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Driving without insurance
kmcly1234
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:33
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So bit of background- I got stopped by the police for driving without insurance in October 2017.

I know it sounds a cliche but genuinely didn’t realise the car wasn’t covered. I thought my insurance company had changed the details over to my new car earlier in the year and I had actually been paying a direct debit to the insurance company all year but turns out i was still paying for my old car even though I sold it at the beginning of the year.

They said I would get a fixed penalty notice for a fine and 6 points through the post and they impounded the car and I then sorted out new insurance and paid to get the car back.
I then didn’t receive anything though the post so stupidly forgot about it all.

Today I’ve now received a single justice procedure notice asking me to plead guilty or not guilty within 21 days.

I’m planning to plead guilty under the SJP which means the magistrate will make a decision without a formal court hearing and I’ll be sent details of any sentence and fine and told if the magistrate decides I need to go to court.
I was planning to write in the mitigation section of the form that I thought I had changed the insurance over and that I can prove I had been paying the insurance company all year and why would I carry on paying if I was trying to get away with not insuring my car.

Do you think it’s worth sending them copies of my bank statements showing the transaction to my insurance company when I send the letter back?

Also does anyone have any idea what the sentencing would be? I’m paranoid I’m going to lose my licence. I don’t have any points on it at the moment and I’ve had it for nearly 16 years.
Thanks in advance
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post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:33
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notmeatloaf
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:44
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Have you asked your insurance company if they would consider retrospectively covering you in the circumstances as it was a genuine mistake, good customer, they can see you were actually paying for a policy etc? Perhaps speak to a manager over the phone then email the chief exec if they say no to get two bites of te cherry.

Don't ask, don't get. If they say in writing they would cover you then you have a defence. The offence is driving without third party insurance, not having a flawless policy document.

If not you can ask the magistrates to consider sentencing at fixed penalty level as it seems you weren't offered one for reasons unconnected to the offence. This will be £300 + £30 victims surcharge + 6 points + maybe £85 costs.

However, no insurance will significantly increase your premiums for the next five years (try doing a dummy quote with similar details on a comparison site) so well worth pushing your insurance company to exercise discretion before rolling over.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:48
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The Rookie
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:49
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It really would have been better to start sorting your situation out in October!

It make take a while for your insurance company to respond and may need a bit of chasing and you’ve left yourself rather short on time now.

If you plead not guilty it will take longer to get to trial but you risk increased fine and costs if you subsequently have to plead guilty.


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kmcly1234
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:50
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Hi thanks very much for your reply.

I have already tried speaking to my insurance company, unfortunately they were no help whatsoever.
They wouldn’t even put insurance on my car as it was going to be impounded so I had to find new insurance which cost me £300 upfront and now is £145 a month rather than £30 a month! So that part is already sorted as well.

I will put on the form that I didn’t receive the fpn and see if that helps.

I read somewhere that a first time offence is normally a ban and fine so I’m hoping that’s he case
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peterguk
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:52
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QUOTE (kmcly1234 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:50) *
I read somewhere that a first time offence is normally a ban and fine so I’m hoping that’s he case


No insurance is 6 points and a fine.


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kmcly1234
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:55
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:49) *
It really would have been better to start sorting your situation out in October!

It make take a while for your insurance company to respond and may need a bit of chasing and you’ve left yourself rather short on time now.

If you plead not guilty it will take longer to get to trial but you risk increased fine and costs if you subsequently have to plead guilty.


Well I didn’t think I had anything to sort out. I put new insurance on my car and was waiting for the fpn to turn up and when it didn’t I just forgot about it. I tried speaking to my old insurance company at the time and they just washed their hands of the whole situation.
I’m not trying to get out of it as at the end of the day I was driving with no insurance on that car , I just should have realised I was still paying for the old car. So I wasn’t planning on pleading not guilty as I’ve not got much of a defence.
I’m just hoping not to get a ban

QUOTE (peterguk @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:52) *
QUOTE (kmcly1234 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:50) *
I read somewhere that a first time offence is normally a ban and fine so I’m hoping that’s he case


No insurance is 6 points and a fine.


