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The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and the New Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement

The Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement is a government scheme designed to compensate the victims of uninsured drivers, who would not otherwise be able to obtain compensation for injuries and losses sustained in a road accident which is not their fault.

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The existing MIB Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement dates back to 1999. That Agreement had attracted much criticism over the years, as a result of various restrictions, exclusions and strike-out provisions imposed by the MIB that often resulted in victims not being compensated. For example, if various stringent notice provisions in the Agreement were not absolutely complied with, the MIB could avoid making payment to the victim. This was generally considered to be excessive and unfair.

Now, a new Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement has been signed and is about to come into force on 1 August 2015. The new Agreement will apply to accidents occurring after that date. It removes many of the procedural traps and conditions of the previous Agreement, including the stringent notice provisions.

What’s new?

  • It is in plain English. 

  • Vehicles owned by or in the possession of the Crown are excluded, even if driven by thieves.

  • No compensation is payable for a loss if the claimant has received compensation or an insurance payment from anyone other than the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. 

  • No compensation is paid for vehicle damage if the car was uninsured at the time of the accident and the claimant knew that. 

  • A passenger cannot claim compensation if they knew or should have known that the driver was uninsured or the vehicle was stolen. The bar only applies to the owner or registered keeper/user of the car. 

  • The MIB do not have to pay compensation if a motor insurer can claim indemnity from the claimant for allowing an uninsured person to drive. 

  • The maximum payable for damage to cars is £1 million.

  • The claimant must complete the MIB form and answer reasonable requests for further information, but it is no longer necessary to give the MIB seven days’ notice of commencing court proceedings.

  • Claimants must join the MIB as a party to court proceedings.

  • If, from the beginning, the claimant believed an insurer covered the defendant’s car and served the necessary notice on the insurer, but later discovered the insurer did not cover the car, the notice served on the insurer is enough for the MIB.

  • The MIB can make the claimant sue any prospective defendant but must provide them with an indemnity regarding costs. 

  • Any disputes about requests by the MIB can be determined by an arbitrator.

However, the new Agreement is not considered by some commentators to go far enough and it is argued that, in some respects, it does not even provide the minimum standard of protection required under European law.