Driving Without Insurance: A Case Study
Car insurance. We all know we should have it, but what happens if you don’t?
I think we’ve all probably heard someone say “it’s ok, I’m fully comp” when discussing driving someone else’s car – the belief that we have third party cover to drive another vehicle, or the owner saying they are fully comp so you are covered.
Sadly this is often not the case.
Driving without Insurance carries a penalty of 6-8 points or a disqualification and may require you to attend court.
We would always suggest you double check your policy details.
We were recently contacted by Alice. She used to have third party cover to drive another vehicle – she knew she had it because when a friend got charged with driving without insurance she checked her own policy details. She checked because she knew that she did have occasion to drive other cars. When renewal time approached her quotation was slightly higher but she had been with her insurers for a few years and knew they had dealt with her fairly when she had a claim so decided to go ahead with the new renewal. As an online policy she was sent a link to the terms and conditions, but having read them before she didn’t check through them this time, or the following year either – believing they were standard.
And that was her mistake. A mistake she was responsible for making.
Her insurer had updated the Terms and Conditions associated with her policy and that cover was no longer there.
So when Alice was stopped driving a friend’s car she was shocked to find that she didn’t have insurance. Alice had caught the train from London to York to see a friend and while there they had gone out for dinner. Believing herself insured and not being a drinker Alice had offered to drive to save on taxi costs – a saving which was now eclipsed by the financial penalty of being found guilty of driving without insurance. Alice was lucky, she was offered a fixed penalty of 6 points and a £300 fine – I say lucky because if the matter went to court she could have been looking at up to 8 points or even a ban if the Court felt it was a serious enough incident, and an unlimited fine. Her friend had been drinking and was therefore unable to drive – resulting in the police seizing the vehicle – so her friend was then left with a hefty bill to settle before her car could be released.
We chatted with Alice about her case and advised her to take the Fixed Penalty Notice – she had believed herself insured but had not been and this is not a defence. We didn’t advise Alice to take the matter to court, we didn’t charge her huge sums of money to fight a case she was unlikely to win. She was, sadly, guilty of driving without insurance.
If you need legal advice regarding a motoring matter give Forrest Williams a call on 01623 397200. We promise to advise you honestly and openly – even if that advice is telling you that you don’t need us.