Insurance companies must ensure their customers actually do receive urgent correspondence in order to avoid unfair prosecutions, according to the country’s leading Traffic Lawyer.
Nick Freeman, AKA Mr Loophole, issued the warning after his client, the comedian and actor, Omid Djalili, unknowingly drove uninsured in his wife’s car after failing to receive three crucial notifications from his insurance company.
A letter from the company warning that if he did not furnish his wife’s counterpart licence within a given time scale would result in his insurance being terminated – never arrived.
The policy was cancelled on July 18, 2013 and a letter posted by Royal Mail to the policy holder was allegedly sent on July 23, 2013, which also never arrived.
Furthermore, an email which was presumably sent for “backup” purposes dated September 4 2013 – 45 days after the policy had been cancelled – went straight into Mr Djalili’s “junk” folder.
Mr Freeman said: “As one of Britain’s best known and funniest comedians, this was no laughing matter for Mr Djalili.
“Through no fault of his own, he was totally oblivious to the fact that his policy to drive his wife’s car had been cancelled.
“He is not the first person and most certainly will not be the last to be caught out in this particular manner. In fact, on the day that Mr Djalili contacted us, he was the third client to complain of this situation to my firm, Freeman & Co.
“Driving without insurance is a serious offence which results in not only a heavy financial penalty but an endorsement of between six and eight penalty points coupled with a discretionary disqualification.
“Further, if an uninsured driver is involved in a fatal accident they can expect a jail sentence. I believe it is incumbent upon insurance companies to ensure that their client receives vital communication.
“It should be part of their duty of care. Matters should not be left to the vagaries of Royal Mail. Either important letters should be sent via registered or recorded post or, alternatively, the policy holder should be sent a text or should receive a telephone call or voice mail.
“In Mr Djalili’s case, the letter advising the policy had been cancelled was not dispatched until five days after cancellation and the email which was diverted to a junk folder was not dispatched until 45 days after the cancellation of the policy.”
Mr Freeman added: “Had my client received any of the correspondence he would have acted forthwith.
“It was a simple matter of supplying his wife’s counterpart licence but because he failed to respond, the insurance policy was cancelled.”
For Further Information, please contact:
Nick Freeman, Freeman & Co, on 0161 236 7007
David Simister, Different PR, on 0845 389 26 26 / 07870 550 760