Having a valid car insurance policy is a legal requirement if you’re to take to British roads. In fact, if you don’t have one, you’ll be breaking the law just by leaving your vehicle parked up in the street.
The penalties for being caught driving without insurance are serious, including everything from fines, to penalty points on your licence, disqualification from driving and even the seizing of your vehicle. And yet, as recently as 2017, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau estimated there were more than one million uninsured cars on British roads. That equates to one in every 38 cars you drive past.
You risk major consequences if you drive your own car without insurance, but, even if you are covered, being involved in a collision with an uninsured driver could still give you a headache. That’s why it’s vital you’re able to check whether your car – or any other car, for that matter – is covered by a valid insurance policy.
Fortunately, this is quick and easy to do.
How to find out if your car is insured
If you have lots to keep on top of, both at home and at work, it can be surprisingly easy for your car insurance to lapse without you realising it. Your insurer should be in touch with reminders and to discuss renewal, but missing those calls, letters or emails can, and does, happen.
Fortunately, it’s really easy to check whether or not you’re insured. Simply use askMID.com. This free service gives you a response online in an instant, with just a few details required.
If you’re nearing the end of your policy, you should think about renewing as soon as possible. Don’t forget, you could get a better deal by shopping around for quotes. Get a quote for Rias car insurance today >
How to find out if someone else’s car is insured
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you’ll want to know the other parties’ insurance details as soon as possible.
The obvious answer is to ask, and, in an ideal scenario, you and the other parties would amicably swap insurance details there and then. The unfortunate truth is that people aren’t always upfront and honest, and, in some accidents and collisions, other drivers may not even stop.
That’s why it makes sense for you to check yourself, whether or not you’ve been provided with details. Fortunately, this is also easy to do, so long as you have the car’s registration number.
- When involved in a collision, always make a note of all parties’ registration numbers yourself, as long as you can do it safely, and be ready in case any driver attempts to leave the scene. If you have a smartphone and it’s safe to do so, it might also be a good idea to take lots of photographs, including of each vehicle’s plates.
- As with your own vehicle, you’ll be able to check the insurance status of any car through the askMID.com website. However, if you’re checking a car that’s not your own, you’ll need to use their Lookup Service, for which there is a small fee of £4.50 per vehicle checked.
- If the vehicle is covered by a valid insurance policy, details of this should be displayed on the screen immediately. In rare cases where information cannot be found straight away, the service may need to get back to you by email a short while later.
- If you discover a vehicle involved is uninsured, you will need to inform your insurer. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated if the uninsured driver is at fault. Instead, any compensation may come from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. If you have a comprehensive policy, you may find your insurer covers damage to you and your vehicle caused by uninsured drivers, in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
If your policy has lapsed or you’re due to renew soon, comprehensive cover from Rias is an excellent way to protect yourself and your car from uninsured drivers. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you can claim back the costs, get reimbursed for your excess and have your no claims discount reinstated, provided you are able to supply the make, model and registration of the other vehicle.