What happens if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?This depends on the level of insurance cover you have, and the quality of your policy too. It may be the case that being hit by someone without insurance means you have to pay an excess, lose your no claims bonus, and cover the cost of repairs to your own car.
First though, it’s important to get all the right details from the other driver at the scene of the accident. They might not tell you they’re uninsured, but even if they do that shouldn’t stop you from:
- taking down or photographing the make, model and registration number of the other car
- getting the driver’s name and address
- recording the damage to both cars
- recording the scene of the accident, including any road markings and the conditions
- taking the contact details of any independent witnesses.
What if the other driver won’t give me their details?It’s a criminal offence to refuse insurance details if you’re involved in an accident, so you should call the police if the other driver does this. If they fail to stop, or take off before you can get all their details, then it’s also a matter for the police. Get a photo if you can, make sure you get the details of any witnesses, and try not to worry - there may still be help at hand.
What is the Motor Insurers’ Bureau?Uninsured drivers aren’t just a major inconvenience for motorists who abide by the law, but also for insurance companies. It’s estimated that 130 deaths and 26,500 injuries are caused by uninsured and untraced drivers each year in the UK, and the cost of supporting those without insurance lands squarely on everyone else’s premiums.
This is because insurance companies have to contribute to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which was set up in 1946 to help compensate victims of accidents caused by uninsured and untraced drivers. In fact, around £30 a year goes to the MIB from every insurance policy, but the organisation could help if, for instance, you only have third party cover.
What happens if you hit an uninsured driver?If you’re at fault in a collision with an uninsured driver, the repair costs for your car and theirs are still your responsibility. Comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of this, but if you only have a third party policy, the cost of repairing damage to your own car won’t be covered. Although the other motorist can still be prosecuted for driving illegally, this doesn’t affect how your insurance company sees the accident.
What precautions can I take?There’s no way to tell if other people out on the road don’t have insurance, but you can protect yourself against uninsured drivers before you even get behind the wheel of your car. The reason we all need at least third party cover when we’re driving is so the medical and repair costs of other drivers will be paid in the event of an accident. If you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, this cover isn’t in place, so you’ll probably have to claim on you own policy.
Comprehensive insurance gives you full protection in this scenario, whether it’s your fault or not. Some policies offer an excess waiver if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, or being able to keep your no claims discount. Before taking out a car insurance policy, make sure you read the terms and conditions to check what cover you get in this situation.