Motor Insurers Bureau

 

If you have ever been involved in a road accident where one of the vehicles was uninsured or the driver simply made off without stopping so that you couldn't take their details, you might well despair at the possibility of ever getting the proper compensation for any injuries or other losses that you suffer.  We often have client's who make very tentative enquiries thinking that all hope is lost in such situations and  are happily able to inform then about the Motor Insurers' Bureau.  This is a private company established as long ago as 1946 for the purpose of entering into agreements with the government to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and/or untraced motorists.

Every insurance company which underwrites compulsory motor insurance i.e. third party fire and theft, is obliged by the Road Traffic Act 1988 to be a member of the  Motor Insurers' Bureau and to contribute to its funding.

Effectively, the Motor Insurers' Bureau steps in and acts as though it were the uninsured or untraceable driver's insurance company.  In many respects therefore, motorists who are involved in such accidents do not have anything to fear, as a solicitor will be able to obtain them compensation in precisely the same way he would if the driver had been uninsured.

The scheme is what is known as a fund of the last resort, which means that you have to show that you have exhausted every other possibility to try to get compensation before asking the Motor Insurers' Bureau to pay.

As soon as you become aware that you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you should submit a claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau.  The Bureau however will have expected you to have made enquiries to try to identify any insurer.  These enquiries might include contacting the motorist, making enquiries with the DVLA, possibly making a formal complaint to the Police if the driver or registered owner of the vehicle withholds insurance details or an enquiry of the Motor Insurance Database might be carried out to identify the owner.

If you are involved in an accident and the driver makes off or you simply cannot find the driver, you will still have a claim against the Bureau under the untraced driver's  agreement but in these cases you have to make a formal report of the incident to the Police within 14 days of the accident occurring and indeed if there is no particular injury but damage to your property, it has to be done within 5 days.  This gives the  Police the opportunity to try to identify the driver.  You also have to make enquiries to see if you can identify the driver, checking any details given to the Police, trying to  make contact with the motorist in person or tracing the registered keeper via the  DVLA and contacting him.  If you cannot identify the driver, enquiries need to be made to see if you can identify the vehicle involved through any registration number that you might have been given or any passerby has recorded and of course you must also contact your own insurance company as your policy is likely to require it in  any event and your insurance might be able to trace the other party or his or her insurers.

If you have a claim for simply property damage, it has to be made within 9 months of  the accident and a £300.00 property excess applies.  In the case of personal injury claims, the usual rules of making a claim within 3 years will apply.  In many cases the Motor Insurers' Bureau will actually appoint an insurance company, often the last insurance company to insure the vehicle involved in the accident to deal with your claim so to all intent and purposes you and your solicitor will notice very little difference between this type of claim and one made if the third parties insurance details are available so one shouldn't give up simply because you can't identify or find the insurance for the third party.

The big difference however is if the Motor Insurers' Bureau are asked to pay out on a claim, they can if they can identify the driver who is uninsured, ask him to pay them back but of course, that is not your problem.

 

16th December 2018

Sarginsons Law