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Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover  
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
Folks
Some advice required please, from the insurance experts out there: My wife is an employee of the NHS, working as a Laboratory Scientist. She works regular hours and also does out of hours cover "on-call". The employer, the Health Care Trust has issued an internal memo/directive demanding that she has cover for business purposes on her policy. This will obviously cost us more money. I'm not convinced they are correct, surely she is commuting to and from her place of work even when on call?. The place of work is always the same place in the same hospital. Why does she need to have business cover? We are already covered for commuting and can't see why they're asking for this ( for all lab employees, incidentally) Anyone know ithe legal position here- I would like to challenge them on this if possible.

Thanks Bazza

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Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Pugugly
Is she claiming mileage ?
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bell boy
she should be
but its only 24 pence a mile
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - WillDeBeest
Talk to your insurer. You may be surprised to find you already have it - what I think they call 'Class A business use' has tended to be a default inclusion on my policies recently, and it hasn't cost any extra. (By which, of course, I mean that I was paying for it whether I used it or not.)
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
Thanks, yes PU she claims mileage for out of hours miles. It doesn't amount to more than a few pounds a month. Interesting Class A business use, will get her to check that.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - The Driver
I had buisiness use for many years with several insurance companies, at no or nominal cost. Dont give the insurance company an excuse to wriggle out of a claim, your wifes employer is looking after her best interest.

Edited by Old Navy on 15/07/2009 at 22:07

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Bromptonaut
If she's just travelling to work it's none of the employer's business. If however she's paid an allowance for when she's called in it may be different and the alowance should include a factor for the insurance cost.

Before making a fuss check business cover will actually cost you more.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Fullchat
Travel to and from work is covered under the standard conditions of the Policy whether she is 'called out' or not.
As PU suggests if she receives a mileage allowance she should have 'business use'.
Another thought is that if she is on pay from the moment of the call out then she should have 'business use'.
Any journeys within employment time can be construed as 'business use'
even if its to nip to the shops. A recent case involved a Police Officer who went to the shops during their lunch break. Police Officers are actually paid for their lunch breaks as they are deemed a concession and not a right. It was held that they were therefore on duty and required 'business use'.
Often limited 'business use is a nominal fee or free.

Edited by Fullchat on 15/07/2009 at 22:05

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Auristocrat
The Department I work for (DWP) has required Class 1 business use for years - and this is probably what your wife needs added to her insurance. Most insurance companies provide this at either no charge or very little charge.
DWP also requires Employer Indemnity (used to be called Crown Indemnity) - in the case of a claim, the insurance company indemnifies the employer from any involvement in the claim.
If your wife requires this as well, again the majority of companies will provide at no charge. Although a few years ago, a colleague, on phoning her insurance company to ask for Crown Indemnity, had the company cancel the insurance there and then whilst she was on the phone!

Edited by Frostynose on 17/07/2009 at 23:01

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - rtj70
If the place of work is always the same then I too cannot see why business cover is needed. But when you say:
This will obviously cost us more money.


It might cost nothing extra. When my wife needed to get business cover (driving to a course for work and we wanted to play safe) the change cost nothing. When I first had my own car business cover cost no extra then either.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
OK I didn't realise that it might not cost extra. Thanks for replies as ever.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Stuartli
When my wife worked for the NHS and was on call, if her services were required a taxi was sent to pick her up (she kept the hospital informed of her exact whereabouts) and take her back afterwards.


Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Stuartli
See:

www.rac.co.uk/car-insurance/frequently-asked-quest...0

under business use to drive to work.

Edited by Stuartli on 15/07/2009 at 22:16

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Fullchat
Interesting in what they have to say about driving other vehicles, that the clause was intended for emergency use only and that they have withdrawn the clause because of abuse/confusion.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Bill Payer
intended for emergency use only


It was explained to me by an insurance company that it was intended to allow you to, say, move a car they was blocking yours in at a party when the owner had been drinking. It was never intended to allow people to undertake journeys using such cover.
withdrawn the clause because of abuse/confusion.

It was said a couple of years ago that all insurance companies were withdrawing this cover, but many still have it. Mine, with LV=, certainly does. It also automatically covers me to drive garage courtesy cars.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Rudedog
I've done the same type of work for the NHS but working in Theatres, this also required me to be on-call from home and was often called in at all times of the night to cover emergencies. I think your wife needs to check the terms written in the relevant sections of the Agenda for Change documentation that we all now have to work to (this can be found on the DoH website). I'm sure I've seen this somewhere in there, I've now changed to doing 24hr on-calls where we have to be on-site instead of going home so thankfully this isn't an issue for me anymore.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Westpig
if she goes in 'on call' presumably she will be undertaking an extra journey over and above the usual commute

maybe it's something to do with that, as the insurance company would have more of a liability to cover
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Bill Payer
OK I didn't realise that it might not cost extra.

