Road Traffic Accidents

Uninsured Drivers Law

In the UK, there are an estimated 1.2 million uninsured drivers. An uninsured driver is someone who is driving without any insurance or without adequate or appropriate insurance. It’s important to remember that car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, so not having insurance means that the guilty party is breaking the law and can expect to pay a fine, receive points on their license or be disqualified from driving, in line with the  UK Road Traffic Law. In contrast, an untraced driver is a someone who leaves the scene of the accident without leaving their details; they are also known as ‘hit and run’ drivers. Although not always the case, it’s often likely that an untraced driver could be driving a stolen or uninsured car so are therefore breaking the law.

It is regrettably the case that occasionally a road accident is caused by a driver who is either uninsured or who cannot be identified. The government has established the Motor Insurers Bureau (M.I.B.) to provide compensation to victims of such accidents. Great care is needed and the M.I.B. is able (and will) avoid liability and payment of compensation unless strict criteria are adhered to.

Where the identity of the insurer is known – but they are uninsured:

  • The victim must demand details of the driver’s insurers (as soon as practicable).
  • Notice must be given to the M.I.B. within 14 days of the issue of proceedings – and thereafter at every key step in the proceedings against the uninsured driver.
  • The application must be made to the M.I.B. within 3 years of the accident.

*Please note: If the necessary procedural requirements are met the M.I.B. will discharge any liability under a judgment against the un-insured driver – including orders for costs.

Where the driver is untraced the M.I.B. will provide compensation for personal injury – but not for damage to property.   To succeed in a claim:

  • The accident must be reported to the Police within 14 days of the accident – or as soon as possible.
  • The claim must be filed with the M.I.B. within 3 years
  • In the case of an untraced driver, there can be no court proceedings – this is because there is no identified defendant and so the M.I.B. will assess the level of compensation – using the same criteria as would be applied by a Court.  The M.I.B. will only pay a small fixed contribution to legal costs on un-traced driver cases. 
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