Hitting the headlines
“Police launching three-day offensive against uninsured drivers”, “Police crackdown on uninsured drivers”, “Motorists targeted in three-day campaign” – drivers without insurance hit the headlines regularly in the UK. There’s good reason too. More than 130 fatalities and over 26,000 injuries are caused annually by uninsured drivers – disturbing statistics that need to be addressed.
Cold hard facts
While the police tactics may sound like something from a Hollywood blockbuster, the reality is different. Behind the scenes lurk some grim facts. According to the association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), uninsured drivers cost the economy a whopping £500m a year, with uninsured drivers costing every law-abiding motorist an extra £33 on their motor insurance policy. Further research carried out by AA Insurance warned that 1 in 25 drivers in the U.K had no insurance. And a total of 200 people have been detected driving without insurance this year alone in Scotland!
These statistics would indicate that the fine for uninsured drivers should be substantial. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s reported that – even though 4 out of 5 drivers support a crackdown on uninsured drivers – fines are still as little as £200.
It’s the law
If you have been in a car accident with an uninsured driver these figures will not sit well with you. Of course, by law, you must have valid insurance to drive on British roads. Some people simply ignore this, believing they won’t get caught out. But when an accident happens it causes considerable problems for everyone involved.
Where the problems start
The dangers posed by uninsured drivers hardly needs spelling out. Assistant Chief Constable Fiona Taylor of Acpos says:
“Uninsured drivers are a danger on our roads. They have no respect for other road users and our experience has shown that they are more likely to be involved in other types of criminal activity”.
Added to their reckless attitude, these offenders are often already disqualified. It’s disheartening as at the end of the day, it’s the honest people like you and me that suffer.
Dealing with uninsured drivers
Of course accidents are difficult to deal with. However, they are complicated further when a driver is uninsured. You can claim against an uninsured driver – but it’s not a simple process.
If you can’t identify the offender you can lose your no claims bonus and you may have to pay an excess. That’s why it’s vital to obtain the following information as soon as an accident happens:
- Full name and address of the driver
- Their car details, including the registration number
- Details of any passengers in the car
- Any photo evidence of the accident
One way to be left out of pocket is by forgetting to obtain these details. Don’t forget to seek medical attention and keep all receipts.
Give yourself the best chance
The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) deal with compensation claims if the other driver is uninsured. But how important is the MIB when pursuing a claim? Summed up by a single word: vital. The MIB supports innocent victims following an accident. So, if you have been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver that was not your fault, you are entitled to claim for compensation.
It’s recommended that you appoint a personal injury solicitor that has experience of working with the MIB, as this is tricky process and requires prior knowledge in order to get the full amount you are entitled to.
And finally… a couple of points worth remembering
If you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, contact a personal injury solicitor, they will be able to tell you that:
- You have 3 years to claim for compensation
- You can claim for loss of earnings
- You will NOT loose your No Claims Insurance Bonus, and you will NOT have to pay your insurance excess
So while the headline “Police launched sweeping raids in a vast anti-uninsured operation” might not be a showstopper. It highlights the problems with uninsured drivers on our roads. If you have been affected – contact a personal injury solicitor today.