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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71360
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I gave a query regarding the law relating to driving &

Customer Question

I gave a query regarding the law relating to driving & insurance
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

How can I help with this please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hello Jo. I am pleased to connect to you more quickly than I expected. Can I send you more details of my quest later today? Thx. Peter
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hello Jo. It’s Peter O’Sullivan again. Is it convenient to brief you on my quest now? Thx. Peter
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

I'm here.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
BRIEF - MY QUERY REGARDING THE LAW RELATING TO DRIVING & INSURANCE
BACKGROUND (general):
I have an elderly (70), widowed sister who is very physically disabled (cerebral palsy at birth) with very limited mobility. She maintains her independence with the support of carers, hoisting, an electric wheelchair AND AN ADAPTED CAR; and with support from me and companionship and support from two personal assistants (PAs) whom my sister employs.
The car, which my sister has had since September 2016, is leased from MOTABILITY and insured with RSA GROUP (MOTABILITY) insurance.
The insurance policy holder is MOTABILITY.
I am the brother, next-of-kin & 'nominee' (authorised to speak/act on behalf of) my sister
BACKGROUND specific to the query
Prior to September 2016 (with her previous car), my sister had what RSA calls an ‘open policy’; anybody who my sister authorises and who meets specific RSA criteria is allowed to drive the car for the benefit of my sister. Criteria are full, clean (or at least small number of points) driving licence; no accidents/motoring convictions in last five years.
When my sister took out a new lease with Motability on her current car in September 2016, the nature of the insurance policy changed to ‘two named drivers only’.
However we did not realise this; and when my sister appointed, in December 2016, her two current PAs (who both met the RSA driving criteria) we did not inform RSA of a change of drivers; and had not requested a reversion to an ‘open’ policy (as described above).
ISSUE Giving rise to the query.
On Tuesday 29th May, one of my sister’s PA’s drove my sister to a nearby beach and parked it in a parking bay near to the beach. Whilst away from the car, another car caused damage to my sister’s car; scratch, bumps, and dents. The PA, who had driven the car to the location of the incident, reported the incident to the police. The police have issued an incident number and have since indicated that they are not able to pursue any lines of enquiry due to lack of evidence (e.g. no CCTV cameras).
The second PA contacted RSA insurance on 30th May, explaining what had happened. She was informed that she and the other PA (who had driven the car to the location of the incident) were not listed as named drivers. She did not give details of the PA who had driven the car to the location of the incident; and told RSA Insurance to expect a call from me (Peter O’Sullivan) to sort out the matter.
I subsequently called RSA insurance and have now arranged for the policy to be an ‘open’ policy as described above; effective 31st May 2018
I was not asked for, and have not (yet) offered details of the incident; I am sort of assuming that the information (incomplete) reported by my sister’s PA was not recorded.
We have now had an estimate that the cost of repairing the car is likely to be £1,500-£2,000.
QUERY – two fold
1. As the car was parked, and not being driven, at the time of the incident. Is it possible to claim for the damage on the insurance policy, without it being invalidated by the fact that the person who had driven the car to the location of the incident was not insured (i.e. one of two named drivers)
2. If the details of the PA who had driven my sister to the location of the incident, were included in a claim process would:
a) that PA be potentially liable, and charged, for driving without insurance?
And
b) would my sister be potentially liable, and charged, for allowing somebody to drive without insurance?
CONCLUSION:
- Is the above clear and does it make sense?
- Can you please advise on the answer to my queries
Thank you.
Peter O’Sullivan /***********
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

So, in short, the car was driven by a person uninsured?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
The car was driven to the location of the incident by a person who did not know she was uninsured; and my sister also did not know she was uninsured.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

You could submit a claim.

Strictly speaking, it was not being driven at the time and so it matters not. It depends what is in the contract of insurance. Unless they have some means of escape they should be liable.

I would have thought the greater risk was being prosecuted for driving without insurance or permitting no insurance though.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Please explain what you mean by ‘Unless they have some means of escape they should be liable.’... who is the ‘they’ to who you refer. What do you mean by ‘means if escape’?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 17 days ago.

The insurance company. A clause written in their contract that allows them to escape liability in these circumstances.

Ultimately the vehicle was not at it's normal place of keepership and it was driven there by a person uninsured.