You can try the system now by clicking here or at any other time clicking on the Insurance Check link in the lefthand menu of this website.
The hope is that the site, which can check the insurance details of over 34 million vehicles, will help the fight against uninsured driving, which costs insurers over £500 million annually.
“We know that uninsured drivers killed 160 people last year,” said Ashton West, CEO of the Motor Insurers Bureau. “And every year approximately 23,000 people are involved in accidents with uninsured drivers.”
The new site – www.askmid.com - links to the Bureau’s Motor Insurance Database (MID), which receives some 250,000 updates daily from UK insurers who must, by law, provide details of all the vehicles on their books.
The Bureau is promoting the site to fleet operators and drivers first to prompt them to ensure that their work vehicles are correctly entered onto the database.
Details of all vehicles insured under a fleet policy and which are used on public roads must be on the database. Managers who discover a vehicle’s details are missing must contact their lease provider or insurer immediately.
Vehicles not on the database will be detected by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras fitted to police cars and helicopters, on motorway gantries and in service stations.
The ANPR cameras are linked to the insurance database and vehicles that are idenitfied and subsequently stopped and found to be uninsured, are likely to be impounded by the police immediately.
Last year 78,000 vehicles were seized in this manner, with almost half of them ending up being crushed.
A MIB helpline has also been set up to help the police when they are unable to establish whether a driver is named on a policy.
“The MID is one database you really want to be on and now with the launch of www.askmid.com you can check if you are on MID,” said Mr Ashton.