You have fully comprehensive insurance, so can you drive other private cars which do not belong to you?

With the festive season just passed and people enjoying themselves as they should be, we had a situation with clients which we know which has led to quite a bit of bother.

Now for the purpose of this blog we will call these people Sebastian and Thomas.

It was Boxing Day and the party had started early, Sebastian has had too much to drink and the the plan was to go to town and have a little bit of a boogie. Realising he has had too much to drink, Sebastian asked Thomas who wasn’t drinking tonight if he could drive his car. Thomas being a gentleman obliged and comforted Sebastian advising he is over 21 and has got a full UK licence and has comprehensive cover on his own car, thus allowing him to drive Sebastian’s under third party cover.

Later in the evening, Thomas was driving Sebastian back home, while doing so the police wailed the sirens asking them to pullover. Thomas was questioned as normal and he answered everything as normal, this isn’t his car and his friend is too intoxicated to drive himself, but he is allowed to drive any other car. This is were the night turned sour, the policeman checked Thomas’s details and he is in fact not covered to drive any other car according to his insurance.

So Thomas is now facing a £200 fine and a pending IN10 conviction which will have a major impact on his car insurance for the next 5 years, but the bad news doesn’t end there, Sebastian is also facing a £200 fine and is also pending an IN14 conviction which will also affect his insurance for the next 5 years.

An IN14 conviction has a similar impact as an IN10 conviction, the conviction is he allowed for the IN10 conviction to be permitted by allowing Thomas to drive his vehicle without properly checking if he has the correct cover to drive his car.

HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU CAN DRIVE OTHER CARS
To see if your insurance allows this, you need to check section 5 of your motor insurance certificate and look for the following or similar statement, “The Policyholder may also drive with the consent of the owner a private motor car not belonging to him/her and not hired to him/her under a Hire Purchase Agreement, within our territorial limits, providing there is a valid insurance policy in force for that car.”

Meaning you can drive another private vehicle which belongs to someone else and is insured and is not a hire car, and you have been given permission to drive the car.

HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU CAN DRIVE OTHER CARS BEFORE BUYING INSURANCE
Some insurers may advise beforehand, that you are able to drive other cars. Unfortunately, other insurers will only let you know after you have bought the insurance which sounds rather pointless if this is one of the extras you are after.

The general rule of thumb, which we have noticed is you need to be over 25 and had your full UK manual licence for atleast one year, but even then nothing is garaunteed as there is no written rules or requirements to whether this has to be included as part of your insurance services.

As mentioned above the only way to play it safe is to check section 5 of your motor insurance certificate.

Driving without Car Insurance. Is it worth the risk?

With the recession, and other financial increases within the market burning a hole in consumers pockets, temptations dark desires may take over and you may think driving without insurance is worth the risk.

Lets have a look over some key factors:

CONSEQUENCES
First and foremost, what will happen if you do get caught?

- A hefty fine will certainly be given, first time offenders usually get a £200 fine, although a maximum fine of £5000  can be issued.

- An automatic 6 to 8 points will be given along with an IN10 or similar conviction code depending on the offence

The above may not seem that bad, but the points given will have a dramatic effect on your insurance premiums for the next 5 years. Most insurers will not offer any insurance price simply because of the conviction code. Usually the insurers which do offer insurance will have inflated prices, sometimes by thousands of pounds and may even bump up the compulsory excess due to the increased risk of you being on the road.

- The police have the power to seize a car which has no insurance, they will retain the car and charge on a daily basis for keeping the car and will apply a release fee when or if the car is collected. A valid certificate of insurance is required to release a seized car, but not all insurers allow this, so your choice is already restricted. If your car is not collected in the allotted time, the police also have the power to destroy your car.

GETTING CAUGHT
Technology has now moved forward so quickly that getting caught is pretty much a certainty, the following explain why its is now easier than ever to check who is insured and who is not.

The Motor Insurance Database (MID) is a central database which collects data regarding which cars have been insured from all the insurers, this data is then usually updated on the database every night. The police have access to this database and have special cameras with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software built in which picks up the car registration and does a quick check with MID to see whether the car is insured. You can check with AskMID to see if your car is showing as insured on the MID database by going to www.askmid.com