You must have car insurance before you can drive your vehicle in a public place. It protects you, your vehicle, and other motorists against liability if there is an accident. Not only does car insurance provide financial compensation to cover any injuries, it also provides insurance if injury or damage is caused to people or their property.
Types Of Insurance Cover
Third Party Only
This cover is the legal requirement. This level of cover ensures that compensation is available for injury to other people (including your passengers) or damage to other peoples’ property resulting from an accident caused by you. It doesn’t cover any of your costs as the result of an accident.
Most insurance companies offer additional levels of insurance cover that go beyond the legal requirement. The precise nature of the cover will vary from company to company.
Third Party Fire And Theft
This provides the same cover as third party only but also covers you should your vehicle be damaged by fire or stolen.
This provides the same cover as third-party fire and theft in addition to covering you should your vehicle be damaged in an accident. Many additions to this level of cover are available from insurance companies including:
- providing a courtesy car while your car is being repaired, legal expenses, insurance to recover your uninsured losses (such as your excess)
- roadside recovery schemes
- vehicle repairs in case of breakdown
Can you be stopped for having no car insurance?
If you think you can own a car and not insurance it and nobody will ever know, think again. Police have number plate recognition cameras, so they know whether a car is insured or not.
If you are stopped and asked to present your documents, you have a week to provide the police with an up-to-date car insurance certificate at your local police station. It must be valid at the time you were stopped. You cannot purchase car insurance during those seven days. It’s against the law to drive a vehicle on a public road without at least the most basic level of car insurance i.e., Third-party insurance.
What are the penalties for driving with no car insurance?
If you are caught driving a vehicle that you are not insured to drive, the police will hand out a minimum:
- fixed penalty fine of £200
- 6 penalty points
The police will decide whether more serious cases are to be handled in court. These may include cases where a driver has never passed a driving test, has given false details, or was driving a higher risk vehicle, like an HGV.
A court can issue:
- an unlimited fine
- disqualification from driving
The police also have the power to:
- seize the vehicle – even if it doesn’t belong to you
- destroy the vehicle
Other costs you may be liable for include:
- a higher car insurance premium in the future
- costs associated with an accident
It is pointless taking any risks when it comes to your car insurance, it just isn’t worth it. If you require any advice on motoring offences or you would like to talk to one of our in-house expertise solicitors please contact us for more guidance.
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