Originally Posted by Dean - Suffolk
Mr Flux was more than happy to include voluntary Response work for free. However if I got paid 'mileage' that would work out around 60 quid extra on the annual premium. It worked out cheaper for me to not accept any recompense.
This is where you have to be VERY careful of how you express what we to to your insurers.
In Insurance, as in taxation, certain words have specific meanings, the subtlty of difference to other similar words may not be obvious but can impact your premium.
Any use of the word 'PAID' should be avoided, because you are not being 'paid', as in "salary for an employment".
In exactly the same way as 'payment for fuel actually used' when car-sharing to work is not considered taxable income, giving someone a lift in your car voluntarily is not 'carriage for hire or reward', which will incur an additional premium, as long as any consideration you receive does not exceed the actual expenditure incurred to make the journey, and as long as you have the absolute right to refuse to do the journey, or to refuse to allow any individual to enter your vehicle, these being legal tests of whether you are 'in employment' for the purpose of giving someone a lift.
The "giving other people lifts" as part of your 4x4x Response work should be covered by the statutory minimum cover given in all car insurance policies.
In law there is no difference between you giving a district nurse a lift to a patient compared to you giving a member of your family a lift to Sainsburys.
This aspect should require no additional premium and is not a factor as you will be insured to carry however many passengers the vehicle is designed for.
Where there is a difference, is the fact that you will be using your vehicle at a time and in places where motoring organisations and the police may be advising motorists to not do so. That could be considerd by insurance companies as "any other factor to be notified that may impact your risk".
It is this aspect that you may need to notify your insurance company of.
But, consider this...
When you go out on a call, how many other vehicles do you pass?
Have ANY of those other drivers needed to notify their insurance company that they have passengers who might contribute (directly or indirectly) just to fuel used, or that they are driving on open public roads in those adverse conditions?
Is there really any need to specifically mention 4x4 Response?
Are we making a mountain out of a molehill by doing so?
PS. I'm not convinced either way on the 'adverse conditions' aspect, I wouldn't be surprised if any average lawyer or insurance expert couldn't argue the case both ways.