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Motorists to save on insurance as points database goes online

Car insurance has always been pretty steep, particularly for new drivers and those with private number plates, the latter of whom often note higher premiums simply because they choose to spotlight their bespoke registrations on top quality vehicles. However, there’s been some good news as it was revealed that a database of drivers and their relative penalty points will be accessible to insurers and allow premium reductions.

Currently, though insurers can check with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) regarding an individual motorist’s driving history, it’s expensive and time consuming to do. Instead, people are often asked to declare their history on application forms, but this leads to people lying or making legitimate mistakes because they’re unsure of the points currently attached to their licence. Under the new system, an online database will be available for providers to check on penalty points, which insurers suggesting this could reduce premium costs. However, other experts have expressed concern about data security and suggested that savings are unlikely to be noted.

Talking about motorists having to provide their own history, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed that 23 per cent of the data sent to insurers was incorrect. Whilst 7 per cent over-declare their convictions, around 16 per cent don’t admit their full number of points. Over-declarations occur when points that have actually expired are still counted. Malcolm Tarling, the ABI’s spokesman, said that the average driver could save £15, saying, “It should also speed up and simplify the application process for customers who will not have to guess what motoring offences may or may not need to be disclosed.”

The MyLicence scheme has been encouraging brokers, insurers and comparison websites to sign up so that using a driver’s licence number, they can access motoring history. So far, seven from the UK’s top 10 motor insurers have signed up, the ABI said.

However, there are some misgivings about the system, with one expert, Julie Daniels, saying the expected savings are unlikely to come to fruition. “I believe that there will be little material change in premiums until the initiative is taken up across the industry,” she revealed. Meanwhile, Malcolm Maycock from the licence checking company, Licence Bureau, said, “The main concern with any system has to be data security.”

In addition to the MyLicence scheme, a View Driver Record system is due to be piloted by the DVLA. This will allow individual drivers to check their own records.

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