Thanks, I know that’s the case on a fixed penalty notice but not sure if it’s the same if it goes to the next step of this subject prosecution notice being sent out
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DancingDad
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:57
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Check the T&Cs and policy wording of the insurance policy that you were paying for.
You may find that it covered you at legal minimum, usually third party, to drive another vehicle.
May be caveats like other vehicle has to be insured anyway or that you cannot own it.
But worth a check, you may have been covered.
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cp8759
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 12:59
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:57) *
Check the T&Cs and policy wording of the insurance policy that you were paying for.
You may find that it covered you at legal minimum, usually third party, to drive another vehicle.
May be caveats like other vehicle has to be insured anyway or that you cannot own it.
But worth a check, you may have been covered.

Worth checking, but the chances of a policy covering other vehicles owned by the policy holder are vanishingly small.
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jewels2009
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 13:09
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QUOTE (kmcly1234 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:50) *
Hi thanks very much for your reply.

I have already tried speaking to my insurance company, unfortunately they were no help whatsoever.
They wouldn’t even put insurance on my car as it was going to be impounded so I had to find new insurance


Who did you speak with at your original Insurance Company? What about the premium you paid?

In a situation such as yours, you need to get through to a manager or indeed an underwriter who would better appreciate your situation, especially since you had been paying them premium.
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Redivi
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 13:29
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Why did you think that the insurance company had changed the details over ?

Did you ask them and they failed to do so ?

If that's the case, a serious complaint is in order
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StuartBu
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 14:07
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QUOTE (kmcly1234 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:55) *
Well I didn’t think I had anything to sort out. I put new insurance on my car and was waiting for the fpn to turn up and when it didn’t I just forgot about it. I tried speaking to my old insurance company at the time and they just washed their hands of the whole situation.


How did you do that .? By a 'phone call? Were you asked for any additional payment at the changeover to cover any increase in the premium up to when the existing policy ended or did they increase the outstanding months premiums ...Did you not get a new Certificate of Insurance showing the new cars Reg Number ?...what insurance Certificate do you have now and what Reg Number is on IT ?

EDIT You say"I tried speaking to my old insurance company at the time" So did you change your insurers when you got the new car ...did you get documentation from them ?

This post has been edited by StuartBu: Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 15:47
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notmeatloaf
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 14:23
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Did you email the chief executive, push it as far as you can? They have the discretion to cover you (or at least confirm they would have accepted a claim for third party damages) if they wish, and as stated it is going to save you a lot of money if you can convince them.

You are right that at the moment you are guilty of the offence but I am sure your insurance company realises people make mistakes. Especially if it is on direct debit it is easy for it to fade into the background. I forgot to inform them of an (inconsequential) change to my licence for similar reasons.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 14:25
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Churchmouse
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 15:37
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QUOTE (kmcly1234 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:50) *
Hi thanks very much for your reply.

I have already tried speaking to my insurance company, unfortunately they were no help whatsoever.
They wouldn’t even put insurance on my car as it was going to be impounded so I had to find new insurance which cost me £300 upfront and now is £145 a month rather than £30 a month! So that part is already sorted as well.

You may have a claim against the insurer if you informed them of the policy change and they took no action. Their calls are probably recorded. If you do have a claim against the insurer, they will be more helpful in a "no insurance" situation than if you do not. That's because they are subject to regulation enforced by the Finance Ombudsman (http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/about/index.html), who can force them to do various things, such as pay damages. But you have to formally complain to the insurer before you can go to the Ombudsman (and there's no time to get any kind of decision before you have to plead).

Unless you're happy with six points, a large fine and insurance woes for the next five years (or if you didn't actually tell them like you said), you should AT LEAST initiate a formal complaint to your insurer, which may not actually get resolved quickly, but could trigger a quick review which could discover an error on their part within the time you have left to enter a plea. Up to you, really.

