Issue 8 2005
P1 Operation Liability Clamps Down
P4 Driving Other People’s Cars
P5 MIDIS/MID Update
P5 New Director Appointed
P6 New Claims Handlers
P6 Taking Team Building to its Limits
P7 First Trophy for the Sports Cabinet
P7 Ufton Nervet Train Crash
P8 Building Bridges
NO HIDING PLACE
Since the Motor Insurance Database’s (MID) launch in 2001,
the police have relied on us to provide them with accurate
shows we really mean information on demand. Originally, the police made one MID
enquiry every four seconds; by November this had risen to once
business every two seconds. However, our relationship resembled a one-
way street, as we could not proactively provide the police with
November 2005 saw a major step forward in our partnership
details of suspected uninsured drivers. Instead, we had to wait
with the police to track down uninsured drivers.
until asked before supplying the requested information.
continued on page 2
Over 500 vehicles seized in early morning exercise.
OPERATION LIABILITY SHOWS WE REALLY MEAN BUSINESS
This situation changed on 4th In the months leading up to on eight of the UK’s worst postcode underground. However, the success support to roll out ‘Operation Liability’ I hope you share my belief that
November 2005, with the introduction November, the MIB trialled new districts for uninsured driving. Four of the operation means it is across the whole of England and progress is being made on a number
of new powers made under the software that enabled us to profile police forces – West Midlands, West something we will want to repeat in Wales. Over time, the ongoing of fronts, including the industry’s
Serious Organized Crime and Police and map the claims data we receive. Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and the future, a sentiment shared by our success of this operation will make compliance with self-regulation
Act 2005 (SOCA). We now have the This meant that, for the first time, Merseyside – joined forces with the partners. the general public feel more confident targets. Med Hughes believes the
legal authority to forward new data to we could examine the extent of MIB and four DVLA enforcement about the policing of Britain’s roads.” MID is setting new standards in
the police that helps them make the uninsured driving within individual teams. Although we are still analysing Med Hughes, the Association of Looking ahead, the Road Safety Bill timeliness and accuracy that means
most of new Automatic Number Plate postcode districts. Consequently, all the results from this exercise, Police Officers’ new head of roads is currently navigating its way through the police are using it more and more
Recognition (ANPR) technology. we are now able to help the police a total of 512 vehicles were seized, policing, said: “We are determined to parliament. Once it becomes law, the in their dealings with motorists. This
ANPR has already become a highly pinpoint the real problem areas, 95 of which were both untaxed and simplify the processes that bring Bill will make it an offence to keep a has to be good news for law-abiding
effective means of identifying which enables them to maximise the uninsured. offenders to justice and ultimately our vehicle that is either uninsured or drivers who can go about their daily
uninsured drivers – recent trials have effectiveness of their ANPR teams. vision is for a paper-free process from without a statutory off-road notice. lives without interruption.
shown that an officer can make ten On 8th November, we put this new Publicity was kept to a minimum car to court. In the meantime, the
times more arrests using ANPR than approach to the test in ‘Operation during the run-up to ‘Operation recent National Roads Policing Neil Drane
was previously possible. Liability’, which saw the police swoop Liability’ for fear of driving the targets Conference provided overwhelming
Med Hughes, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police,
succeeds Richard Brunstrom as the Association of Chief
Police Officers (ACPO) Head of Roads Policing
Dr Stephen Ladyman, Minister of State for Transport
“Officers using Automatic Number Plate Recognition
(ANPR) make nine times the number of arrests and
contribute to three times the number of offenders being
brought to justice compared with a conventional officer.
If we can also provide accurate insurance information
with ANPR, police officers will be in an excellent position
to make matches through the database.
The goal is accurate, immediate information going out to
officers on the roads as they request it.”
Extract from an address to the ACPO Conference 2005.
DRIVING OTHER PEOPLE’S CARS MIDIS/MID REACHES 3000+
penalties will be developed in conjunction with a more realistic
ENQUIRIES IN A DAY
financial penalty regime.
