Getting caught in a collision is every driver’s worst nightmare, and it can be much worse if it turns out the other driver is uninsured. Don’t let it be you who takes the hit, and definitely don’t drive without insurance. As this blog makes clear, it’s bad news all round if you take to the wheel without the necessary cover.
What happens if you’re unlucky enough to be hit by an uninsured driver?
Every driver on the UK’s roads is required to have at least third party insurance by law. This is ostensibly to protect them and other drivers in the event of injury and to safeguard their vehicle against damage sustained in road traffic accidents.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that accidents do happen, so it’s best to be covered just in case. What’s more, driving without insurance can result in fines, penalty points or a prison term. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to deter the sizeable number of rogues that clog up Britain’s highways, and we’re sorry to report that being hit by an uninsured driver is actually fairly common.
A lot of drivers think they aren’t covered in this situation – and there are certainly plenty of insurance companies that would agree – but there’s no need to despair. You may still be able to claim damages if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. Check out the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) at www.mib.org.uk for more information.
If you have details of the uninsured vehicle and can prove you weren’t responsible for the collision (i.e. there are witnesses) then you may be able to claim compensation. Eyewitnesses are your best friend if you find yourself hit by an uninsured driver, so it’s worth taking the time to gather some evidence at the scene. It is also advisable to invest in a dash cam to take video footage of the accident.
If you’ve been injured in the collision and/or your vehicle has been damaged, you are also within your rights to ask the uninsured miscreant for their details. It’s important to notify the police straight away – you must do this within 14 days of the accident if you’ve been injured. Don’t let people who are essentially criminals get away scot-free.
What happens to uninsured drivers who cause an accident?
What happens to you if you’re foolish enough to drive without insurance and crash? Simple – if you’re caught by the police you could be slapped with a £300 fine and 6 penalty points, or in the event of a court case you could be disqualified from driving altogether and face a more substantial fine. Law enforcement can even seize or destroy your car if you crash without insurance, so all things considered it’s best to stay on the right side of the law.
Lastly, it’s important to note that an uninsured driver can still make a claim against you if any collision is deemed to be your fault. This might seem unjust, but it is what it is. Just make sure you’re fully covered and, above all, stay safe. While accidents can happen it’s best to avoid them altogether if you can.
How to check if I’m insured
There is often confusion around the scope of one's car insurance. In many cases, the insurance policy only covers a specific car and driving on a public road in another vehicle will likely mean you are driving illegally. This also applies to when you buy a new car. You must always contact your insurer before driving the vehicle and add it to your policy.
If you do need to drive someone else’s car, you can arrange temporary car insurance.