The statistics relating to uninsured drivers in the UK are very worrying indeed. It looks like as many as one in 20 drivers don’t have valid insurance, each one of those drivers causing an accident, on average, every 6 months. They are also 10 times more likely to be driving while under the influence of alcohol, and three times more likely to drive in a way that endangers other road users.
Not surprisingly, around one in ten insured drivers have been in an accident with a driver who is not insured. This article will help you deal with the situation if it happens to you.
At the time of the accident, it is unlikely that the driver will tell you that he’s not insured. So you will have to take all the details in the usual way take their name, address, phone number and car details, and also the name of their insurance company. Most uninsured drivers will lie so in any case, ask for these details as your insurance company will expect you to have them.
It’s also essential that you note down exactly what happened in the accident, and what damage occurred as a result. Also try and get a photo of the damage, it’s a good idea to carry a disposable camera in your glove box for this reason, or many people now have a camera on their mobile phone. If possible, get the other driver into the picture too. Make a note of the surrounding environment, for example the weather, the lighting, and the road markings. It really is best to have too much information rather than not enough. Ideally you will be able to get the details of an independent witness who can back up your story.
What happens next really depends on your level of insurance. If you are fully comprehensive, then your car will be repaired at no cost to yourself, other than the excess fee you will have to pay. Some insurers offer policies that waive the excess fee to protect you in case of the other driver being uninsured. You may also possibly lose your no claims discount if you did not have it protected.
If your insurance only covers you for third-party, then you will have more trouble getting the damage paid for as your insurance company will not be prepared to pay for the repairs. You have the option of tracking down the other driver, which will depend on whether you were given the right contact details or not, and asking them to pay. You could even take them to court. If you don’t want all that hassle, then you can claim compensation from the Motor Insurers Bureau. They help out drivers in these circumstances but you will still have to pay for the first 300 of the claim, which is a lot more than the average excess. So it is likely that you will be out of pocket as a result.
The Motor Insurers Bureau will expect you to have reported the accident to the police and to have a copy of the accident report. It is also crucial that you noted down the other car’s registration details, you won’t be able to make a claim without them. To contact the Motor Insurers Bureau call 01908671681 or email: [email protected]
British laws are being examined at the moment so that higher penalties can be placed on uninsured drivers. The proposal is to have a car that is found on the roads without insurance towed away and crushed, and the driver hit with a 100 fine. At the moment, people caught driving uninsured only have to pay on average 170, which is a lot cheaper than a year’s worth of car insurance! We are definitely behind the proposed changes in the law, and hope that they happen sooner rather than later.
The police are keenly aware of the situation: Uninsured drivers are often guilty of many other driving related offences, such as having no driving licence or MOT certificate. We’re doing everything in our power to get these dangerous and illegal drivers off our roads.” A round of applause for the police!