Background to MID
The Motor Insurance Database (MID) is the central record of all insured vehicles managed by the MIB. MIB has contracted the technical development and maintenance of the MID to global information solutions provider, Experian.
The MID was originally created by the MIB, on behalf of the UK insurance industry, to help combat the problem of uninsured motorists in this country. ABI research during 2002 showed that at least one in every twenty UK drivers is uninsured. What is more, the total cost to honest motorists of subsidising these cheats is over £600m per year, which represents around £30 per policy in additional insurance premiums. It is unsurprising, given these statistics, that the UK has one of the worst records for uninsured driving in Western Europe.
The first phase of the Motor Insurance Database went live in July 2001. It dealt with all vehicles that are privately owned and/or individually insured and which insurers therefore hold full records for as a matter of course. The MID has been populated with the details of around 25 million such vehicles since its launch. Phase II is addressing the challenge of capturing vehicle detail relating to all of those vehicles insured on a 'blanket' basis under a Motor Fleet or Motor Trade policy, where insurers don't necessarily hold individual vehicle data.
The Police are already finding the MID invaluable in the battle against uninsured driving, making upwards of 20,000 enquiries per day. Of course Phase II will greatly assist them in this task since going forward the MID will be complete with the details of every UK registered vehicle - there can be no excuse in the future for any eligible vehicle not appearing on the MID.
The MID is not in itself proof of insurance, but it will be used by the Police during roadside checks as an indicator of whether a particular vehicle is insured or not. This development may also benefit honest motorists by eliminating the inconvenience associated with needing to report to a Police station to present insurance documents.
The Fourth EU Motor Insurance Directive was adopted by the European Parliament in May 2000. All EU member states must have introduced measures to implement the Directive by 20th January 2003.
The Directive demands that all member states establish a mechanism by which the insurer of every motor vehicle registered in that country can be identified, from the vehicle registration number (VRN) alone. It is intended that the adopted solutions will enable a European citizen who has been the victim of a motor accident somewhere in the EU, to more easily identify the insurer of the 'at fault' vehicle and to pursue a claim for damages. In this way, by eliminating the barriers of language and law that might currently hamper such claimants, the Directive will facilitate the free movement of people and trade around the European Community, and will so help the EU to deliver one of the key elements of its philosophy.
It was recognised by the UK Government and the insurance industry that the fledgling MID would also be the best way of satisfying the demands of the Fourth Directive. It was therefore agreed that the project to deliver the MID should be linked in the future with the need to ensure compliance with the Directive.
The Directive specifically demands that each member state must establish an 'information centre' responsible for handling queries on vehicles registered in that territory. The MIB manages the MID and fulfils the role of the UK information centre. It will be part of MIB's role, in this latter capacity, to respond to enquiries from its counterparts around the EU and, where appropriate, to provide insurer contact details for UK registered vehicles that have been involved in accidents with potential claimants.
MIB recognises that the provision of all of the necessary policy and vehicle data will need to be a joint effort between insurers and policyholders. This is obviously particularly true in the case of commercial business. The industry solution therefore specifies that insurers are responsible for supplying 'policy' data to MID, and that policyholders are responsible for providing 'vehicle' data. An explanation of 'policy' and 'vehicle' data can be found on the 'Information We Need' page.
For more information about MIB, MID or the Fourth EU Motor Insurance Directive, please visit www.mib.org.uk