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Motor Insurers' Bureau Claims

The UK has one of the worst records in Europe for uninsured driving, with an estimated one in twenty cars being driven without the correct insurance. Many people do not realise that if they are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or untraced driver, they are entitled to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB). The MIB's own figures state that 3 people every hour are injured by an uninsured or untraced motorist.

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Motor Insurance Bureau

What is the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)?

The Motor Insurers Bureau ("MIB") is a corporate body set up by agreement with the road traffic insurance industry to deal with claims against untraced or uninsured drivers, in respect of the use of motor vehicles on the road, or other public places required to be covered by compulsory road traffic insurance. Every company offering motor insurance in the UK must be a member of the Motor Insurers' Bureau and they must contribute to the MIB levy and supply data to the Motor Insurance Database. Compulsory insurance covers personal injury or death. It also allows for property damage up to £250,000.

How do I make a claim with the MIB?

The MIB is an insurer of last resort. This means that an application should not be brought to the MIB unless and until reasonable enquiries have been made to confirm that it is an uninsured driver or untraced driver claim. Premature claims to the MIB may result in the applicant being obliged to pay the costs involved.

Generally the owner of a vehicle is deemed to be the driver at any given time in the absence of contrary evidence. If it is not clear which agreement applies, the MIB recommend you apply under both the untraced and uninsured agreements and they will then advise which they believe applies.

The obligation on the MIB is to settle any judgment obtained against an uninsured driver and to settle valid untraced driver claims. It cannot defend a claim in the name of the driver, but can apply to the court to be joined as a party to any proceedings. To act on behalf of a driver, they require a signed mandate authorising them to do so.

If you wish to make a claim against the MIB, we suggest you speak us first to ensure you have a valid claim and have followed all the necessary steps.

What if you did not have valid insurance?

If you did not have insurance, the MIB are entitled to refuse to pay you. This is because they are a fund established by the Government with a contribution from every road traffic insurance premium paid. If you did not pay in, they’re not obliged to give you a payment from the fund.

However, it is possible to bring a claim against the other driver, even if you were uninsured . But unless you know what you are doing, or are legally represented, we do not recommend this course of action. If you are not careful you may end up spending a lot of time and money getting nowhere, or even ending up with a bill to pay the other side.

What if you were in a stolen or uninsured car?

The MIB will not cover claims where the injured party allowed themselves to be carried in or upon a vehicle knowing or having reason to believe the vehicle had been stolen or unlawfully taken or that it was not insured. It is a defence to this argument to show that having become aware the vehicle was stolen, unlawfully taken or uninsured, there was no opportunity to alight from the vehicle. The requirement is to get off or out of the vehicle at the first reasonable opportunity after you discovered the situation.

There are 3 levels of knowledge, namely:

  1. Actual knowledge - you knew the true position - you cannot claim
  2. Implied knowledge - you have information tending to indicate the problem and raise no further questions - you cannot claim
  3. Carelessness - you fail to consider the position at all - you can claim

What if I have made a claim under another insurance policy?

Subrogated claims will not be paid by the MIB. This means they will not pay for anything you have already been paid for under another policy. This is different to standard claims where you may be entitled to claim the loss from the other side as well as retain any insurance monies.

What is the Domestic Regulation Agreement?

An insurer may be able to invalidate an insurance policy, but in that case they would still have to pay out as insurer of the vehicle under what is known as the Domestic Regulation Agreement. This is an agreement between the MIB and the road traffic insurance industry. Broadly speaking, if there is a policy of insurance in existence, in respect of a vehicle at the time of the accident, the insurer issuing the policy will pay the claim. However, a domestic regulations insurer is regarded as substituting for the MIB, rather than as a normal road traffic insurer. This means the party bringing the claim must comply with all requirements applying to an MIB claim with respect to the domestic regulation insurer.

As an alternative to claiming against the MIB, the victim of an uninsured driver can sue the owner of the vehicle for breach of statutory duty, if they can show the owner permitted their car to be used by someone who was not insured.

How can Routh Clarke help you?

Routh Clarke are very experienced in dealing with claims against the MIB. If you have had an accident involving an untraced driver or an uninsured driver, call us today.

Call us on 01935 823883 to discuss your MIB claim