The facts about the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement law

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando

So, what is Continuous Insurance Enforcement anyway, and why on earth should I care?

Good question. Basically, Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) is a new law which makes it illegal to own a vehicle without it being insured, unless it’s registered as off-the-road with the DVLA. It's effective as of June 20th 2011, and if you've got a car, van or motorcycle, then it's pretty important you know what it's all about.

Gah! Another case of the government sticking its nose in when it’s not wanted, I suppose…

Not quite. The CIE law is intended to make car insurance cheaper for the majority of law-abiding drivers and motorcyclists by tackling the scourge of road users who don’t bother with insurance. It’s reckoned that uninsured drivers add about £30 to everybody else’s insurance policies per year. Aside from that, uninsured drivers are more likely to disobey traffic legislation, speed, and according to research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), be in possession of an unroadworthy vehicle too.

Fair enough. So who might this have implications for, then?

Plenty of people, as it happens. The ones which immediately spring to mind are owners of motorcycles or convertible cars that only use them during the summer months and take out policies for the time they’re likely to use them. It might also be an issue if your current car insurance policy is up for renewal. Now, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got insurance from the day your current deal runs out. That means that you can’t just avoid driving in order to stay on the right side of the law.

And how on earth will they know if my vehicle is insured or not?

Quite easily. The Motor Insurers Bureau and the DVLA can easily find out if avehicle is insured through then Motor Insurers Database which keeps record of 34 million motor insurance policies in the UK.

I see...So what if I refuse to get my car insured, even if I don't drive it?

Wouldn't bother if I were you. You’ll get slapped with a £100 fine to start with, and an order to address the insurance situation. If you don’t, then you’ll get stung with a fine of £1,000 and the prospect of court action.

The sort of people who are going to be driving uninsured are hardly going to be put off by this, are they?

Maybe not straight away, but given time it may do. Seemingly, it’s what the legislation stands for that counts. “It sends out a clear warning that uninsured driving is a serious offence,” reckons Malcolm Tarling, spokesman for the ABI.

It appears that my car insurance is up for renewal. I don’t want to be stung for having an uninsured vehicle, and taking it off the road is out of the question. But the renewal quote I’ve been given by my current insurer is preposterous…

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Why not give’s car insurance comparison service a whirl? According to Consumer Intelligence, the average driver saves about £340.71* on the price of their car insurance when using You’d be daft not to.

* Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 May 2011 to 31 May 2011. This average saving is achieved by 35.7 per cent of consumers