Regulations were tabled just before dissolution of parliament

The industry has responded with relief to the government’s last-gasp move to implement the electronic-only delivery of motor insurance certificates.

Last week, just days before Tuesday’s dissolution of the House of Commons, the (DfT) Department for Transport tabled regulations in Parliament enabling motor insurance certificate to be issued in a purely electronic format.

The regulations mean that if a customer agrees, a certificate can be issued as an email attachment or accessed via a website. They are due to come into force at the end of April.

The DfT’s move followed mounting concerns that the regulations would not be tabled before the dissolution of parliament, resulting in fresh delays for the implementation of electronic-only certificates.

Graeme Trudgill, Biba technical and corporate affairs executive, said: “After five years and discussions with numerous ministers, we are delighted to see these proposed changes in legislation”.

Malcolm Etchells, head of e-commerce at Groupama Insurance, said: “We are delighted to see that this long-awaited legislation looks set to come to fruition ahead of the general election. This is a great example of how as an industry we are able to maximise the benefits of e-business in all its forms.”

Under the existing law, customers can receive their documents in an electronic format but must also be sent a hard copy of any certificates through the post.

It is estimated that moving to electronic-only certificates will save the insurance industry £10m plus in postage costs.