Many drivers think they can get away with driving uninsured, according to research conducted by Churchill Car Insurance.
The study, which involved retired traffic police officers, revealed the various excuses drivers give when apprehended for driving without proper cover.
According to the cops, the most common alibis drivers give for driving uninsured are: not knowing they didn’t have insurance (38%), having poor administrative capabilities when it comes to renewing the policy (33%). In more than one in eight (13%) cases, drivers deliberately drove without insurance.
The officers were told various excuses such as ‘the car drives perfectly well without it’ to ‘it was my husband’s car. He is dead but he is still insured’. One driver of a Lamborghini said that his car was covered by a third-party policy for a Nissan Micra, but upon investigation, it was revealed that the cover was insufficient.
One in four (25%) of former traffic police officers reported that international drivers have poor understanding of UK insurance rules, such as being unaware that the driver has to be named on the insurance policy. The respondents said that drivers from Eastern Europe often think the car is insured, not the driver.
Over seven in ten (72%) of respondents said that in an emergency situation, the decision to penalise an uninsured driver was up to the traffic officer’s discretion.
Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, said: “Whilst some of the excuses given for uninsured driving might raise a smile, it’s a serious offence that can often hit the pockets of motorists who comply with the law. If someone is prepared to run the risk of being caught driving uninsured, then it makes you wonder what other risks they’re prepared to take on the road. This is why we give our customers uninsured driver cover as standard.”
Barrett added: “Our research demonstrates the need for education about the risks of driving without insurance, particularly for tourists and international drivers. Many motorists claim ignorance as an excuse, but it is up to everyone getting behind the wheel to make sure they are protected as it is the driver’s responsibility to know the laws.”