MOTORISTS are being warned to beware of buying car insurance from unauthorised firms, which would actually see them driving without any valid insurance.
The warning from Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards service comes after a Lancashire motorist was pulled over when police records showed he was not insured.
The driver had purchased insurance from a company called Aston Midshires Insurance, based in Leicestershire, which had been selling car insurance aimed at young drivers.
The company is currently being investigated by Trading Standards, the police and the Financial Services Authority, which, on its website, lists Aston Midshires as an unauthorised overseas firm operating in the UK.
PC Mark Howson, of road policing, said: “We became aware of this issue after stopping a driver in Knott End because our records showed he was not insured. It transpired that he had purchased a policy through this company and believed he was insured – when in fact he was not. Those with similar invalid policies face having to pay the often substantial financial costs if they are involved in a collision.”
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We would urge any drivers who have purchased insurance from this company not to drive until they have arranged legal cover. Whilst people have bought this insurance in good faith, in the event of being involved in a collision they could be faced with having to pay substantial financial costs.
“As a general rule, if you haven’t heard of the company you are buying your insurance from, or have any doubts, it is your responsibility to check their credentials.”
The Financial Services Authority website is at: www.fsa.gov.uk