Policy documents: The Car Insurance policy itself is evidence of the Car Insurance contract, although it is not the contract itself.
However, as the policy document describes the parties, the car insurance cover, the consideration, the events leading to claims and compensation, and any special regulations and conditions applying to the contract, it is vitally important that when you are buying car insurance online that you understand and preferably read the wordings of the policy document.
In the case of any disagreements with your Car Insurer which inevitably occur following an accident or a claim, the terms of the policy may be subject to interpretation by the UK Courts.
The terms used to distinguish the sections of a car insurance policy are known technically in the industry as follows:
1. Recital Clause: setting out the scope of the car insurance cover and specific exceptions. This may be divided into sections if more than one type of cover is included for example fully comprehensive and third party fire and theft.
2. Operative clause: setting out the scope of the cover and specific exceptions. This may be divided into sections if more than one type of cover is included.
3. Attestation or Signature clause: authorising the policy by the signature of the underwriter or other senior official.
4. General exceptions: setting out the general exceptions to the cover provided.
5. Conditions: listing express conditions in order to define or limit the contract (such as the procedure to be followed in making a claim or altering the contract and the policy identification clause.
Car Insurance Policy wordings are often complex and difficult for the layman to comprehend.
Motor Insurers often issue with the policy a statement of cover in plain language, called either the car insurance policy summary or key facts document, to assist policyholders to understand the insurance protection provided, but these summaries do not cover everything in the policy.
It has not been found practicable for Car Insurers to adopt one general form of motor policy that would be equally applicable to all types of motor risks because of their diverse nature.
However, as with proposal forms, there are certain features that are common to practically all motor policy forms and it is such matters that are discussed in this lesson.
It must, of course, be borne in mind that policies issued by different Car Insurance Companies and Underwriters often vary in detail but in most cases their general form and conditions are alike.
Some Car Insurers have tried to simplify the wordings themselves. There are dangers in this area since the traditional wordings have been tried and tested in the courts, whereas simplified translations are unproved and may import areas of uncertainty as to the cover provided. Nevertheless, the experiments are a welcome sign that in the 21st Century Car Insurance is not stuck in the past, but that in both principle and practice it is dynamic and constantly developing to serve the motoring and car owning community more effectively.