It is estimated that there are around 1 million uninsured drivers in the UK. This amounts to around 4% of all motorists in the country are driving illegally. Whilst this is a shocking number of uninsured drivers, it is almost half of the figures seen in 2004.
These are the findings from the Motor Insurers Bureau scheme (MIB), the organisation that compensates those who have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. According to the MIB, the number of uninsured drivers has halved due to “a combination of enforcement, penalties and awareness campaigns.”
Whilst this statistic shows a promising decrease, it is still a shocking number that compares quite badly with other countries throughout Europe. Any vehicle that is driven on the UK roads must be insured and if you are not using a vehicle for the purpose of driving, you must notify the authorities that this is for off-road use, otherwise known as declaring a SORN (statutory off road notification).
When getting hit by an uninsured driver, there is a risk that they drive off and you do not get their information. Whether they have fled the scene or stayed, it is important to collect as much information as you possible. This may be difficult if the driver is attempting a hit and run, however trying to get as many details as possible before the car is out of sight can be of great help when it comes to reporting the accident and making claims.
Below are some of the main actions you should be taking as soon as you have been hit by an uninsured driver:
• Get the number plate of the uninsured vehicle
• Collect details on the type of vehicle, including the make
• If they have not fled the scene, get details from the driver, e.g. name, contact number, address
• Take pictures of the accident/damage done
• Call the police
The accident must be reported to the police as soon as possible. This is so the police can conduct an investigation into the uninsured driver, as it is illegal to drive without insurance.
Especially if injuries have been caused, you must report this to the police, and should get medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to have official medical records of any injuries you sustain during the accident in order to make a claim on this.
There are two main routes you can take for making claims against uninsured drivers, as follows:
• Claiming through your own insurer
• Claiming through the MIB
Claiming through your own insurer – you can claim for damages through your own vehicle insurance. This will require sufficient evidence that the accident was caused by an uninsured driver (e.g. collecting evidence through the methods listed above) and must be reported to your insurance provider as soon as possible.
There may be a time limit by which you can claim with your insurer, so typically the sooner the better – and it will also be more fresh in your mind.
It is worth noting that unless your insurance policy includes a clause for accidents caused by uninsured drivers, you could lose your no-claims bonus from this claim. Therefore, it is best to check the terms of your policy with your insurance provider.
Claiming through the MIB – you can also claim for damages through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). This may be the best route to take in some circumstances, as this will not affect a no-claims bonus or premium. However, when making a claim through the MIB, drivers can expect to wait a maximum of 18 months for this to go through.
This means that you may need to pay for any damages from the accident years before the MIB accept your claim and reimburse for the damages done.
It is illegal to drive any vehicle on UK roads without valid insurance, whether it is a car, bike, van, motorhome or tractor – because of the risks it poses to third parties and to maintain a high standard of driving and safety. In some instances, the police may fine you a £300 fixed penalty along with 6 penalty points – however, this can sometimes be more depending on the case.
In some circumstances, the case may go to court and an uninsured driver could get stuck with an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving indefinitely. Upon catching someone driving a vehicle they are not properly insured on, the police also have the authority to seize and destroy the vehicle involved. However, this is not always the case, and will be entirely depend upon the details of the situation.
The average car insurance premium in the UK is around £600 per annum for a fully comprehensive car insurance policy. Although this is the claimed average, this number can vary drastically dependent upon different facts about the driver.
Some of the main factors that may affect the cost of car insurance include:
• Car type
• Past accidents
Forces Compare can help you get the best rate on your car insurance, by comparing deals from over 100 different brands and helping you save money through introductory offers, no claims bonuses and more. Use our service to compare car insurance today.