Vehicle insurance requirements in the UK

In 1930, the UK Government brought out a regulation that demanded every individual who used a vehicle on public roads to hold at least third party personal injury insurance policy coverage. At present, UK law is outlined by the Road Traffic Act 1988, which was last altered in 1991.
The Act necessitates that owners either be insured, have a security, or have committed a determined deposit (£500,000 in 1991) with the Accountant General of the Supreme Court, against their liability for accidental injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other individuals' property, caused from use of a vehicle on a public road or in more public places.

Whenever vehicles do not posses the necessary insurance, police can seize them. A motorist found operating without insurance can be prosecuted by the authorities and have his driver's permit endorsed.

As of recent, insurance companies can not place a restriction on the money that they are accountable for, in case of a claim. The minimum level of insurance cover in the United Kingdom is called "Third Party Only Insurance". It is the most basic cover out there which satisfies the requests of the law. Third party only will compensate any liability to third parties and nothing else.


Up from minimum required, one can buy "Third Party, Fire and Theft". This will cover third party liabilities, and damage to the vehicle caused by fire, the vehicle is also covered against theft. The most highly-priced sort of insurance coverage one can purchase is referred to as "Comprehensive Insurance" . It covers all of the above, in addition to vandalism and other damage that can happen to the vehicle, this form of insurance is generally required by loan merchants which give money for buying the car, or people may select this cover when driving a very valuable car. There are some classes of vehicles that are exempted from having to carry insurance, these are mainly authorities vehicles, the Police, Firemen, Ambulances, Park Autorities and similar. Insurance companies will issue a document called "Cover Note" (the Insurance Certificate) this is to be exibited, to prove that the vehicle in question is insured.


Photocopies are not valid. Police officers and other authoritative people can request to see the Cover Note, failing to produce one immediately, results in an offence. What was once known as the "Producer" is no longer utilized in the UK. This gave the option to the motorist to take an insurance cover note at a specified police station within 7 days. From June 2011 if a vehicle carries a Tax disk, it needs also be insured, whether it is kept in public roads or not. This is a new law called "Continuous Insurance Enforcement".

To be able to stop paying insurance on the veicle, the SORN declaration is now required. A SORN is a conventional declaration which specifies that the vehicle is off road. Details of all vehicles covered by insurance in the UK are stored in databases run by the Motor Insurer's Bureau aka MIB. These records can be utilized by Insurance Companies. The MIB also recompenses claimants if there is damages caused by untraced or uninsured drivers..

Starting Oct 2014 tax discs in the United Kingdom will no longer be required to be exhibited. Since the end of 2012 in the EU gender cannot be utilized by insurance carriers to determine car insurance premiums.

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