Day to day car insurance - why would you need it?
Day-to-day car insurance, available for as short a term as one single day, could save your driving licence. It is quite incredible just how many people borrow a car or lend one to someone else for a few days without first of all making sure that there is sufficient insurance cover to at least comply with the law, and preferably to avoid financial disaster in the event of an accident. Day by day car insurance is absolutely ideal for motorists like these, who can arrange cover at extremely short notice and very reasonable cost for anything from just one single day right through to several months.
A lot of people are under the impression that the yearly car insurance policy on their day to day car covers them for any vehicle which doesn't belong to them. In many cases, this can be a very expensive error. Firstly, few if any third-party policies do this, and even those fully comprehensive policies which do have a provision for 'other vehicles not belonging' almost invariably offer cover for third party only risks, in other words the absolute minimum necessary by law, and not comprehensive. In other words, in the event of an accident the insurance company would pay out for damages to other people's property or persons, but not for the driver or the driver's car. In this event damaging a borrowed car could easily ruin a beautiful friendship! Daily car insurance policies however, can be taken out for either third-party or fully comprehensive risks, and often the extra cost for fully comprehensive cover is quite minimal.
To make life a little more complex, 'other vehicles not belonging' cover often excludes vehicles of more than a certain power rating or value, and often specifically excludes the cars of people living in the same household; just the very people who are likely to lend each other their cars in the first place! To reduce the confusion the British governmental regulators have proposed that this type of cover is done away with completely, a suggestion that a number of insurance companies have complied with but many have not. The result of all this is that many thousands of people are stopped every year for inadvertently driving without insurance, and their protestations that they genuinely believed that they were covered cuts no ice whatsoever with the magistrates; this is what is termed an 'absolute offence', in that someone who is driving without insurance is guilty, regardless of mitigating circumstances. Magistrates can of course take all circumstances into consideration when sentencing, but it is extremely rare that they decide on anything other than a substantial fine and between six and eight penalty points on the driver's licence.
One little known fact is that someone who lends a car to another person who turns out to be uninsured will also, almost certainly, be charged with allowing a vehicle to be on the public highway without insurance; this carries roughly the same penalties and the only defence against this charge would be to prove that (a) the lender did not agree that the car could be borrowed; and (b) would not have agreed to have lent the car, if asked to do so. Since this would almost invariably involve the borrower in another criminal prosecution it can be imagined that this type of defence could cause considerable complications for all concerned!
The easiest thing, whether you want to lend someone your car, borrow a car, or use a car of your own which is not currently insured for a short while is to get day to day short term car insurance. This can be done very quickly online, and you would only have to fill in a short form, pay the premium by credit card and you could have car insurance cover beginning from that moment onwards, or at any time within the next 28 days or so.
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