According to figures outlined in the Express, millions of drivers across the UK are driving on our roads without valid insurance, with police prosecuting 3,000 drivers every week across the country.
The figures come on the back of increased surveillance surrounding driver insurance, as drivers attempt to dodge heightened premiums by taking advantage of apparent loopholes in the small print of their policies.
For many years, drivers have been able to drive dangerously and take the risk of being caught without insurance only when stopped. New legislation now means that drivers can be prosecuted without being caught in the act because of updated insurance checks made on vehicles by the police.
Drivers who are caught driving without insurance on their vehicle can face prosecution. Minimum punishments can range from points and penalties on their licence, all the way to the revoking of their licence and seizing and destruction of their vehicle. Repeat offences may lead to prosecution in the form of a suspended jail sentence.
Although there are some drivers knowingly abusing the rules and trying to dodge higher insurance premiums, many drivers are in the dark about the specifics of their insurance policies.
Research suggests that insurance providers have changed the specifics and intricacies of their policies in a way that means drivers are unfamiliar or fail to understand the changes and how it affects their driving. This could potentially mean that thousands of honest drivers are at risk of receiving penalties, opening themselves up to invalidation in the event of a claim.
The confusion comes surrounding the “drive other cars” insurance extension for which many drivers opt. Drivers who choose this extension are usually able to drive other vehicles while remaining covered across one policy. Drivers are renewing their policies and automatically expecting the ability to drive other cars to be added as an extension or fitted within their policy.
Many insurance providers differ in their ruling surrounding the “drive other cars” extension, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider prior to driving another vehicle to ensure you’re fully insured to drive this vehicle.
Another cause for concern within the vehicle insurance industry is what is known as “fronting”. Fronting is the term given to the practice of drivers trying to reduce the premiums of less experienced drivers by adding their names to the policy but dishonestly posing as the main driver.
A main driver with many years of experience and no claims bonuses can significantly reduce the insurance of a young driver. Although this may seem like a harmless method of reducing your insurance, if you are caught abusing the system, it could mean that you face a penalty – and, at the worst, an invalidation of your insurance when a claim is made against you.
It’s important that you know the ins and outs of your insurance policy and when and where you’re covered. There are many online sources of information about types of insurance fraud. You could also contact your insurance provider for a full breakdown of your policy, and read more information on how a broker can help you to find a new policy in a legally safe way.