Driving without insurance is against the law and carries a £300 fine plus 6 penalty points. The police also have the power to seize and destroy your vehicle.
A week long initiative by Police Scotland in January 2018 caught 262 uninsured drivers and 179 vehicles were seized. It is estimated that there are around 1 million uninsured drivers on the road in the UK.
26,000 people are injured every year by uninsured drivers, on top of that, there are around 130 fatalities. They’re also leaving honest drivers out of pocket as it’s estimated motor fraud adds around £50 to the annual insurance bill for every single policyholder in the UK.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, this changes the way you can claim for an accident. Depending on what the type of insurance you have, you could potentially lose your excess and no claims discount (NCD), and if you have Third Party cover, find yourself having to foot the repair bill. Some policies include uninsured driver protection to recover your excess and protect your no claims bonus if your vehicle is hit by an uninsured driver, giving you peace of mind should you happen to be unlucky enough to be hit by one.
What to do if you’re hit by an uninsured driver
If you’ve been involved in an accident and suspect the other driver doesn’t have insurance, the first thing you need to do is gather as much information as possible from the other person — their name, contact details, the make and model of their vehicle, and the registration number. You also need to record details of the date, time and location of the accident, and if you’ve got access to a camera, take some photos of the damage as these could prove useful later on.
Regardless of how severe the collision is, you should always report the incident to the police, ideally within 24 hours. This is particularly important if you find yourself dealing with an uninsured driver.
- Make enquiries to see if the motorist is insured – The absence of insurance information or the deliberate withholding of it may be an indication that the other driver doesn’t have insurance cover. The askMID service online will confirm whether the other vehicle is insured. A search can be done at the roadside immediately after the accident.
- Collect driver and vehicle details – Gather as much information as possible from the other person — their name, contact details, the make and model of their vehicle, and the registration number. You also need to record details of the date, time and location of the accident, and if you’ve got access to a camera, take some photos of the damage as these could prove useful later on. If the other driver says the claim must be submitted through his employer ask for their details as well as the name of their insurers.
- Any other information about the other driver and the vehicle you can gather such as telephone numbers, email addresses and so on will be very useful so please keep hold of them.
- If the driver didn’t give you their insurance details – If the person driving the other vehicle refused to give you details of their insurance make a formal complaint to the police. You are entitled to do this as a refusal to give insurance information is a criminal offence.
What if the accident was my fault?
If you cause the accident and you have a comprehensive Insurance policy, the cost of repairing both your vehicle and the uninsured driver’s vehicle is covered.
If you only have third party insurance, you will have to pay for any repairs to your own vehicle but the uninsured driver’s vehicle will still be covered.
The other driver may still be charged by police for driving uninsured.
What if I only have third party insurance?
You will not be covered against uninsured drivers if you only have third party insurance. However, if you discover that the driver who caused your accident is uninsured, you can try to claim some costs back from the MIB, who are working to reduce the level of uninsured driving in the UK.