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Making a claim against an uninsured driver

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Being in an accident is stressful enough without the added complication of the other motorist having no car insurance. While driving without insurance is  illegal, around 4 per cent of UK drivers take this risk. Understanding the claims process, your rights and critical steps helps ensure a fair outcome after an incident with an uninsured road user.

Driving without insurance leaves innocent parties exposed and liable for damage costs. This article outlines how to identify uninsured drivers, how to  make injury and vehicle claims and the impacts on your policy.

How common are uninsured drivers in the UK?

Shockingly, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau estimates that more than one million drivers regularly take to the roads without insurance in the UK.

Key facts about uninsured driving:

  • Uninsured drivers cause more than 26,000 accidents annually
  • The cost to insured motorists is approximately £500 million, in the form of higher premiums
  • One in every 38 cars on motorways is uninsured

Driving uninsured is illegal under the Road Traffic Act. Offenders face fines, licence endorsements and even vehicle seizure if caught. But penalties seem to be a minor deterrent. Having insurance helps compensate for costs you incur through others’ negligence.


Many insurers now include an “uninsured driver promise” as standard in fully comprehensive policies. This provides additional protection if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist.


The promise ensures you won’t lose your no-claims bonus if the accident isn’t your fault, as well as a refund of your policy’s excess once the claim has been settled. This ensures you won’t be left out of pocket if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.


Check your documents to confirm whether the promise is included and the full qualifying details.

How to tell if a driver is uninsured

You can check if a motorist carries valid insurance in two ways:

Check their details

  • Request evidence of their policy documents with the insurer’s name and policy number
  • Cross-check details directly with the provider

Use the Motor Insurance Database (MID)

  • The MID holds records of all insured vehicles in the UK
  • Perform a free check online or via the askMID phone service with the car registration
  • Police also have access via remote handheld devices

It’s important to verify the other driver’s insurance details are valid rather than taking their word for it to avoid a lengthy and difficult claims process.

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What happens if an uninsured driver hits you?

If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you should perform the following steps:

  1. Exchange details and verify their insurance status as shown above
  2. Lodge an accident report with the police within 24 hours. Leaving the scene without reporting is an offence
  3. Gather evidence, such as photos of damage, vehicle positions, road conditions, witness accounts and video, to support your version of events
  4. Contact your insurer promptly with the details. Provide the evidence gathered and confirm the third party’s lack of insurance
  5. Cooperate fully with your insurer’s investigations. It’ll handle claims against the at-fault uninsured driver on your behalf
  6. Pay your excess as usual if claiming. Your insurer will attempt recovery of this amount once it confirms who’s at fault and should refund this upon settlement
  7. If injuries are involved, seek medical assistance promptly and keep records for personal injury claims
  8. Arrange repair work or a replacement vehicle as per your policy

Good evidence proves liability if the negligent uninsured party disputes fault. Your insurer then acts to recover your costs directly from them, though this isn’t guaranteed.

Can you claim against an uninsured driver?

Pursuing financial compensation against an uninsured driver depends on your cover type. 

If you have a comprehensive policy, you can make a claim through your provider, but the process will be trickier because your insurer won’t be able to recover costs from an uninsured driver.

Third party and third party, fire and theft policies don’t include cover for accidents with uninsured drivers, so you won’t be able to make a claim through your provider. You can, however, try to claim compensation through the MIB, but this is a lengthy process.

What happens after a hit and run?

In the case of a hit and run, whereby you’re hit by another driver and they leave the scene of the accident without exchanging details with you, identifying the at-fault driver can be challenging, but you should still do the following:

  • Call the police to report the collision and any injuries or dangerous road conditions
  • Take photos of damage, skid marks, debris and injuries, plus any identifiable broken vehicle parts left behind
  • Get witness statements and check for any CCTV or dashboard camera footage capturing the incident or offending vehicle
  • Report to your insurer immediately with all evidence gathered to make a claim under your uninsured driver promise
  • Provide as much detail as possible about the incident and any identifiable vehicle clues

With minimal evidence, providers will likely settle claims under uninsured driver coverage, but they may investigate further or involve police. Lack of detail around the incident and the fleeing party makes uninsured driver claims involving hit and runs more challenging. So, make sure you gather what you can.

What happens if you hit an uninsured driver?

If you hold comprehensive cover and are at fault in an incident involving an uninsured driver:

  • Your liability protection applies to settle any injury or vehicle damage claims the uninsured party makes through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau
  • Your no-claims bonus will be reduced as standard after an at-fault claim. Check your policy wording on uninsured driver promise protection
  • Your premiums will increase at renewal due to the claim made against your policy, just as with an insured third party

However, the uninsured driver will still face consequences, including fines and penalty points or even the seizure of their car.

Can an uninsured driver make a claim against me?

Yes. Uninsured drivers can make an injury claim against you if you hold liability cover and are at fault for an incident. These claims don’t go through their insurance provider since they don’t have one. Instead, claims directly name you as the negligent insured party.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau provides a mechanism for uninsured drivers to pursue rightful claims. Your liability insurance still settles proven claims to prevent personal accountability. However, uninsured drivers can’t claim for vehicle damage from you. They carry this cost for driving illegally without insurance.

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Will a claim affect my no-claims discount?

If the incident is the uninsured driver’s fault, most comprehensive policies protect your no-claims bonus through their uninsured driver promise. If claims remain disputed, insurers often reduce discounts at renewal while investigations continue to determine liability. It gets reinstated upon confirming the other party’s fault.

For at-fault incidents, a claim against your liability cover affects your no-claims status as usual. Blamelessness due to the third party’s lack of insurance provides no exemption.

Frequently asked questions about claims against uninsured drivers

If caught, the offences include fines starting at £300, six licence penalty points and possible car seizure. Refusing insurance payouts is also common.

Yes. Policies must provide continuous coverage, even if the car is parked for long periods of time. A statutory off-road notification (SORN) is required to avoid paying insurance and road tax, but the vehicle must be kept on private land.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.