How to claim against an uninsured driver
Here's how to claim against an uninsured or untraceable driver
Last updated: 17/09/2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
Uninsured drivers are involved in more than 25,000 incidents a year on our roads, the equivalent to one person in the UK being injured every 20 minutes, according to the Motor Insurer' Bureau.
And, considering driving without insurance is illegal in the UK, that’s a lot of risky drivers out there.
But with no insurance, how do claims get paid out? And what should you do if you find yourself having to claim against an uninsured driver? Our guide takes you through making an uninsured driver claim.
If you’re ever involved in a road traffic accident, there are essential steps to take:
The first thing to do is take note of as much information as possible, that means taking down the registration, make and model of the vehicle. Also note the date, time and location of the incident.
You should always take photos if you can – this helps provide evidence in any insurance claim and we’d also recommend taking a mental picture of the driver, you never know when it could come in handy.
So, you’ve done the above and now it’s time to exchange details.
This step… gets a bit tricky if the other party doesn’t have insurance, and if they’re reluctant to pass on insurance information or outright refuse to, then things can become a little more complicated.
It’s illegal to drive without car insurance in the UK. Therefore, if the offending driver doesn’t, it’s likely they’ll find another route to make amendments or reconciliations, which might be straight-up offering to exchange bank details.
Of course, remember that many insured drivers take this route too, preferring not to go to their insurer for minor incidents.
However, if you are feeling uncertain or sceptical of the validity of the information passed to you, then you can always check whether the driver has insurance by using the Motor Insurance Database (MID).
The MID will tell you instantly whether it was an uninsured vehicle or not and we recommend doing this to ease any doubt.
A quick and free way to do this is by using askMID.com.
We’re aware that, sadly, some drivers are rogue and aren’t going to stick around in the event of an incident.
In this case, still take down as much information as you can and make a police report, as not leaving details constitutes an offence.
They may eventually track down the driver and, if they have insurance, you can make a claim.
However, the offender might not have insurance nor even be traceable, so we’ll talk you through what your options are a little later on.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver then you can claim damages through your insurance provider if you have comprehensive cover.
Unfortunately, those who only have a Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance policy will not be covered for claims against an uninsured driver, irrespective of whether it was your fault or not.
We advise you bear this in mind when thinking about going for a more budget car insurance policy.
Don’t fear though - there are options!
You can lodge a claim with the MIB instead, which is also of interest to those who don’t want to claim on their own insurance; however, be aware that these claims can take a long time to process and you may have to front the repair costs yourself first.
But let’s back up, just what is the MIB?
The MIB was set up to help drivers in the event that they are involved in a road accident with an uninsured driver.
There will be certain criteria you have to meet such as how quickly after the incident you file a claim, but they can assist you with the process and may be able to compensate you for any damage or personal injury in the absence of an insurance company.
A saving grace, yes, but where do the MIB get the money to pay compensation?
It’s actually from us: on the hefty premiums we face, a portion is siphoned off to the MIB from our insurance companies, in order for them to pay out on successful claims on an uninsured or untraceable driver.
In short, it’s likely.
Dependent on the extent of the damage to your vehicle, you may be compelled to claim the damages through your insurance company.
This is if, say, there’s significant damage to your car as opposed to a scrape, which might not be worth making a claim for, as it's probably cheaper to fix yourself rather than to face a potential premium increase. We know, there’s no justice.
In most cases, if you make a claim on your car insurance, you’ll lose your no-claims bonus. You may be reluctant to, but we know that sometimes claiming is unavoidable.
But don’t fret, there are some policies that have exemption clauses which are often referred to as an Uninsured Driver Promise.
This clause protects your no claims bonus in the event of having to claim against an uninsured motorist if, and we stress, it wasn’t your fault.
Just note that this promise is usually only included in comprehensive insurance policies.