I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver – what should I do?

Woman making a phone call while looking at damage on her car

Uninsured drivers are more common than you might think.

Each year in the UK, more than 130 people are killed and 26,000 are left injured in collisions caused by uninsured and untraceable drivers, who are responsible for nearly one in five road traffic collisions, according to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

We run through some key questions about uninsured drivers and the steps to take if you’re involved in a collision…

What do I do if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?

Your first port of call is to take down as many essential details of the other driver and their car as you can. This will help smooth the process of making a claim. 

Try to grab:

  • The vehicle make, model and registration number
  • The driver’s name and address
  • Details of any nearby witnesses
  • Details and evidence of damage
  • Time and date of the accident

You then need to contact the police as soon as possible and inform them that the other driver doesn’t have insurance. If you’re injured, you need to talk to the police within 14 days, and if there’s any damage to your vehicle or property, you need to do this within five days.

Your insurance provider should also be informed about an incident, regardless of whether you’re going to make a claim or not.

How do I find out if a driver’s insured in the first place?

If you haven’t been able to get an answer from the other driver, you can check if a car is insured by enquiring through your insurance provider or using the Motor Insurance Database’s (MID) online service, askMID.com. All you need is your registration plate details and the other car’s. This enquiry will cost £4.50.

If their registration is found, you’ll receive:

  • Their policy number
  • The name of their insurer
  • Claims contact details

This service is intended to be used in the event of an accident.

What will happen to my no claims?

This can vary, but if it’s proven the accident wasn’t your fault, some insurers can ensure that your no claims isn’t affected. At 1ST CENTRAL we’re proud to be one of them. Our Uninsured Driver Promise is there to make the process easier for you. We won’t reduce your No Claims Discount and will refund your policy excess. You’ll just need to have your details at the ready again.

We’ll need:

  • The make, model and registration number of the uninsured driver’s car that caused the damage
  • Their name and address

Please note: You might still have to pay your excess and temporarily lose out on your No Claims Discount until we’re satisfied that the accident was the other driver’s fault and that they’re uninsured. We will then reinstate your no claims discount.

So, it’s possible to claim against an uninsured driver?

Yes, if you have the correct cover type, have gathered all the details needed and have evidence to prove what happened – such as pictures, footage, or witness accounts – and you follow the above process, you can make a claim. But be prepared for the process to be slightly more difficult.

If your policy doesn’t cover being hit by an uninsured driver, then you won’t be able to make a claim. However, all is not lost. You can apply for compensation through MIB if you’ve been injured or your property has been damaged because of an uninsured or ‘hit and run’ driver, and your claim meets all its requirements.

MIB provides compensation for UK victims of accidents caused by uninsured or untraced drivers, made possible by an estimated £30 a year of funding from every insured driver’s premiums. You just need to register for an account and complete an online application.

How to check I have insurance?

This might not even be something you’ve considered doing. But if there’s any part of you in doubt about whether you’re covered, it’s worth checking anyway. It’s illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or in public without at least third-party insurance.

Even if the vehicle itself is insured, if you’re not correctly insured to drive that model you could face penalties. The police could give you a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points if you’re caught driving a vehicle you’re not insured to drive.

If the case goes to court, you could be:

  • Handed an unlimited fine
  • Disqualified from driving

In some cases, the police also have the power to seize and destroy the vehicle that’s being driven uninsured.

You can check if you’re insured via the MID as detailed above. It’s important to make sure you have insurance for every vehicle you drive, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. You might not automatically be insured to drive somebody else’s car, so double check what your policy covers first. If you only need to drive another person’s car for a short period, you can get temporary car insurance. Whatever the situation, honesty is always the best policy. To find out more about why, check out our report on half a million drivers being caught ‘fibbing’ on their car insurance applications.

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