Fleet News

Insurance law change clarification

A new rule governing the amount of time insurers have to update the Motor Insurance Database (MID) only affects private vehicles.

From January 2008, any private policy changes, including the addition of new vehicles, will have to be registered within seven days, rather than the current 14.

However, changes to fleet vehicles insurance must still be logged with the MID within 14 days.

The rule change is designed to make it easier for the authorities to detect uninsured motorists.

The change follows the recent introduction of an online service, at here, that allows motorists to check whether the car they are driving is on the MID database.

Fleet managers in particular have been advised to ensure that every vehicle on their fleet is on the database.

If they discover a vehicle’s details are missing, they should contact their broker or insurer immediately.

Failure to do this may result in a driver being stopped on suspicion of driving while not insured.

John Close, insurer relations director at AA Insurance, explained: “Police use automatic number plate recognition technology, which instantly cross-checks registration numbers against the MID.

“If a checked vehicle is not on the database the equipment alerts police who can then stop it. If the driver can’t prove that he or she is covered, the car could be confiscated.”

The MID rule change follows a successful year during which, for the first time, the number of uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads showed signs of falling.

Nevertheless, according to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which runs the MID, the annual cost to the insurance industry of accidents and injury caused by uninsured drivers is more than £500 million.

These claims are met by the MIB and financed by a levy on insurance companies equating to about £30 per policy per year.

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