The FINANCIAL -- Here at Motoring Barrister Direct we
have noticed a recent increase in the number of driving offences cases
whereby the police are prosecuting people for driving without insurance
even though they may well have a full insurance policy.
The reasons for this can be numerous but the most common ones are highlighted in this release. It is best to be safe than sorry.
However, you may first be interested to note that it is very important not to fall foul of this particular offence if only because it carries a minimum of six points which, for many people can lead to a driving ban. As WebWire said, the first scenario is where you may drive another persons car but believe that because you are comprehensively insured, you are covered. This is very unlikely to be the case and unless you have sought additional cover you are likely to be guilty of the offence of driving without insurance pursuant to s143 of the Road Traffic Act 1980.
The second scenario is where you are driving your own car but for a particular purpose not covered by the insurance policy. A classic example at the moment is commuting to work and/or driving in the course of a business: indeed, whilst seeking such cover may well not cost any additional premium, if it is not expressly included you may well not be covered. This means that a simple trip to the DIY to carry out some work for a neighbour may well lead you to be regarded as driving with no insurance policy in place. And just in case you are wondering: yes the police will check on the National Database and yes, they will phone your insurer at the time they stop you.
So the moral of the story is clearly to ensure that you are fully covered and fully insured both for the vehicle you are driving and the purpose for which you are driving it. Take no risks because this is an easy prosecution for the police - it is a strict liability offence and, on the whole, it matters not whether you believed yourself to be insured. In short, ignorance of the law and circumstances is no defence on this one.