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Insurance Exclusions – When can my insurance be void?

February 2, 2017 by in category Insurance, News with 0 and 0
Home > News > Insurance > Insurance Exclusions – When can my insurance be void?
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Along with the obvious implications of committing a drink driving offence, many people sometimes don’t begin to think of the other lasting implications that they could find themselves in. With the negative consequences that come with motoring convictions, such as penalty points, fines, disqualifications, and even a criminal record, most people don’t realise the other problems that could include issues with foreign travel, getting insurance coverage, and even getting the insurers to pay you out for your vehicle if you were involved in an accident.

If you are involved in an accident and consumed alcohol but is under the limit so that their conduct could not be considered illegal, insurers usually indicate that the policy will continue to provide you with cover. This, however, is not the case when you are found to be over the limit of alcohol consumption.

Insurance exclusion

In most insurance policies, there will be a section which will be titled along the lines of significant exclusions and limitations. In this section, you can find the various scenarios where your insurance will be limited, or even excluded. The list of exclusions and limitations can include:

  • Injury resulting from you driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a level which would be an offence in the country where the accident occurs;
  • Injury caused by failure to wear a seatbelt unless exempt on medical grounds;
  • Any deliberate attempt to put lives in danger; or
  • If the car was not taxed or roadworthy (valid MOT, correct tyres, lights, brakes, windows).

This means that in cases where accidents occur, insurance providers will not pay more than their legal liability under the Road Traffic Act for any claim which because of an accident, the named driver of the car insured by them is found under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or was convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Being charged with an offence is not the same as being convicted of one and so as is often the case with clients we successfully represent and defend for drink driving related cases, if they are acquitted, they are usually also paid out by their insurers following the criminal trial.

Passengers of drivers

If you are a passenger claiming compensation following an accident, you can be punished by insurers even if you did not have a direct involvement in the driving error that occurred. If you are involved in an accident and suffer injury but your insurance company alleges that you were aware of the driver having being drunk or you were negligent to other possible harms that could occur to yourself, compensation you may be entitled to could be reduced as much as 20%-30%.

This argument is based on contributory negligence and means that if the passenger contributed to their own injuries in any way that a reduction of compensation can be implemented. This most often occurs with passengers who don’t wear seatbelts, and those who willingly get into a vehicle knowing that the driver was drunk. There have even been cases where 75% of compensation was reduced because it was found the passenger encouraged the drunk driver to drive. In scenarios involving drunk driving, if it is proven that you had no knowledge that the driver was drunk then you should be able to claim 100% of your compensation.

If you are wondering about the possibility of insurance exclusions in your own policy, you should contact your insurance agency and request the details about your policy.

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