Car insurance policies could be invalidated by ignoring coronavirus lockdown today
Car insurance agreements may be axed by companies if road users are carrying out a journey which is not considered essential, according to the lawyer. The revelation could see thousands of policies invalidated as police forces continue to report cars on roads despite the restrictions.
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Arguments could also rise about what could be considered an essential journey with opinions differing between road users.
Nick Freeman said: “If you have an accident and can’t prove your journey was essential, your insurance may be void.”
Failing to abide by the restrictions can see policies invalidated because you would be breaking the law.
Insurance firms will usually axe policies or increase premiums if you break common motoring offences such as speeding or drink driving.
Because the government’s lockdown measures have been passed into law, breaking these will be a direct violation.
Insurance firms could argue any damage sustained during a non-essential journey would be down to your own negligence and refuse to pay out on claims.
The consequences may see road users forced to pay for expensive car repair bills in the event of an accident.
Motorists could even find they have been blacklisted from securing cover at mainstream providers which could force them to seek specialist policies.
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These are usually more expensive than traditional agreements and may not offer the same level of protection.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged car insurance firms to be fair on motorists during the lockdown period.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has also confirmed motorists will not be adversely impacted in their ability to make a claim during the period.
The group said any insurance companies signed up to the ABI will offer protection to motorists on essential journeys.
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This means road users may be free to travel to a different location of work without running the risk of having an agreement invalidated.
However, cover for ignoring the advice or offering extra financial support to customers has not yet been introduced.
Mr Freeman added: “Empty roads and the current state of lockdown may distract many drivers from thinking about staying safe and legal on the roads.”
According to the government essential purposes are only limited to a few key reasons including going to work if you are a designated key worker.
Essential reasons also include visiting the supermarket to pick up key supplies such as food and medicines.
Volunteering to help vulnerable residents pick up supplies is also allowed and should not see road users get into any issues.
Police have already been forced to issue a series of fines to motorists who are breaking lockdown rules.
One motorist was issued a £660 fine for refusing to give a reason for her being out of the house while some forces have even begun seizing cars.
In a shocking discovery, Liverpool Road Police found a motorist who was disqualified from driving said he was on a “day out” during the lockdown.
Vehicle use increased by 10 percent in 24 hours last week which raised some concerns road users were ignoring the restrictions.
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