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Why updating the Motor Insurance Database matters

By Jon Dye
Director of Underwriting - Motor

It is estimated that there are around one million uninsured drivers in the UK – who cost law-abiding UK motorists over £500 million per year. When you pay your motor insurance premium, a part of it goes towards the costs of paying for illegal road users.

To help tackle this problem, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) manages the Motor Insurance Database (MID) on behalf of the insurance industry. The MID is the central record of all insured vehicles in the UK and is used by the police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to enforce motor insurance laws.

Keep your business moving

The police make around two million enquiries per month on the MID to check if vehicles have insurance. In addition, information on potentially uninsured vehicles feeds into the police Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network. When such a vehicle passes an ANPR camera the police are alerted, and the driver may be stopped.

It’s important that the database is always kept up to date. Failure to do so can result in the registered keeper receiving an Insurance Advisory Letter as part of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement initiative run by the MIB and DVLA. Unrecorded vehicles can also be seized by the police. This applies to all vehicles whether owned privately or as part of a business.

Making sure that vehicles are added and removed correctly, in a timely manner, to the MID, helps the police to concentrate on vehicles that are uninsured and can save against fines and vehicles being seized. It also ensures that businesses are only held liable for accidents and losses whilst a vehicle is in their possession. As the legal case below demonstrates, not removing vehicles can be a costly oversight and can potentially cause delays to claims settlements.

An interesting recent legal case

A recent case in the insurance market highlights the importance of making sure that the MID is kept up to date.

On the day that an insurance policy was due to be renewed, a customer contacted their insurer and advised that they were cancelling the policy as they were switching to another insurance company. As instructed, the insurer cancelled the policy before it was due to start and refunded the premium in full to the customer. However, soon after, and before the vehicle details had been updated on MID, the vehicle was involved in an accident.

A dispute ensued between the two insurers. Following an appeal, it was held that both companies held an Insurable interest at the time of the accident. Though the original insurance policy had been cancelled, the MID hadn’t been updated to show the change in detail.

The case serves as a useful reminder to ensure that the MID is always kept up to date, and to remove vehicles from the MID once they are disposed of or where the policy has been cancelled.  Failing to do so may cause unnecessary delays when it comes to making a claim.

Help for QBE customers

QBE insures all types of fleets, from a handful of vehicles to some of the UK’s best known companies with thousands of vehicles on the road. And with 50 years’ experience insuring in bus and coach fleets and 30 years as the leading player in UK minibus insurance, we’re recognised for our depth of expertise. In the UK, we insure businesses through brokers, who trade with us either through our regional office network or digitally via electronic platforms.

For our small fleet customers, we automatically update the MID on their behalf when any changes are made to a policy, so there’s nothing for them to do.

For customers with larger fleets, our MID Helpdesk team will be in contact to welcome them to QBE and offer help with using MID. In addition, we recommend that customers should:

Keep your account active

  • You should sign into the MID at least every 60 days or your account could be deleted due to non-activity.

Keep vehicle details current

  • Any changes to the fleet, such as vehicles going on or coming off cover, should be updated on the MID as soon as possible. It’s recommended that this includes temporary and hire vehicles (regardless of the length of cover).

Keep your broker informed

  • In addition to keeping the MID updated, it’s useful to let the broker know of any vehicle changes.

Our MID Helpdesk team are happy to help QBE customers with any enquiry:

Freephone: 0800 389 2674 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

You can access the Motor Insurance database (MID) at this link.