Roads minister says scheme aimed at cracking down on fraud should be in operation in six months

The government has announced that it is pressing ahead with moves to crack down on motor insurance fraud by allowing insurers to access information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

Appearing before the House of Commons transport select committee’s cost of motor insurance inquiry this week, roads minister Mike Penning said that he expected an information-sharing system to be up and running within the next six months.

He told the committee that customers, when taking out a policy, would be given the option to allow their insurance company to view their licensing information on the DVLA’s database.

“If they (the customers) say no, I think insurers will be unlikely to offer that policy,” he said.

Penning said the move would help prevent fraud committed by customers who submit fake details when taking out policies.

Speaking to Insurance Times after his appearance at the committee, Penning said that legislation was not needed to allow the DVLA to share its information with insurers.

He added that the main stumbling blocks concerned the funding of the information-sharing arrangements, and whether the insurance industry was prepared to stump up the cash, given the financial constraints facing the government.

The move to allow information sharing and this week’s announcement about implementing continuous insurance enforcement (CIE) were both designed to close down loopholes used by fraudsters, Penning said.

The new CIE powers, introduced under regulations tabled in parliament this week, will make it an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle, irrespective of whether it is being driven or not.

If a vehicle is not insured, its keeper could be fined up to £1,000 and have their vehicle seized.