settlement figure was quoted at £3295.

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I guess you arranged cover online, rather than phoning Collingwood ?

 

If you had phoned, given the two way conversation, you would have clarified the situation and confirmed the V5 was being sent off to change keeper name. Also as you were not going to be the policyholder, they would have insisted your Son arranging the Insurance contract, as it was to be in his name.

 

This is one of the dangers of companies putting so much online. People make mistakes. It allows someone other than the person seeking the contract to take it out. If they are allowing this situation to save money, then they need to be fairer when it goes wrong.


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Well, I will compile a letter on his behalf and see what happens. Just a quick question - if they are stating that the car never had insurance - could I be prosecuted?

 

and yes, all cover was done online - never again!!!!

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and yes, all cover was done online - never again!!!!

 

You get so many problems with online business, because it is too easy.

 

When you send written complaint write to Collingwoods Managing Director and say that if you cannot resolve you will take further with the FOS. Not sure about court route, as your Son would be arguing about a contract in his name he did not personally arrange. But he can say he authorised you to act on his behalf.

 

Well, I will compile a letter on his behalf and see what happens. Just a quick question - if they are stating that the car never had insurance - could I be prosecuted?

 

No.


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Well at least that is something! I will compile a letter and hopefully this can all be sorted in some shape!

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Also

 

Consumer Insurance Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/contents/enacted

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/technical_notes/misrepresentation-and-non-disclosure.htm

 

 

Basically if the disclosure error was not deliberate or wreckless and it did not affect the risk, then they should not have voided to refuse the claim. They would have to prove your admin error really affected them Insuring and that it was so serious they had grounds to void the cover.

 

Unfair and a complaint should succeed.

 

Do make the point that you have another car that is your main vehicle and provide details of this. They can then see that you were not deliberately giving wrong info, because you were using the Sons car all of the time.

 

The Insurer is allowed under the Consumer Insurance Act to void a policy if they would not have offered cover had they been advised of the correct information at the start of the policy.

 

So if they would have only provided cover if the car was registered in your son's name, the Consumer Insurance Act will be of no help.

 

Collingwood allow (I assume they still do) a learner to take out a policy on other people's cars eg their parents to cover them to drive the vehicle separately from the parents Insurance. It may well be that your case is different as they're separate contracts or they use different Insurers.

 

The key issue is whether or not they would have provided cover under the contract you were covered by had the correct information been declared

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I did wonder about this as I dont think they would have offered the insurance if the car was in my name. Basically then, I dont have a case? This has proved to be the most expensive oversight ever.

Edited by Welshblonde

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I did wonder about this as I dont think they would have offered the insurance if the car was in my name. Basically then, I dont have a case?

 

You need to do some research.

 

Collingwood are more likely than a normal Insurer to offer cover if the car is registered in another's name as they do offer allow you to arrange a second policy on say a parents policy to allow a learner to drive, however they're in effect a broker who have different Insurers who may offer cover on different contracts and different risks

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Were you on Collingwood's "Short Term" or "Annual" policies?

 

I'm guessing you had the annual policy

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I did wonder about this as I dont think they would have offered the insurance if the car was in my name. Basically then, I dont have a case? This has proved to be the most expensive oversight ever.

 

I believe you do have a case. At the time of arranging the Insurance, your intention was to register everything in your Sons name. The car was given to your Son and it was for him to learn in. It was not a car you were going to use, as you have another car in your name.

 

I can't see it is fair for Insurers to penalise someone because they forgot to send off the V5.

 

I can see what Dacouc is saying, but it should not put you off complaining. Let them prove that the underwriters of the policy would not have provided Insurance because the V5 was in your name at the time the Insurance was arranged.


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When I phoned earlier they stated that the policy would not have been given if they had known I was the registered keeper of the car. Apparently its in their terms and conditions. I guess I can only try and see what happens. The issue now is no-one will insure my son because he's under 25. I can't believe that such a simple oversight is going to have such a massive effect.

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Did you take the annual or short term policy?

 

It would be possible for you to insure the vehicle in your name providing you declare your son as the main user (Assuming he is) and the question the Insurer asks about void policies only asks if the Policyholder has had a void policy and does not extend the question to ask if any of the drivers have had a void policy (Many don't ask the question about additional drivers).

 

The Consumer Insurance Act basically means you only have to answer clear questions, you do not have to volunteer information the Insurer has not asked about

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The insurance was basically renewed every month - I think it was the annual policy.

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The insurance was basically renewed every month - I think it was the annual policy.

 

Do some research, I've not run a quote but had a quick look at their annual quote engine and it offers the option to change the default setting of "Policyholder" as RK to "Parent". This does not mean they will quote however if they do offer a quote and it's the same scheme you're covered by AND the same Insurer then (assuming you did not deliberately miss lead them) the Consumer Insurance Act means the Insurer would have to honour the policy subject to any changes in premium / terms eg excess they would have made

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My point which i think the FOS would agree with, is that this company Collingwood are offering learner driver products. Therefore it is highly likely that parents will buy cars for their children and the registered keeper may be changed over from parent to the children. If there is any issue with potential voidance about registered keeper, given nature of this product, then Collingwood should offer a clear warning on their internet site.


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