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OTHER ITA SITES:
Are You Insured To Drive Any Car?
Many motorists have long benefited from the ‘drive other cars’ clause most insurers have included in their policies. This means that it is legal to drive a vehicle that does not belong to you, with the owner’s permission, and that you will be insured. Generally you are able to drive another person’s car if you are insured fully comprehensively but will be insured on that car third party fire and theft. A leading insurer, Norwich Union, has now changed its car insurance policy and will not cover people to drive cars for which they are not directly insured. The ‘drive other cars’ clause that has been included in most policies for years, has now come under the spotlight and motorists have been advised to check with their own insurance company before they borrow someone else’s car.
The benefit of being able to drive another person’s car depends upon a variety of factors not least whether the individual insurer allows this. Other factors include the age of the driver; they often have to be over 25, and the driver’s record. For example if the driver has made several claims and also has penalty points then they may not be covered to borrow someone else’s car.
Norwich Union is removing this option to drivers as it says that too many people are using it as a scam to reduce the cost of their car insurance. The ‘drive other cars’ clause is also seen by police to be a hindrance in overcoming the issue of uninsured drivers. This might be seen as a setback by many law abiding drivers who have been able to use someone else’s car in an emergency, such as taking someone to hospital. However, many dishonest drivers abuse the system by buying low cost car insurance for a small car and then borrowing high powered performance cars belonging to friends. These are cars that they would never normally be able to drive. Because of this new restriction insurers believe that dishonest behaviour will be curbed.
Other car insurance companies thought to be following suit include AA, Cornhill Direct, Royal & Sun Alliance and Axa. These changes are being made as a result of suggestions by the Department of Transport who feel that phasing out the clause will prevent uninsured drivers from getting an easy ride.
Paul Jenson from Hoot Car Insurance Services www.hootcarinsurance.co.uk has this to say to drivers who are worried that they might not be insured:
“It’s always best to check that you are insured on another person’s car before you borrow it. In the past, more often than not, it’s been acceptable to drive your mate’s car but now many insurers are phasing this option out. You can have you name put on another person’s car insurance policy very cheaply so if you want to regularly drive your girlfriend or boyfriend’s car or your Mum doesn’t mind you borrowing hers, then you can do so legally. Insurance companies will also be lenient on people who have a genuine emergency, for example if they need to get to hospital quickly and the only car available belongs to someone else.”
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