Help I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver

Your first instinct is probably to panic.

You’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and then you find out the other driver is uninsured. Don’t descend into despair We’re going to discuss exactly what to do when you get into this situation, and the different steps to take after being hit by an uninsured driver.

What to do if you’re in a road traffic accident

As soon as you’ve had the accident, here’s what to do (and when to do it):

  1. Check you and others are safe
  2. Exchange contact details
  3. Collect evidence
  4. Call your insurer or the police

You’ll need to do each of these steps before you try to make an insurance claim or, if you’ve been unlucky, an uninsured driver claim.

Check you and others are safe

Safety is the number one most important priority. Check yourself over for personal injury, and then make sure your passengers and those in the other car are ok. Of course, call the emergency services if there are any serious injuries.

If it’s only a minor accident and your car is in the middle of the road, it might also be worth moving the vehicle. Otherwise it could be blocking the traffic or in a dangerous position and at risk of further damage. Here’s more about what you should do if you’re in an accident.

Exchange contact details

Next, it’s time to exchange contact details with the other driver. This includes the likes of your own name, number and address (as well as theirs).They are legally obliged to give you their name and address, but getting more details can help us manage your insurance claim more efficiently (which is good for everyone involved).

Even if the accident was your fault and they’ll be claiming on your insurance, getting their details means we can be on the front foot with contacting them to get the repairs sorted. If we can get in touch with them and manage their claim directly, we may even be able to give you some money towards paying your excess.

You should also collect information about their vehicle, including:

  • reg number
  • make
  • model
  • any modifications or identifiable features

Lastly, it’s time to get details about their car insurance if you can. This helps us get in touch with their insurer, and manage the claim quickly.

What if the other driver refuses to give me their details?

It’s actually an offence to refuse to give your details after an accident if it’s caused damage to people, property or animals. This means that driving away without talking to the other driver or giving the wrong information is illegal. This is referred to as a ‘hit and run’ or being an ‘untraced driver’ and can land you in legal trouble.

The Road Traffic Act(1998) also states that you must report any accident that’s caused damage to the police within 24 hours. You need to call 101 or go online to your local police ‘Report a Road Traffic Incident’ page. You’ll be asked to pin the location on their map and give yours and the other drivers details.

So, even if you don’t intend to make an insurance claim, both parties need to share their basic details.

What if the other driver refuses?

If the driver refuses to give you their details, you can check whether they have car insurance yourself as soon as you can. The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) holds a database of insurance details for every single car and driver in the country. In the event of an accident, you can submit an inquiry to the ‘other vehicle lookup facility’. This costs £5 and you’ll need to know their car reg number.

Collect evidence

Whether the accident was your fault or not, it’s important to gather evidence. When it comes to getting compensation for an injury claim, it can sometimes be really hard to prove. But if the accident wasn’t your fault and you can show it, you’re more likely to get the compensation you deserve.

To collect evidence, start by taking photos and videos of the scene, all the damage to your vehicle, and any debris. Record the date and time. If there were any eye-witnesses, try to get their details of the events. Scan the area for CCTV that might have captured the accident, or look through dashcam footage. You might even find a property with a doorbell camera that was recording at the time. 

Inform insurance provider (and the police)

Informing your insurance provider is important even if you’re not submitting an accident claim. You can usually contact them by calling up, or using a form on their website. Your insurer will ask for your version of events, all of the details you have collected, as well as any photos or videos you’ve gathered for evidence.

The Road Traffic Act means you must also let the police know about accidents that cause damage within 24 hours.

FAQs for claiming against uninsured drivers

When you’ve been in an accident that isn’t your fault, you’d usually claim through the other driver’s insurance. But if you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, there’s no insurance company to work with. It’s much more difficult.

In this section, we’ll go through:

  1. How to claim if you’ve got fully comprehensive insurance?
  2. Can you claim if you only have third party insurance?
  3. How will a claim with an uninsured driver affect your no claims bonus?
  4. What if an uninsured driver has made a claim against you?

Can you claim if you’ve got fully comprehensive insurance?

Since there’s no way to claim on the other driver’s insurance, the best way to make a claim is on your own fully comprehensive insurance (if you have it). As the insured driver, with a fully comprehensive policy, you and your vehicle are covered in the event of an accident, though you may have to pay your excess.

At boom, like with many other fully comprehensive policies, we have an uninsured driver promise. This means that if an uninsured driver has caused the accident, you’ll be reimbursed for your excess and won’t lose your no claims bonus.

Can you claim if you only have third party insurance?

Unfortunately, you’re not protected against uninsured drivers if you only have third party or third party fire and theft insurance.

But, depending on the level of damage, you might qualify to make a claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau, which has a fund for accidents against uninsured parties. Making a compensation claim through the MIB could help you get the money that you’re owed, as you won’t be able to get it through any other method.

There are certain things that prevent you from making a claim with the MIB. These include if:

  • the accident didn’t happen on a public road
  • you’re a passenger and you knew the driver wasn’t insured
  • the driver was under the influence

How will a claim when you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver affect your no claims bonus?

Most insurers don’t allow special circumstances for a claim, even if it’s against an uninsured driver. If you’ve paid for no claims bonus protection, it’s likely that you’ll use it during this time.

But there are some exceptions. At boom, once we can establish that you’re not at fault in any way, your no claims bonus remains unaffected. You’ll also receive any excess that you’ve paid towards the costs of repairs.

What if an uninsured driver has made a claim against you?

If you’re at fault for an accident, then the other driver can make a claim against you, even if they’re uninsured. This includes for damage to their vehicle, and injury claims.

If successful, the uninsured driver compensation claim goes through your insurance policy. Plus you’ll be liable for the cost of repair, and any personal injury claims.

If you want to fight it, your insurer can provide legal help and fight in court. You can get an insurance add-on specifically for motor legal expenses, which would cover the fees in this case.

Find insurance that protects you if you’re hit by an uninsured driver

Having to make a claim on your own insurance is one of the reasons that being hit by an uninsured driver can be so stressful. You could lose your no claims bonus, and have to pay more for next year’s policy (even though the accident wasn’t your fault).

boom’s uninsured drivers promise means that you don’t have to worry about this.

When we get the details and can prove that you weren’t to blame, you’ll keep any no claims bonus and get a refund for the excess that you’ve paid towards repairing the damage.

To see what fully comprehensive car insurance with an uninsured driver promise will cost, get a quote from boom.

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