On the specific question of DOC, then it is certainly true that
everyone is only too aware of the potential for DOC to be
a record 3096
abused. Whilst there is a balance to be struck with consumer enquiries on MIDIS
benefits, is it right that we permit this potential for fraud to in early November,
continue unchecked? The enforcement agencies who are
partnering us in our attempts to tackle the uninsured driving
so we are now in
problem are expressing a real concern; we should listen. the realms of 3000
enquiries a day.
MIIC is therefore working on behalf of the industry with the
enforcement authorities to develop an effective preventative As the ‘Top 20’ of MID enquirers shows,
regime through use of the MID in conjunction with a new full MIDIS is now the fourth ranking user of
Road Traffic Act (RTA) offence of keeping a vehicle without the MID in terms of volume of enquiries
insurance. The proposals being that a Vehicle Registration Mark over a month. The police and DVLA are
(VRM) must either be specified on a policy or, where a blanket by far the top enquirers on MID, then an
insurance company with approx 61,000
policy exists, on MID. This offers the opportunity to begin to
enquiries, then MIDIS with approximately
resolve the inconsistency and misconceptions which surround
This high number of enquiries in turn in the system. This problem will be
Further to recent letters on the link between Driving Other Cars
The fact that so many solicitors are using means increased volume of work for addressed in 2006.
(DOC) and uninsured driving, I would like to reiterate Professor Of course, those who intend to deny insurers’ full premiums
MIDIS/MID is a success story for MIB and MIIC Customer Services in vetting, and
Greenaway’s independent study. This report indicated that it may still abuse DOC. Narrowly defining this only perpetuates
must be the desired result for both MIB may lead to longer response times Jackie Soltan
was not the system of insurance of the vehicle which meant the problem. Removal is the only guaranteed way to prevent and the industry as a whole. from MIDIS for all users due to limitations
that our European counterparts had in many cases, a lower this abuse. Clearly there is a substantial communication issue
number of uninsured drivers but, rather the likely result of and challenge here.
systematic and rigorous enforcement regimes which
supported their technology solution. In the meantime I’d like to remind everyone
of two facts: NEW DIRECTOR APPOINTED
To solve the problem, there needs to be three key areas of 1. Each MID entry currently contains the details of Kate Lotts joins the MIB Board
action in place, a detection capability, rigorous enforcement by up to six named drivers, excluded drivers and
the authorities and an effective penalty regime. In the Motor other restrictions to enable the authorities to
Kate is currently director, claimant and In addition, Kate is responsible for the
Insurers’ Database (MID), the industry and the honest motorist assess whether the person driving is insured or
technical services for RBS Insurance, handling of all potentially fraudulent
not, – the police can check this information on-line.
have a tool which is now delivering real detection; why else with responsibility for 1600 people, claims, whether from customers
would the police have increased use of it by 21% in the last 2. DOC cover is a field on the MID. If the police reserves under management of over or third parties.
twelve months (one enquiry every two seconds in August). want to validate the existence of it on a policy £2bn and an annual spend of £1bn.
Supplement this with the ability – in the very near future – to then they can obtain the VRM of the person Her area covers all third party claims - Kate is also chairperson of the ABI
claiming to have it, and check MID. Whilst this from a damaged motor car to a High Level Claims Group (formerly
use the MID in conjunction with Automatic Number Plate
arguably misses one of the fundamental catastrophic injury claim with the Strategic Claims Committee), charged
Recognition (ANPR) technology and we have a great
benefits of MID in that the driver has still been
resources, skills and processes ranging with tackling the issues inherent in the
opportunity to make the uninsured driver realise it is no longer a inconvenienced by being stopped, and is not
from those found in a call centre current injury claims process and
case of “if I get caught…”, but “when”. the most efficient use of police (traffic officer)
environment to the specialist complex reforming same.
time, the tools to monitor usage certainly are
claims handling teams.
With regard to the enforcement issue, the recently introduced available.
power to seize vehicles for no insurance is a welcome step in
the right direction. It is to be hoped that more non-financial
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LATEST GROUP OF CLAIMS MIB SECURE THEIR FIRST PIECE OF
HANDLERS TO COMPLETE OUR TRAINING COURSE
SILVERWARE FOR THE TROPHY CABINET!
