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BlueBob

Drivers without business insurance

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BlueBob

Its not entirely uncommon to find a driver is using their vehicle for business purposes and then to find they do not have the corresponding cover on their insurance.  The end result being they are driving without insurance - vehicle seized, driver prosecuted and disqualified.  For this topic we assume the person is not self employed.
So, the scenario question is, a driver is found to be driving without insurance for business purposes, do or should further enquiries be made with the employer to ascertain that the driver was actually driving for business and if so, could, would or should the employer be dealt with for an associated offence?  Perhaps even, does the employer's overarching fleet insurance cover this driver.  After all, the driver is supposedly acting for or in the course of the employer's business. There are lots of permutations but as a starter:
Smith is an employee of Potter-Jones Printers Ltd.  During the day, Smith lets it be known that after office hours  s/he will be travelling to Birmingham. The print manager hears this and asks Smith if s/he would make a slight detour and deliver 5 boxes of printed material to a client and in doing so, the company will pay a mileage allowance equivalent to 15 pence per mile to the client's address and back.  Alas Smith gets stopped by police enroute, Smith produces a car insurance certificate which shows cover for the usual social, domestic & pleasure and commuting.  All the elements appear to be present for Smith to be prosecuted for driving without insurance.  
So how often, if at all, would enquiries be made of the employer in this or any other driving for business without insurance incidents.

 

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Mac7

One for the Rats I think.

 

 

When it comes to vehicle insurance the burden of prove lies with the individual, i.e it is for them to prove they have insurance to drive, not the cops to prove they didn’t.

 

I would say your scenario is a common one. Does it mean Smith is driving without insurance? I don’t know. Would I be making further enquiries with the employer? Probably not, unless there are other driving offences or aggravating factors. And the most i would be doing is making a phone call as it’s not worth spending the time on it. The vehicle and driver are insured. It’s a question mark over the detail. I certainly would not be seizing the vehicle.

 

You can do other enquiries via the MID but I don’t see it proportionate to be seizing the vehicle and probably not in the public interest to be taking it further. That’s just my opinion.

 

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PCSD
1 hour ago, Mac7 said:

I would say your scenario is a common one. Does it mean Smith is driving without insurance? I don’t know. Would I be making further enquiries with the employer? Probably not, unless there are other driving offences or aggravating factors. And the most i would be doing is making a phone call as it’s not worth spending the time on it. The vehicle and driver are insured. It’s a question mark over the detail. I certainly would not be seizing the vehicle.

This. If any insurance at all is held then a seizure goes out the window, on the premise that they stop using it for business use they are covered again.

Technically, just because someone doesn't declare commuting/business use it doesn't stop the insurance company having to provide third party cover in the event of an accident, so in the majority of cases where a vehicle is driven for a purpose that isn't insured, they are still technically covered as the RTA states third party cover is all thats required. However the insurance company are then likely to go after the driver for the sum paid out to the third party + costs. 

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MerseyLLB

There has been much discussion on this over the years. 

Some state they have 'got it home' at court, but as is said the only requirement is that 3rd party risks are covered. There are very few circumstances where insurance is held to be void and so the offence may not even be made out.

Further, in the OPs scenario the person hasn't fraudulently obtained their policy as they have made an ad hoc journey which could be said to be business related as opposed to them taking out a SDP policy for the purpose of using a vehicle for business purposes.

I would be, personally, advising the person of the requirement for a business policy for that type of journey and leaving it at that assuming everything else is in order.

As an example, do you believe most doctors, nurses etc have class 1 business insurance? I'm pretty sure they don't but I'm sure on occasion they have driven elsewhere than their usual posting for a course etc. Legally there is no difference so it's not as black and white as people make out.

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bensonby
4 hours ago, MerseyLLB said:

 

As an example, do you believe most doctors, nurses etc have class 1 business insurance? I'm pretty sure they don't but I'm sure on occasion they have driven elsewhere than their usual posting for a course etc. Legally there is no difference so it's not as black and white as people make out.

I have business insurance for that very reason. It’s not much more money in the grand scheme of things and saves the bother of it ever being an issue.

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BlueBob
15 hours ago, Mac7 said:

When it comes to vehicle insurance the burden of prove lies with the individual, i.e it is for them to prove they have insurance to drive, not the cops to prove they didn’t.

I would say your scenario is a common one. Does it mean Smith is driving without insurance? I don’t know. Would I be making further enquiries with the employer? Probably not, unless there are other driving offences or aggravating factors. And the most i would be doing is making a phone call as it’s not worth spending the time on it. The vehicle and driver are insured. It’s a question mark over the detail. I certainly would not be seizing the vehicle.

You can do other enquiries via the MID but I don’t see it proportionate to be seizing the vehicle and probably not in the public interest to be taking it further. That’s just my opinion.

