Claims against uninsured drivers rise 10%
For the first time in a decade, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) has reported an increase in the number of claims made following accidents with uninsured drivers.
It comes after a trend of claims against uninsured drivers falling by more than 50% from 25,000 a year to around 11,000.
However, the 10% spike in just a year could be caused by an increase in people driving without insurance, as well as an increase in the number of cars on the road, MIB said.
Ashton West, chief executive at MIB, said: “The numbers of claims handled by MIB each year highlights the devastating impact of uninsured driving on communities and families up and down the country.
“We recognise the need to understand the increase in claims further so are currently undertaking a piece of work to explore what impact this could be having. Ultimately our message is the same as always – if you are driving without insurance you will get caught.”
The RAC said that while the facts need to be confirmed, there is a clear suggestion that the increase is due to more uninsured drivers on the road.
RAC insurance director, Mark Godfrey, said: “Industry figures from 2016 suggest there are around a million uninsured drivers on UK roads and that’s a figure we want to see come down, not go up.
“If it does turn out to be true there are a number of potential factors at play. Drivers have faced three increases in Insurance Premium Tax in two years – making it, in the RAC’s view, a genuine stealth tax on motorists. It now stands at 12% and means that those who pay the largest premiums – most often younger drivers and those with less experience – pay more in tax.
“We are concerned spiralling premiums might encourage some drivers to risk driving without insurance, which in turn has the potential to increase premiums still further for everyone.”
Godfrey added that the government’s changes to the way in which injury compensation payments are calculated are also forcing up premiums unnecessarily, and the RAC is calling for the result of the review by Ministry of Justice (due on 3 August) to be published as soon as possible.
“Uninsured drivers represent a risk to everybody and we urge the government to take these findings seriously and provide reassurance to motorists that it will act if needed,” he said.