Tag Archive | "motor insurance"

Employers who provide Employees with Motoring Insurance – The risks….!

Providing motoring insurance to your employees creates various responsibilities and risks.

Risks for the Company

If it’s a company car and the driver is stopped for driving without insurance the company (or an individual within the company) can get a summons for permitting them to drive without insurance. If the company is summonsed it’s a fine. If an individual is summonsed it’s a fine and 6-8 penalty points. If the car belongs to the employee it can result in the company being accused of causing them to drive without insurance.

If the employee is driving for business purposes then they need business use cover. Otherwise they are still driving without insurance if they only have social and domestic cover.

Risks for the Employee

The employee is relying on the company to get it right and make sure the insurance is correct. The driver gets 6-8 penalty points and a fine for using a vehicle without insurance if they get stopped.

Statutory Defence for Employees

If insurance is not in force, a statutory defence is available to an employee in accordance with S143(3) Road Traffic Act 1988 if it can be shown;

1. the vehicle did not belong to him,

2. it was being used in the course of his employment at the time of the offence

3. and he neither knew nor had reason to believe there was not in force in relation to the vehicle such a policy of insurance.

The individual has to prove the criteria on the balance of probabilities. If however he does not fulfil or prove all the above criteria, he will be convicted of driving without insurance.

Special Reasons Arguments

In these circumstances, a Special Reasons argument may be available if to both the employer and the employee if they can show that they genuinely and honestly believed there was insurance in place and that this belief was reasonable.

The full criteria for Special Reasons are set out in the case of R v Wickens (1958). Special Reasons is not a defence but if found, no penalty points will be imposed. The burden is on the defendant to prove on the balance of probabilities that it was reasonable for him to consider he was insured. If the Court does not consider the belief was reasonable, they will impose between 6 – 8 points.

An example of this would be a delivery driver, driving their own van but being employed by a company. Prior to them commencing work, they discuss insurance with their employer and are reassured that they are covered under the company’s trade policy. It transpires that this is only the case if the vehicle is named specifically on the policy. This did not happen, as the employer did not realise, and the police stop the employee for driving without insurance. This would amount to a good Special Reasons for the employee.

Causing An Employee To Drive Without Insurance

If employees do not have insurance, employers also risk between 6 – 8 points for causing or permitting their employee to drive without insurance. Equally, they may have a Special Reasons argument if they can show they genuinely believed insurance was in place. In the above example, the employer would have to show it was reasonable that they did not realise they needed to add the vehicle to the insurance policy. If it was a simple case of the employer not reading the paperwork correctly, the argument is unlikely to succeed, however if the employer was told otherwise by the insurance company for example, this would amount to a good argument.

Types of Insurance Cover

It is not sufficient for insurance just to be in place. The employee must be covered for the driving purpose in question. This depends on the business type and why the employee is driving the vehicle. Some employers for example will allow an employee to take the company vehicle home of an evening and drive back to work the next day. Commuting and business cover is therefore required but the employer would also have to stipulate whether the employee is authorised to drive the vehicle outside of business hours. If agreed, social domestic and pleasure cover is also required. If not, the employer needs to make it very clear that the employee does not have permission to drive the vehicle for this purpose. To avoid potential prosecution, it would be advisable for the employer to provide written confirmation of the position.

If you have any questions or problems in relation to this or any other Motoring Offence Issue then contact Patterson Law.

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Getting The Best Car Insurance Quote

Car insurance is a necessary evil that all drivers have to endure.  It is one of the most expensive aspects of running a car and insurance companies seem to try and hike their prices up on an ongoing basis.

When it comes to car insurance there is a whole host of factors taken into account when working out your premium.  Two people driving exactly the same cars can receive insurance quotes that are literally hundreds, or even thousands of pounds different.  The reason is because insurance companies don’t just take into account the car that you are driving but they also take into account many aspects of you and your history as well as where you live.

Because there are so many factors to take into account, by far the best way to get the best insurance quote nowadays is to use an online comparison site.  Gone are the days when a whole day would have to be put aside to phone up dozens of companies and go through a twenty minute question-and-answer session with each broker.  An insurance comparison site will instantly show you the best price for you, your car and your circumstances.

However, don’t stop there.  Many people opt to then simply go ahead, click on the cheapest quote and proceed to enter their credit card details.  If the insurance company with the cheapest quote isn’t an “Online only” company then do not proceed to the checkout, instead, get their phone number and then call them up as if you are asking for a quote for the first time.  Then when they ask if you have had any prices already try quoting a couple of prices cheaper than the cheapest price you saw on the comparison site.  You will be amazed how many insurance companies will drop their price to meet a competitor’s quote.  Sometimes they simply won’t be able to do it but if they can then there is every chance that they will!

The thing is that insurance companies want your business and the person on the end of the phone gets a small bonus for getting your business.  Their website however is non-negotiable and there is no real person there incentivised to get you onboard.  By speaking to a real person who is financially motivated to get your business you will find that if there is a way to drop the price then they will.

Sometimes this can mean a saving of just a few pounds, but at the end of the day a five minute phone call is worth a few pounds.  In other cases though you will be surprised at just how much you can save.  If you are one of the unlucky people who have a very expensive insurance premium due to the kind of car you drive or your driving history then it is possible to save literally hundreds of pounds on what was already the cheapest quote in the first place!

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