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I read with some alarm that insurance companies are charging motorists higher premiums because they have fitted winter tyres to their vehicles during the current extreme weather conditions. I find it staggering that insurance companies would seek to penalise their customers for making their vehicles more safer, thereby, reducing the number of accidents on the road some involving personal injury.

Apparently, the insurance companies rationale for increasing premiums, some of which are up to 20% more, is that the introduction of winter tyres on a vehicle represents a modification to the manufactures specifications. It goes without saying that winter tyres are much safer in the snow, however, I also read that in some cases, insurance companies were even refusing to offer cover if winter tyres were fitted. Apparently, the insurance companies are blaming the problem on call centre workers who are robotically going through the terms and conditions of the policy without thinking about the safety implications of fitting the tyres.

Another thing of concern for the motorists, is that if they have a car accident and failed to declare such a modification on their vehicle, I would not put it beyond the insurance companies to seek to avoid their liability because the conduct of the insured has vitiated the policy by breaching its terms through an ostensible modification of their vehicle. This is all the more alarming as Kwik Fit has recently declared that they have sold 25 times more winter tyres than they did this time last year.

Life is so much easier in a world made of plasticine!      

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