Driving Without Valid Car Insurance
The Law, The Facts: Driving a vehicle on a (UK) road or public place without insurance against third party risk is an offence contrary to Section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. In short you are Breaking The Law. Possible punishments include a £5,000 fine and 6-8 points on your driving licence. There is also a distinct possibility of being disqualified from driving.
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On 1 June 2003 driving uninsured became an offence for which, instead of prosecution, a fixed penalty could be offered. The level of the fixed penalty was set at £200 plus 6 penalty points (the Fixed Penalty (Amendment) Order 2003, S12003 No 1254).
The requirement is for the driver to be insured in respect of the use of specified vehicles, rather than the vehicle to be insured for use by specified persons. The driver may be insured to use one or more specified vehicles only or to use any vehicle with the consent of the owner.
Whilst some drivers intentionally take the risk of being caught with no motor insurance, others drive without insurance simply by mistake. Unfortunately this doesn’t prevent possible prosecution by the police.
A Growing Problem
The number of drivers with no valid insurance is a significant and growing problem. With this background the Government has consulted on a proposal for a scheme of Continuous Enforcement of Motor Insurance Requirements, designed to reduce the current levels of uninsured driving in the UK.
The involvement of uninsured drivers in fatal road traffic accidents has been the subject of considerable public and media pressure for action. In the UK it is estimated that there are around 1.2 million persons – one in twenty motorists – driving regularly whilst uninsured.
Uninsured drivers impose a significant financial burden on honest motorists, estimated at around an additional £30 a year on their premiums. The damage they inflict in road traffic accidents results in large numbers of claims against the industry-maintained Motor Insurers’ Bureau or against the policies of insured drivers.
For drivers still within the 2-year probationary period prescribed by the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, an IN10 conviction, or fixed penalty notice for driving without insurance leads in addition to a probable fine, to the revocation of their driving licence and the necessity to retake a driving test.
Impact on Your Car Insurance Premiums
Driving without valid insurance will have a serious impact on your motor premiums. In short they will increase hugely. You will be viewed by all insurers as a major risk, with some companies possibly refusing to provide cover.
BIBA is actively supporting a campaign for the government to reduce the number of drivers who are breaking the law and putting innocent drivers at risk. BIBA has answered a number of questions for consumers to help keep honest drivers safe and protected. For example:
Q. What should I do if I am involved in an accident with an uninsured driver?
A. While at the scene of the accident you must take the registration number, make and model of the other vehicle, and call the Police at once. It is far better if the Police attend the scene, as they will be able to check the details against the Motor Insurance Database and determine whether the driver is insured or not.
Detection Rates Rising
Detection of the offence will be increased significantly by the expanded use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology. This enables the police to make immediate checks against relevant databases, including the Motor Insurers’ Database (MID).