No Insurance Offence and Fines

It is compulsory to have third party insurance when using a vehicle on a public road. It can be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty ticket £300 fine and 6 penalty points, but if dealt with by the court, they can impose a Band C fine, 6-8 penalty points and have the discretion to disqualify for 12 months.

I thought I was insured but my "direct debit" had stopped, is that a defence?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is no. No matter how innocent a mistake you have made, you will be convicted if your insurance company have revoked your cover.

The court’s view is that you should always ensure that you have done everything to keep your insurance in place ie checking direct debits have gone out. The insurance company should have informed you that they have revoked your licence but if they have not then you may have an argument of special reasons to avoid an endorsement. 

 

I have been charged with an offence of permitting no insurance?

If you allow someone to use your vehicle it is your responsibility to ensure that the person is insured to drive your vehicle. Taking their word for it is insufficient, you will need to establish that you have made the relevant enquiries. It may even pay to add them to your own insurance for whatever period they are using your vehicle. This does not usually cost much and is always a lot cheaper than being fined for no insurance/permitting no insurance.

The penalty is the same as though you were driver i.e. Level 5 fine and 6-8 points.

Unsure whether you are guilty of permitting no insurance, speak to one of our specialist solicitors who will discuss your options with you.

 

 

I was in the car but not driving and have been charged with using a vehicle without insurance?

If you own the car and allow someone to drive it whilst you are a passenger you will be “using” the car for the purposes of no insurance.

If your policy did not cover the driver or they did not have their own insurance cover, then you would be guilty of the offence unless you were led to believe that the driver was insured.

 

My insurance company have told me that my policy is invalid because I have not complied with their conditions?

If an insurer has attempted to invalidate a policy it is always worth checking if the condition they refer to in their terms and conditions is actually a lawful reason to void a policy. There are many unlawful restrictions but some of the most common ones are:-

  • A restriction due to the age or physical or mental condition of the person driving the vehicle – many insurance policies seek to say that insurance does not extend to a driver under the age of 25 years. If this restriction is applied, it is unlawful and you should succeed in proving that you were validly insured.
  • The condition of the vehicle.
  • The number of people the vehicle carries.
  • The times of driving or the areas where the vehicle was used.
  • The horsepower or cylinder capacity of the vehicle.

Where an insurer argues that your insurance was not valid due to the above restrictions, and you are prosecuted for driving without insurance, the insurer may be forced to confirm that you were insured in which case this would be a valid defence to a no insurance prosecution.

 

I have fully comprehensive insurance can I drive any vehicle third party?

You should always check your policy of insurance for the specific conditions because all policies will differ significantly and having a fully comprehensive policy does not automatically mean you will be insured to drive any other car.

If you are unsure whether your insurance covered you and you are now facing an offence you can seek advice from one of our specialist solicitors who will be able to advise you.

 

I am a nurse and I was driving to my next appointment when I was stopped by the police, they told me I am not insured because I only have social and domestic cover?

You should always check your policy to ensure it covers you for what you drive for. Usually social and domestic cover will only cover you for driving to your main place of work which will be your office. If you are driving to different places such as people homes whether as a nurse or delivery person then you will require business cover.

It is often not too expensive to get business cover. If you are convicted of no insurance the cost is high not only due to the fine and costs but also your premiums will increase significantly.

If you are in doubt why not call one of our specialist solicitors who will be able to advise you as to whether you should have business insurance.

I was driving a company vehicle for work, but the company insurance had lapsed?

There is a defence available to employees.

You must prove on the balance of probabilities (in other, words more likely than not)

  • That the vehicle did not belong to you.
  • Was not in your possession under a contract of hire or a loan.
  • You were using the vehicle in the course of his employment.
  • You did not know or have reason to believe that there was no insurance in
    place for that vehicle.

 

Special reasons for non-endorsement of points on your licence for no insurance

Special reasons arguments can sometimes be used to reduce the severity of your punishment.

Sometimes it can be argued that whilst being technically guilty, because you actually had no cover in place, you have special reasons why the court should punish you to the full extent.

The most commonly used argument is that you were driving under the genuine misapprehension that you were insured perhaps.

  • You were misled by the insurance company.
  • Your policy was cancelled without your knowledge
  • You were informed that you would be covered by insurance by a third party
    who you had no reason to disbelieve.

Magistrates have the discretion not to impose any penalty points on your licence if you successfully argue that there are special reasons involved.

This can be a complicated application and you would be well advised to seek specialist advice before responding to any summons.

Call now, to speak to one of our specialist solicitors who will be able to advise you on the best way forward for you.

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