Uninsured drivers are ten times more likely to drink and drive and three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention. They also cause one accident every six months. In fact one in twenty motorists regularly drive without insurance. It's therefore not perhaps surprising that, one in ten of all motorists have been involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. The question is what to do if you're involved in an accident with one?
At the time of the accident you're unlikely to realise that the other driver is uninsured so you'll have to react in the normal way. Take a note of the other car's make, model and registration number. Also note the other driver's name and address – but whether he'll give you his correct details is perhaps unlikely! Nevertheless, always record what the other driver says. Unless you have this information you'll have no leg to stand on when it comes to getting some of your money back.
Also take notes about the damage to the other car and the accident scene. Remember to note road markings, road signs, light and weather conditions and whether the other car had its lights on – in fact as much detail as possible. Then if you're lucky enough to have an independent witness get their full contact details. And if you happen to have a camera in the car, take lots of pictures - and try and get one with the other driver clearly in the picture. The police might like that one!
If your policy is comprehensive, your insurer pay for your car to be repaired but you could lose your no claims discount unless you've paid to protect it. But then there's the issue of your excess payment – that's the first part of the repair cost you have to pay for. You'll have to pay that unless you're lucky enough to have a policy that waives the excess payment if you're hit by an uninsured driver.
For those of you with third party car insurance, you're in for a hard time. Your insurer won't pay for your repairs and, as the other driver is uninsured, you're not going to get any money off him unless you can trace him and succeed in a court action. Even then there's no guarantee that he'll pay up! Your only guaranteed solution is to make a compensation claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau - but you'll still have to pay the first £300 of the claim.
The Motor Insurers' Bureau insists that have the other drivers' car registration number and you must first report the accident to the police. Always ask the police for a copy of their accident report as the Bureau's likely to ask to see it. The Bureau's telephone number is 01908 671681 or you can e-mail them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the moment The UK' Law is being amended to crackdown on uninsured drivers. Not before time. Anyone keeping, not just driving, an uninsured vehicle now faces a fixed £100 fine and can also have their car seized and crushed. Currently the average fine for driving without insurance is just £170 and that's hardly a punishment when car insurance costs many times more. Losing the car plus a fine of £100 is much more realistic. Let's hope that the courts fully implement the crushing sanction!
A police spokesman said recently, “Uninsured drivers are often guilty of many other driving related offences, such as having no driving licence or MOT certificate. We're doing everything in our power to get these dangerous and illegal drivers off our roads”.
We say, go to it blues and two's!
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