Car insurance could be invalid if you drive during lockdown

This is probably the most bizarre piece of spin we have seen in a long time. Featured below is a story appearing in the Manchester Evening News sourced from the Daily Mirror.

"People across the UK are being told not to make any non-essential journeys. And anybody caught doing so in England could land themselves with a £200 fine. But according to the Mirror, making a non-essential car journey during lockdown could also prove even more costly a mistake than you first thought, as your insurance could be invalid if you have an accident.

Florence Codjoe, of website, said: “You could end up paying thousands for ­repairs.

"If you’re unsure about cover during lockdown speak to your insurer for clarification.”

She also warned drivers not to cancel insurance unless they have off-street parking.

It’s illegal to park on the road without it. The on-the-spot £200 fines halve if paid within 14 days but double for repeat offenders, up to £6,400.

Specialist motoring lawyer Nick Freeman, known as Mr Loophole for helping celeb clients facing driving charges, said: “Essential travel is largely defined as ­shopping for necessities, picking up medical supplies, caring for a vulnerable person and getting to and from work if you cannot do so from home.”

He added: “Anything else is not really acceptable. If you have an accident and can’t prove your journey was essential your ­insurance may be void.”

John Neill, of Castle Insurance Services, said: “If it’s a non-­essential journey and being used ­outside the terms of the policy then there may be grounds for an insurer to reject a claim.”

Not quoted directly in the article, but posting his view elsewhere, Andrew Hogan (Credit Hire Barrister) was dismissive of the story:

"What utter bilge. I would be interested to see an insurance policy that has an express condition that invalidates cover in these circumstances or magically transmutes domestic and social use into "domestic and social use for essential journeys permitted by law."

I have just re-located from Birmingham to Sussex and I called my insurer to advise them of the change of address. Whilst doing so I raised this point with them and they assured me that my insurance policy was effective throughout the lockdown unless I declared the car to be off the road with a SORN.

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