Back Row, Left to Right:
After numerous occasions of MIB just Now that the first trophy has been secured
Kevin Toombs, Amber Rogers, Ford Driscoll-Gibb, missing out on winning a tournament, the guys are confident that many more will
Byron Shepherd the team has finally won their first trophy. follow! In fact, word has it that Ashton West
Middle Row, Left to Right:
Having previously lost on penalties in one is already looking for a new larger trophy
cup final and semi-final, together with cabinet to accommodate the influx of
Clare Hamilton, Jemma Burrows, Ruth Collins,
winning all their games and clearly heading silverware!
Louise Fryatt, Sara Errington, Andrew Fox their group in another tournament at Willen,
Front Row, Left to Right: only for the rain to abandon the tournament, Congratulations go to the team for their
Michelle Summers, Debbie Vassallo (training officer),
the team was starting to feel that fate would efforts throughout the season (even Dave
never go their way. However, due to nerves King and Darren “Super Star” Harris who,
Nicola Harris (training officer)
of steel and finishing strongly in the whilst the guys were playing, were known to
remaining matches, MIB deservedly won the be doing their fancy footwork in the local
Stewarts Events Group, Thursday League bars). Special thanks also goes to Dan Wylie
“ It was 4th July 2005 and I sat nervously in
reception waiting to be collected to begin my
The following weeks were tough and I was
constantly being educated with copious
mention that as…...' and midway through
training we also went on a 'bonding camping
Division 1 six a side tournament, held at
Woughton on the Green.
who entered the team into the league and
did all the organising.
six month training programme with MIB. amounts of data. Fortunately, when I was set trip'.
the task of handling claims with this knowledge
The team has been playing for a number of MIB team, Darren Bray, Darren Harris,
My first week was pretty easy, watching safety fresh in my mind it all started to make sense. I am now in my fourth month of the training
weeks throughout the summer and after a Dave King, Kris Raina, James Rush,
videos, browsing the MIB Intranet and inputting Slowly, my portfolio is beginning to build and I programme and feeling much more confident.
very tense run in, just pipped the other Michael Weeks and Dan Wylie.
data onto the system (obviously introducing us am getting some understanding of the I will soon be hitting a team and am looking
teams to win the league championship.
slowly). workload that is to be expected of me once I forward to the challenges ahead. I have found
Bearing in mind the team has had to Kris Raina
join section. the training programme invaluable in my
contend with most of their fixtures starting at
In the second week, the outside trainers arrived journey to become the best claims handler I
10pm this is a fantastic achievement.
and I was thrown into the training programme The training, whilst hard work, was also fun, can be. I have learned a great deal in my time
for real. Lots of information and hand outs, there was always time for a giggle and stories here and would like to thank everyone who has
followed by quizzes to ensure that I was
getting the correct understanding of each
that generally started with …'funny you should helped me along the way.
MOTOR INSURERS' BUREAU RESPONSE TO UFTON NERVET
TAKING TEAM BUILDING TO ITS LIMITS RAIL CRASH COMPENSATION ENQUIRY
Since the Ufton Nervet rail crash, the We are making interim payments to
As one of the newly severe injuries, tents going up at 2am and
ranting neighbours, squirrels, parrots, Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) has made victims upon request and have made
appointed training umbrellas and torrential rain, nights on significant progress in meeting the every effort possible to ensure that the
officers I wanted to the dance floor, and terrible customer personal injury claims of the victims team dealing with the claims is
service at the local restaurant. of the tragedy: to date, we have settled up-to-date at all times.
make an impact with 40 of the 138 claims received.
the new trainees. I am pleased to report that the Any claims that have yet not been settled
trip was a huge success - all We contacted all passengers within a are being delayed by circumstances
the team members bonded week of the accident, and immediately beyond our control: we are reliant
The team had spent days cooped up in
and great friendships after it occurred we committed to arrange on each claimant's medical prognosis
the Training Room at Milton Keynes being
were forged. and fund all necessary rehabilitation for and recovery as well as information from
bombarded with knowledge and I felt they
victims. On 24th November 2004 their solicitors, who are responsible for
needed some fresh air and a new
Debbie Vassallo (18 days after the accident), we issued preparing and submitting each victim's
challenge. So after some discussion it
a statement confirming that we would claim.
