Transport secretary signs new uninsured drivers’ agreement

MIB simplifies Agreement and aligns with European Union Law

The MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) announces the implementation of a new Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement which will come into force for accidents occurring on or after 1 August 2015.

The 1999 Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement and prior Agreements still continue to be in force for accidents occurring before 1 August 2015.

The Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement provides a framework within which the MIB provides compensation to innocent victims of accidents with uninsured drivers in Great Britain. The Agreement is made with the Secretary of State for Transport and is reviewed periodically to incorporate any necessary changes.

The current Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement has been in operation for the past 16 years. A review was carried out in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT), which conducted a consultation in 2013 with a range of claimant and insurer stakeholders. The new Agreement now reflects:

Changes to domestic and EU law

Developments in case law

Changes in MIB working practices

A simplification or deletion of some clauses

Some of the principal changes are:

Simplified notice provisions, involving the mandatory joinder of MIB into proceedings as a named party from the outset.

The passenger knowledge exclusions have been amended in several ways:

The current wording “ought to have known” has been replaced by “had reason to believe”. This better reflects the legal position following White v White and also follows the wording in the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The exclusion relating to passenger knowledge of use in furtherance of a crime is deleted as a result of Delaney v Secretary of State 2015. In addition, the related clause dealing with knowledge of escaping from or avoiding lawful apprehension is also removed.

The formal incorporation of the £1m property damage limit from the Supplementary Agreement, together with wording as to how to apply the limit, if claims are received from an accident which total more than the limit.

In the clause dealing with “other sources of recovery”, not only are true subrogated claims excluded, but also claims where the claimant has other sources of redress available to him. If, for example, the claimant has a comprehensive insurance policy available to cover the cost of repair to his vehicle, then MIB will not be able to pay that cost.

The Agreement has been extended to recognise the common practise of settlement of a claimants claim using a form of assignment.

Ashton West, Chief Executive at MIB commentated: “Following on from the review various changes and improvements were made and the new Agreement is now easier to understand and better reflects the world we live in today. Obviously there have been a myriad of changes over the past 16 years, in particular to domestic and EU law. What hasn’t changed though is our promise to deliver a prompt, open and fair service to everyone we deal with.

“We are now turning our attention to completing the review of the Untraced Agreement and working with the DfT to produce a new text. In the meantime, a Supplementary Agreement comes into force for accidents on or after 1 August 2015. This harmonises the two Agreements in relation to the issues dealt with by the Delaney case, and also in respect of ‘other sources of recovery’.”

The supplementary Untraced Agreement, the new Uninsured Agreement, Notes for Guidance and a Correlation Table easily highlighting the differences between the 1999 and new Agreement can be found on the MIB’s website at www.mib.org.uk.   The Government’s response to the consultation can be found at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-uninsured-and-untraced-drivers-agreements.