What to do if you’re hit by an uninsured driver
It’s bad enough being in a car accident but finding out you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, can make the situation even worse – especially if you need to claim for damages. Sadly, with around one million uninsured drivers on the road, it’s an all too common scenario – here’s what to do if it happens to you.
How to report an uninsured car
If you’ve been in a car accident, then you must exchange details with the other driver. This includes their name, address and insurance information. If you can, you should also note down the make, model and number plate of their car.
If it becomes clear the other person doesn’t have insurance, then you’ll need to tell the police because driving without insurance is illegal.
As well as informing the police, you should also tell your insurer about any accident you are involved in. Failure to do this could result in your insurance policy becoming invalidated. If the other party isn’t insured, you’ll need to make this clear to your provider when you call them – they’ll be able to give you immediate advice about what to do next.
What happens to uninsured drivers in an accident?
Driving without insurance is against the law and you must have third party cover at the very least. Anyone caught driving without insurance faces up to six penalty points, an unlimited find and even disqualification. The police also have the right to seize and destroy any vehicle being driven without appropriate cover.
If an uninsured driver causes an accident, they are responsible for covering the cost of compensation if they’ve injured you or damaged your property.
What happens if the accident was my fault?
If an accident was your fault, then it doesn’t matter whether the other driver was insured or not – your insurance will cover the cost of repairs to their car.
Needless to say, you should still report the fact that the other party was uninsured. If they’re prosecuted, they could have their car crushed – which would remove the need for repairs, so your insurance won’t need to cover it.
How do I get compensation if I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver?
If you have comprehensive insurance, then you can make a claim to cover the cost of repairs to your car.
If you do claim on your insurance, it could mean having to pay your excess and could also affect your no claims bonus unless you have protected it. Your premium is also likely to increase at renewal – even if it’s proven that the accident wasn’t your fault.
Uninsured driver cover
Some insurance policies offer ‘uninsured driver cover’ and will waive the cost of making a claim if you’ve been hit by anyone without insurance.
It means your insurance will cover the cost of fixing your car but you won’t need to pay the excess and your no claims bonus won’t be affected (although your premium is still likely to increase slightly).
Before waiving their claim costs, your insurer will need to establish that the accident wasn’t your fault. If you can provide details of witnesses then this can help speed up the process. It also helps if you were able to note down information about the other car and driver involved (for example name, address and car make, model and registration).
Uninsured driver cover is often included as standard with comprehensive policies but may also be offered for an extra cost with third party policies. If you’re not sure whether or not you have this then check your terms and conditions.
How do I get compensation if I only have third party cover?
Third party insurance only covers the cost of damage done to other vehicles – not your own. If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, this could leave you facing hefty repair bills but that’s where the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) can help.
How the Motor Insurance Bureau can help cover the cost of repairs
The MIB is a fund that all insurance providers pay in to using money from your premium. The fund provides compensation if you’ve been hit by an uninsured or untraceable driver (for instance if the other driver didn’t stop).
You can claim for personal injury if you’ve been hurt as well as claim for the cost of repairs to your car.
The MIB funds won’t cover you if the accident is your fault. It can also take around four or five months for your claim to be processed – longer if the claim is complicated.
For more information about the work of the MIB, head to their website where you can also find a step-by-step guide to making a claim.
While anyone can ask the MIB for help, if you have your own comprehensive cover, it’s recommended that you claim for repairs through your insurer.
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