was agreed that a camping trip would be
pay all relevant personal injury claims
the ultimate in team building.
in full despite the lack of substantiated The MIB is doing everything in its power
information and the absence of to settle these claims as fairly and
After various summit meetings the trip
a confirmed date for the inquest. promptly as possible.
was planned and there are many tales to
tell about, rucksacks almost causing
It would be fair to say that the Motor In November 2004 the MASS / MIB Fast to participate in this survey constructively.
Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), Track Understanding pilot scheme began, I hope too, that recognition for the good
and our Members and the MIB have which concentrates on identifying non- work that has already taken place in such
traditionally had a somewhat ‘strained’ complex uninsured driving cases up to a short space of time is received. The MIB
relationship largely due to the Uninsured £5,000 and fast tracking them to ensure is making enormous efforts to improve its
and Untraced Drivers’ Agreements and all a swift and efficient settlement. Whilst still systems, also in training its staff in
that goes with them. Being a national in the relatively early stages, teething handling claims.
association of solicitors who represent the problems are currently being ironed out
Over the past 15 years, MASS has
victims of road traffic accidents, MASS has before extending it to encompass more
undergone many significant changes.
been forever frustrated by the complexity claims, identify any other administrative
During this time, our members have
of these agreements and the seemingly or practical problems and then possibly
experienced enormous alterations to the
obstructive attitude of the MIB and their widen the scheme itself. Even in such a
Civil Justice System, some of which have
claims handlers. This all culminated in relatively short time, embarking on this
been for the good and others not so good.
MASS lodging a Judicial Review (JR) scheme has shown enormous will and
The underlying issue however, is that two
against the Secretary of State and MIB co-operation from both organisations.
traditional ‘enemies’ have now embarked
At the recent MASS 15th Annual on a new future of co-operation. We both
The lodging of the JR forced MASS and Conference, I was delighted that Ashton want to improve the handling of uninsured
the MIB to sit down and talk. West attended and addressed the and untraced claims many of which are
Communication between us improved, delegation on the future of the MIB. difficult and complex, wholly for the benefit
and negotiations enabled a reasonable Ashton’s speech was very thought of the victim - the person who for no fault
and satisfactory (to a point!) resolution. provoking and encouraging, highlighting of their own has either been without their
What those initial discussions did do not only the future of the MIB, but also property or worse been injured, and has
however, was to provide a platform on that tackling the major social and traditionally had to wait many
which to build; of wiping the slate clean economic problem of uninsured drivers unacceptable years before their claim
and the very early beginnings of creating is high on the MIB’s agenda. MASS is has been settled.
a brand new ‘relationship’. particularly encouraged by this and will
Only time will tell how successful we will
continue to lobby the Government to
The victims of road traffic accidents suffer be, and there will no doubt be some more
stamp out this menace on society.
enormously, even before the process of difficult times and hard negotiations ahead.
obtaining compensation begins. This So determined are they to improve, Ashton But with two organisations prepared to
however is particularly evident by those hit announced that the MIB will be circulating bury the past and work together to
by an uninsured or untraced driver as the a ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’ and are improve the claims handling system,
respective agreements and systems create prepared to face head on the criticisms it makes for a very promising future.
a complex and unfair process. It is for this that are likely to appear. MASS
reason that MASS has been tirelessly congratulates the MIB on this proactive
campaigning for improvements to the initiative and will encourage our members
whole system of obtaining redress for
those victims who have been hit by an
uninsured or untraced driver.
After the appointment of Ashton West as
the new MIB chief executive, the past two
years have seen MASS and the MIB
engage in regular meetings to discuss our
various problems and grievances. The
main problems on both sides have been
identified and a way to try and rectify
these problems has been embarked upon.
For further information, please contact the Editor -
Trevor Harrison, Motor Insurers’ Bureau, Linford Wood House,
6-12 Capital Drive, Milton Keynes MK14 6XT. Tel: 01908 830001
Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org