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Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

Here's what to do

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Sadly around 1 in 20 drivers are on the road without proper motor insurance.

If you have an accident with any vehicle, insured or uninsured, take these initial steps -

  • Take details - Make a note of the other person's car model and registration number

  • Names and addresses - Take a note of the other driver's name and address - you may be given incorrect details he or she is not insured but nevertheless this is important information

  • Damage caused - Take notes about the damage to both cars and the accident scene in general (was it on a roundabout, T-junction, name of the road etc)

  • Road conditions - Remember to note road markings, road signs, light and weather conditions and whether the other car had its lights on, basically as much detail as possible

  • Witnesses - If you're lucky enough to have an independent witness get their full contact details

  • Photos - If you have a camera or camera phone take lots of pictures - and try to get a face shot of the other driver (let him take one of you as well if need be)

  • Police - If the Police are involved make sure you get an accident report number
If the other car is uninsured - And you have fully comprehensive car insurance

If your policy is comprehensive, your insurer will pay for your car to be repaired but you could lose your no claims discount unless you have paid extra to protect it.

But then there's the issue of your excess payment which will cover the first portion of the repair cost. Unfortunately you will have to pay this unless your policy waives the excess payment if you're hit by an uninsured driver (this is possible but unlikely).

If the other car is uninsured - And you have 3rd party cover

Sadly for those with third party car insurance it's not good news -

  • Your insurer won't pay for your repairs and, as the other driver is uninsured you will not get any money from him/her unless you can trace them and succeed in a small claims court action - Book link
  • And even they lose the court case there's no guarantee they'll pay up - they might for example be long term unemployed with no money apart from benefits
  • So the only option available is to make a compensation claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau - see below
What is the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB)

The MIB is an organisation (established in 1946) to help compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists. It's funded by all the insurance companies and is basically the only option available for those seeking compensation who've had a crash or accident with an uninsured driver.

How to report an accident to the Motor Insurers Bureau
  • Go the MIBs website and look for the Make a Claim link for more information
  • You can submit a claim directly from the website or print the claim form out and send it via the post

At the moment the law in the UK is being amended to crackdown on uninsured drivers which is long overdue. Unless a vehicle is registered as being off the road, anyone keeping an uninsured vehicle now faces a fixed £100 fine and can also have their car seized and crushed. The car does not even have to be driven in order to incur this fine.

But in the meantime, the only two options available to people looking for financial compensation from an accident with an uninsured driver are -

  1. Take the uninsured driver to court using the small claims process less than £5,000), or
  2. Seek the help of the Motor Insurance Bureau
See also
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