Motor insurance database

Most drivers don't know about AskMID service

7 September 2011

It's vital to renew insurance cover in good time

It's vital to renew insurance cover in good time

Ninety three per cent of drivers have never checked whether their car is correctly listed as insured on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), which is now being used to compare insurance records with DVLA data, under new continuous insurance rules.

National TV advertising by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and leaflets sent with tax disk renewal reminders promoting the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) rules and the askMID checking website, seem to have done little to raise awareness of the free service.

According to an AA/Populus study of AA members, which prompted 16,850 responses, only 20 per cent of drivers were aware that the free AskMID service exists while just 7 per cent have ever used it.

But simple mistakes or delays in renewing cover can lead to cars being wrongly listed or missed off the database, opening drivers to the possibility of being stopped by police.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, says that the lack of awareness is disappointing given the importance of the new rules which make it a requirement that every car must be continuously insured, or registered as off the road with the DVLA using a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

“It is also really important to renew your insurance or take out a new policy well before your cover expires and then make sure the details are correct.  If your car isn’t on the MID or it’s wrongly listed, you risk being stopped by police or getting an unpleasant letter through the post.”

It is also really important to renew your insurance or take out a new policy well before your cover expires and then make sure the details are correct

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance

The police use data from the MID to operate their automatic number plate recognition technology which alerts officers if the equipment ‘spots’ an uninsured car.

Simple errors on insurance details, such as using an ‘O’ instead of a zero or two characters transposed – can result in a mismatch so it’s important to make sure the details are correct.

If you delay renewing your cover to the last minute it could result in your car’s details ‘dropping off’ the database for a short time. It can take two or three days, or even longer if there are queries to sort out, before insurance changes are uploaded to the MID.

Using the askMID website couldn’t be simpler.  Putting in your car’s registration number brings an instant response that either confirms that it is insured with its make and model, or a warning that it is not.

If you know you have cover but the car is recorded as being uninsured or the details are wrong you must take it up with your insurance company urgently.

(30 September 2011)