Insurance Insights: Uninsured Driver Claims
By BeMoto with Minster Law
Navigating the Aftermath: A Guide to Dealing with Accidents Caused by Uninsured (or untraced) Drivers
At BeMoto we care about our customers and believe you should have access to justice in the event you are injured and/or suffer financial losses in an accident that isn’t your fault. That’s why we provide £100,000 Legal Expenses Insurance as standard within all our motorbike insurance policies. Thankfully, in the majority of cases this will involve dealing with a third party that is legally insured, however this isn’t always the case!
The statistics reveal a sobering reality — each year, thousands of individuals fall victim to accidents caused by uninsured drivers, resulting in injuries, fatalities, and a complex web of compensation challenges. Amidst this concerning backdrop, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (“MIB”) offers recourse for those left grappling with the aftermath of accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
The battle against uninsured driving persists, underscored by the reality that every 20 minutes, someone in the UK falls victim to an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Tragically, on a daily basis, at least one individual suffers injuries so severe that they require life-long care. Collaborating closely with insurers, law enforcement agencies, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the MIB reports that uninsured driving has reduced by approximately 50% over the past decade.
Despite the dropping numbers, it's unfortunate to say that no one is safe from an uninsured driver yet. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you won’t get the support or compensation you need following a collision. The MIB, positioned as a safety net, steps in to assist those involved in road accidents where traditional routes to compensation prove elusive or challenging to trace.
In this blog, we speak to our carefully selected legal partner Minster Law, specialists in motorcycle accident claims, about what you should do when you’re hit by an uninsured driver, your legal rights, and how the process works.
What should you do at the scene of the accident?
If you’ve been involved in an accident and the other driver does not hold a valid policy of insurance, you are still able to pursue a personal injury claim and the case will be brought against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. Be sure to get as many details from the driver as possible. This includes:
- Name and address;
- Damage caused, with images taken on your mobile phone;
- Record a description of the driver;
- Ask for contact details of any witnesses;
- Take down the make, model, colour, and number plate details of the other car involved if possible;
- Inform the police of the crash and let them know the driver is uninsured or untraced; and
- Inform your insurance company of the accident.
Should I report the accident to the police?
If the other driver refuses to cooperate, you should file a complaint with the police, as refusal to give insurance information is a criminal offence.
You should involve the police if the third-party is threatening or attempting to hurt you.
You should always report it to the police if the driver of the other vehicle doesn’t stop after an accident (hit and run) as it is likely that the vehicle is stolen or uninsured. Try and get their vehicle registration or, if possible, take a photo of the vehicle. If there were any witnesses to the incident, ask them for their full contact details as they may be able to assist the police with any investigation they pursue during the case. Even better, if you have footage from a dash or helmet cam, or maybe the incident was covered by a CCTV camera.
What’s the difference between an untraced and uninsured accident?
An untraced accident is where there was no possibility of identification or it transpired the vehicle was stolen or cloned, these are often hit and run accidents.
An uninsured accident is where information may be captured at the scene, but it becomes apparent that the other driver was uninsured.
What happens when I pursue a claim against an uninsured or untraced driver?
Minster Law will contact the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) if you’ve been injured by an uninsured or untraced driver. The MIB has an uninsured and untraced driver’s agreement which enables people involved in accidents under these circumstances to claim compensation against the liable party. The two agreements are slightly different:
The Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement enables you to claim for uninsured losses, in addition to injuries.
Under the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement, you’re also able to claim for uninsured losses (for example, property damage), but this is more restrictive than the uninsured agreement and you must have suffered a “significant personal injury”. This is defined as death or having to spend two nights or more in hospital or three sessions or more of out-patient treatment. Also on Untraced cases, the MIB tend to organise medical records collation and medical assessments, and the recoverable legal costs (for the work your solicitor will undertake) are different.
Who are the MIB and how do they help?
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is funded by all UK motor insurers through policy premiums. In other words, you and every other person with motor insurance already pay for the MIB as a small proportion of your premium. However, on the plus side, you could be very grateful for the existence of the MIB if you are hit by an uninsured or untraced driver!
If the other driver is uninsured, Minster Law will present your claim to the organisation who will act as the defendant insurance company under the Uninsured Driver’s Agreement. If the other driver is untraced, the MIB will take greater control over some of the stages of the case and will make an award for compensation at the end of the case.
Minster Law will still manage your case, advise you and take your instructions throughout, ensuring that the case is being handled appropriately and holding the MIB to account. Where an award for compensation is made, Minster Law will advise you fully on the award and assist you with the negotiations or appeals process where necessary.
Will my compensation and care be affected?
The system of recovering legal costs is different but the good news is that a claim against an uninsured or untraced driver will have no impact on the compensation and rehabilitation you’re entitled to (save for the property damage excess element of the Untraced Agreement). Minster Law’s focus will still be very much on ensuring you receive the care and support you need to recover from your injuries, including top-class rehabilitation, accommodation adjustments, and interim payments if necessary. Minster Law recently secured a substantial win for a motorcyclist hit by an uninsured driver. This included private physiotherapy, psychological therapy, and private medical consultations, £115,000 in interim payments, and funding to support home adaptations, future medical treatment, and loss of earnings.
What if liability is disputed?
It can be frustrating when the third-party doesn’t accept liability. However, Minster Law is experienced in dealing with cases of this nature and will look after you and your case. The third-party may advise pending further investigation or deny full liability and Minster Law will need to collate as much evidence as possible to support your claim. It is important you provide us information on potential witnesses, CCTV, dash/helmet cam footage or police reports as soon as you can.
The prospect of pursuing an uninsured or untraced personal injury claim can be daunting, but Minster Law will be there to smooth out the complexities and work closely with the MIB to get you the compensation you deserve.