The insurance background
In many cases volunteer drivers are using their own private motor insurance policy to cover their voluntary work and, based on the misconception that the voluntary work involves only a few hundred miles of local driving annually, the insurance industry has accepted and agreed to include it within their standard "social, domestic and pleasure" cover.
To put annual mileage into some perspective, most insurers would assume that the retired segment of their motor account average between 6,000 and 10,000 miles per annum. 10,000 being on the high side as the average annual mileage for the non-retired segment are around 12,000 per annum. As retired drivers are expected to do low mileage, some insurers offer a premium discount for drivers averaging less than 6,000 miles per year.
The reality is that, whilst some volunteers only do a "few hundred miles of local driving", others drive thousands of miles or even many thousands of miles. The insurance industry would consider that these latter groups fall into the Commercial Travelling category. Some examples of one group of volunteer’s mileage: Mr. U 17,465 miles, Mr. G 14,563miles, Mr. M 11,551miles and Mr. C 10,587 miles. These figures cover a 9-10 monthperiod only and do not take into account each driver’s private mileage.
Voluntary organisations request that volunteer drivers advise their insurer by way of a standard form issued by the organisation. Whilst the form indicates the type of voluntary work being carried out, the form offers no indication of the possible amount of mileage involved.
Some voluntary organisation’s insurance portfolio will include Public Liability insurance and included within this policy is ‘motor contingency cover’. Aware of the possible problem surrounding the amount of miles driven by some volunteers, the Organisations may be looking to the "contingency" section of their Public Liability policy as an answer to a possible problem.
Herein lay the second problem. The purpose of contingency cover is to offer insurance against incidental or unforeseen occurrences, hence the term "contingency". Some organisations are aware of the mileage problem whilst others may prefer not to confront the issue. Either way, both driver and organisation are conspiring albeit unintentionally in the act of non-disclosure towards the volunteer driver’s insurers.
The voluntary group insure their volunteer driver’s vehicles whilst the vehicle is operating on behalf of the voluntary group. The scheme requires that the voluntary group have a system for recording mileage
The cover provided by the policy is full comprehensive insurance for all the volunteer driver’s vehicles during, but only during their voluntary driving. The scheme operates on a pence per mile basis with the premium calculated on the number of miles covered by the volunteers during their voluntary driving. The policy excess is £250. Premiums are paid quarterly in advance by way of a quarterly mileage declaration, with a deposit premium.
We insure a number of voluntary organisations as well as public and private schools who own or lease minibuses.
We are able to offer very competitive rates with comprehensive cover.
Voluntary Group’s Office Insurance
We also insure a number of voluntary organisation’s offices, again we can offer very competitive rates combined with excellent quality of cover.