Leader comment: Let’s ‘insure’ that changes are made

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf's problems started with trains. Now, it's car insurance. Picture: Jane Barlow
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf's problems started with trains. Now, it's car insurance. Picture: Jane Barlow
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It is often the way; when you are on the ropes the punches just keep rolling in. That certainly is how Scotland’s beleaguered transport minister must feel.

Humza Yousaf has already been pilloried for the candid if inadvisable admission that, despite being minister for transport, he is no expert on transport. This came at a time when there were serious misgivings over the performance of Abelio and ScotRail, with the Scottish government having to insist on an improvement plan from the rail operator.

Now it is revealed that Mr Yousaf was found by police not to be properly insured for a car he was driving. He was stopped as he drove a friend’s car on the A835 between Inverness and Ullapool last week.

Mr Yousaf said it had been an honest mistake and had arisen following his split from his wife which meant that ownership of a vehicle had changed and he had not registered with his insurance company the fact that he was now the main policy holder. As a result he was not insured to drive other cars as he believed his fully comprehensive policy allowed.

There is a very important lesson to be learnt here, and it is not just for the public. If a a minister of state is confused and caught out by car insurance, what does that tell insurance companies about the complexities and the communication of them.

Surely, as well as a reminder to everyone about the need to be extremely careful about modern car insurance, insurance companies must see that far better communication is needed, given that the stakes – because of the value of cars and the questionable actions of ambulance-chasing personal injury companies – are now so high.