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    • Hi   Welcome to CAG   Please be patient I am sure others will be along to offer you there wisdom.   Looking after someone else's child: https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-someone-elses-child   Can I also say that you should be proud at taking the children on and looking after them due to the circumstances for such a long time.        
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Drivers Stopped and Fined by police as insurers cancel car cover without telling people


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Ombudsman reports surge in complaints about policies being stopped

 

People with auto-renew policies most at risk

 

Those who have enjoyed reduced premiums for having no-claims discount also at risk

 

 

Drivers are being stopped by police, fined and hit with penalties because insurers have cancelled their car cover without telling them.

 

The Financial Ombudsman Service, which settles disputes between firms and customers, has seen a surge of complaints about policies being stopped suddenly.

 

In the worst cases, people discover the problem only after being pulled over for driving without insurance

 

 

The Ombudsman says those who allow their insurer to renew their policies automatically, but do not realise they must declare any change in circumstances since first buying the cover, are most at risk. If the firm discovers things are different, it may cancel the policy, but may not tell the customer.

 

Those who have enjoyed reduced premiums for having a no-claims discount are also at risk. If they fail to send proof of it to their insurer on time, their policy may be cancelled.

 

 

The penalty for driving without insurance is six penalty points and a £300 fine. The cost of cover is likely to be hiked — sometimes by hundreds of pounds over five years.

 

The Ombudsman says: ‘These types of communication breakdowns can have very serious consequences for the people affected.’

 

 

For the full story :) HERE

Edited by citizenB
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There really should be a legal requirement for insurers to send out a notice of cancellation through the post. E-mail just isn't good enough for something like this, not where there's a risk of something so important getting caught in spam filters.

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There really should be a legal requirement for insurers to send out a notice of cancellation through the post. E-mail just isn't good enough for something like this, not where there's a risk of something so important getting caught in spam filters.

 

But then again, if these customers had been honest with the insurance company in the first place (ie tell them about penaly points or a previous claim etc ) or they bother to actually send in their Proof of No Claims bonus then the insurance company/ies would not cancel their insurance policy. It is not done without warning either.

Just hate every DCA out there

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Simply not the case. The insurance can get cancelled without notice in instances of the bank not paying on time or taking the customer over their limits by rolling charges. Where appropriate anyone who is prosecuted should set out from the outset of

their case that they are seeking an Absolute Discharge. Driving without Insurance is a strict liability offence with good reason however, Absolute Discharge is rarely used and is certainly appropriate for effectively retrospective withdraw of cover. If

anything cover is not withdrawn until there is Notice ( a ) sent ( b ) delivered ( c ) received.

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Slightly off topic, but can't the police pull you over and do you for not having insurance, if they find that you've broken a clause of your policy? For example, if someone was driving to work when their policy states that they don't have commuting on their policy?

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Yes, the same as if you are caught working from your car and only have sd+p.

 

What about using your car to drive to a clients office from work. Is that commuting to another place of work, or using your vehicle for work? My mother is a care worker and drives everywhere in her own car.

 

Also, It turns out my spoiler on my car is aftermarket. I assumed it had came with the car, but turns out it was fitted after it was purchased. Is this a modification that I should have declared? It's tiny.

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Where the last 3 posts are concerned...

 

Strictly speaking, you would still be insured as the insurance company cannot, no matter how much they'd like to, wriggle out of cover against 3rd party risks, no matter what you were actually insured for or using the vehicle for.

 

3rd party risk is the very minimum of cover and would still be in place even if you were using your car for business on an SDP policy. This is covered by the Road Traffic Act 1988 section 148. 1 and 5. thumbup.gif

 

 

While the insurance company may decide to increase your premium due to any (perceived) added risk, you are still insured to the bare minimum requirement under the law until that policy is cancelled (which cannot be retrospective either).

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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Some points here, we're really in this trouble because the price comparison websites have put all the insurance brokers out of business (I know, I was one of them). I used to check 140 odd prices and then tell the client which were the cheapest and, more importantly, which cheap insurers to avoid. Brokers took a commission but were there to advise and assist the client. Now comparison sites take an even bigger commission and do nothing at all for the customer.

