BIBA responds to the Future of Transport: rural strategy – call for evidence

17th February 2021

About BIBA

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes around 1800 regulated firms, employing more than 100,000 staff. General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy; they arrange 67% of all general insurance with a premium totalling £65.1bn and 81% of all commercial insurance business. Insurance brokers put their customers’ interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.

BIBA receives hundreds of thousands of enquiries per year to its Find Insurance Services, online and via the telephone, which are directed to insurance broking firms.

BIBA is the voice of the sector advising members, Government, regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.

Response Apologies we are only replying with a summary response on this occasion. BIBA appreciates the Government focus on rural transport, clearly there are differing priorities for rural as opposed to urban areas.

Our thoughts are summarised as follows:

1. With the move to EVs the roll out of the charging facilities must take into consideration the lack of rural petrol stations to act as charging facilities and consider how Government can help introduce charging facilities in rural locations, perhaps if there is a local hub whether that be the village post office/ public house etc or provide grants for rural homes to fit them where feasible.

2. E-scooters can be used for short journeys between rural locations providing a cheap and green means of travel in the absence of a regular public transport service. However these are currently illegal. We understand the government is keen to legalise e-scooters but would urge government to consider how victims of inevitable accidents will receive compensation. We therefore propose that e-scooters be legalised subject to the following:

USE BIBA support the use of certain (see below) e-scooters on cycles lanes and public roads, But NOT on pavements. COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS It is vital to legislate in order to have a compulsory third-party compensation system in place for the victims of e-scooter incidents. BIBA suggests a new low-level minimal insurance requirement unique to this new form of travel of £2M to £5M third party liability. We could resolve the significant vehicle type/ private land arguments at the same time SAFETY Due to the high number of injuries caused by e-scooters we set out several ideas for a sensible approach including compulsory use of cycle helmets along with requirements to have lights, alerting devices, a maximum speed of 12.5mph and maximum power of 350W. We also believe a compulsory online safety assessment is required. LIGHT TOUCH To encourage the greater uptake of e-scooters we would not require a driving licence or motorcycle helmet or unlimited Road Traffic Act Insurance.

3. It is important for young drivers who cannot rely on public transport in rural areas late at night built are required to work at night, to be able to drive a vehicle at these times. However the insurance industry have an innovation that can assist with road safety for young drivers. Research form telematics providers shows that the accident rate for young drivers within six months of their policy start date reduces to one in 19, compared to one in five young drivers who have an accident in the first months after passing their test. Telematics policies have been shown to moderate driving behaviour, reducing speeding by 25% and to increase road safety. BIBA therefore proposes that Government incentivise more young drivers to purchase telematics insurance by, for example making these policies exempt form Insurance Premium tax.

4. The advancement of automated vehicles can also assist road safety in rural areas. BIBA is keen for the UK to be a work leader in this technology; however it is vital that technology is proven to have passed the Thatcham Research safety tests before being introduced and accepted and therefore insurable.

5. Car sharing in rural areas can also save money and is better for the environment. BIBA is conscious that insurance for car sharing is current proving difficult and we are keen to assist in developing new insurance products to assist with rural car sharing.

We would be happy to discuss these issues with you.

Yours sincerely

Graeme Trudgill FCII, Chartered Insurance Practitioner Executive Director

Tel: 020 7397 0218 Email: [email protected]