Keeping You Informed - The Insurance Act 2015

 


 
From time to time various acts of legislation appear that can be of significant importance to merit discussion.

 

One of these is The Insurance Act 2015


The legislation is seeking to create a new and fairer balance between policyholder and insurer. The main provisions of the Act give effect, with some modifications, to the recommendations made in July 2014 by the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission.


The changes will have a significant impact on how insureds and insurers approach policies, creating new duties for insurers and policyholders to comply with.
 

The Act deals with:
 

·         Duty of disclosure, both before a contract incepts and when amended

·         Warranties (including basis of contract clauses)

·         Terms not relevant to the actual loss

·         Fraudulent claims by insureds

·         Good faith

·         Amendments to the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 20101
 

Please click here to find a CCRS briefing document which will provide some clarity. If you wish to discuss the document further, please do not hesitate to contact our office where we will be happy to help.

       

 

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CATS AND DECANNING

Members and strategic partners of the Federation will no doubt recall that the BVSF have been trying to obtain cast iron directives relating to storing catalytic converters and de-canning catalytic converters since the "discovery" of RCF matting within some CATS and the inability of the manufacturers to confirm which ones have it !! This detail alone is amazing, how can vehicle manufacturers NOT KNOW whether their vehicles contain this dangerous substance, what, for example happens in an impact situation if the Cat is broken and the RCF escapes with people affected by the impact in close proximity, particularly police and recovery agents who may be exposed more often due to their involvement on a day to day basis.

Returning to the effect that the ruling will have upon BVSF members, as far as we understand it and relative to CoTC qualifications if you are a permitted ATF then you are ok to store safely, complete CATS that you obtain or remove from vehicles. If however you decan CATS then it is a totally different matter.


Hopefully therefore  this will clarify things - Storage only of catalytic converters at an ELV site.

• If they are produced as part of the dismantling activities on site then the existing ELV TCM qualification covers this.

• If they are imported to the site from 3rd parties then the existing ELV TCM qualification will cover this.


Required permit changes.

• Permit changes… If your permit doesn’t allow you to accept waste with the List of Waste code 16 01 21* you must apply to vary (change) your permit if you want to continue to accept catalytic converters from third parties.
To give you time to vary your permit, the Environment Agency has issued a temporary RPS. This RPS will end on 31 August 2017 and you must apply to vary your permit by this date.

 

Decanning Catalytic Converters.


If catalytic converters are being de-canned then this is a hazardous treatment activity and is a lot more complex and risky both to the environment and to human health. The processing and abatement needs to be carried out using correctly, maintained and monitored equipment to prevent the release of RCF fibres. Hazardous waste treatment

activities need to have a Technically Competent Manager who has the high risk tier Hazardous Waste Treatment qualification.

Clearly some members of the BVSF may have the alternative certification options under the E/U Skills scheme but these would need to be updated to include catalytic converter processing.


There has been no regulatory changes in relation to catalytic converters they have historically been misclassified and the magnitude of the risks misunderstood. Catalytic converters with RCF should have been classed as hazardous waste, the movements consigned and the relevant competence qualifications in place. Since the EA have become aware of the issue they have taken steps to raise awareness and ensure time is given for people to come into compliance.

Under normal circumstances BVSF members affected by the changes would be required to have the relevant qualification when the variation to their permit is issued. In this particular situation the EA have again agreed that operators who are varying their permits in relation to Catalytic converters and have to gain additional qualifications will have a year from variation issue to gain the relevant qualification.

The BVSF will have met with a training company by the time this article goes to print to investigate the ramifications of these changes and the costs involved.

 

Air Bags


The ability of bona fide vehicle dismantlers and salvage buyers to sell on “provenance known” air bags has been rumbling on for years now, yet still the latest code of practice (Draft) prevents our members from selling these items from insurance contracted vehicles. The BVSF strongly challenged the insurers over the sale of these items citing the fact that provenance unknown bags would be a danger to the public. And it was for this reason alone that the BVSF refused to support the latest draft of the code as we did not want to be party to a document that effectively put the buying public in danger.


However, back in February this year we reported that a number of counterfeit bags were discovered for sale and indeed it is thought that well in excess of 600 were purchased by unsuspecting buyers.

We are now advised that Representatives from vehicle manufacturers are assisting  the police investigation into suspected counterfeit airbags and components seized by the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
Furthermore we are also informed  that Motor industry safety experts are assisting with detailed physical analysis of the items which they have recovered from the address of a person alleged to be involved in  online sales of counterfeit airbags. The news goes on to say that this process is a crucial part in determining not only the legitimacy of the items but also the dangers they pose to the public.

