[also uk] one hour without car insurance - problem?
October 1, 2021 5:00 AM   Subscribe

Another UK car question. Just bought new insurance but I won't be covered for one hour in the early morning of the first day of cover. How worried should I be?

My old insurance expires at 00:00 on 18-Oct. According to the certificate of insurance that I just printed off, my new insurance starts at 01:01 on 18-Oct.

It's vanishingly unlikely that I'll be driving at that time on a Monday morning. The only risk I can see is that something else happens to the car while it's parked on the street outside my house - someone crashes into it, breaks into it, etc.

How worried would you be? Worth a call to the new insurer or not?
posted by rd45 to Travel & Transportation around England (7 answers total)
Response by poster: Sorry, maybe should have made this clearer: new policy is with a different insurer
posted by rd45 at 5:01 AM on October 1, 2021

Best answer: I mean, there's no harm in calling one or both of the insurers and asking if they can move the time (or date) up if you're going to feel anxious about it! Or you could stand guard over your car from midnight to 1AM. Or heck, rent a space in a garage that night. But of course it's very unlikely that anything will happen to your car during that very specific midnight to 1AM period.

Now, though, it does strike me: if a car is damaged or broken into at some unknown point during the night (barring CCTV footage, who's to say whether your parked car was vandalized at 11:59, 12:30, or 1:01?), which insurer is responsible? It would probably be a huge pain in the ass either way. Obviously that's not specific to your situation, though, that could be an issue for anyone who's switching insurers.
posted by mskyle at 5:15 AM on October 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Several years ago I was without car insurance in the UK for a day. Car was parked in my car port for that day but still. I was aware that the policy was about to run out but thought I had a fewdays left and was going to sort it out at the weekend. Never got round to searching and buying a new policy until Sunday night at which point I realized I got the date wrong and had been without insurance for that day. As I hadn't used the car and it was safely tucked away in its car port no harm was done.

Unless you live in a high crime area, your street is a favorite track of the local boy racing community or else the weather forecast indicates hail or other storms (the kind that cause branches to come off trees or wheelie bins to zoom down the street) I would not worry about this at that time of day. If you are concerned, ask a local friend or neighbor with space on their drive if you may drop off your car on Sunday night and pick it up Monday morning.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:19 AM on October 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: For the sake of a phone call, I think asking your new insurer whether they can move it up by an hour is probably worthwhile. Of course, if they decline, and something happens to your car that evening, they could definitely argue that it happened before they were the insurers but they might do that in any case.
posted by plonkee at 6:16 AM on October 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I work in the insurance industry (in the US, though), and that surprises me. It's standard here for policies to expire at 00:00, with the new policy taking effect at 00:01. I think it's worth calling the insurer to confirm.

In terms of what might actually happen, most of those scenarios aren't your fault, and shouldn't go through your insurance. If you can park the car off the street for that hour, you'd probably be sitting pretty. But yeah, why take the chance? Call your insurer.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:13 AM on October 1, 2021

Best answer: Just call your new insurer and ask them to start the policy at a minute past midnight. I can't see it being a problem. (UK here, work in financial services.)
posted by essexjan at 9:33 AM on October 1, 2021

Response by poster: thanks everyone, good advice - I just called them & had it updated - super-unlikely that anything happens in that one hour but I'm happier to avoid the ambiguity
posted by rd45 at 9:41 AM on October 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

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