15 February 2018
Insure you are covered
Since his arrival at B P Collins, Jonothan Moss has noticed a growing number of clients being prosecuted for using a motor vehicle without insurance. You may think the requirement to have valid insurance is a simple answer, namely either you have cover or you do not. However the requirement to have valid insurance also extends to the use of the vehicle.
Many people have insurance but it fails to cover them for the nature of the journey they are doing. You may be commuting to work, using your vehicle to deliver newspapers or travelling to see a client as part of your job. Personal (often known as social/domestic and pleasure) use only insurance would not cover these situations.
When the police pull a car over, they now focus beyond the mere presence of a policy having been put in place. They will ask questions about the nature of your journey to see if proper insurance cover is in place. This may be apparent from signage on the side of a vehicle or work clothing being worn.
In the event that your cover is for personal use only, you may find yourself in the position of having paid for insurance but not being insured. This could land you with 6-8 penalty points on your licence, a disqualification for the offence and a heavy fine. This would have a significant impact when you apply again for insurance and future premiums.
The law states that once you can show you have a policy in place, even for simple domestic and pleasure only, the prosecution/police will need to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that your use took you beyond the terms of the policy. In other words you do not need to prove the usage was for domestic and pleasure but the police/prosecution would need to prove that it was not. That can be a challenging threshold for them to meet.
What is important, is to obtain the right insurance. Do not be tempted to cut corners on a basic policy when there will be an element of commuting or business use. Be completely honest with your insurance company, obtain the correct level of cover or you could find yourself facing the risk of a disqualification from driving.
Jonothan has been undertaking road traffic defence work for 30 years. In the event that you may be at risk of losing your driving licence, please call him on 01753278665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.