For the first time in a decade, the number of compensation lodged against uninsured drivers has risen. This was discovered by the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau) which compensates victims of uninsured drivers as well as hit and run accidents. The MIB states that in the year to July the number of cases submitted to the bureau rose almost 10% from 10,000 to 11,000,having declined from 25,000 in 2004. It is estimating to pay out £256million this year from the fees it collects from insurance companies, this will equate to around £15 added to the cost of the average motor insurance policy. These backups fear that motor insurance premiums are increasing driven by government tax hikes and controversial reforms to serious personal injury compensation, and this could be putting more motorist from taking out insurance.
The number of seizures of uninsured vehicles is also on the rise with 145,000 taken off the road in 2016. According to the MIB around 58,000 vehicles were crushed the bureau has said it has launched an investigation into why this has happened and has teamed up with the criminology department of the University of Leicester.
The chief executive of the MIB Ashton West has said that the latest figure highlights the devastating impact of uninsured driving on communities and families up and down the country. “Whilst we recognize there are a number of factors that could be impacting this increase in claims, increasing insurance costs may be tempting people to take the risk of driving without insurance.”
Motor insurance premiums have risen to record high levels with the average premium costing a motorist £484 which is an 11% increase over the last year. Younger drivers can expect to pay almost £1000 on average according to the Association of British Insurers. With the increase in IPT and Ogden Discount rate, motor premiums are still expected to rise.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation stated “The fear is that this surge is an unintended consequence of recent sharp rises in insurance premium tax which have resulted in big increases in premiums for all motorists, especially the young. If more drivers are trying to dodge soaring costs by not taking out any insurance at all then law-abiding road users will be left to pick up the bill as they see the price of their own policies go up further still.”
It is estimated that there are around 1 million uninsured vehicles on UK roads, compared with around 38million insured vehicles. The MIB has suggested a cause of the rise in claims against uninsured drivers could be the influence of aggressive personal injury claims firms which encourages those who are victims of motor accidents to pursue compensation.
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