 

A brief warning: some of this following advice might be a bit out of date because I left the industry a while back, if you want clarification just ring your insurance company and ask for advice, take down the name of the person you spoke to, write down the time and date of the call and what you were told and, for belt and braces protection, write a letter to the insurers confirming what was said and your understanding of the situation, keep a copy with your policy papers.

 

If you're worried about policy cancellation, read your policy, it will have the terms under which the contract can be cancelled. The insurers usually say they can cancel by giving 7 days notice in writing to your last known address. I have NEVER in nearly 30 years experience ever heard of an insurer cancelling a policy without notifying the insured in some way (before this article that is), they have to ask for the Certificate of Insurance back to fully cancel their obligations under the Motor Insurance Bureau agreements. I suspect these ombudsman complaints are largely people trying to escape the consequences of their own action/inaction.

 

No, the police cannot pull you over and prosecute you for using the vehicle outside the use you paid for, they don't have that information, unless you have a taxi sign on your roof and you don't have hire and reward cover. However, the insurers can and most likely will decline to pay any claim that occurs as a result of the breach of the policy's use restrictions.

 

There are/were several standard use types for a private car (not taxi).

 

Social Domestic and Pleasure(SD&P) - this usually counts driving to one permanent place of work as domestic use (for the insured only, sometimes NOT for the named drivers). Read your Certificate of Insurance and if you don't understand it ring them and ask.

Class 1 - SD&P plus use by the insured in person (not named drivers usually) in connection with the insureds business or profession.

Class 2- As above plus use by the insured in person in connection with the insured's employers business, excluding commercial travelling

Class 3 - As above including commercial travelling

The higher the use class, the more you will pay.

 

All modifications from the manufacturers standard specification must be declared whether they affect performance or not, a tarted-up car is more attractive to thieves than a standard model, most insurers will not charge extra for minor enhancements, but the cheaper the insurer, the more the chance that they will. If you don't tell them, and its discovered after a claim has been submitted, they can then say they would have charged extra had they known beforehand and declare your insurance void so no claim can be paid.

 

In general, the principle is that when you start or renew a policy, you know everything and the insurer knows nothing. YOU have the responsibility to declare everything that a prudent underwriter might want to know about. If you hide anything you hand him a way out of the contract when a claim occurs. If you're not sure whether a fact is "material" the best thing is to declare it upfront and let the underwriter decide.

 

Also,when buying insurance pay a little extra and get cover from a household-name insurer, avoid cheap companies you've never heard of. Don't just buy the lowest priced rubbish off a price comparison site.

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What about using your car to drive to a clients office from work. Is that commuting to another place of work, or using your vehicle for work? My mother is a care worker and drives everywhere in her own car.

 

Q: What insurance do I need if using my own car at work?

 

A: If you are required to drive a client’s car, make sure that either your own or the client’s insurance policy covers you. Corinium Care is not liable in the event of an accident. If you prefer to use your own car to drive the client or use your car during your stay, please ensure your insurance policy covers you for business use. This usually does not incur any extra cost, but we do advise you to contact your own insurance company to check.

If you intend to use your own car we MUST annually have a copy of your driving licence, insurance policy and MOT certificate for your file before we can engage you to with a client who requires a driver

 

The above is an extract from http://www.coriniumcare.com/Carer_FAQs.aspx#q7 but if the carer training company say you should, id imagine you probably should.

 

 

Also, It turns out my spoiler on my car is aftermarket. I assumed it had came with the car, but turns out it was fitted after it was purchased. Is this a modification that I should have declared? It's tiny.

Check out http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/blog/car-modifications-car-insurance-prices/. Yes, you need to tell them, no matter how big it is.

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Slightly off topic, but can't the police pull you over and do you for not having insurance, if they find that you've broken a clause of your policy? For example, if someone was driving to work when their policy states that they don't have commuting on their policy?

 

That's not a very good example as the Road Traffic Act means an Insurer is not statutorily liable for a policy holder who is using the vehicle for a use not covered by their certificate eg commuting when there is no cover for commuting. Thus if you were stopped in these circumstances you were not covered by the policy and were driving uninsured, so a no insurance conviction would normally follow.

