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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Customer Question

I am an XXXXXX XXXXXX, attached to XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX. During the investigation of an alleged offence of excess speed committed by the driver of a XXXXXXX XXX motor vehicle, XXXXXXX, on XX/XX/XXXX, information has been received from two motor insurance companies that lead me to suspect that you have fraudulently obtained motor insurance policies for XXXXXXX. It is necessary for you to be formally interviewed (under caution) in relation to the insurance policies purchased by you for the vehicle XXXXXX. You may wish to consult a solicitor prior to interview and/or have one present during interview. The interview will also question the use of the vehicle on the day of the alleged excess speed offence. I would prefer that you attend a voluntary interview at a date and time convenient to us both. It will need to take place at a Police station that has the facility to record such interviews. If necessary Lincolnshire or Cambridgeshire Police will be asked to consider a power of arrest to facilitate such an interview. Please contact me within 7 days to arrange a convenient date and time. Yours sincerely XXXXX XXXXX This is the letter I received from XX. XXXX XXXXXX. He was the one who contacted the insurance companies. they did not contact him. He told them I did not have a full uk licence. And now He phoned me today told me to give a statement over the phone to him because he was taking me to court for insurance fraud. I said I have nothing to say I want to get a lawyer advice before I say anything to him. I sent him back the paper work and said I did not know who was driving on that day. and now he has come after me for insurance case. The insurance company said they will just void the insurance. As I have not maked a claim. I do have a full american licence and a previsional for UK. This gentlemen is upset with me because I did not tell him who was driving. As its been months now. He also said who ever was driving must have insurance on that car or he is going after them also. So who ever was driving now is not going to say a word. As he has everyone scared. Please advise me on what to do. As I think he is going way above the law. XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX Ps. Does he have the right to contact the insurance company and tell them I don't have a UK Full licence. Thank you My email address [email protected]

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm happy to help with your question today.

Have you checked with your insurance company to make sure you are properly insured?

Are you resident in the UK? If so, for how long?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

YES . But since he has told them I only have a us full licence and a previsional here. they sent me a letter they cancelled the insurance today from the inception date.


 


As for your other question yes I have been a resident of the UK for sometime now. But I go to the us a lot and get my US licence


renewed. Just never took the test here.


 


thank you Alex for your help

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
OK thanks.

So the insurance has been cancelled. Did you tell the insurance company originally that you held a Full US licence and only a Provisional UK licence?

On the date in question do you know who was driving the car? Was it your car? How many people have access to it and are insured to drive?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No did not tell them I ticked have full UK. Did not tell them about the US licence. Only me and my husband are on the insurance but its down for company car. Also 8 people can drive the car. As we own a Business or more.


 


No do not know who was driving. And no one is going to say now as it was months ago. And the way he is acting no one is going to speak up.


We are very friendly people. And give anything to help anyone. I was going to say just blame me but now that he has come up with this insurance thing. It will cost me a lot of money.


 

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
OK, understood.

I will formulate an answer for you soon. Please bear with me.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Alex can you please see if he has the right to get in touch with the insurance company as he has done or is he just taking the law in his owen hands. And can he bring the police to arrest me for not talking to him. As he claims on the phone and in his letter.

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
I will deal with each of the issues in turn.

Issue 1 - Whether Police have right to contact insurance company?

The police are tasked with investigating and prosecuting criminal offences. As part of this process a police officer is entitled to conduct inquiries with, for example, insurance companies to ascertain whether an offence has been committed. The insurance company will quite often disclose information about an insured person because there are various laws which allow such disclosure without your consent, for example, Police Act 1996, Police and Criminal Evidence Act and Data Protection Act 1998. Also you may find in your insurance documents and exception enabling the insurance company to make such disclosure where fraud is suspected. Thus: the police are entitled by law to conduct such inquiries.

Issue 2 - Ticking the Full UK box in insurance document

This was clearly wrong as you do not hold a Full UK licence. The insurance company has understandably cancelled the policy. Whether you have committed a fraud depends on whether you were acting 'dishonestly' or not. The police may have case against you for fraud if they can establish you had dishonest intent or your actions were obviously dishonest.

Issue 3 - Attending an Interview under Caution

You are not obliged to attend and interview under caution. However, if you do not do so the police could, under their powers in s.24 Police and Criminal Evidence Act, arrest you on the basis that this is necessary to 'obtain or preserve evidence' e.g. an interview. If you decide to attend an interview voluntarily then an arrest will not be necessary or justified.

Issue 4 - Whether to answer questions in interview

Even if you attend for interview voluntarily, you are not obliged to answer questions. You have the right to silence, which you may wish to exercise to avoid incriminating yourself. It is advisable to take a solicitor along to advise you on the case and assist you during the interview. Legal aid is available for this work and attendance at the interview by a solicitor is completely free under the legal aid scheme.

Issue 5 - Who was the driver on the day in question?

This was an incident on 5th January, therefore, only about 4 months ago. If you genuinely do not know who was driving despite making efforts then you should say so. The worst case scenario is that you could be prosecuted for failing to identify the driver which, upon conviction, carried penalty points and fine. Beware that lying to the police about the driver or attempting to misled or obstruct their investigation is a serious offence, which could result in a prison sentence.

Issue 6 - What to do next?

My gut feeling is that you should attend an interview. There is clearly a concern about your insurance policy. If you do not, the police might arrest you - not only is this highly embarrassing but they will then have the right to take your photo, fingerprints and DNA. If you do decide to attend the you should take a solicitor with you. A list of solicitors can be found on the Law Society website: www.lawsociety.org.uk

I hope this helps.

Alex




Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Please remember to rate my answer.

Alex

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