Recent studies have shown that 97% of motorists have never checked if their car is correctly listed as insured on AskMID, the motor insurance database checker. The site is now used to compare insurance records with DVLA data under the new continuous insurance rules.
National TV advertising by the Motor Insurers' Bureau and leaflets sent with tax disc 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 a study of motoring organisation members, in which 16,850 motorists responded, only 20% were aware that the free AskMID service existed, while only 7% have ever used it.
Errors or delays on renewing car insurance can lead to cars not being listed on the national Motor Insurance Database, which has led to drivers being stopped by police.
A spokesman for one motoring organisation said that the lack of awareness is disappointing given the importance of the new continuous enforcement rule which make it a requirement that every car must be continuously insured or registered as off the road.
The spokesman continued, "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.
"Similarly, 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," he says, pointing out that 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.”
He believes that if more drivers become aware of the service offered by AskMID, then this will lead to less drivers being stopped by police, or stop threatening letters that advise you are not insured when you are.
By Ben Malkin
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