YUDP lobbies government for insurance watchdog

| 11/09/2010

(CNS): As a result of hardship suffered by a number of young people being hit by drivers who are either uninsured or drunk, making their policies void, the YUDP is lobbying government to do something about the law and regulation of the industry. The young politicians said that some of the difficulties experienced are largely due to the fact the there is no government body responsible for monitoring and regulating the policies for general and motor insurance. Although insurance providers are licensed by Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), the YUDP has called for an industry “watchdog” to monitor the sector and deal with complaints. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

“As there is no general insurance commission, insurers are, in essence, free to act at their own discretion with regard to fees, coverage and claim payments unless ordered otherwise by the court. A prime example of this was seen in a recent incident where a young lady’s vehicle was hit by a young man driving under the influence of alcohol,” said Chanda Glidden, Legal Council for the Young United Democratic Party (YUDP).
 
“The young man was clearly at fault and had fully comprehensive insurance, which should have covered her third party claim. However, his provider refused to pay because he was allegedly driving under the influence. “
 
Glidden said the young woman’s third party insurance was, of course, no assistance to her in this case, leaving her without a car and her only remedy was an expensive legal action against the driver.
 
The YUDP legal expert said this was not only unfair on the accident victim, but  she noted  that the law does not expressly permit insurance providers to exclude a third party claim where the person at fault is charged with driving under the influence.  “It appears that this is simply a policy that some insurance providers have adopted in the absence of a regulating body,” she pointed out.  “What is truly unfair is that a single consumer may, as required under the law, pay hundreds of dollars each year for the protection afforded by their insurer; yet when that protection is called upon, it falls short."
 
Cayman doesnot offer true “no-fault” insurance coverage, which provides for a person injured or whose car is damaged in an accident, to deal with their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. “The insurance companies would then determine the degree of fault to be assigned to each driver to ensure the at-fault driver’s premiums are adjusted appropriately,” Glidden explained.
 
Unofficial statistics indicate that accidents where uninsured parties are at fault are common but  the only recourse for the claiming party is to bring an action against them through the court.
 
“In order to counteract the third party claimant being left at such a severe disadvantage, some jurisdictions offer uninsured motorists policies or have implemented an uninsured motorists fund regulated by a government authority,” Glidden stated.   
 
The YUDP said it has brought these and other related issues to the attention of the government and is working in partnership with them to rectify the situation.
 
“In due course we hope to see a review of the motor insurance legislation and the establishment of an insurance commission in order to regulate the industry and to ensure that fair and efficient remedies are awarded to properly insured drivers,” the young politicians added.
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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The YUDP may have some good ideas, but this isn’t one of them & shows a lack of understanding of the issues. Regulation always causes red tape & increased costs.

    Re "Cayman does not offer true “no-fault” insurance coverage"; what is Comprehensive cover then?! There’s no difference here or in other countries & Cayman isn’t getting a bad deal by mean insurers, you just need to understand what you’re talking about. Insurance isn’t there to cover law-breaking-drink-drivers; blame them for doing so & crashing, not the insurers!!!

    • anonymous says:

      The Governor,

      The Deputy governor

      The Commissioner of police

      The Premier

      And especially the Insurance or monetary authority

      Have all GOT TO BE OUT OF THEIR MINDS if they are allowing

      these drivers to stay on the road out of control.

      Do they make periodic stops to check Insurance coverage?

      Who pays off the bank for an uninsured car that is totalled? and insurance lapsed?

      This is criminal.

      Also the horsepower in some of these cars should not be allowed. Fast racing cars have no business on the streets. they belong on a race track.

      We need to put Inspector Blackman in charge of Traffic, that man did not play when it comes to breaking the driving laws. He saved many lives on the road.

  2. Rorschach says:

    What is truly unfair is that a single consumer may, as required under the law, pay hundreds of dollars each year for the protection afforded by their insurer; yet when that protection is called upon, it falls short."

     

    Welcome to the BIGGEST SCAM in the world…it’s called,"The INSURANCE INDUSTRY"..  and it’s the biggest BAIT and SWITCH scam going….  Ladies and Gentlemen, if you or I tried to do something like this, we would be LOCKED UP in Northward Prison….

    • Anonymous says:

      "What is truly unfair is that a single consumer may, as required under the law, pay hundreds of dollars each year for the protection afforded by their insurer; yet when that protection is called upon, it falls short."

      Sounds very much like the medical insurance here too – complete rip-off.

      And as for the biggest scam in the world, having travelled and had insurance in other countries, I can tell you that you are without a doubt correct… Cayman’s insurers are the biggest scammers on this earth because they take way more and do way less than any other insurers I have ever come across.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Insurance Companies are profit making organisations which are aided by the law (because we are all legally obliged to have insurance if we own a car and drive it on the roads) but at the first opportunity the insurance companies will do their level best to avoid paying out on an insurance policy… Put it this way, the only real expenses of an insurance company are the insurance claims…  the less claims they pay out the more money for their shareholders! It’s a story we hear time and time again! So if the Insurance companies profit margin is protected by law… where is our protection from the insurance company?! 

    In the instance referred to by Cline Glidden about the young man allegedly driving under the influence we have a local insurance company voiding an insurance claim not only before this young man was convicted by a court of law but probably before he was even charged with a crime by the police… again, he was only allegedly under the influence! In these instances a watchdog could ensure that 3rd party claims were paid and if at a later stage it was found (in a court of law as opposed to the court of BritCay or Sagicor) that the driver was indeed at fault and had voided his policy by his own illegal actions then the insurance company could seek to recover any money they paid out and should not have done!

    I think this a great move from the YUDP my only concern is… why did this have to come from the YUDP and not the UDP?! The UDP hasn’t had a good idea in years!

  4. Eiblo Goughts says:

    So all of this is about someone moaning because they chose not to buy fully comp?  I was always told if you can’t afford fully comp you can’t afford to drive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Depending on the year of the car, this is not always a choice. Insurers will not insure a vehicle fully comp after it has reached a certain age.

  5. Devil's Advocate says:

     Police officers currently make random stops to check registration so despite the inconvenience of possible delays, could we not use such people already being paid to stop vehicles to also ask for insurance? What about the Economics & Statistics unit to have this function in conjunction with consumer type complaints function?

     I thought as a matter of law we had to have these documents in the vehicle anyway so police should be checking for these on the road blocks, but I could be wrong. 

    I respect the young politicians for trying to attempt to come up with solutions but would also like to hear about solutions that are not about increasing bureaucracy and also looking at addressing the high costs of premiums and not only how we can ensure that the companies only get more business.

    Thanks for your efforts but please also look at efficient ways to address situations without having to always resort to new departments, commissions etc……especially when cost is such an important factor from every angle. 

    Good luck with submission of workable and complimentary plans for the government that will benefit all residents!

  6. durrrr says:

    in cases where drivers are driving drunk and the insurers are allowed to avoid the policies, the insurers are still obliged to cover claims for death and personal injuries. if you’re worried about damage to your property, the answer is to buy a full, comprehensive policy. anything else will just result in higher premiums for everyone, or more Government expenses.