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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been given a court date couple of weeks time for

Customer Question

I have been given a court date for a couple of weeks time for driving with no insurance. I had to borrow my dads car to take my son to school, I checked my insurance details very carefully to ensure that I was covered to drive another car and it seemed to me (and my dad) that I was covered. A motorbike hit the back of my dads car and the motorcyclist called the police. When the police checked out my details, it transpired that I was not covered under my insurance to drive other people's cars. I was 100% sure that I was insured and was very careful about checking as I already have an IN10 on my licence ( nearly 4 years ago) due to my dad not informing me properly of the conditions of insurance. I also have a SP30 which means I have 10 points on my licence at present. My motor insurance certificate did not specify either way whether I was insured or not and said to check my schedule and policy wording. I checked my schedule and this said I am covered under sec 2,4,6,8,9,10 of the policy wording booklet. I got my policy wording booklet out, the contents page places 'key facts' section at the very beginning of the booklet which, I feel, is quite misleading in itself as it draws attention away from having the need to check further on in the booklet. The key facts section is a table outlining what insurance policies cover what. Under section 4.....liability to others, there is a blue tick next to my type of insurance TPFT which, as set out in the booklet, means I'm covered. It is in that section 4 that it states..... DOC cover for the policy holder. I thought that meant that I was insured and , after showing this information to a number of other people....they all agreed. But, unfortunately, it would appear that I misread some of it as I am not insured to drive other cars. My question is that as I genuinely believed I was insured, could I argue special reasons? I have dyslexia and dyspraxia which means that I have problems with reading and understanding what I've read. I have an in depth medical report for these learning difficulties. I would not have in any way jeopardised my licence as I have a son who is autistic which means that he cannot travel by public transport as this is too distressing for him. He will only get in mine or my dads car which means that without my licence I will not be able to get him to school.He receives high rate DLA because he has severe mental impairment which makes it dangerous for him to go out onto streets as his behaviour is very unpredictable and he is now at an age where he is becoming too strong for me to physically restrain should he become startled or have a meltdown whilst on the pavement or anywhere in public. It is for these reasons that I would absolutely not have driven a car I was not insured to drive. I am of the understanding that I could argue exceptional hardship but I would prefer not to have the points endorsed in the first place as I truly believed I was insured.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Why did you believe you were insured?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because I had checked my motor insurance certificate which says ' for full details of your insurance cover, please also see your schedule and policy wording. So I checked my schedule and that says ' your cover - third part fire and theft. Your policy gives you the following sections of the policy booklet 2,4,5,6,8,9,10'. I checked my policy booklet and the contents page lists 'key facts pg 3. I went to page 3 and it lays out , in table form, what each section is and a tick for whether I am insured. There was a tick next to DOC.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but what made you think that covered you for other cars then the insured one?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because it says in that section ' driving other cars (DOC) cover for the policy holder
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It is the basis of a special reasons application then. Ultimately it is a factual test.
The risk that you run is that the Bench would say that it is common knowledge that third party fire and theft does not cover the bearer to driver other cars.
Special reasons is one of those applications where the court can find any reason to justify any ruling it prefers really.
It is impossible to pre empt. it depends what type of Bench you get and what their view of this is.
It is usually helpful as well to show that you have always kept your vehicle insured hiterto.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo

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