My daughter changed from SD&P and commuting to business use in the middle of her policy year and her premium went down! Admiral refunded her £15.

Several companies include business use as standard - the Co-op did when we used them, although that's 2-3 years ago now and these things change.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Dynamic Dave
Direct Line never charged me any extra when I had business use added to my policy a few years ago. They said the only thing they wouldn't cover was any equipment I might have been carrying for the company - "that's ok" I said, as the company were responsible for it.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - k9dan
I used to have to use my own car moving between Police stations carrying the land shark, as part of the job was required to have business insurance to cover dog etc, it was only a few pounds extra a year. Don't need it now but kept it running as it was minimal extra cost, and covers me for all eventualities. Would speak to your insurance co, probably worth having, and probably cheaper than you think. it only gets expensive if you need cover for "hire or reward use" eg taxis and the like.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - ifithelps
Another vote for 'free' or very little extra charge for business use.

I was asked for an annual business mileage estimate which in my case is under 3k.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - woodster
There is another way of tackling this. Tell your employer that how you get to work is not their business. They have no right whatsoever to demand a type of insurance. You go to work to earn money to buy a car for your own use, not theirs. 24p a mile is meagre indeed. I think you'll find that in most public service jobs senior managers who regularly provide a car for work receive a far higher mileage rate in recognition of the true cost of motoring. 'Casual' users (such as in this case, i.e. occasional) receive a derisory figure.

The Police service has tried, in places, to suggest to officers that having arrived at work, they are to be 'redeployed' to another station, and that they should drive themselves there and claim mileage. It is correct to state that they are already at work (having arrived) and there should be no presumption that they provide the service with a car for the purpose of 'redeployment'. How an officer gets to work is not their concern. All they need to know is that the officer is there.

Unless providing a car is in the contract of employment then I'd be telling the NHS to send a car to pick me up.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - ifithelps
Woodster,

Out here in the real world where money is tight and jobs are lost at the drop of the hat, I would be keeping my employer on side, by cooperating where possible.

For the sake of a phone call to the insurance company and almost certainly little or no money, why get into a dispute?

Sorry, I forgot it's public (my) money.

What the OP should do is have half-a-dozen meetings with managers and then go on the sick with stress for a year and then get pensioned off on permanent sick.

"Send a car to pick me up" - get real, man.

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Mr X
If an employer is demanding you have business cover, it would seem to me that they are suggesting that they are employing not only you but your car as well. At 24p a mile, they are certainly getting the use of a vehicle at a very cheap rate. I would ask your union to look in to this. If they turned around and said that you had to have a £2,000 top of the range lap top to continue working for them, paid for by yourself, would you rush out and buy one ?
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Armitage Shanks {p}
If it does cost extra invite the NHS to pay it. What would be the position if you were on call and didn't have a car available to you? Partner using it, in the garage for repair for 2 weeks, or didn't even own a car. Where I work there was a time when a nurse was given a taxi to and from work as that was the only way she could get there - husband away with the only family car.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - pmh3
If the (increased) cost of insurance is a prerequisite of employment, can it be claimed as an allowable expense against Income Tax?

Edited by pmh3 on 16/07/2009 at 08:19

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Clanger
My experience;
Mrs H works 15 miles away as a midwife. Her contract says she may be asked to work at other hospitals in the area belonging to the same Trust, and to attend courses at other, possibly different, locations in the area. Our insurers, Swiftcover, are adamant that that this needs business use because it constitutes "commuting to more than one place of work", even though Mrs H would only go to one place of work on any given day. This cost her about £8 per year at the last renewal. AFIK Mrs H's employers have had no input into how we insure Mrs H's car.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - smokie
This is probably the thin end of the H&S wedge. My previous employer paid me an allowance to run my own car, so I didn't see that I could argue with any reasonable requests. But it used to be that they asked to see your licence and insurance annually. In the last couple of years, they have also asked to see the service records and MOT (if applic), as the car is a place of work if used for business travel.

