Operation Drive Insured tackles uninsured driving on Scotland’s roads
22 January 2018

Operation Drive Insured tackles uninsured driving on Scotland’s roads
  • Operation Drive Insured Scotland runs from 22 – 28 January 2018.
  • Drivers are not appreciating their insurance terms and are unwittingly breaking the law.

  • Uninsured driving affects the safety of all road users.

Operation Drive Insured Scotland aims to put the spotlight on the issue of uninsured driving; by showing how police are working alongside key partners to tackle the issue; and significantly reducing the number of uninsured vehicles on roads across the region. The problem of uninsured driving seriously affects the lives of victims and their families, costing honest motorists millions of pounds.

However, whilst some people deliberately choose to drive uninsured, others are unwittingly breaking the law and are unaware they do not hold valid insurance and the serious consequences of being on the wrong side of the law. MIB is supporting Police Scotland on this week of enforcement activity to ensure that drivers in Scotland are taking to the roads knowing they have the correct level of insurance.

Police officers use the MIB Police Helpline to confirm the insurance status of a vehicle whilst standing at the roadside with the driver. If no insurance is identified, or if the police officer has significant concerns about the validity of the insurance policy, the police officer can seize the vehicle. Where the vehicle is being used outside of the policy terms, then MIB shares this information with the insurer to enable them to address the matter with their policyholder. The insurer will contact their policyholder to investigate this further which may result in the policy being cancelled.

Paul Bennett, MIB’s National Police Liaison officer said “Police Scotland are extremely pro-active about tackling uninsured driving. In the last three years alone they have seized nearly 23,000 uninsured vehicles. This is the second year running for Op Drive Insured with Police Scotland and we want to use this as an opportunity to highlight the importance of making sure that you are correctly insured for each and every journey you take. A simple check of your policy before taking to the road can mean you avoid having that unnecessary encounter with a police officer.”

Using data collected from calls made to the MIB Police Helpline, MIB is highlighting some of the common myths about motor insurance:

Myth 1: “I have fully comprehensive cover so I’m insured to drive other vehicles.”

Myth busted: Not all policies include cover for the use of other vehicles. Always check your policy wording and don’t just assume you are covered. Driving other vehicles (DOV) cover is not normally available to anyone other than the policyholder, so a named driver on a policy would not be able to drive other cars under the policy. If you are unsure as to whether you are covered or not, check your policy documents or with your insurance provider before you drive the vehicle.

What MIB sees: The MIB Police Helpline receives up to 600 calls per week relating to whether or not the driver is covered to drive other vehicles.

Myth 2: “My policy covers me to drive to and from work.”

Myth busted: To use your vehicle to get to and from work, your policy will need to cover use for commuting. This is often referred to as ‘social, domestic, pleasure and commuting’. You can find out if you are covered for commuting by checking your insurance certificate and schedule. This essential document explains what uses of the vehicle you are covered for.

Myth 3: “My policy covers me to drive to work, so I’m also covered to drive to my meeting.”

Myth busted: Policies that include commuting will cover you to drive to your ‘usual’ place of work, but if you drive to another place of business, such as a meeting, conference or an event elsewhere, your policy will need to include 'business' use.

What MIB sees: Approximately 200 calls per month made to the MIB Police Helpline relate to ‘class of use’. In many of these cases, the insurance policy did not include ‘business’ use and the driver was on the wrong side of the law.

Myth 4: “I own and use my car the most, but my Mum is the policy holder and I’m a named driver.”

Myth busted: This is called ‘fronting’ and is considered fraud and carries serious consequences where your insurer may not honour the policy and potentially means the vehicle has been used without insurance. The policyholder should always be the person who uses the vehicle the most and is named as the main driver of the vehicle on the insurance policy. If in doubt, check with your insurance provider.

Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, Head of Road Policing for Police Scotland, said: “This campaign will be delivered through a combination of mobile and static road checks, involving all Road Policing officers across Scotland with support from divisional colleagues across the entire country.”

"Officers will be using the latest intelligence to target potential uninsured drivers and hotspots, and by doing this we hope to minimise the inconvenience caused to the general public while maximising the effectiveness of the operation. Ultimately, the honest motorist is penalised by having to pay higher premiums as a result of claims arising from uninsured losses. Campaigns such as Operation Drive Insured aim to decrease this negative impact for all honest motorists while contributing to the overall safety of our roads.”

“We are committed to achieving the Scottish Government’s 2020 casualty reduction targets. MIB states that more than 29,000 people are injured every year by uninsured drivers, and so Police Scotland will continue to target uninsured drivers, as they present an unnecessary risk to other road users.”