 

I raised this scenario less as to making ends with MIB or potential fraudulent declarations etc, rather the scenario that a driver as an employee s found to have insufficient insurance.  It's an interesting question whether anyone actually goes to the employer to confirm they are driving for business , if the company may well have incidental cover for the driver and perhaps more importantly is what offence/s the employer is/may be committing.  Is dealing simply with the driver just a 'quick tick' and avoiding looking at the core cause - the employer?

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Richhamdo
3 hours ago, bensonby said:

I have business insurance for that very reason. It’s not much more money in the grand scheme of things and saves the bother of it ever being an issue.

@bensonby. As a special constable I was required to have business insurance by the force in order to receive mileage allowance. This was all very many years ago, so long ago I can’t recall when it was exactly.  However,  when I rang up the insurance company next day and told them what the story was etc they weren’t bothered at all about it. They just said we will change it to business insurance, no extra charge at all, which was nice of them I thought. Probably wouldn’t happen now. Rich.

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Chaos

Mmm... Technical no insurance... Or so I've heard... I don't believe there is such a thing...

 

I have heard of bobbies seizing delivery drivers vehicle from take aways due to a stop and them not having any buissnes insurance...

 

I would say that the vehicle IS insured, the fact that they have not stated to the insurance company what they are using it for doesn't mean that they won't pay out in the event of a claim.

 

It would be up to the insurance company in the event if a claim to look at the facts and decide to pay out or not.

 

You could always give advice to the driver on the stop and warn them not continue with their business commute and technically they would be insured again.

 

I think that I would be only seeing vehicles if they have no insurance what so ever and they cannot prove at the road side they have any.

 

 

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Beaker

I have heard of bobbies seizing delivery drivers vehicle from take aways due to a stop and them not having any buissnes insurance...
 
 

Was speaking to an Inspector a few weeks back, and he loves doing this.
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Lone Wolf
1 hour ago, Beaker said:


Was speaking to an Inspector a few weeks back, and he loves doing this.

I'm not convinced it is legal.  There are clear provisions in the RTA that prevent insurers evading their third party liabilities in instances such as this which in turn effectively prevent the no insurance offence from being committed.

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Beaker
I'm not convinced it is legal.  There are clear provisions in the RTA that prevent insurers evading their third party liabilities in instances such as this which in turn effectively prevent the no insurance offence from being committed.

He was Traffic, according to him it is illegal. He did point out some companies actually insure their drivers in their own cars though. Your insurance company covers you for specific circumstances, if you're not using your car for what you said the insurance company can void it. I had to get Class 1 business or I wasn't covered to drive for SC work.

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Lone Wolf
5 minutes ago, Beaker said:


He was Traffic, according to him it is illegal. He did point out some companies actually insure their drivers in their own cars though. Your insurance company covers you for specific circumstances, if you're not using your car for what you said the insurance company can void it. I had to get Class 1 business or I wasn't covered to drive for SC work.

I'm referring to the seizure not the supposed insurance offence.  If an officer misunderstands the law I don't think that could be seen as an objectively reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle was not insured.  If he was traffic then he has even less good reason to not be aware of S148 and other relevant legislation.

Insurers can void policies under contract law, but the policy is not actually deemed as voided until the proof of insurance (the certificate in most cases) is either returned to the insurer or physically destroyed and declared as such.  I appreciate this legislation has failed to keep up with modern technology like emails etc but the principle is sound.

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Beaker
I'm referring to the seizure not the supposed insurance offence.  If an officer misunderstands the law I don't think that could be seen as an objectively reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle was not insured.  If he was traffic then he has even less good reason to not be aware of S148 and other relevant legislation.
Insurers can void policies under contract law, but the policy is not actually deemed as voided until the proof of insurance (the certificate in most cases) is either returned to the insurer or physically destroyed and declared as such.  I appreciate this legislation has failed to keep up with modern technology like emails etc but the principle is sound.

I don't think he seizes for that, he just reports for no insurance from what I understood. He did say they're not insured if they're driving not in accordance with their insurance terms. If you're on SDP then you're not covered by your insurance on the way to or from work.

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PCSD
46 minutes ago, Beaker said:


He was Traffic, according to him it is illegal. He did point out some companies actually insure their drivers in their own cars though. Your insurance company covers you for specific circumstances, if you're not using your car for what you said the insurance company can void it. I had to get Class 1 business or I wasn't covered to drive for SC work.

As Lone Wolf says, even if the insurance company DO void your policy for not declaring business use, it doesn't exempt them from paying out damages to a third party. As such the driver would still be insured UNTIL the company have officially voided/canceleld the policy. So potentially if those drivers the Inspector has ticketed were to go to court and were smart enough to ask the insurance company for a letter stating that third party damages would be covered - would get off. 

 

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Beaker

Last year's Fully Comp coverage. So yeah, I wouldn't be insured for pizza delivery for instance. Not even 3rd party. These T&Cs have become more common these days. They like their exclusions as it reduces their liability. I'd not expect to have my vehicle taken off me, but I'd be expecting a summons for driving without when I'm doing something they say isn't covered. This years insurance has a similar.list of terms.

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