It isn't about whether someone is safe or not. You weren't taking your own risk Chris, you were playing Russian roulette with my life and financial wellbeing. If Bollinge had knocked me over on his way home and I lost a leg, his insurers would have refused to pay out and I would have received no compensation. How would I live? Who would pay my bills if I couldn't work?
Buckslady, there are two imperatives. If your OH's insurer says that they will not cover someone until 4 or 6 weeks or whatever after surgery, then he shouldn't drive until that point. If your hospital info leaflet stated a time period in which he mustn't drive, then he isn't insured until that point … some hospitals state it in the booking letter or a leaflet issued on the ward before patients go home. Sometimes it is simply on their website but any of these would be enough to invalidate the insurance. The DVLA says he can drive as soon as he can do an emergency stop, depending on the advice of the medical practitioner.
In John's case, the insurer would not cover him until they had it in writing from the surgeon that he was fit to drive, which the surgeon refused to provide. In the end, the GP wrote something but only after 12 weeks. So be it - a responsible member of society would not go out on the roads knowing that they are uninsured.