Uninsured driving is a major problem for insurers, for premium paying motorists and for accident victims. Over 13 million vehicles (4% of the total) are uninsured at any one time; the estimated annual cost is £500m, or £30 on every policy. The consequences for accident victims are uncertainty and complications. They do at least have the remedy of a claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, an independent body created by statute and funded by all the major motor insurers. The MIB’s job is to step into the shoes of the insurer, to satisfy all genuine claims made against a negligent – but uninsured – driver.
The Uninsured Driver Scheme is better for the accident victim than the Untraced Driver Scheme (which deals only with Hit and Run cases). Hit and Run cases are dealt with under a separate self contained scheme with its own rules, whereas uninsured driver cases follow the usual civil rules and protocols, so that if a settlement cannot be agreed with the MIB then civil court proceedings can be issued and the matter put before a court. And compensation is calculated in the same way as a normal personal injury claim.
The usual costs rules also apply with an uninsured driver case, so that if the case is successful the MIB can be expected to meet the accident victim’s legal costs.
There are however some strict procedural rules that need to be followed in MIB Uninsured Driver cases. Firstly, the accident must have been reported to the police (assuming details were not exchanged).
Second, the MIB must be notified if court proceedings are started, and copied in on all developments.
Judgment has to be obtained against the uninsured driver if the MIB are to be compelled to meet the claim.
There are also some special rules and exclusions for MIB cases, because they are a payer of last resort. So there is a £300 property damage excess and they will not pay any claim that is for the benefit of a 3rd party (eg company sick pay or private medical insurance reimbursement).
MIB Uninsured Driver claims can be complex and it is important to obtain specialist legal advice.
If you or someone you know have had an accident involving an uninsured driver
It may not be apparent that the other driver is uninsured. You should exchange details (name, address, telephone number and insurance provider) in every case, even if you do not think at first there was a significant injury.
Take photographs if possible showing the vehicle damage, the other vehicle’s registration number and the other driver
Report the accident to the police immediately by phone and wait for the police to attend the scene. If this is not possible then report in person to your local police station as soon as you can and get a crime reference number.
Write down a description of the offending vehicle and any detail at all of the driver as well as the accident circumstances
Speak to any eye witnesses and make a note of their name and address
What you should do next?
On contacting us you will speak in confidence to a member of our personal injury team who will ask you specific details about your injury including where and when it took place. It is helpful to the claims process if you can provide us with as much information as possible, including any relevant pictures of the injury, pictures of where the injury took place, details of any witnesses and reports of any medical treatment you had as a result of the injury.
We will then be able to advise you on whether or not you can make a claim for compensation.