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Norwich Union and confused.com


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Can anyone help please with the following scenario ?


With four claim free years of fully comprehensive insurance with CIS behind him, my 21 year old son decided to change insurers for financial reasons.He had the benefit of the option to be covered driving other vehicles providing the owner gave permission.In February 2006, he moved to Norwich Union having searched the internet using the Cheap UK Car insurance and home insurance quotes comparison from Confused.com. database. This found many options, but Norwich Union suited him on price, as well as having all the benefits he previously enjoyed with CIS, including the option to be covered driving other vehicles providing the owner gave permission. The confused.com screen prompt clearly asked whether he wanted to be covered to drive other vehicles third party, he answered "yes". Everything was accepted and he proceeded with payment. Job done, new insurance cover, same as before but cheaper. The paperwork arrived a few days later and he, like many of us, filed it all away without reading.In October, he was pulled up by the police one night. There was a rear light failure on the car, which was owned and insured by me, his father, but driven by him. Sitting in the back of the police car, they access their records and notify him he is not insured. It seems his insurance only allows him to drive his own car full stop, whereas my insurance does not name him as a driver, of which I was aware. I was surprised as I thought any driver over the age of 21 was allowed to drive other vehicles etc, but apparently this has now changed to age 25. So, a summons will be on its way for driving without insurance. He contacted Norwich Union who did not want to know, keeping him on hold for 40 minutes, failing to return calls etc. They took the money without accepting responsibility. This would not be so bad if was not for the fact that, in July, he had been stopped and had to produce documents later. This he, stupidly, failed to do. Summons arrives for this July offence, conviction yesterday of £340 fine and 6 points. Yes, if he had produced, the current problem would have been cleared with just this fine, however, he is now looking at a further 6 points and ban for the October offence.My question to you is, how can we tackle the confused.com issue of providing wrong information ?How many others may be caught out by this ?Do you/we read our policy when it arrives to make sure ?I genuinely feel sorry for my son as this is an innocent mistake, punished as a criminal. Yes he is at fault for not producing, but never went out to drive without insurance. Is there anything we can do ?

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Confused.com are there simply as a cost comparison site - your son has no contract with them, he obtained the insurance from Norwich Union. It is your son's responsibility to check the policy wording and all exclusions before taking out the insurance, not after when it's too late.


In any case, being insured to drive any car is unusual for anybody under 25 so really he should have been looking specifically for somewhere that did this rather than comparing prices if he needed this sort of cover.


Also, I just found this as soon as I logged onto confused.com - it is there in black and white and certainly not hidden:


Confused.com is not a broker - we are an Insurance Search Engine to find out whether you can save money on insurance or other financial services products...


In order to accept the price our technology found for you, you must contact the insurance/financial service provider direct. We will give you a direct link to their web site...


Before you buy, it is really important that you check all the information they hold about you is correct. It is your responsibility to ensure all your details are correct, and failure to do so could result in invalidating your product, and in the case of insurance, you not having any insurance cover. ...


Our technology is very sophisticated and we hope that mistakes are never made! However, we stress that it is your responsibility to check that your details are correct on the underlying providers website.

Our technology is very sophisticated and we hope that mistakes are never made! However, we stress that it is your responsibility to check that your details are correct on the underlying providers website.


I think this is a non-starter. At least your son wasn't involved in an accident, which could have left him being liable for any third party damage (and this could be an unlimited liability).

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Thanks Barracad.


I must admit, our first thoughts were thankful that a serious accident was not involved.


I had not read the confused.com terms, but we are all more aware to check the small (and large) print.


Regarding the age 25 limit, most people I have spoken to around my parental age, 50, also thought the restriction was to age 21.


As I stress, this was a genuine mistake. There was never any intent to drive without insurance, if there had been, then no policy would have been taken out.


It is something he has taken on his chin and, whilst being very frustrated, is learning from.


Thanks for your clarification of this matter.





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Regarding the age 25 limit, most people I have spoken to around my parental age, 50, also thought the restriction was to age 21.



Its a shock to say but how many people know Insurance inside & out? It's like saying to an electrician "can you wire in this light, it will only take you 10 minutes" - if your not an electrician how do you know it would only take 10 minutes?

Insurance is a trade which has many in's & outs which the public would not know all of them.


Regarding Driving Other Cars (DOC), Norwich Union made the press in 2005 that they would be removing this cover in the future. They havent yet but did restrict it to Comprehensive policies for over 25 yrs only. This is because many people were using the DOC for driving other cars regularly, having accidents and making claims in them for what is mainly a car of higher performance than they are insured for.


In all cases of driving another persons car, it is always best to be named on that persons insurance. The DOC was always provided for emergency situations only, hence it is 3rd party cover only.

In Insurance, thinking "It wont happen to me" could mean you dont have the cover you want at a time when you want it! - Dont always reject a Courtesy Car or Legal because you find the cost too much! Whats more valuable? YOU or the Policy Premium?


Please add to my reputation if my reply was informative to you. (click the scales);) Replies offered by me are not linked to anyone, and is from my own personal experience.:grin:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I really do feel for your son. I work for norwich union and I am really sorry that they had to keep you on hold for so long. Unfortunately it is your son's responsibility to check that the documents are correct. Yes, not many do, but ultimately the onus is on your son.


He could try and argue the case in court. Provide details from confused but other than sympathy the judge will probably order 6 points and the resulting ban.


If it is any consolation, Norwich Union are the only company that do not load polices for an IN20 (driving without insurance). I know because I also had 2 IN20s. Most companies will but Norwich Union look at it that he was banned for not having insurance, as long as he now pays for it, then there is no need for the situation to happen again, unlike drink driving.


Also, they now do pay as you drive insurance, which might be cheaper for your son. Best of luck with his court case.

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