More often than you’d like, your car may not be in the mood to take you anywhere which means that it may be suffering from a minor or major defect – or may simply be out of petrol. Either way, you may be inclined to jump in someone’s car and go run that errand that’s been on your mind. While you do, you may want to consider that if you get into an accident, you may not be covered when driving someone else’s ride!
Previously, insurance companies included third-party cover in comprehensive insurance policies allowing drivers to be compensated if they got into an accident while driving someone’s car-or basically a car that is not on their policy. However, unfortunately, those days are long gone. Now, third-party cover is usually offered for an extra fee, or some sort of condition. Hence, confusion is likely to prevail.
Here’s what you need to know.
DOC is only for emergencies
Insurance companies were previously offering the driving-other-cars (DOC) condition in your comprehensive insurance policy, but now a majority of insurance companies have gotten rid of this added benefit. First, you need to check and see if your insurance has a DOC benefit.
Even if it does, the DOC benefit is only available to those who are driving another vehicle in an emergency. Hence, all those who are taking someone’s car out for a Saturday night at the casino are definitely not covered.
Young adults are not included
Being under 25 is awesome in many cases, yet not when it comes to insurance. DOC cover is most likely not available on your insurance policy if you are under 25. Stipulations for young drivers are always stricter in order to ensure more responsible, safe driving.
If you have a good record, after turning 25, you can request that your insurance company include DOC cover in your insurance policy. It must be noted that this cover is not automatically offered but must be asked for- and most likely comes with a fee.
Young adults can apply for temporary cover
If you are young and have a vehicle that often acts up and is dysfunctional, you may find yourself in the need to borrow other people’s car often. What do you do in this case? Simple.
If it is a girlfriend, aunt, uncle, parent, or someone who you may be borrowing the car from often, get the car registered on your policy. If you are taking the car for a sudden road trip, you can opt to apply for temporary cover. Some companies are kind enough to not exclude the DOC benefit from young driver policies so it is essential you check first and find out what’s possible and what’s not. Communication is key.
Risky occupations are a no go
Some insurance companies also do not provide DOC insurance if you have a very risky job. That means if your job involves using other people’s vehicles often. Accordingly, truck drivers or other motorists are often excluded from DOC policy.
Again, this may vary from company to company. Accordingly, you must inquire about it and ensure you have coverage when you are driving other people’s vehicles if you are doing that for most of the day.
Some companies provide DOC cover even if you have a risky job involving driving borrowed vehicles, but with a condition that the borrowed car is not owned, hired, by you or your partner.
Partners are also not included
Driving your partner’s car may not be covered under DOC benefit. That means that many people in the UK may literally be caught breaking the law if they are driving their partner’s car. It means you are driving uninsured. The fine print hides several strict stipulations that policyholders often overlook.
Hence, once again, make sure you check whether your partner’s car is covered in DOC benefit. If not, then you probably should stick to your own vehicle.
If you are found to be driving without proper car insurance, you can get penalty points in the form of an IN12. What happens then? Your insurance premium can go up substantially or your insurer can downright refuse your business and not provide insurance.
Also, if you let someone use your vehicle as a third-party and that person is caught, it can also get you in trouble. You can get an IN12 on your insurance record and suffer the same fate.
The best way is to simply be very diligent about your insurance policy and ask questions fervently.