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Car insurance scandal





DoctorBeaver
I read today that sometime last year the UK government made it compulsory for all motor insurance companies to register their policies with a central database. This is to enable the police to more-effectively catch uninsured drivers. Police cars are fitted with number plate recognition cameras and the car is then automatically checked to see if the driver is insured.
However, this has raised some problems. It's standard on UK motor insurance policies for the insured person to be covered to drive another person's car so long as permission has been given. That clause has been a Godsend in many situations. For instance, a family with 2 cars. If the wife's car breaks down, she can use the husband's to do the shopping, take the kids to school, or whatever. I myself have borrowed friends' cars for certain things. I remember having to collect a flat-pack wardrobe unit that wouldn't fit in my car. I borrowed a friend's Volvo estate car to collect it. The problem is that if you're driving someone else's car on your own insurance, the car may show up as uninsured on the police computer. So, what has our wonderful government concocted as a solution? They want to stop it, that's what.
The government has set up a consultation process. A lot of insurance companies have gone along with the idea straight away, others are reviewing the situation, and a few have said no to it - or, at least, no for the time being. But that's all a charade. They will all go along with it eventually; they won't have any choice. This government has shown on many occasions that if the results of consultations go against what they want, they will just introduce a new law to force it through.
But what I find most worrying about all of this is that none of it has been made public. I read the papers every day, I watch all the news programs on TV, I get news feeds daily on my PC from various sources. I have seen not 1 single mention of this anywhere. That makes me wonder - how many other new databases have the government created without telling us? What else do the police have access to that we haven't been informed of? I'm not 1 of these conspiracy theorists, but the rate at which the Blair administration is increasing its surveillance of the public is frightening.
The Philosopher Princess
Hi, DoctorBeaver! Welcome to Frihost!

I agree with the spirit of your concern. As always, a monopoly wants to keep its monopoly, and that includes slipping in more and more restrictive laws against human beings, including against those who harm no one. I wish you luck on this issue, because logic will doubtfully play any part given the “UK government”’s monopoly status.

However, I was amused at your use of “Godsend”.

DoctorBeaver wrote:
It's standard on UK motor insurance policies for the insured person to be covered to drive another person's car so long as permission has been given. That clause has been a Godsend in many situations.

A common definition for godsend is an unexpected thing or event that is particularly welcome and timely (as if sent by God).

In general, we come into this world with the natural ability to borrow a car from a family member or friend with their permission. This is not at all an “unexpected” ability. It is only when external parties force their arbitrary rules on other people that that natural ability to borrow is not an option anymore. In other words, neither the “UK government” nor the “UK motor insurance” companies can grant the ability; they can only take it away; and they can only take it away, by using force.
DoctorBeaver
I stand by my use of the word Godsend. We tend, these days, to use it to mean a very fortunate, or maybe very timely, occurrence. But even using your strict definition of the word, there have been occasions where I have unexpectedly been offered the use of someone else's car when my own, for whatever reason, has not been available.
The Philosopher Princess
With all due respect, I believe you switched contexts. Your first use of “Godsend” had to do with a “clause” of insurance companies:
DoctorBeaver wrote:
It's standard on UK motor insurance policies for the insured person to be covered to drive another person's car so long as permission has been given. That clause has been a Godsend in many situations.

Your second (inferred) use has to do with offers by friends:
DoctorBeaver wrote:
there have been occasions where I have unexpectedly been offered the use of someone else's car when my own

They are two different subjects.
~~~~~~~~~~
It was unexpected to learn that you still want to consider “Godsend” to not include “unexpected” Smile.

DoctorBeaver wrote:
But even using your strict definition of the word

I don’t typically find plain ol’ dictionary definitions to be very “strict”. But, okay, so you’re saying you prefer to use that word to mean:
DoctorBeaver wrote:
a very fortunate, or maybe very timely, occurrence

That's fine. But even with the unexpected removal of "unexpected", my original point is still valid, namely, that:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
we come into this world with the natural ability to borrow a car from a family member or friend with their permission.
and
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
the “UK motor insurance” companies [do not] grant the ability; they can only take it away;

Even with your looser definition, "Godsend" doesn't seem to be appropriate.

It's not so much good fortune for any of us to have Freedom. Instead, it is bad fortune when Freedom is taken away.
~~~~~~~~~~
I hope, DoctorBeaver, that you will find it in your interest to get past our terminology issues. I find the substance of your postings I've read so far to be of good quality.
DoctorBeaver
It wasn't me who started with the pedantry.

And to add to the pedantry, borrowing is not an ability. Maybe persuading someone to lend something to you is an ability, but borrowing per se is not. Razz
The Philosopher Princess
Sorry if I was unclear: It’s not that I mind the terminology discussions continuing. It’s that I wish you would additionally address something significant of what I’ve said. (You might notice that my statements about terms/defs are not made just for the sake of semantic debate, but are part of the more significant points I'm trying to make.)

Given the number of posts, I’m disappointed that you haven’t either (1) acknowledged agreement with my good fortune/bad fortune and related points, or (2) mentioned something about why not. You have no obligation; it’s just a request. The reason I care is to know how better to understand your personal context in the future.
~~~~~~~~~~
DoctorBeaver wrote:
And to add to the pedantry, borrowing is not an ability. Maybe persuading someone to lend something to you is an ability, but borrowing per se is not. Razz

At a less detailed level of discussion, the concept of ability includes the concept of persuasion. (ability: power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, or financially) In fact, at that level, it can include a lot of things. The real point (for me) is not to work at getting the concept of ability more detailed in relation to a person, but instead to contrast the natural abilities of people with the abilities that are (supposedly) granted to them by Government and companies.
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