Insurance Brokers in the Driver’s Seat on the Journey for Driver Number Collection

The Road Traffic and Roads Act (2023) took effect on 31st July 2023. This new law makes it easier for An Garda Síochána to identify any vehicles that are being driven without insurance, as it is illegal to do so.

On September 1, 2024, a new requirement under the Road Traffic Act takes effect, mandating the collection and verification of driver’s licence numbers for individuals on private motor car insurance policies with Commercial Vehicle policies due to follow suit on December 1, 2024.

The Act imposes stringent information requirements for Insurance Brokers when issuing policies, extending beyond basic details. Brokers must now collect driving licence numbers of each named driver on a motor policy. The nine-digit driver number on Irish licences, is located in field 4d or field 5 if the customer still has a paper driving licence.

Brokers must gather and validate these numbers, integrating with the Integrated Information Data Service (IIDS) for Irish licences and manually verifying non-Irish licenses.

Accurate data collection is crucial, as the Act prohibits policy issuance to those failing to provide required details, emphasising the need for careful verification processes. It is important to note, the legislation change does not affect the ability to issue quotes. It only applies to the final issuing of cover. Online quote and buy systems will also need to comply with the new obligations.

The Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 brings yet another change and new requirement for Insurance Brokers. Insurance Brokers, as is customary, must proactively adapt by implementing necessary operational changes to ensure compliance with the Act.

Here are some practical tips that Insurance Brokers can implement now to ensure they gather accurate information from clients before the September 1st deadline imposed by the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023:

1. Update Client Communication Materials:

  • Revise and update client communication materials, including policy forms to include Driver Number mandatory question, online platforms and informational brochures, clearly outlining the new information requirements mandated by the Act and
  • Provide clients with detailed instructions on the specific data needed, i.e driver’s licence numbers for each named driver.

2. Client/Consumer Education and Awareness:

  • Use various communication channels, such as emails, newsletters, and social media, to disseminate information regarding the new requirements and their implications.
  • Reach out to local newspapers/publications and include advertisement or content piece to raise awareness.
  • Brokers Ireland, via the Insurance Broker website, will provide information on this to any consumer visiting the website in the form of a pop-up advert, with online campaign running in March, April and May.

3. Staff Training:

  • Conduct training sessions for staff to ensure they are well-versed in the new requirement of the Act. Brokers Ireland plan to run a member’s webinar in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our communications and encourage all staff members to attend. For those who can not attend, we will provide the recording of the webinar.
  • Equip staff with the knowledge and tools necessary to explain the changes to clients and assist them in collecting the required information accurately.

4. Integrated Information Data Service (IIDS) Integration:

  • Applied Relay, Connect, Vulcan, ComQuote, RiskHandler, and other Applied broker software will be updated to include the driver number verification process. As is the case with Open GI and other platforms used by our members.
  • For applied, these updates include electronic verification for Irish licences and manual verification steps for non-Irish licences.
  • Applied software will have a new feature to assist in manual verification, including a question prompt and a diary reminder for follow-up.
  • Train staff on the updated features and functionalities of the software to streamline the verification process.
  • Brokers Ireland are liaising with the software providers on this new requirement. Applied will have a reporting feature on the system in the coming weeks that will allow you to identify policies that require attention and full verification.

5. Grace Period Utilisation:

  • If the IIDS service is offline, Brokers can switch to manual verification for Irish licences, with a grace period for validation (currently 14 days).
  • During this period, ensure that manual verification processes are in place for both Irish and non-Irish licences.

6. Client Notifications Before Renewals:

  • Proactively notify clients ahead of policy renewals about the necessity of providing the driver’s licence numbers for each named driver on the policy.
  • Clearly communicate the potential impact on policy issuance and coverage if the required information is not provided in a timely manner.

7. Reports and Monitoring:

  • Leverage reporting features in software platforms to identify policies that require attention and verification.
  • Regularly monitor the status of collected information and ensure any discrepancies or missing details are promptly addressed.

8. Engage with Brokers Ireland:

  • Stay connected with Brokers Ireland, who will keep you informed with any updates or additional support available.
  • Brokers Ireland are actively looking at software companies to provide a solution for Insurance Brokers. This may be in the form of a plugin system which will create efficiencies in getting the information uploaded onto the system in time for implementation date – September 1st.

By implementing these now, Insurance Brokers can proactively prepare for the new requirement, ensuring a smooth transition and continued compliance with the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 before the September 1st deadline.

Brokers Ireland remains committed to supporting and assisting its members throughout the process, while actively engaging with stakeholders and seeking solutions to support the new requirement.