I don't believe business cover will cost much, if anything. The major change is when the car is used for repping - carrying equipment or samples etc, as someone mentioned above.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - daveyjp
If I was getting 24p a mile I'd be using taxis. Even the most modest of cars cost more than this per mile to run.

Make sure she is claiming the correct rate - I've worked in places where there are huge lists of mileage rates depending on the terms of employment.

Some claimed casual rate, some claimed a lump sum which covered a set amount of miles irrespective of whether they did the miles, then a top up at a lower rate if they exceeded the miles, some staff had lease vehicles and claimed a lower rate per mile than others.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - martint123
I'm just curious as to why she is getting paid to commute to her normal place of work (ignoring the out of hours sid of things). I thought the tax man had stamped on this?
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - daveyjp
I suspect the mileage is only paid for the out of hours trips as these are over and above a normal hours commuting trip.

If I were to be called out I'd expect to be reimbursed for the mileage incurred.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Dipstick
"If I was getting 24p a mile I'd be using taxis. Even the most modest of cars cost more than this per mile to run."

Unless I'm missing something vital, mine cost me 21 pence per mile over the last 12 months to run, of which 8p is fuel and the rest is "everything else including depreciation". And that's by rounding figures up.

Maybe somebody will blind me with science about opportunity costs or something though.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - adverse camber
I would suggest that they are probably doing this because someone somewhere has had an accident and the insurers have refused to pay on the basis of being business use.

So they are ensuring that all employees are safe.

I've had business use for years, never cost me anything extra. Basically as long as you are not a commercial traveller/salesman there seems to be no extra cost. Of course once you are into the salesman doing 50K miles a year then its a differnt story.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - datostar
I think with public sector employees using their own vehicles 'on duty' it's more a question of the employer requiring an indemnity from the insurer to protect them from claims arising from the use of the vehicle. Colloquially known as 'business use'. Some insurance companies are well used to providing this as it affects many people. I should think that there are companies that specialist in covering public sector employees and often Trades Unions negotiate special deals for their members. Zurich is certainly one company providing public sector cover and there will be others. Worth checking around for NHS employee schemes. When I was in the police, on essential user mileage allowance I had to have this type of cover. No problem finding it and never had to pay an extra premium.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Bill Payer
Where does the 24p/mile come from?

My daughter works in the NHS and she claims (and gets paid) 40p per mile, although there are a whole range of rates available for various types of user (casual/regular), engine size, annual mileage, own car / leased etc etc. I can't see any 40p rate but that's what she gets.

24p does match one rate - the public transport rate.


ETA: Regarding taxis, my BIL is a senior NHS manager and many of their consultants won't drive in if called for an emergency as several of them are on multiple speeding points so they have to send cars for them.

Edited by Bill Payer on 16/07/2009 at 12:57

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - kithmo
Normal cover wouldn't cover any "samples" that she may have to carry, being a lab technician.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - danensis
That's opening another can of worms - you can't carry samples unless you have biohazard stickers on the back of the car, restraining devices, etc, yawn
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Talking Hoarse
Another issue is that being called in to work is likely different to travelling to work.
For "normal" working hours, travel to work is usually exactly that, ie done at your own cost and in your own time. This is usually covered as "Commuting to a single place of work" or the like on insurance doc.
However if you are called in to work, it is likely that your employment (overtime, payment etc) starts at the time of that call and therefore you travel to the place of work in employers time and at their expense. I think that this will need to be covered as business use on motor insurance.
Whatever - it is much better safe than sorry - and tell your insurer. In my experience, any business use for self and spouse is either free or very minimal charge.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - woodster
Ifithelps - My point is that your employer cannot expect to exercise any rights over any of your property. There should be no expectation of use of your car for their purpose, unless it's part of a contract that you agreed. Perhaps they could lend Bazza a car when his is in for service. To quote you: 'get real'.

My car is no more available for my employer than is my front room, unless I agree, and receive the appropriate remuneration. It ain't 24p a mile as most contributors seem to agree.

You allude to people in my occupation retiring on the sick. It's vastly reduced from years gone past - I can't remember the last sick pension in my force. Officers are more likely to be redeployed to something they can do. If they're swinging the lead they'll be cast under incapability procedures - and all quite rightly so. I won't have anyone on my staff failing to perform. Work and be paid or go. Simples, as the meerkat says.

