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Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 561099

Murria Solicitors is the trading name of Murria Solicitors Limited.

Company Registration Number: 07515842

Confusion between Motoring Convictions and Fixed Penalties may force re-think for Insurers

Sep 24 2012

A quick Google search shows there is still a lot of confusion amongst the public as to whether fixed penalties constitute motoring convictions. When it comes to insurance, making a mistake may mean the difference between an insurer paying out or as in the case of one of our clients recently, voiding the policy after the theft of an expensive BMW vehicle.

Here Royal & Sun Alliance Plc declared a policy void for failing to disclose the fact that our client had three fixed penalties at 3 points each for speeding and mobile telephone usage. The questions on the proposal form had referred to “Motoring Convictions”. A fixed penalty is not a conviction and as such in a ruling dated 13th Sep 2012 the Financial Ombudsman Service upheld a complaint that although the questions on the form implied that penalty points should be listed, the use of the word conviction created ambiguity. Where there is ambiguity it is considered fair and reasonable that the language be construed in favour of the party who did not write the contract, i.e. the policyholder.

The Ombudsman ordered RSA to pay 8% p.a. interest on the money settlement plus Ł150 in compensation for the distress and inconvenience caused.

This matter was handled by Mr G S Kang (Director).

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