The dangers of using short term car insurance; certainly not and three day car insurance company  isn't bad either!

This is a true story; to quote the old radio programme 'Dragnet' only the names have been changed to protect the innocent!

David Drew was a normal, honest and hard-working family man with his own, somewhat precarious, small business, a wife, three children and a mortgage. His brother Peter could not be more different; a dabbler in drugs (although he had never actually been caught by the police), living with a woman 10 years older than himself and her three children of indeterminate parentage, he had never done a day's work in his life. Nevertheless he was Peter's brother and blood, as they say, is always thicker than water.

Hardly surprisingly, Peter could not afford to have a decent holiday but when a friend offered to lend him his timeshare cabin in the Scottish Highlands he jumped at the chance. However, although he had held a driving licence for more than 10 years he did not own a car, and the idea of paying out for a hire car was quite unthinkable to him. He approached David to see if he could borrow his spare car, a prospect that David was not terribly enthusiastic about! Nevertheless, Peter was his brother after all so he decided to go along with it, but insisted that proper insurance cover was arranged for the vehicle. Peter of course was quite happy to drive without insurance but David ignored this, logged on to the Internet and within 5 min the car was insured fully comprehensively though a short term car insurance company for two weeks, with Peter named as the main driver.

As may have been predicted, the holiday ended in disaster. Peter and his girlfriend had a row on the way up to Scotland over his driving technique, which consisted of completely ignoring all speed limits. They stopped off in Carlisle on the way up, Peter parked on a single yellow line whilst they went for a quick meal, and when he returned to find a parking ticket under his windscreen wiper he threw it away. His girlfriend nagged and nagged him all the way up to Scotland and just as he was approaching the lodge that they were due to stay in he went too fast across a roundabout, hit a lorry and succeeded spectacularly in writing the car off completely. Since he had very little money with him David had to drive up to Scotland to collect them, and arranged for his car to be towed away.

That was not the end of David's woes. Peter had driven through a succession of speed cameras, and within a few days court summonses were landing on David's doormat, together with a demand from Carlisle county council for a £50 parking fine! On top of that his car, which had been worth several thousand pounds originally, was now a write-off.

To cut a long story short; David had to attend court to prove that he was not driving the vehicle at the time that the speeding offences occurred; Peter went along and admitted the offences, eventually receiving a two years driving ban which, since he never drove anyway, was not really much of a punishment for him! The parking fine had to be paid, and since Peter was penniless David had to just shrug his shoulders and pay up.

The only bright spot in this sad tale is that David received full compensation for his car from the short term car insurance company; less of course the £500 excess which he had agreed to when he took out the policy. Peter promised to reimburse this as soon as he could; David is still waiting yet……

Copyright Andy Foster 2009