 

It's a good question though as I've assisted in cases where the police have stopped a driver and informed the Insurers there is no MOT on the car. The Insurers have then (Incorrectly) advised the police this invalidates the policy. This is not the case as not having an MOT cannot invalidate a policy. In addition it's not a simple process for an Insurer to void a policy from an earlier date eg prior to the police stop. It's not a process they could normally handle immediately over the phone as it should be properly investigated and would normally need to involve fraudulent intent for the policy to be declared void from inception (Ab initio).

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What about using your car to drive to a clients office from work. Is that commuting to another place of work, or using your vehicle for work? My mother is a care worker and drives everywhere in her own car.

 

Nowadays every insurer has its own use definitions and often they have a wider range than the traditional 3 Classes someone else has posted about so you'd have to check the precise wording of the policy/certificate. However, as a rule of thumb what your mother does is definitely business use and not commuting and your mother would need personal business use cover (what used to be called 'Class 1"). "Commuting" is essentially if you drive from your own home to a fixed place of work and back again, and nothing else.

 

There's a misunderstanding here I think about what happens if you are driving a vehicle outside the permitted use. It's correct that the insurer will usually have to pay a claim by a third party if you have an accident while, eg, driving on business without business use on the policy. But that doesn't mean the driver is insured. On the contrary the driver is NOT insured and could be prosecuted for driving without insurance. Your insurer would deal with the claim following national procedures that are designed to make sure the third party victims of UNINSURED drivers are compensated. The insurer has the right to recover what it pays to the third party from the driver or policyholder.

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Some points here, we're really in this trouble because the price comparison websites have put all the insurance brokers out of business (I know, I was one of them). I used to check 140 odd prices and then tell the client which were the cheapest and, more importantly, which cheap insurers to avoid. Brokers took a commission but were there to advise and assist the client. Now comparison sites take an even bigger commission and do nothing at all for the customer.

 

A brief warning: some of this following advice might be a bit out of date because I left the industry a while back, if you want clarification just ring your insurance company and ask for advice, take down the name of the person you spoke to, write down the time and date of the call and what you were told and, for belt and braces protection, write a letter to the insurers confirming what was said and your understanding of the situation, keep a copy with your policy papers.

 

No, the police cannot pull you over and prosecute you for using the vehicle outside the use you paid for, they don't have that information, unless you have a taxi sign on your roof and you don't have hire and reward cover. However, the insurers can and most likely will decline to pay any claim that occurs as a result of the breach of the policy's use restrictions.

 

There are/were several standard use types for a private car (not taxi).

 

Social Domestic and Pleasure(SD&P) - this usually counts driving to one permanent place of work as domestic use (for the insured only, sometimes NOT for the named drivers). Read your Certificate of Insurance and if you don't understand it ring them and ask.

Class 1 - SD&P plus use by the insured in person (not named drivers usually) in connection with the insureds business or profession.

Class 2- As above plus use by the insured in person in connection with the insured's employers business, excluding commercial travelling

Class 3 - As above including commercial travelling

The higher the use class, the more you will pay.

 

 

 

This is not actually correct, the police could pull you and prosecute you for driving without Insurance if the use you were covered for on your certificate did not cover you for the use you were driving the vehicle.

 

It's one of the reasons the first thing a traffic officer will ask you where you're driving to as one of their first questions.

 

With the advent of the MID it's just easier for the police to check whether you have the correct use covered at the road side, prior to the MID they would generally need to wait for the seven day wonder to confirm what use was covered by the policy, they would prosecute you in those days if the use was not correct.

 

The Insurer can decline a claim for driving for a use that's not covered by the policy as they're not contractually liable (The Policy does not cover it), they're also not Statutorily Liable for it as the RTA gives an exception to Insurers if the use is not permitted by the policy. So the driver would be uninsured.

 

However the Insurer are likely to become an "Article 75 Insurer" which is basically as the driver was uninsured it comes under the remit of the Motor Insurers Bureau, however as there is a Certificate in place for that vehicle. The MIB will pass it over to the Insurer of the vehicle to deal with, not because they liable under the RTA or because they're liable under the terms of the policy. Bit because their (Compulsory) membership of the MIB means they have to deal with the claim. However the terms of paying a claim under the MIB as an Article 75 Insurer are not as onerous as general liability in some circumstances.

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