Nicholas Jervis, author of A Practical Guide To Claims Against The Motor Insurers’ Burueau (available from Amazon) and Solicitor (non-practising)
Usually, if your car is damaged by another insured driver through no fault of your own, when you make a claim your no claims bonus will not be affected. After all, you have done nothing wrong so why should you lose the no claims bonus which you have been building up for years with your safe driving? Your repair costs, or replacement vehicle costs if your car has to be written off, will be paid for by the other driver’s insurance company.
However, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, what happens to you then?
Hit By An Uninsured Driver?
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver and again through no fault of your own your vehicle is damaged, who pays and will your no claims bonus be protected? Sadly, in most cases it probably will not be, but why is that the case? You have still not done anything wrong. You were minding your own business when an uninsured driver collided with you. Why should you suffer financially and be forced to pay more for your insurance? Well to understand why this happens at the moment you need to understand more about uninsured driver claims.
Who Pays For Uninsured Driver Claims?
Whereas when you are hit by an insured driver their insurance company will foot the repair bill, who pays when you are hit by an uninsured driver? The answer in theory is The Motor Insurers Bureau. This is an organisation which the Government set up to cover the cost of claims made against uninsured and untraced drivers. Realising this was a problem the Government told all insurers they would have to pay into a fund to cover the cost of these repairs, and the Motor Insurers Bureau came into being.
So if there is a body that is set up to pay for these claims, why should your no claims bonus be harmed when you are hit by an uninsured driver? Well, sadly, insurers feel that if they have ultimately had to pay out for your repairs, even though it was not your fault, that you should be penalised. Even though there is a fund to pay for these repairs, most insurers will still reduce your no claims bonus, simply because they can see a good opportunity to do so and to make you pay a little more in the future. Some will reimburse your no claims bonus if they finally receive a payment from the Motor Insurers Bureau, but others will not.
In my opinion, this is not right and not fair, but that is often the case when dealing with the insurance industry.
Another Way To Dealing With Uninsured Driver Claims?
In my opinion, the real solution is twofold:
- Properly punish the crime of uninsured driving
- Make insurers protect their insured’s no claims bonus if they are hit by an uninsured driver when it is not their fault
Properly Punish The Crime Of Uninsured Driving
At the moment we have too many uninsured drivers on our roads, and the reason for this is simple. The fine of driving whilst uninsured is usually much less than the cost of a car insurance policy, so where is the deterrent to a criminal? If they know that the fine for uninsured driving is only going to be around £250, why buy an insurance policy costing between £350 to 1,250? It is much easier to take the risk and not buy insurance, especially since there is no criminal sentence. So the simple solution of reducing the high volume of uninsured drivers on our roads is to massively increase the financial fine, and then if people cannot pay it, put them in prison for a long period of time. This is the only way that people will take the crime of uninsured driving more seriously.
Make Insurers Protect No Claims Bonuses From Uninsured Driver Claims
The second part of the plan would be to make insurers protect their insured’s no claims bonus when they are hit by an uninsured driver. The Government set up the scheme and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau to cover the costs of these claims, so why should a victim ultimately pay twice? We all fund the Motor Insurers’ Bureau through increased insurance premiums, so if it is really the motorist who funds the scheme in the first place, why should we then be punished if we are hit by an uninsured driver? The Motor Insurers’ Bureau will pay for the repairs and the motorist should have their no claims bonus protected.
This is a two part simple solution to a currently huge problem. Will it happen?
Nicholas Jervis is a solicitor (non-practising) and wrote the book “A Practical Guide To Claims Against The Motor Insurers Bureau”, available from Amazon. He is also the Managing Director of Loyalty Law.
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Author: Nicholas Jervis