The vehicle must always have a valid motor liability insurance unless the vehicle has been decommissioned in the Traficom register. This also applies to vehicles that are unfit to drive. Mopeds and snowmobiles, for example, must also be insured.
The owner or holder of a vehicle must insure the vehicle. If you have failed to take out the vehicle’s statutory motor liability insurance, you will be subject to a fee (premium equivalent to insurance premium + default fee) for the period during which your vehicle has been uninsured. Fees are imposed primarily on the permanent holder of the vehicle.
When must the motor liability insurance be taken out?
Motor liability insurance must be taken out within seven days of the purchase of the vehicle. If you have taken out motor insurance after the 24 hours have changed only on the eighth day or later, the vehicle is uninsured, and you will be subject to an uninsured fee. Motor liability insurance must be taken out within the time limit, even if the change of ownership has not yet been registered.
Motor liability insurance must be taken out immediately on the date of purchase if you obtain the vehicle from an intermediate owner, i.e. a person who has not fulfilled his or her own obligation to insure. The new owner and owner of the vehicle must find out about the vehicle’s registration and insurance obligation even before purchasing. In vehicle sales between private individuals, you should be particularly vigilant and follow the instructions on Traficom’s website.
What happens if you neglect to insure?
If the police or Traficom find that you do not have valid motor liability insurance, they will notify the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre (LVK) of the lack of insurance, which will send you an enquiry. After the answer time reserved for you, LVK submits a proposal to the State Treasury to impose an uninsured payment. Charges may be imposed for the current year and for the last five calendar years.
The State Treasury decides on the imposition of an uninsured payment. With the decision, you will not receive an invoice yet, but LVK will send you an invoice and take care of the collection of the payment.
Uninsured payments compensate for traffic accidents caused by uninsured vehicles. The fees charged are not sufficient to cover the damages to be compensated.
An uninsured vehicle is prohibited from use until the insurance is properly maintained. The police can remove the license plates of an uninsured vehicle.
How much is the uninsured fee?
The uninsured fee consists of a fee corresponding to the insurance premium and default fee. Depending on the case, it can reach up to thousands of euros.
The premium corresponding to the insurance premium is higher than the insurance premium for motor liability insurance taken out from the insurance company. The contribution corresponding to the insurance contribution is determined based on the payment basis of the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre (Section 20,1-2 mom of the Motor Insurance Act). The basis of payment is based on a risk fee study conducted by LVK.
The minimum fee for the premium is EUR 20 for light trailers and EUR 35 for other vehicles.
The penalty fee can be up to three times the premium, depending, for example, on the length of the period of non-compliance and whether the vehicle has been used in traffic.
Lack of knowledge does not exempt you from the penalty fee
A penalty fee may cannot be omitted, for example on the grounds that:
- you have not known about the obligation to insure
- you have forgotten to take out insurance
- default note delayed getting an insurance
- the uninsured time is short
- the vehicle is out of order/unfit to drive
- the vehicle has not been used in traffic.