Do you deliver goods in the UK? Are you not insured for it? Then you face some pretty awful consequences.
The average car, van, or scooter insurance policy will probably cover you for social domestic and pleasure use (and perhaps commuting to and from a single place of work) but it will NOT cover you for delivering goods, that belong to other people, and that you are paid for delivering. For that you will need a class of insurance known as Hire and Reward (sometimes called Courier, or Haulage) cover.
If you do in fact carry out delivery work, as described above, without this extra insurance, you are likely to not only be uninsured whilst you are out delivering, but at any other time too; because you could have breached the insurer's term and conditions (which, to be honest, very few people read!). The results can be:
If you are involved in an accident whilst uninsured and you are held responsible it, you would be expected to pay any costs arising from it. These could be astronomical; particularly if anyone was injured as a result.
Compensation you would be liable for could include repairs to your vehicle; medical expenses; and damage to other people's property. If you cannot pay up for any reason you may face legal action, which could result in heavy costs (have you seen what lawyers charge?).
In practice, third party claims might well be paid by the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) but this body is likely to chase you for reimbursement; as far as bankruptcy if need be.
You are probably already aware that driving without the correct insurance is illegal in the UK. If you are caught doing this, you may be offered a fixed penalty of up to ??300 and six penalty points on your driving licence by the police: but If you choose to contest the penalty in court, this could rocket up to up to ??5,000; and you would still get get those six penalty points (or a driving ban if the offence was considered to be serious enough).
There would be no point whatsoever in pleading that you thought that you was insured, you was only delivering a small item, or you fully intended to buy a policy later; driving without insurance is what is called an 'Absolute Offence'; you was either insured or not, and it is your own responsibility to make sure that you in fact are.
Your legal problems don't necessarily end there; if the vehicle you was driving belonged to someone else then the owner will probably be prosecuted too, for allowing a vehicle to be driven by an uninsured driver (which carries similar penalties to the one that you would be facing!). Again, this is an Absolute Offence; the onus is on anyone lending a motor vehicle to someone else, for any reason, to make sure that insurance is in place.
If you are caught driving without insurance you will not be able to just get behind the wheel again; instead a pick-up truck will arrive and your vehicle will be taken off to a police pound (along with it's cargo, unless you can arrange for it to be transferred to another vehicle, driven by someone else, at short notice!). Getting it back can be difficult and expensive; and it could even end up being confiscated and crushed. You can get more information from this impounded vehicle insurance website.
Insurance companies are very wary of those who face a charge of, or have been convicted of, driving without insurance. They see them as high risk drivers and so you could expect future premiums to increase substantially; and many insurers may well be unwilling to offer you a quote at all.
In the UK, if you get a total of 12 (or more) points on your driving licence within any three year period you will be summoned and the court will decide on a driving ban. How long this would last for would be up to the court's discretion; guidelines suggest a six month's disqualification for a first offence, but longer bans if you subsequently commit further offences after your ban is lifted. If the ban is for more than 56 days (which is highly likely) you won't be re-licensed after the end of this period; you would have to apply for a new one, and you may be ordered to take a driving test again (or even an extended one) before this is granted.
Even if you don't actually lose your licence, future potential employers may be reluctant to take you on if you have a conviction for driving without insurance. Leaving aside the fact that it's hardly a good character reference, training a new driver can cost a lot of time and money, and an applicant who is already at least half way to a driving ban could be a very poor investment, which is why most employers will only consider those with clean driving licences.
It is almost inevitable that drivers without the right insurance will be picked up by the police. Delivery drivers are easy to spot. Just about every major road (and a lot of minor ones, too) have roadside cameras which can record number plate details. These can be automatically checked against a central database of every vehicle insurance policy that is currently in force in the UK; so the first you would know about it would be when you was flagged down by a uniformed officer at a roadside, or a police car came up behind you then flashed it's lights for you to pull over.
It really isn't worth the risk. Get insured now.
Let's get quotes now!
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courierweb.co.uk is a trading style of David Gale who has a business relationship with Prudent Plus Limited of Booths Hall, Booths Park, Knutsford Cheshire WA16 8GS. This company is registered in England number 10104295, is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and is a Member of the British Insurance Brokers Association, John Stow House, 18 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7JB. Membership number: 007759
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