Frequently asked questions: Penalty fee for failing to insure

I received a penalty fee for failing to insure for one day when I already had insurance. Why?

Motor liability insurance must be taken out within seven (7) days of the purchase of the vehicle. If you only took out the motor liability insurance on the eighth day or later, the vehicle will be uninsured from the eighth day onwards. This is because the previous owner's liability continues for seven days and thus ended after the seventh day at midnight.

The penalty fee for failing to insure will also be charged for the day when the insurance was taken out if the insurance was only taken out after the seventh day. So be sure to take out insurance for your vehicle no later than on the seventh day from the data of purchase.

I took out motor liability insurance within seven (7) days of buying the vehicle. Why did I still get a penalty fee?

You bought your vehicle from an "interim owner" who had not registered it under his or her own name and had not taken out motor liability insurance for it. In this case, you must take out motor liability insurance immediately on the day of purchase. Because the previous owner did not have motor liability insurance, the seven-day time limit cannot, unfortunately, be counted in advance. If a road accident had been caused with the uninsured vehicle, the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre would only have compensated the innocent party for the loss and charged the penalty fee for failing to insure to you.

It is not advisable to buy a vehicle from an interim owner.

Will my liability start from the time when insurance is taken out for the vehicle, from the time I purchase the vehicle, or from the time I gain possession of the vehicle?

The liability starts from the time of purchase. The time when you gain possession of the vehicle is of no significance as far as the obligation to insure is concerned.

Is it possible to have the validity of the insurance begin before the policy is taken out?

No. The validity of the insurance can begin no earlier than from the date when it is taken out. Read more about taking out insurance here.

Why do I have to pay the penalty fee for failing to insure even if I do not drive my vehicle?

When a vehicle is registered for traffic use, it must have valid motor liability insurance even if it is not driven at all. If the vehicle is not driven, it can be removed from traffic use using the insurance companies' or Trafi's services. Neither do the poor condition or storage method of the vehicle, the absence of a driving licence or a driving ban serve as grounds for exemption from the obligation to insure.

I could not register the vehicle because I did not get the vehicle documents in time. Why do I have to pay the penalty fee?

Motor liability insurance must always be taken out within seven (7) days of the purchase of the vehicle even if there are deficiencies in the documentation of the vehicle or you did not get the documents in time from the seller. The licence plate number or similar identification data is sufficient for taking out traffic insurance.

The electronic certificate needed for registration is valid for 14 days. Do I have time to carry out the registration and take out motor liability insurance as long as the certificate is valid?

Even though the certificate is valid for 14 days, motor liability insurance must always be taken out within seven (7) days of the purchase of the vehicle. The registration of the vehicle must also be carried out within seven days.

Why does it take so long to get an invoice for the penalty fee?

Getting the invoice takes a long time, three months on average. The State Treasury imposes the penalty fee on presentation of the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre (LVK). Only then will LVK be able to send the invoice to the customer. LVK sends the invoice to the customer immediately when information about the penalty fee imposed by the State Treasury is received by LKV.

Unfortunately, LVK will not be able to expedite the sending of invoices at the customer's request. However, any delay in the sending of the invoice will not increase the sum total of the invoice, but the fee will remain unchanged irrespective of the duration of the processing.

I received a notification that my vehicle is uninsured. The notification did not include any payment details. How can I make the payment?

You cannot pay it yet when the notification letter arrives. You can only make the payment when you have received a separate invoice. This will take a few months.

Why can the penalty fees for failing to take out motor liability insurance be so high?

The penalty fees for failing to insure are used for compensating the innocent party for the traffic accidents caused by uninsured vehicles. Hundreds of such accidents occur every year.

I have an affordable motor liability insurance policy and good bonuses, how can the penalty fee for failing to insure be this high?

The penalty fee for failing to insure is not an insurance policy so it does not take into account individual bonuses. The penalty fee is not calculated based on the insurance companies' information, but on the risk calculations made by the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre.

Where did the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre get the information about my vehicle not being insured?

Trafi sends the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre a report of the vehicles for which no motor liability insurance has been taken out. Additionally, the police monitor traffic checking that vehicles have a valid motor liability insurance policy in place. For this purpose, the police have devices such as automatic licence plate readers.

I was not accepted for motor liability insurance because I have a credit default entry. What should I do?

Insurance companies are obligated to grant motor liability insurance. However, in certain cases they have the right to charge the premium for one insurance period in advance, for example, when the customer has credit default entries. In this case, the insurance will only enter into force when the advance premium has been duly paid.

I was late to take out motor liability insurance for the vehicle I own. A holder was also registered for the vehicle who became the actual user of the vehicle. Why did the penalty fee for failing to insure go to the holder of the vehicle instead of me, the owner? Is it not possible to address the fee to me?

The penalty fee for failing to insure is primarily charged to the owner of the vehicle. If the fee cannot be collected from the holder, the payment obligation will only then pass to the owner. If you want to pay the penalty fee for failing to insure on behalf of the holder of the vehicle, you can, of course, pay the invoice sent to him or her.

Where can I appeal the penalty fee for failing to insure and its processing?

If you hold that the penalty fee for failing to insure is based on incorrect information, please contact the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre immediately to clarify the matter.

On the other hand, if you consider that the decision made by the State Treasury on the imposition of the penalty fee is erroneous or you hold that the Motor Liability Insurance Act has been incorrectly applied, you may file an appeal against the decision in accordance with the appeal instructions accompanying the State Treasury's decision.

01.01.2017