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Commercial Vehicles (Insurance)

Volume 648: debated on Thursday 9 November 1961

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22.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now aware of the difficulty experienced by operators of commercial vehicles in getting adequate insurance against theft of the goods they carry; in view of the large number of such thefts, what steps he now proposes to take to deal with this matter; and if he will make a statement.

My hon. Friend has brought some particulars of such difficulties to my notice. It is primarily the responsibility of the owner to protect his vehicle against theft, but the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, in consultation with representatives of the operators, is paying special attention to this problem, and the police generally are very ready to advise owners about precautions which can be taken.

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that the after-dark cover is excluded within 15 miles of Charing Cross unless vehicles are in a locked garage or in a park with an attendant constantly on duty? Further, is he aware that there simply is not a sufficient supply of such places, and the result is that, with inadequate cover, one severe loss will drive a haulier out of business altogether?

Any question of insurance is between the insurance company and the motorist. The security of vehicles is a matter to which the Commissioner of Police is constantly giving attention. In so far as it depends on more off-street parking, I invite my hon. Friend's attention to the increased opportunities which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, with the local authorities, is providing.