--Churchmouse
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peterguk
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 15:55
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:52) *
I know that’s the case on a fixed penalty notice but not sure if it’s the same if it goes to the next step of this subject prosecution notice being sent out


At court, 6-8 points - most likely 6. It is vanishingly unlikely you'll get disqualified. Out of interest, why would you prefer a disqualification?.


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southpaw82
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 16:58
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 15:37) *
QUOTE (kmcly1234 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 11:50) *
Hi thanks very much for your reply.

I have already tried speaking to my insurance company, unfortunately they were no help whatsoever.
They wouldn’t even put insurance on my car as it was going to be impounded so I had to find new insurance which cost me £300 upfront and now is £145 a month rather than £30 a month! So that part is already sorted as well.

You may have a claim against the insurer if you informed them of the policy change and they took no action. Their calls are probably recorded. If you do have a claim against the insurer, they will be more helpful in a "no insurance" situation than if you do not. That's because they are subject to regulation enforced by the Finance Ombudsman (http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/about/index.html), who can force them to do various things, such as pay damages. But you have to formally complain to the insurer before you can go to the Ombudsman (and there's no time to get any kind of decision before you have to plead).

Unless you're happy with six points, a large fine and insurance woes for the next five years (or if you didn't actually tell them like you said), you should AT LEAST initiate a formal complaint to your insurer, which may not actually get resolved quickly, but could trigger a quick review which could discover an error on their part within the time you have left to enter a plea. Up to you, really.

--Churchmouse

There’s no harm in advising the court of the situation, saying that a complaint is being pursued expeditiously, and requesting the court to adjourn matters for a realistic period of time after which you hope to be able to enter a plea. At worst, the court will refuse and enter a not guilty plea on your behalf.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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cp8759
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 18:10
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 16:58) *
There’s no harm in advising the court of the situation, saying that a complaint is being pursued expeditiously, and requesting the court to adjourn matters for a realistic period of time after which you hope to be able to enter a plea. At worst, the court will refuse and enter a not guilty plea on your behalf.

I agree, the best angle to take is that whether the insurance was valid or not is essentially a civil matter between the OP and the insurance company, and the proper forum (with the relevant expertise and jurisdiction) for that matter to be resolved in the Financial Ombudsman. The court could therefore be invited to adjourn matters to allow those civil "proceedings" (I use the term with a bit of poetic licence) to be concluded, so that the court may then determine the issues in the criminal case with the benefits of any findings of fact and law that the ombudsman might make.
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The Rookie
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 18:34
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Unfortunately not addressing it for the 4 months he’s had so far may not help.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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NewJudge
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 23:35
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 18:34) *
Unfortunately not addressing it for the 4 months he’s had so far may not help.

Completely agree. If you pitch up to court and ask for an adjournment you will be asked what you have done since October to help yourself in this matter. Since the answer is essentially "nothing" until now or nowabouts, you will be given short shrift. The time to check if your insurers may have provided cover was last October. Had you done so then (and could prove it) and the matter was still unresolved you may have been in with a chance of an adjournment. But now, I think not. Courts expect progress to be made at each hearing unless there is good reason to adjourn.
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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 10:04
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I think if the OP apologises to the court and says he has only just taken advice on the matter they may be understanding. After all, few defendants go out on day 1 to get advice, and the idea that you can be retrospectively insured even if not insured at the time is hardly intuitive or widely known.

But as others have said it involves contacting the insurer straight away so at least there is an acknowledgement letter to show for it.
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jewels2009
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 10:28
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We need tge OP to come back andbgive a bit more meat on the bone as to tbe sale and purchase of the vehicles, and to whom and some context as to how the conversation(s) with the Insurance Company progressed.

Also would certainly be interested to know what transpired with the premiums which had been paid? How have they been alloted by the Insurance Company. How the errors or mistake concerning which vehicle was insured notwithstanding, the Insurance contract (and there must have been one in force as otherwise the premium cannot be allocated ) between the parties is also subject to "utmost good faith".

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