Continuous insurance

Vehicles must be insured – unless subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

Vehicles must be insured – unless subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

Vehicles must be insured – unless subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

According to Government figures there are around 1.5 million motorists driving uninsured.

Uninsured drivers cost you and every other honest motorist an average of £30 on your annual insurance premium to fund payments to victims of uninsured drivers made by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

To try to address the problem of uninsured drivers, the Road Safety Act (2006) introduced a new offence of being the 'keeper of an uninsured vehicle' - unless that vehicle is subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) or is in the process of being transferred to a new keeper by DVLA.

Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) came into force in 2011. Initially CIE is not being introduced in Northern Ireland.

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) makes regular comparisons between the Driver and Vehicle records held by the DVLA and the records held on the Motor Insurance Database (MID).

Insurance advisory letter

If you are suspected of being the registered keeper of a vehicle without insurance or SORN you will initially receive an official reminder – an 'Insurance Advisory Letter'.

If you ignore the letter and take no further action then you face the prospect of:

  • A £100 fixed penalty (reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days)
  • A fine of up to £1000 if the case goes to court
  • The vehicle being clamped, seized or destroyed

Exemptions

Some vehicles are exempt from continuous insurance enforcement:

  • A vehicle with a valid SORN
  • A vehicle that was exempted from SORN (untaxed before 31/01/1998 and no tax or SORN activity since)
  • A vehicle that has been recorded as 'scrapped'
  • A vehicle that has been recorded as 'stolen and not recovered'
  • A vehicle that has been recorded as 'disposed to the trade'
  • A vehicle that has been recorded as 'disposed'
  • A vehicle that has been recorded as 'exported'
  • A vehicle owned by the crown

How long before you get a letter?

It's important not to let your insurance cover lapse at renewal time as an insurance advisory letter (AIL) can be issued as soon as the MIB identifies a taxed vehicle without insurance.

Whenever you insure a vehicle or renew cover it's a good idea to check that the Insurer has actually sent a record of your cover to the motor insurance database (MID).  You can do this simply by entering the vehicle registration on www.askmid.com.

(10 July 2012)