Van drivers across the UK are being asked to check their commercial van insurance policies this week as a number of recent court cases have proved that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
Drivers unaware they are not insured
Many van drivers routinely lose their driving licences every year for driving being uninsured but usually the culprits are completely aware that they are breaking the law. Recent cases have shown that some drivers are not aware that they are in fact driving without insurance.
Differences in cars and vans
The problem stems from the differences in a conventional car insurance policy and a van insurance policy. A conventional car driver’s policy will allow the driver to get behind the wheel of any other car and drive it. He will be covered by third party vehicle insurance and it is something that thousands of British motorists have done over the years.
A conventional commercial vehicle insurance policy does not offer the same amount of cover and this has caught several drivers out in recent weeks. It is a particular problem for new entrants into small businesses who are not familiar with the difference in policies. The problem for any driver caught in this way is that local magistrates will have no way of distinguishing a genuine mistake from those reckless criminals that blight the roads of the UK. It is almost certain that a driving ban will accompany a fine, which will in turn probably mean the hapless driver is also out of a job.
It is of course just a simple matter of reading your insurance policy and making sure that it offers the cover that you require, cheap van insurance is readily available, but is not cheap at all if it doesn’t offer the protection you are looking for.
Companies also warned
The onus in this does not always fall on the individual driver, in one case the driver worked for a company with several vehicles and presumed he was covered to drive each and every one; he wasn’t, and as a result lost his licence. An employer should always know exactly which employees are covered to drive which vehicles and once again ignorance of the law will not prevent a hefty fine. It is really a case of common business sense.