The government has recently introduced a new online service that lets users view privately-owned vehicles’ MOT histories; all you need is the vehicle’s registration number, along with its make and colour.
It is especially important for vehicle owners to note that viewing the DVLA-held information via this website may reveal how many miles a vehicle has done between its MOT tests – and this is worth bearing in mind when you are asked to estimate your annual mileage by your motor Insurance provider.
Although many insurers offer lower premium costs to motorists who clock up low mileage, it is wise not to underestimate the number of miles you are likely to drive in a year. If you do, your insurer may well refuse to pay out on claims against your policy if you sustain a loss.
Research has shown that vehicle owners often do understate their mileage – perhaps they guessed a figure or made an insurance statement without first checking their past records. If you are unsure of your situation, or do not have to hand relevant records such as your MOT history, from now on you can access the website yourself to obtain more accurate information for your insurance company.
As an industry, insurance depends on good faith between insured and insurer. Insurance companies must estimate risk accurately so they can set premiums at the correct level to produce sufficient reserve funding to pay out claims made against their policies. It is a good system that protects us in many aspects of life, provided we are careful and honest – and the larger the value of the claim, the more is at stake.
As example, I am currently dealing with a case involving an insurer that refuses to pay a substantial damage compensation claim made by a man who lost his leg in a car accident. Why? Because in applying for Motor Insurance, the driver who caused the accident understated his annual mileage. Clearly no-one would want to be faced with this problem and a simple check of the DVLA’s online MOT records could help avoid similar situations in future.
So the next time you apply for vehicle insurance, be very careful about checking your facts and helping your insurer set the correct premium price – honesty really does make the best policy.
If you would like more information about how the George Ide team can help after a motor accident that was not your fault, call us in confidence on 01243 786668.
Claire Watson. Partner & Head of personal injury.
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