Car Insurance, How do I check?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Jerrycan2793, May 23, 2010.

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  1. Recently started a new Job, Doing a few deliveries for my employer in his car which he told me has insured for me by putting my name on the policy. This is not a new thing I have often used a car or van provided by an Employer.

    However this guy is chippy as **** with a lot of the things he does and in two days I have seen that he is not bothered when It comes to bending the rules.
    I have not seen a policy document with my name on it. I raised the question with him and he assures me its on its way etc... but im still not convinced. The thing that concerned me was an off the cuff remark from his son, "Oh so are you insured to drive any car then?" when I said No your dads insured me on it his face was concerning.

    Is there anyway I can check this? Because if the police stop me, "MY BOSS SAID SO" is not going to stop me from being in a world of shit. Given I want to be a police officer eventually I think its better safe than sorry.

    as far as I am aware it is an offence to knowingly let someone drive your car if you know they are uninsured but that wouldnt protect me in anyway would it?
    all Ideas welcome
  2. Try to find out the company and phone them up. There is a website called ask mid, it's a .com and all one word. But that will only tell you if the car is on the insurance database or not. But it's still a start. Makes sure you click on the "Check your own car for free" bit, enter the reg, click to say it's your and your away!
  3. Have a look at s.143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and in particular ss.3.

    RTA 1988 s.143

    I'd usually drop the charge against the driver and proceed against the employer in these circumstances. If he's told you you're insured then that's your defence. But it's probably best to have that in writing.
  4. Thanks thats really appreciated
  5. Do you have comp insurance for your car?

    That may give you permission to drive any vehicle with third party cover so you could maybe duck the police stop/check issue but the only way to be absolutely clear is to hold copies of documents/permissions yourself
  6. Ask for a photocopy to carry with you in case you are stopped. In court it is not a defence to say you were told you were insured. It would only be mitigation once found guilty of driving without insurance. It is your responsibility to have proof that you are.
  7. AskMid confirms that the vehicle has insurance, not that the current driver is covered, fully comp cover for any car tends to be intended for a temporary basis, (some insurers are avoiding it now)

    The original posters concern is whether they are insured as they doubt their employer. Using AskMid will confirm the vehicle is insured to minimise being stopped by the police, but should that happen he would eventually be able to pass the problem to the employer.

    However if an accident should happen and the poster needs a claim then it will be void and his only option to sue the employer.
  8. It's a statutory defence in an employment context, as outlined in the legislation link I provided above.
  9. It all comes down to use/cause/permitting the vehicle to be driven. As it's your bosses vehicle, he would either have to admit to knowing you were driving the vehicle without insurance, or to save himself tell the police you took the vehicle without his consent (twoc or tda) this could result in a greater charge/summons against you.
    I served ten years in the police and from my personal experience it is EXTREMELY rare for the owner to be stuck on for an offence and not the driver. It is almost always the other way around an even in cases where the owner has knowledge of the car being driven without a correct policy the cps would more than likely just pursue the driver
    in all cases it's worthwhile putting yourself in the position of the prosecuter. One question in court would be "surely you must have asked for a copy of the certificate before driving the vehicle?". A magistrate would more than likely believe this would be a reasonable step to take if there were suspicions in the first place.....
    If he is being funny you could always call his bluff an say you got stopped by police and have to produce the documents.
    Good luck
  10. Interesting.

    Both parties (or the driver alone) could be pursued, that's quite right, and in the context of a bloke driving his mate's car when both clearly know the score often are... but as soon as the employment context rears it's head and the defence in ss.3 (which the accused need only prove on the balance of probabilities, remember) comes into play it's a different beast. The prosecutor is unlikely to have evidence of any doubts on the part of the employee if he says he was told by his boss he was covered to drive the works van.

    Note also that the defence does not require the employee to have satisfied himself that insurance exists, and any defence agent worth his salt would not be putting his client's hand up in those circumstances (nor standing idly by whilst the prosecutor put the question you suggest in your post to his client).

    In my view, in an employer/employee relationship, a) it's not always easy to have sight of the employer's insurance policy given the unequal nature of the relationship, b) the employer is the "responsible" party, c) it would be contrary to public policy to have unscrupulous employers dropping naive employees in it on a regular basis whilst saving themselves insurance premiums, points and fines: (arguably) all of the above is reflected in the statutory defence.

    Of course that would all go out the window if the employee has points on his licence which negate the employer's insurance and he's not told his boss (for instance). That's a case of special knowledge known to the employee and knocks out the statutory defence in ss.3.

    PS I never saw any employer try to say the employee was driving without his permission. The circumstances were usually such that trying that on would likely have resulted in an added charge of attempting to pervert.
  11. Fair points made above, especially employer/employee relationships. Having spent 90 percent of my career on CID my traffic knowledge is a little rusty! I disagree only on the last point; if the owner of the vehicle did say he did not give permission to drive the vehicle this would in no way amount to attempting to pervert. Fine points though and very well made