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Commuting not covered by insurance

In December last year I was riding to work when I had an accident with a small van on a roundabout. I agreed with my lawyer that I would be happy to take 50% of the blame as I agreed we were both equally at fault / it was just an accident. But a problem has come up – my insurer is refusing to pay the other driver for the damage to his van. Apparently my insurance policy was third party and social only so it did not cover commuting. My insurer is saying I have to pay the other driver’s compensation as I misled them. Is this right?

Simon Parker, by e-mail



Motor insurance policies are policies of good faith meaning both parties in the contract have to disclose the correct required information needed to create a policy.

If it is the case that you were commuting on a non-commuting policy then your insurer is likely to deal with your opponent’s claim rather than cancelling your policy as if it never existed at all which in very serious cases it can – for example non-disclosure of a drug drive offence which had it been disclosed would have led to declining to offer terms.

In your case the difference would likely have been a higher insurance premium had you disclosed that you intended to commute as opposed to the insurer not offering a policy.

Your insurer should compensate the other driver but your insurer is within its rights to make you repay them for your share (50%) of the losses of your opponent.



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