/ Car insurance and commuting

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owlart - on 13 Nov 2012
I was talking to my brother last night, and his work is sending his department on a "corporate retreat" (yuk!), and has given everyone the address and told them to meet there.

My brother has pointed out that many people's car insurance covers them for the commute to "a regular place of work" (or similar wording), and hence wouldn't cover driving to a different one-off place for work.

If your policy is so worded, have you had difficulties if work has asked you to go somewhere different? Does 'regular place of work' also cover one-off alternative venues?
zebidee - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to owlart:
> My brother has pointed out that many people's car insurance covers them for the commute to "a regular place of work" (or similar wording), and hence wouldn't cover driving to a different one-off place for work.

Your brother's right you could run in to difficulties with this one as you're then using your car for business purposes.

Two similar stories:
1) I used to be on-call and would have to drive into the data-centre when there was an issue late at night which couldn't be resolved remotely - this wasn't classed as commuting and so had to have "business" on my personal car insurance.

2) SWMBO is a contractor - her "place of business" is the house therefore if she's working on a customer site (i.e. all the time) then she has to have business insurance on the car.
Philip on 13 Nov 2012
I think you're fine driving to a different place of work for a day, just not moving between locations in a day.

My wife had to add business class 1 because she sometime drives between two sites. We now both have class 1 use on our own cars (and just commute on each others) and don't pay any more for this.
Alejandro on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to owlart:

We've had a similar issue with changes at work recently. Essentially we're now expected to carry work items in our own cars, and work from a different "office" and the company don't consider it to be an issue, as I'm not using my car for commercial use...

But as I and many of my colleagues have said, if an accident were to happen and I had any equipment in the car which suggested I was using my car for work, then the insurance company may well refuse to pay out, citing breach of contract.

Anyway, brought this up with the insurance company due to a renewal recently, and I think it cost me 4 extra for the year to change my policy to Business Use included.

I shouldn't have to pay for it, but it's definitely better than any possible hassle later on!
owlart - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Philip: But a different place isn't your "regular place of work", does this matter?
muppetfilter - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to owlart: As long as your brother isn't pissed behind the wheel or carrying 3 passengers from his workplace I can't honestly see an insurance company batting an eye. If say he is in an accident heading towards the lakes ... unless he tells them how will they know. I would suspect they would be more concerned with the whys and hows of the cyclist embedded in the grill or the Nissan Micra stuck in the rear offside.
antdav - on 13 Nov 2012
If an accident happens as long as you don't say you were heading somewhere on business then nothing will come from it. You could easily say you were driving to a hotel which isn't a lie.

For the extra money, mine cost 15 a year, i just put it on there to be safe, insurance companies will use anything they can to avoid paying out.
Neil Williams - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to owlart:

No, it doesn't - that's Business Class 1, particularly if expenses are being claimed.

Anyone who is even vaguely likely to need it might as well add it on, it doesn't add much if anything. Direct Line give you it by default, or at least always have for me (might be based on your job).

Neil
owlart - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to muppetfilter: The question wasn't "can you get away with it?" though it's "are you covered by the policy?"

There may be many things you could get away with if you didn't mention or were economical with the truth. However, if all facts were known by the insurance company, would you still be covered?
Neil Williams - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Alejandro:

Almost no car or home insurance policies can or will cover business equipment, so careful with that one. I would insist they insure it if it got to such an argument.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to zebidee:

A reasonable decider is whether expenses *could* be paid for it (i.e. within Revenue rules, so if you weren't paid them and did a tax return you could validly claim tax relief), rather than whether they actually are.

They cannot be paid for ordinary commuting, but they can be paid for pretty much all other use of a vehicle on business.

Neil
owlart - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to owlart)
>
> No, it doesn't - that's Business Class 1, particularly if expenses are being claimed.

That's what my brother thought too. I doubt expenses will be available, it's only a few miles away from their work, and may in fact be a shorter journey for some folk.

> Anyone who is even vaguely likely to need it might as well add it on, it doesn't add much if anything. Direct Line give you it by default, or at least always have for me (might be based on your job).

My brother has it by default on his policy anyway, but he was pointing out to his colleagues that they may not, and should therefore check first.
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Neil Williams - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

(note: anywhere with a similar journey to your regular workplace is also "ordinary commuting" per the Revenue, there are a load of examples on their site. However anywhere more than 10 miles away never fails that test, though it may fail others. But don't underestimate insurance companies' ability to be awkward :)

Neil

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