If you're suggesting that it's an easy life then you're free to join - and that's a whole new conversation. In my experience, to be extremely direct,most critics don't have the balls for the violent encounters.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
Well, this has certainly polarised opinion!! Thanks for the views everyone. Apparently she gets about 50p a mile to and from work on a call. So it's worth claiming. She phoned Insurers today who were equally suprised. Anyway, added business use for £10 per annum, so we'll live with that. Just a little disturbed at what i consider to be her employer poking their noses into areas none of their business. But I am not an insurance or employment legal expert.
Cheers.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - rtj70
I think the agreed consensus is that when on call she is working as soon as she leaves the house. She is therefore driving as part of work and therefore needs business cover. The employer is not poking their noses in they are checking you have the correct level of cover.

With the new corporate manslaughter act etc then they have to show a duty of care etc. If someone were to have an accident on company business then the company (and therefore directors) could get into trouble.

You're right about polarised opinions! Lets have less of that now. A question was asked, answered and now you've taken out the necessary cover.

Thanks for reporting back.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Hamsafar
A similar thing in my organisation. If you are 'On-call' or 'called out' you are 'working' as soon as you are called out, which is different to when you commute to work, in which case you are not 'working' until you arrive and get out the car.

Also, the mileage allowance of 24p is less than the 40p allowed, so you can get the NHS to adjust your tax to compensate for the missing 16p (unless doing over 10,000 miles a year)

There was a hoohah where I work a few years ago, when the allowance was 25p and so many people demanded the tax adjustments, that they just allowed 40p in the end.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Pugugly
Bazza says "Apparently she gets about 50p a mile" !!!!!!
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Bill Payer
With the new corporate manslaughter act etc then they have to show a duty of
care etc. If someone were to have an accident on company business then the company
(and therefore directors) could get into trouble.

Absolutely. They should be checking her driving licence regularly too, and there's a strong body of opinion that they should be checking MOT where applicable and maintenance records.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - rtj70
For those working for my employer taking a car allowance I believe they do check up on your car etc. It also cannot be too old.

For company car drivers we have to agree to a third party being able to check our licence periodically on behalf of the lease company. So we no longer have to send copies of our licence in periodically.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
.......They should be checking her driving licence regularly too, and there's a strong body of opinion that they should be checking MOT where applicable and maintenance records..........

!!!! Driving licence and MOT I can tolerate but checking maintenance records--that's going a bit far ! As long as my car is roadworthy according to UK law then I would have thought that's sufficient. What about the path between the front door of my house and the car? Now there's an accident waiting to happen! They'll be checking up on that next!
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Bill Payer
As long as my car is roadworthy according to UK law then I would have thought that's
sufficient.

If the car is under 3 yrs old then it won't have an MOT.
What about the path between the front door of my house and the car?

They're not paying towards that.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
They're not paying towards that.....

Aha, so if she doesn't bother claiming, they have no obligation to check for business cover. yes/no?.

Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - rtj70
Aha, so if she doesn't bother claiming, they have no obligation to check for business cover.
yes/no?.


Since she is working when called in (at the time she leaves the house), whether she claims for mileage or not she is using the car for business and needs insurance. If there was an accident she would not be fully covered.

... now if you're saying if she doesn't charge for her time for the journey to/from work as well then I don't know. but over the year won't that come to more than the £10 you paid? And the amount she claims for mileage is meant to cover the additional cost of insurance anyway.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - bazza
Oh yes, she's not going to stop claiming and the car's now insured for business use. Each call -out is worth about £8 in car expenses, so it's well worthwhile.
i was only wondering where the duty of care stuff stops - ie if she walks to work, or cycles (possible) for example!!
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - rtj70
If she's using the car for business use it probably rests with them. But they therefore are making sure she has the necessary cover. I'd think she'd get into trouble if she was not properly insured.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - jbif
If she had a claim due to an incident when on callout, her insurance would refuse to pay as they would say she was not covered for business use.
The employer would say it was up to her to make sure the car was insured for the purpose that she was using it for.
The business insurance cover is to protect your wife, not the employer.
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Fullchat
Strictly speaking if she was using the vehicle for business purposes without the business extension then she would have no insurance with all that entails including potential vehicle seizure. No different than someone earning a living delivering pizzas without business cover.

Now doesn't that make you feel better about spending those few extra £s ? :-)
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - captain chaos
24p a mile? That would just about cover my fuel :-(
Insurance query: Employer demanding business cover - Pugugly
"Apparently she gets about 50p a mile to and from work on a call"

From the OP about 23,000 posts ago - bellboy is the one that gabbed the 24p figure from thin air !

Edited by Pugugly on 19/07/2009 at 07:58

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