Driving lead seeking officersâ€™ experiences with car insurance premiums
Has your personal car insurance premium increased as a result of an on-duty driving incident?
Or have you been challenged by your insurer due to a work-related RTC?
If so, Tim Rogers, the national Federation’s driver training and response driving lead, wants to hear from you.
“I would like officers to get in touch if they failed to disclose an on-duty incident because they didn’t realise they needed to and then faced an increase in the cost of their car insurance,” says Tim, who is also deputy secretary of West Midlands Police Federation.
“But I am also aware there are officers who have actually disclosed an incident at work but still found their insurance premium went up and others who have been questioned further by their insurers.
“I am particularly interested in those officers who have been on a blue light run and then had a collision, or a member of the public involved has, and then found it has had an impact on their insurance.”
Due to improved sharing of information between insurers, some officers have been encountering difficulties when renewing or applying for car insurance because a claim has been recorded on the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) personal injury database.
Any recorded incident in which someone is injured or damage occurs will be stored on the database which means when an officer seeks a personal car insurance quote, this information will be populated automatically.
Therefore officers should contact their insurer if they are involved in any such incident and should declare them when seeking a quote for a new policy.
An agreement from the Association of British Insurers means officers do not have to report incidents while driving a police vehicle in circumstances where “tactical options” were performed.
“It was agreed that this was not an accident since it was part of the range of options and tactics available to police drivers which enables them to protect the public. It was deemed unfair to have an officer penalised for doing this,” says Tim.
“The Federation secured this agreement back in 2013/4 which was most welcome. Many of us are all too aware of the impact any disclosed claim can have on our own private insurance premiums.
“Through the better sharing of information between insurance companies, however, it is now apparent that officers are being challenged by their insurers for not having disclosed accidents by definition under the Road Traffic Act 1988.”
Tim cites one example of such a challenge: an officer on a P1 call using blue lights and two tones comes to a line of traffic, in a parting of the waves moment, a member of the public mounts the pavement and, through no fault of the officer, collides with a lamp post. This currently is a disclosable accident.
He adds: “We see this as grossly unfair and are again actively seeking a further exemption to report in circumstances pertaining to driver tactics such as the example given here. You are obliged though at this time to report collisions in work vehicles to your own insurance companies.”
Tim is also urging forces to better communicate this vulnerability to officers.
“It’s reasonable for officers to assume their liability doesn’t go this far and forces have an obligation to inform them about this,” he explained.