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					                                                                                  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


Operation Liability
                                                            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.

                                                                                                                                        Solicitors made
                                                                     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
                                                                                                                                        54,000 enquiries.
                                                                                                                                                                                     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
                                                                     Neil Drane
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
                                                                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                       Clare Hamilton
                                                                                                                                                        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
in 2000/2001.
                                               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
                                                                                                 Jane Loney
reason that MASS has been tirelessly           congratulates the MIB on this proactive
                                                                                                 Executive Director
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

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