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Driving Without Insurance Offences

Caught driving with no insurance?

If you’ve been caught driving without insurance, the team at Lanyon Bowdler are here to help.  
 
Driving without insurance is a serious offence and fines can be heavy. This is due to the implications of having an accident without a valid policy in place to cover any third parties.

There is a national motor insurance database where every car insurance policy is registered.  If you have been stopped by the police or received a notification in the post and your policy isn’t listed, you will receive a ‘driving without insurance’ charge. This will be shown on your licence as an IN10.

What is an IN10 endorsement?

An IN10 is the endorsement code for driving without insurance. This will appear on your licence.  It can apply in a number of cases, commonly:

  • You forget to renew your insurance in time
  • You do not check whether the person using your vehicle is properly insured to do so
  • You do not check whether you are adequately insured to drive another vehicle
  • You wilfully drive knowing you haven’t arranged cover

What is the penalty for driving without insurance?

Driving without insurance carries penalties of a minimum:

  • Fixed penalty fine of £300
  • Six penalty points
  • The IN10 endorsement remains on your licence for four years
  • You must notify your insurance for five years from the date of the offence

However, the police can choose whether your offence is more serious and should be handled by the courts. For example; a driver has never passed a driving test, a driver gives false details, or was driving a higher risk vehicle, such as a HGV.

In these cases you may face much heavier fines and even have your vehicle destroyed. If you are facing a charge of driving without insurance, please call us now so we can listen to your circumstances and advise you. 

Were you accidentally caught driving with no insurance?

Many offenders are found ‘guilty’ of driving without insurance due to innocent misunderstandings, such as a missed insurance policy payment (where the insurer cancels the policy) or confusion as to what their policy covers.

It’s not uncommon for people charged with driving without insurance to simply have the wrong type of insurance policy, or to have mistakenly put the incorrect information on their policy.
Also common is for drivers to receive an IN10 endorsement on their licence is because of undeclared modifications on their car.

Defending a driving without insurance charge

Driving uninsured is a ‘strict liability offence’, which means, whether you meant to commit the offence or whether it was an oversight – if you did not have a valid insurance policy, you are guilty.
If you dispute the charge of driving without insurance then the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence to the contrary and demonstrate you were insured at the time, this is normally in the form of a valid insurance document from your insurer. All the prosecution needs to prove is you were driving a motor vehicle on a public road when the alleged offence occurred. It could be argued however that you had reasonable cause to believe you were insured in certain circumstances such as:

  • Your insurance company had led you to believe you were insured
  • You were driving in the course of your employment and can demonstrate that your employer was responsible for insuring you

The police have stated that your insurance is void.

It is common for a police officer to suggest your insurance is void because of a problem with your driving licence or issues with the vehicle itself. For example, they may say your insurance is not valid because you don’t have an MOT or because the vehicle has performance modifications.

These suggestions are rarely correct and warrant further investigation. Sections 148 and 151 of road traffic act 1988 deal with these scenarios and stipulate that an insurance policy is valid until voided and the insurance company would be obliged to satisfy any claim to the minimum standard even if the driver was in breach of a specific contract term providing he or she is in possession of a valid driving licence at the time.

So, the prosecution may be arguing that your policy is automatically void due to;

  • The age or physical or mental condition of persons driving the vehicle
  • The condition of the vehicle
  • The number of persons that the vehicle carries
  • The weight or physical characteristics of the goods that the vehicle carries
  • The time at which or the areas within which the vehicle is used
  • The horsepower or cylinder capacity or value of the vehicle
  • The carrying on the vehicle of any particular apparatus

However,  it is often the case that there is still a valid insurance in place and we suggest you never accept the suggestion that your policy is automatically void to the any of these conditions without speaking to us first.

This is a complex area and if you are being prosecuted for driving with no insurance we recommend you to contact our expert team here at Lanyon Bowdler.

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