It would be interesting to note what sort of analysis is taking place particularly when we, the BVSF and indeed the MVDA did our own investigation into this, proved beyond doubt that “PROVENANCE KNOWN” and “CORRECTLY TESTED” air bags were indeed safe for re-use and the representatives of the manufacturers said of our testing, “all you have proven is that they will go bang”, yet when we suggested they perform an “Analysis” on “our bags” this was simply waved aside.
Obviously we, at the BVSF hope that no one has been injured (or worse) by the fitting of these counterfeit airbags but we said that this was the reason for not supporting the code and our worst fears have now come to reality. We can only hope that now that the point is proven, sense will be seen.

It really is about time that the insurers sat up and took notice of this investigation before it gets any worse.

An article found on the internet goes on to say….and the insertions in italics are the thoughts of the BVSF.


“With the safety of the public being our primary focus in this investigation, (As the draft of the code should be considering) we are urging anyone who has concerns about a possible counterfeit car part they may have, to contact their nearest authorised car dealer. They will have the expertise to examine the vehicle and determine if it is safe and roadworthy. ( Presumably doing exactly the same test as our airbag investigation which was rejected by the manufacturers representatives) Furthermore, if you suspect you have purchased a counterfeit product or have come into contact with a counterfeit website please report the matter to Action Fraud.

“Finding a good deal online should not lead to compromising you own safety. (So let us sell the ones that will work as they should then) We are reminding the public to use reputable suppliers, and if you have any doubt about what you are buying, don’t cut corners, and don’t buy it.

I think the old term is “I rest my case”.

RW

 

BVSF Rejects Latest Salvage Code of Practice Draft.

It can now be confirmed that the BVSF having read and discussed at Management Committee level, 

the latest draft of the salvage code of practice, have decided NOT to support it. 

There are various sections of the new draft that we do not agree with and it is still clear 

that the draft has been written by the insurers, for the insurers with little or no thought for others. 

However, the main reason for non support relates to the sale of provenance known airbags. 

The insurers have retained the restrictive covenent whereby members are still unable to sell these on, 

despite this bringing some form of regulation into this area. In rejecting the current draft the BVSF 

have done so on Health and Safety grounds as any other argument is clearly pointless. To prevent Bona 

Fide Salvage Buyers/Dismantlers from selling these provenance known items will simply open the 

floodgates to illegal operators and counterfeit producers on the likes of ebay etc, selling provenance 

unknown and therefore potentially lethal units which clearly is a massive danger to the public at large 

and BVSF want no party to this danger. The Salvage Code of Practice is designed to "Protect the Public".

 

I can confirm that the BVSF were successful in their argument against the reduction of salvage categories

from 4 to 3, however, as stated above, unless further thought and discussion is immediate in the area of

re-saleable airbags we want no connection with the document. A letter confirming this has been sent and 

indeed received by relevant parties and copies will now be send to Government Departments to confirm our 

stance.

 

RPW

Automotive Waste Stream Alliance (AWSA)

 

The Automotive Waste Stream Alliance (AWSA) is a newly formed working group initiated by the TRA in conjunction with the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), the British Vehicle Salvage Federation (BVSF), the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association (MVDA) and the Retread Manufacturers Association (RMA).

The Alliance will work together on common areas of interest bringing together expertise and lobbying power from all five associations.

Peter Taylor OBE, Secretary General of the TRA commented “Working together will enhance all associations’ ability to effectively advocate on regulatory and enforcement issues affecting their members.”

Many common issues are already being lobbied for by the associations involved and an alliance will strengthen the channel of communication to Government and regulators. Taylor further commented the alliance “will only serve to add greater strength to such activity and provide member industries a louder voice among policy makers”.

The inaugural meeting of the AWSA will be held in the late summer.

From the EA.

Further to the email we sent out last summer about RCF matting in catalytic converters. We are removing two low risk positions (LRWP 362 & 405) that allow the processing of catalytic converters. RCF is carcinogenic and has similar risks and properties to asbestos and this means it is not appropriate for catalytic converters to be processed under a low risk position.
 
We have written the attached letter to catalytic converter processors that were advertising on the internet and we have sent the attached briefing to our officers. I thought it would be useful for you to have copies.
 
I am also drafting a quick guide which I hope to be able to circulate to you for comments in the next couple of weeks.
 
Currently from the enquiries I have made there does not seem to be an easy way to identify which catalytic converters contain RCF and which don’t before cutting them open. That said, I would welcome any details or methodology that can be put in place to distinguish catalytic converters containing RCF from those that do not.

Two supporting documents are here and here.

 

FTAO all members and Strategic Partners.

Please find a copy of a quick guide that has been produced by 

the Environment Agency HERE for Environment Agency Officers in relation to the recent 

announcement regarding RCF within Catalytic Converters. Although this is EA internal 

guidance they are seeking comments from trade associations and interested parties.