Why police can seize your car if you're not covered for commuting insurance

Are you really insured? Motorists are being urged to take care after a driver had their car seized by West Yorkshire Police because their insurance didn't cover commuting.

A driver had their car seized by police on a West Yorkshire motorway -because their insurance policy didn't cover commuting from work.

West Yorkshire Police seized a car on the M62 because the insurance policy did not cover commuting and the address was incorrect.

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A spokesman said: "M62 West, Huddersfield - Driver commuting from work - insurance policy excludes commuting. Also an incorrect addess on the policy. Seized and reported"

The incident happened in 2017 but as Christmas approaches and the dark nights roll in, it's worth checking what your insurance currently covers.

The incident sparked criticism from some fellow drivers online.

One commenter said: "How can an insurance policy ‘exclude commuting’ never heard of that in my life! Genuine question! It’s quite worrying!"

Another added: "Bit harsh that..."

A spokesman for the force then defended the seizure of the car, adding: "Regarding the above comments, for obvious reasons we cannot discuss this specific incident in detail, however we always ensure the law is enforced fairly and proportionately. If using the vehicle for a class of use not covered, then the vehicle is uninsured for that journey."

The main types of cover explained by Confused.com

Social only

With this type of cover, the insured car can be used by the named drivers for non-work-related driving only. Also known as social, domestic and pleasure use only.

This covers you for normal day-to-day driving, such as driving to visit family and friends or shopping.

Social and commuting

This provides cover as above for social, domestic and pleasure use, as well as for driving back and forth to a permanent place of work.

Travelling to a railway station en route to work, where the car is parked, is usually classed as commuting. Dropping someone else off at their place of work may also be classed as commuting by your insurer.

Business driving

If the car is being used in connection with work beyond simply commuting, you’ll need a level of business insurance cover:

Business use by you - this covers all of the above, plus your business-related driving away from your normal place of work.

Business use by you and/or your spouse – this simply extends the cover provided for business driving to your spouse. There are often options to do this for all drivers named on the policy.

Commercial travelling

this type of cover may be needed if driving is a permanent aspect of your job, or you're selling goods or services while on the road. You can find out more in our guide, what is business car insurance.