A new crackdown has been launched to combat drivers who fail to declare endorsements on their licence when taking out car insurance.
Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show that 16 per cent of the UK’s estimated 35 million motorists fail to disclose their driving record accurately, including disqualifications and serial speeding convictions.
The deception is usually committed by drivers who fear their insurance policy may be refused or made too expensive if they told the truth. However, if they have an accident, the failure to declare can make their policy invalid.
So how will insurers check drivers’ honesty?
The new licence-checking system called ‘MyLicence’ involves a partnership between the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The two groups will supply a data-sharing service to the motor insurance industry with insurers able to use accurate information about drivers’ records to assess risk and prevent fraud at the point of quote or renewal.
It was developed in partnership with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in response to the Government’s Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data programme and the DVLA’s aim to digitalise the data it holds.
So what has been said about this new system?
A spokesman for ABI said it will allow the motor insurance industry to have ‘instant access to accurate driving history data’ via a secure MIB hub and the use of avdriving licence number.’
ABI Policy Director and Deputy Director General, Huw Evans, added that the new system was the latest in a series of legal reforms designed to crack down on fraudulent insurance claims and practices which had led to the motor insurance claims system being branded as ‘dysfunctional’ and Britain ‘the whiplash capital of Europe’ by MP watchdogs.
So will this system be able to combat all types of dishonesty?
Insurers say the system will not identify the millions more drivers who tell ‘little white lies’ to cut the cost of their premiums – such as stating a vehicle is parked in the driveway when in reality it is parked out on the road.
So is this good news for honest drivers?
Transport minister Claire Perry said: “MyLicence is good news for motorists and good news for the motor insurance industry.”
“This Government is investing in the service which will allow insurers to price much more accurately and should reduce premiums for honest motorists.”
So will the savings be passed from the insurers to honest motorists?
Whilst this remains to be seen, the money raised by insurers from the crackdown should be used to cut up to GBP 50 from the premiums of honest law-abiding motorists and reduce the bills of over two million motorists who make the mistake of ‘over-declaring’ convictions that may be spent.
So what message does this crackdown send out?
Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to declaring your driving licence accurately. Those who don’t run the risk of being prosecuted for fraud.