Allowing someone to drive without insurance

August 03, 2018 10:58 am
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As stated in our previous blog about Uninsured Driving, it is also illegal for an insured driver to allow someone to drive their vehicle without insurance. It is important to note that if an insured driver with a fully comprehensive insurance policy allows an uninsured driver to drive their vehicle, the insured driver will be held responsible and liable to any damage or accident that the uninsured driver causes. The driver who allowed someone to drive without insurance will receive an IN10 endorsement on their licence which will last for four years.

Many vehicle insurance companies may refuse to provide a quote for drivers with an IN10 conviction. The UK law states that it is illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or in a public place without at least third-party insurance. After a driver is convicted allowing someone to drive without insurance, their insurance premium can drastically increase.

The penalties for permitting someone else to drive uninsured are the same as if you were caught driving with no insurance. These penalties are a fine of up to £5,000, an endorsement of between six and eight penalty points on your driving license and a possible disqualification from driving.

Allowing someone to drive without insurance sounds like an easy offence to avoid, however it’s easier done than you would expect. For example, it is very important that whoever you are lending your car to checks their own insurance policy.

There are broadly three types of cover of offer to UK motorists, these being third party only, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. Third party insurance only is the minimum level of cover required by UK law. It only covers the cost of damage caused to any third party vehicles or property. This means that it is left to the driver to foot the bill for damage to his or her car. Third party fire and theft insurance offers the same level of cover as third party only insurance. But third party fire and theft insurance will also pay out if the driver’s car is damaged or written off as a result of fire or theft. Fully comprehensive cover offers the all the benefits of third party fire and theft insurance, but the difference is that it will also pay out to repair any damage to the driver’s vehicle, even if the driver was at fault for the insurance claim.

It is only through having fully comprehensive insurance that a driver can drive other cars, but there is still a catch.

Fully comprehensive insurance used to cover a driver for driving other cars. Typically, this gave you third-party cover to drive cars not listed on your policy. But increasingly, many comprehensive policies do not offer this benefit without a catch. To make sure your insurance policy includes driving other cars, the driver will often have to request it, and pay for it as an extra to the fully comprehensive insurance.

Many drivers believe that you can jump in someone else’s car and be covered third party by your own insurance policy. Provided, that is, that you’re fully comp on yours and you have the owner’s permission. But there are strict conditions for this, and now some insurers are excluding or completely refusing to provide the driving other cars benefit completely. For a start, driving other cars is only supposed to be used in an emergency, so it’s not intended for those who are popping out for a spin.

It is also important to remember that if the driver is under the age of twenty-five, insurance companies don’t offer the option of driving other cars, even if the driver has comprehensive cover.

Also, do not assume that as soon as a driver turns twenty-five they’ll automatically be entitled to the benefit of driving other cars. This is because most insurers exclude anyone who falls within the “young driver” age range, being age seventeen to twenty-five. The twenty-five year old driver will have to call up his or her insurer and request them to add it. Remember, this could still be charged as an extra on top of the driver’s insurance. Some insurers only include it on the renewal after the driver’s twenty-fifth birthday.

It is important that young drivers know what their insurance includes as the penalties of allowing someone to drive without insurance have more serious consequences for them. For example, if a younger driver, or someone new to driving, receives the six to eight driving penalty points as well as a fine for the offence of allowing someone to drive their vehicle without insurance, they could face losing their driving licence.

If a young driver allows someone to drive their vehicle without insurance, then this will result in their licence being revoked and receiving a driving ban for just one offence. This is because the young or new driver would have received six driving penalty points in the first two years of holding their licence which results in their license being taken away. Previously, a license would only be revoked if the driver received twelve driving penalty points in the first two years of holding a license, but this has recently changed.

If you’re under 25 and want to drive someone else’s car, your best plan of action would be to either get added as a named driver on the owner of the vehicle’s policy or take out temporary cover. There are a few insurance companies who don’t place an age restriction on the benefit, so this is an avenue worth exploring rather than risking your license.

So, the bottom line is that if allowing someone to drive your vehicle or when asking to use someone else’s vehicle to drive, it is vital you check your policy’s terms and conditions. And always check your insurance policy’s small print. And even if you are happy with the insurance policies small print, you could get caught out if your insurance company updates its policies.

Take this for example, a driver assumes that their fully comprehensive policy covered him/her to drive other cars, as per the terms and conditions set out in the policy booklet. However, following an accident they had when driving another vehicle, the customer found they weren’t actually covered. This fact was not spelled out in the policy documents but was tucked away on page five of a ‘Renewal update leaflet’. This has now resulted in the driver being penalised for uninsured driving and the owner of the vehicle being penalised for allowing someone to drive without insurance. A simple mistake that costs both parties dearly. So, make sure that you check all correspondence from your insurance company to ensure the cover you have got is the cover you need.

Many drivers who are found guilty of allowing someone to drive without insurance receive this offence through innocent misunderstandings on the driver’s part. These innocent misunderstandings can be simple issues such as a missed payment on their insurance policy or confusion as to what their insurance policy actually covers, as mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drivers with newly changed policies to have the wrong type of insurance policy or to have mistakenly put in the wrong details for their policy.            But because allowing someone to drive without insurance is seen as an absolute offence, there is usually very little defence for drivers accused of driving without insurance. However, at Driving Solicitors, our team of specialist solicitors will be able to put together a strong defence case for your case.

Our team of specialist driving offence solicitors at Driving Solicitors have the experience and expertise to help and guide you through the experience of being reported for summons with a driving offence. So, if you have been reported for summons for allowing someone to drive without insurance and want the help of a professional to help to put together a good defence case with you, then do not hesitate to contact Driving Solicitors on 0203 488 2551 and get expert legal advice from a specialist motoring solicitor today.

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Written by:  Miriam Rhodes-Leader