No longer a period of grace on motor insurance renewals
As classic car enthusiasts face the renewal of their motor insurance, they need to be aware that as a result of the EU 4th Directive on Motor Insurance, an important change was introduced during 2004 requiring insurers to send up-to-the-minute data to the central Motor Insurance Database, or risk penalties for late submission. In a recent renewal package from Peter Best Insurance Services, a leading independent specialist classic car insurance broker, they mention that "as a continuation of the Directive, we have to inform you that there is no longer any period of grace with renewals with any of our insurers". The general adoption of this policy by most if not all motor insurers had been anticipated by PBIS earlier in 2004 when they notified clients that "in the case of Allianz Cornhill, all policies will have to be renewed on or before the due date. At present, there are 15 "days of grace" giving reduced cover of third party only where a client intends renewing with Allianz Cornhill. It will remain our policy to send out renewal invitations three weeks prior to renewal and a follow-up letter or a telephone call a few days before the renewal date. However it remains your responsibility to ensure you have cover in place!".

Clearly this is an important development and the slightly relaxed approach some V8 enthusiasts might have taken to renewing cover before the due date will now have to change.
Why is there a Motor Insurance Database?
Your motor insurance cover details are added to the Motor Insurance Database which is run by the Motor Insurers' Information Centre (MIIC). This has been set up to help identify uninsured drivers and may be searched by the police to help confirm who is insured to drive a particular vehicle. If there is an accident, the database may be used by insurers, MIIC and the Motor Insurers' Bureau to identify relevant policy information. As a policyholder who may have personal data stored on the system, you can ask for more information on this.

There is also a Claims and Underwriting Exchange Register run by Insurance Database Services (IDS) and the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register run by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The aim is to help insurers check information provided and prevent fraudulent claims. Under the conditions of insurance policies, the policyholder must report any incident (such as an accident or theft) which may or may not give rise to a claim. When such information relating to an incident is provided by the policyholder to their broker of insurer, it will be passed to the registers.

With the alarming level of uninsured drivers on the road the Motor Insurance Database has to be a good idea. The registers will hopefully reduce fraudulent claims and losses from uninsured drivers, thereby reducing insurers' costs. Hopefully those costs will no longer be passed on to honest policyholders.
This note has been prepared by Victor Smith (Harvest Gold 1089) and is included in both workshop notes series as V8NOTE318 and RV8NOTE218. (6.1.05)