What is the uninsured drivers agreement?
The uninsured drivers agreement is an arrangement between the Government and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). The MIB is a company which is funded by its members; by law all insurers which deal with compulsory motor insurance (that cover which drivers must legally have) are required to be MIB members.
Under the agreement the scheme will pay some or all of the costs incurred when an insured driver is involved in an accident which is held to be caused by an uninsured driver.
How do I make a claim under the scheme?
You should submit a claim using the official form on the MIB website (www.mib.org.uk) and supplying as much detail as possible. The MIB advises drivers to make sure that the other driver is uninsured (via a check with the DVLA); make a formal complaint to the police about the other driver breaking the law by driving without insurance; and report the accident to your own insurer.
Where possible you should also provide the MIB with two estimates of the cost of the necessary repairs, or one estimate stating the car is a write-off. It's not necessary to include the estimates if doing so would delay your claim.
What happens next?
The MIB will then consider the case. This can take a few months for minor damage, but much longer for complex cases. As part of the process, the MIB is required to contact the uninsured driver. If they refuse to cooperate with the investigation, it may complicate matters.
How much will I get?
This will depend on the investigation and any associated court decisions. If you are held to be partly or fully responsible for the accident, it will affect the compensation you receive.
For accidents after 7 November 2008, no excess payment is deducted from the compensation you receive. If you receive any compensation for lost earnings, you may have to repay some Government benefits you have received in relation to the injuries.
What about hit and runs?
In the event of a hit and run case, of any other accident where you can't identify the other driver, you can claim under a separate MIB scheme known as the untraced drivers agreement. The MIB will then co-ordinate with the police to get information from its own investigations, which means it may take some time before the claim is processed and completed. You may only be able to recover part of any legal costs you incur in this process.
As a general rule, the untraced driver agreement scheme will not pay for damages to your car unless the vehicle itself has been identified. If the vehicle hasn't been identified, you should still be eligible for compensation relating to injury as long as the investigation has a satisfactory outcome.
How much does the MIB schemes cost drivers?
At the moment the MIB estimates the fees paid by members are equivalent to between £15 and £30 per policyholder. These fees are built in to the cost of premiums. In recent years the general pattern has been for these costs to rise by more than the rate of inflation. This has been blamed on higher payouts and legal fees for the victims of uninsured drivers.
PLEASE NOTE: The guidance published in this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation of any particular car insurance product or company. If you are in any doubt please consult an independent insurance adviser. A database of advisers in your area is available at www.unbiased.co.uk
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