What happens if I'm hit by an Uninsured Driver?
Getting hit by another driver is always a stressful event. What makes it even worse is when that driver happens to be uninsured. The costs from getting hit by uninsured drivers can mount, adding roughly £30 or more on average to your insurance premium.
So what should you do if it happens to you?
The steps you should take
While getting hit is always troubling, it's important you collect yourself quickly enough to gather some key information about the other driver if you're able, including:
- The car's make, model, and registration plate
- The name and address of the other driver involved
- The names and contact details of any witnesses
- Details and photos of any damage that has been done
- Following the gathering of this information, you should contact the police as soon as possible. Explain to them that you have been involved in a traffic collision and the other driver has no insurance. You need to talk to the police within fourteen days if you have been injured, and within five if there has been any damage to your property - so do it as soon as you can.
Though the other party is uninsured, you should still contact your own insurance company. Tell them that you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver and ask if there's anything they can do to help you. While a claim may not be made, they can still possibly help you with other aspects of the case, such as getting some extra details of the other driver involved.
You can also file a claim with the MIB. They have a dedicated procedure for handling claims against uninsured drivers, and wherever possible will seek the costs from the third party.
What if you hit them?
The rules are no different when you're the cause of the accident whether the other driver has insurance or not. Your car insurance exists to pay out costs and damages in the event that you are involved in a car accident that was your fault. If the other driver doesn't have insurance, they can still take your details and make a claim against your insurance company for the damage caused.
Driving without car insurance is illegal, though. So, if you cause an accident with an uninsured driver, they may be able to claim off your insurance, but you should also take their details and report them to the police.
What about a hit and run?
If the driver drives off after causing an accident you're involved in, that makes them an untraceable driver. These cases are a little more difficult to resolve because naturally there are no driver details to provide to your insurer.
In these circumstances, you should still report the accident and any details you do have to both your insurer and the police. You could also open a claim with the MIB. You'll have to make your claim, including for any property damage, within nine months of the date of the accident. It's also worth noting there is a blanket £300 excess on a claim, so bear that in mind before you start your claim.
Any personal injury claims will have to made within three years of the date of the accident. If you do choose to make a claim, the MIB will require satisfactory proof that the other driver involved was the one who caused the accident. You can get more information from the MIB themselves regarding what they will accept as satisfactory proof, and how you can go about getting it.
The MIB will then liaise between your insurance company and the police to try and work out who was at fault. If you're found to be wholly or partially at fault, they may reject your claim entirely or reduce your claimable amount. They may also reject your claim if you were driven as a passenger in a car you knew wasn't insured, that was driven by a drunk driver, or the accident occurred on a private road.
Know your next step
Hopefully, you never have to put it into practice, but now you know what you should do in the event you're hit by an uninsured driver. As with all accidents, you should keep as calm as possible, collect as much information as you can, and then contact both the police and your insurance company as soon as you and everyone involved is safe.
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