MIB (The Motor Insurers’ Bureau) has revealed that thousands of people are unwittingly breaking the law by driving other people’s cars without insurance, resulting in over 3,000 vehicles being seized between July 2016 and June 2018.
Over 40% of the calls made to MIB’s Police Helpline from police officers about whether the policy holder had the ‘Driving Other Vehicle’ (DOV) extension on their policy during this time period resulted in the vehicle being seized.
The data shows that people often assume they have the DOV extension on their insurance policy if they have fully comprehensive cover. In particular, the DOV extension is only valid if you are the policy holder on a vehicle, not a named driver on someone else’s.
This could mean that people are driving their friends, partners or family member’s cars on the road, assuming they are covered to do so, when in fact they are only insured on their own vehicle.
Calls into the Police Helpline have highlighted an array of scenarios where people have neglected to check their policies in detail. In one case, an individual on the school run borrowing their partner’s car was stopped by the police. It transpired that the policy holder did not have the DOV extension on their policy and their partner’s vehicle was seized as a result.
In light of this, MIB is encouraging all drivers to check their insurance policies, or polices on which they are a named driver, carefully so that they remain on the right side of the law otherwise the consequences are serious.
If you are caught driving uninsured you face a number of penalties including: Six points on your licence, a £300 fine, your vehicle potentially being seized by the police and possibly even crushed, as well as facing higher insurance premiums in future.
“What may seem like a quick trip in your mate’s car could result in you losing your vehicle, fines to pay and points on your licence.” said Neil Drane, Head of Enforcement Services at MIB.
“We want all drivers to think before just jumping in another vehicle. Are you actually insured to drive it? People should also remember that if you are involved in an accident and you are uninsured, you remain liable for any costs so it really isn’t worth the risk.”
If you are unsure about what your insurance policy covers you for, you should always contact your insurer before taking to the roads.
Insurance Edge Comment:
We have said this before and we will say it again, the old categories of Fully Comp, TPF&T and Third Party are completely outdated.
People buy fully comprehensive insurance and think the word `comprehensive’ means all risks are covered when this is clearly not true. The UK insurance industry needs to re-think car, motorcycle, bike and van insurance from the ground up. People do share vehicles, so introduce a Shared Ownership policy across the board. Some people rarely drive to a regular place of work, or own a motorcycle which only used at weekends, so offer a offer a Social Use policy which excludes more than 2 hours commuting a week, tracked by telematics.
Many people now work a variety of jobs, including food or parcel delivery, so a Home Business policy is going be a good template to start offering custom cover, depending on vehicle, mileage, overnight parking etc.
The one thing the average UK car driver really wants is for the replacement costs to be met when the car is stolen, or damaged in an accident, so offer an Agreed Value policy instead of TPF&T. With online MoTs and garage servicing records, it is easy to separate the well maintained veicles from the neglected bangers, so insurers can track the real re-sale value of the car, almost in real time. Make it simple, clear and easy to understand and people will buy the product.
It isn’t difficult to sit down and change a system that’s existed since the 1970s. Even the railways managed to do it. So the only explanation for the industry dragging its heels on re-defining car insurance is that it prefers to entrap consumers by kidding them that Fully Comp policies actually cover everything – including third party use of other vehicles.