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Car insurance claims against uninsured drivers

Learn how to save money on your car insurance if you’ve made a claim against an uninsured or untraced driver.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and hit by uninsured driver, the car insurance claims process can be tricky. Read on and learn how to deal with your insurance company and how you can save on your car insurance if you’ve previously made a claim involving an uninsured driver.

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Can I protect myself from uninsured drivers?

Driving without insurance is illegal and comes with a maximum fine of £5,000, but it doesn’t stop thousands of drivers taking to the roads without insurance. It’s estimated that the additional risk of these uninsured drivers being on the roads adds an average of £33 per year to every driver’s car insurance premiums.

Some insurers offer protection against uninsured drivers by including a feature in the policy, often referred to as an uninsured drivers agreement or promise. These types of policy offer protection if you are hit by an uninsured driver or an untraced driver, meaning you will usually not lose your no claims bonus or have to pay an excess if you make a claim against an uninsured driver. Not all car insurance policies include this extra level of protection, so it’s best to check with your insurer if you’re covered.

How does a car insurance claim work if I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver?

Unfortunately if you have been involved in an accident or been hit by an uninsured driver or untraced driver, your car insurance claim will become more complicated than a standard claim. Your insurer can’t recover any repair or replacement costs from the driver’s insurer.

This is also the case when your car has been damaged by an untraced driver (for example when another driver has hit your parked car and left the scene without being identified), or when your car has been subject to theft, vandalism, or weather damage. Read more about car insurance for drivers with vandalism claims in our guide.

How will making a claim against an uninsured driver affect my car insurance costs?

There are two options for claiming against an uninsured or untraced driver, and each may have a different effect on your car insurance costs in the long term.

If you have comprehensive insurance, you may wish to claim for any damage through your own insurance provider. By making a claim through your insurer, it’s likely you’ll lose some or all of your no-claims bonus — remember, your no-claims bonus is based on whether you’ve made a claim, not whether you were to blame for the incident. Your no-claims bonus will not be affected if you had no-claims bonus protection at the time of the incident. Similarly, if your policy included an uninsured driver clause, you will not lose your no-claims bonus and may not have to pay an excess on your claim.

Hit by uninsured driver? Calling insurer after an accident

Even if your no-claims bonus remains intact, your insurer may increase your premium when your renewal is due. Your no-claims discount is then applied to this price. You will have to declare any claims for the next three to five years, but the effect on your car insurance costs should be minimised over time as your no-claims bonus builds up.

If you do not have comprehensive insurance or need to claim for an injury after being hit by an uninsured driver, you may wish to claim from the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) rather than through your own insurer. The MIB is a body funded by insurers, which compensates victims of uninsured drivers. By claiming through the MIB you will keep your no-claims bonus and your premium should be unaffected, preventing your car insurance costs from rising.

However, claims through the MIB can take up to 18 months, so you may have to pay for any repairs or replacements before being reimbursed if your case is accepted. Claims for property damage (including damage to vehicles) are also subject to a £300 excess, and the MIB is unable to compensate for property damage where the driver was not traced (for example in a hit and run incident).

How can I save money on my car insurance after claiming against an uninsured driver?

There are several simple steps you can take to reduce the cost of your car insurance premium, including raising your voluntary excess, adding a named driver to your policy, or changing your car for one in a lower insurance group.

If you’ve been involved in a claim against an uninsured driver, you may be able to save on your car insurance if you call providers after getting an initial quote online. Some insurers are able to offer better deals once they are aware of the details of a claim.

You can often find a better deal by shopping around rather than just accepting your renewal quote, so use our quick quote tool below to compare prices from several different insurers.

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