In June 2011, the Department for Transport brought in new measures outlined as the ‘Continuous Insurance Enforcement’ (CIE).
The law was introduced to get the estimated 1.5 million uninsured drivers off British roads. It now means that it is an offence to keep a vehicle without insurance unless you have a valid Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and have notified the DVLA that your vehicle is being kept off the road.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau and the DVLA work together to identify uninsured vehicles by comparing database records.
If you are found to be have an uninsured vehicle that does not have a valid SORN you will be first sent an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL), explaining that you will be fined unless you take action. After this warning, if you still do not comply you can expect:
- a fixed penalty notice of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days)
- your vehicle being clamped, seized and disposed of
- a court prosecution with a minimum fine of £1,000, and a maximum fine of £5000
The new law is in addition to the powers police already had to seize an uninsured vehicle and fine the driver. If you are caught driving without insurance by the police, your vehicle may be seized, which costs £150 to release it, you may get a fine and could receive six points on your licence.
How does it affect motorbike insurance?
Uninsured drivers act as a financial burden on other drivers. It’s estimated that uninsured drivers add an extra £30 on each insurance premium at a result of around £380 million per year. That £30 goes to fund payments to victims of uninsured drivers made by the Motor Insurance Bureau. Uninsured drivers are also more likely to be involved in road traffic collisions, failing to follow the rules of The Highway Code.
Are there any exemptions from continuous insurance enforcement?
Every vehicle must have insurance, expect for vehicles:
- with a valid SORN
- exempted from SORN (untaxed before 31 January 1998 and no tax or SORN activity since)
- recorded as ‘scrapped’
- recorded as ‘stolen and not recovered’
- recorded as ‘disposed to the trade’
- recorded as ‘disposed’
- recorded as ‘exported’
- owned by the crown
If you’re worried about your cover it’s worth checking whether your vehicle has a valid motorbike insurance policy. If you’re not covered here at Carole Nash, we’ll do our best to find you the right motorbike insurance policy to suit your bike, at competitive prices, using our panel of insurers.