The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) has reported an increase in the number of claims made following accidents with uninsured drivers, for the first time in a decade. According to MIB it has seen the number of claims against uninsured drivers reduce by more than 50% since 2004, from around 25,000 per year to around 11,000. It stated that this was a result of the continued commitment from the insurance industry, the police, DVLA and the government to tackle the problem.

However, MIB stated it had seen claims against uninsured drivers rise by almost 10% in the last twelve months. It noted that there were a range of factors that impacted the number of claims received, listing these as including an increase in people driving without insurance as well as changes in the number of vehicles on the road, the licensed population and effectiveness of enforcement.

In addition, MIB said it was also exposed to the same adverse trends that the industry was seeing where members of the public were encouraged to make claims. Ashton West OBE, 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.

“In the last year or so, for the first time in a decade or more, we are starting to see the trend of reduction actually change direction, and we have started to see it increase.” He continued: “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 view amongst insurance brokers is that the recent increase in Insurance Premium Tax to 12% has increased the number of drivers taking a chance on driving either without insurance or with incorrect/inadequate insurance. Another factor is the increased premiums resulting from another Government initiative – the Ogden Rate Review – which as drastically increased court-ordered personal injury lump sum awards.

It is believed that the percentage of uninsured or incorrectly insured vehicles on UK roads may be as high as 8-10%. If you are involved in an accident and cannot obtain the insurance information from anyone else involved, we recommend that you contact the police.