A Busy Month for Motor Insurance

June will probably go down as a fairly uneventful month, but as normal the arrival of British summer time usually results in some fairly average weather for the time of year.  However, what has perhaps been more in evidence in June 2015 is the number of changes to the rules and regulations regarding motor insurance and motor related matters.

The first major change happened on Monday 08th June when the paper counterpart of the UK driving licence was abolished and no longer has legal status. While those in the insurance industry were aware of the publicity surrounding this change, I fear that many of the general public are still unaware of the change which is of relevance to anyone who is asked to produce a driving licence or may have cause to hire a vehicle.

Motorists who wish to check their driving record can still do so using the new driving licence “portal” which can by accessed by clicking here.

To access the information, motorists will need their national insurance number, their driving licence number and registered post code.  Once logged in , there is an option to “share driving licence”, which would generate a one-time use code which would give access for another person such as an insurance broker, employer or car hire firm to access the system to view the drivers record.

To redeem a share code a user will have to use a link to the share facility which is available here.

The records available will include the type of licence whether provision, full or revoked.  It will include details of penalties or disqualification if there are any as well as entitlements and will give the option to generate a .pdf document containing the licence information. The service is independent to the industries My Licence Initiative, which automatically processes quotes through the DVLA driver records and feeds any endorsement into the rating engine of insurer quote systems before a quote is generated.

Further information is available in the form of DVLA briefing packs which can be accessed by clicking the appropriate links below:-

Abolition of Counterpart briefing pack  – Click here.

Redeem a Check Code – Click here.

Share a Check Code  – Click here.

If we thought the lawmakers were finished at counterpart driving licences, we were wrong! On the 30th June 2015 the Deregulation Act 2015 will come into effect after obtaining Royal Assent in March as part of the Government “red tape challenge”.  A copy of the full act can be found by clicking here.

What this means for motorists is that there are changes to the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA) around the return and recovery of Motor Insurance Certificates.

In summary, these changes mean that:

  • Insurers are still required to send and delivery certificates to the policy holder, but the delivery of the certificate is no longer a requirement for cover to be effective.
  • Where a policy is cancelled midterm, the policyholder would no longer have a legal obligation to return the Certificate of Insurance or make a statutory declaration that the certificate has been lost or destroyed.
  • Cancellation of cover will take effect from the agreed or notified date and will not be dependant on the return of the certificate.  Any return of premium due to the policyholder will be calculated in accordance with the terms of the policy and will also not be dependant on the surrender of the certificate.
  • Insurers are no longer required to retrieve the certificate after a policy is cancelled and will avoid any on going liability.
  • Insurers on going liability will cease once the motor insurers database (MID) has been updated with the policy cancellation transaction.  If an accident occurs after the transaction date, and alternative insurance arrangements have not been made the matter will fall for consideration by the MIB.
  • Policy wordings and certificate wordings will need to change were there are references to the return and recovery of the Certificate of Insurance as part of the cancellation process.

Both of these changes to procedure are major changes to  long established principles, which may take motorists some time to come to terms with.

For more information call 0151 255 2600 or email mail@mofs.co.uk