We’ve been looking at the news out last week from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) regarding the problem of uninsured driving in the UK.
You may be aware that in June this year the Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme came into effect. This means that it is now an offence to own
(rather than just drive) any uninsured vehicle unless it is covered by a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). In turn this should make it easier for the enforcement authorities to find uninsured vehicles, take them off the road and take action against their drivers. By the way, you can check your own vehicle’s status for free at www.askmid.com.
This is good news for the 96% of Britain’s law abiding motorists who are insured, because it is estimated that uninsured driving adds an extra £30 a year to every policy sold – that equates to a massive £500 million a year. Why? Because the damage caused by uninsured drivers is funded by insurers who, in turn, pass on that cost to the rest of us.
Meanwhile, back at those MIB statistics, there’s some interesting stuff. Firstly the good stuff! In the last 5 years the number of uninsured vehicles on the UK’s roads has declined by about 500,000, or 25%.
Now the not so good. The UK remains one of the worst countries in Western Europe when it comes to uninsured driving, with an estimated 4% of motorists (that’s about 1.4 million people) breaking the law and jacking up car insurance prices for the other 96%. And these people aren't just costing us money. The MIB estimates that in an average year they are responsible for some 160 deaths and 23,000 injuries on our roads – in fact uninsured drivers are 5 times more likely than insured motorists to be involved in accidents, break road laws or be engaged in other criminal activity.
The MIB study goes on to highlight Britain’s uninsured “hotspots”, the postcodes that have the greatest proportion of uninsured drivers. Fifteen of the worst 20 postcodes in the country are located in Birmingham and Bradford. Because insurers use postcode as a key risk factor, honest (insured) drivers in these areas will be paying higher premiums than equivalent drivers living in other postcodes.
The moral of the story? It’s in the interests of all drivers to get uninsured motorists off the road. If you’re a law abiding, insured driver and you know someone driving without insurance, just remember how much more you are be paying for your car insurance because of them.