What are the Untraced Drivers’ Agreements?
These agreements between the Secretary of State for the Environment and Transport and MIB explain the precise circumstances under which an application from a victim of untraced motorist will be paid.
In general terms, the 1972 agreement specifies that MIB will make an award for compensation to the victim of a negligent untraced motorist in respect of personal injuries only, where such injuries are caused by the use of a vehicle which is required to be insured by law.
The 1977 agreement simplifies, for certain cases, the procedures detailed under the 1972 agreement.
The 1996 agreement consolidates the 1972 and 1977 agreements, updates references to statute and introduces a further requirement that to be eligible for compensation the applicant must have reported the accident to the police within a reasonable period. The 1996 agreement applies in respect of accidents occurring on or after 1 July 1996.
The 2003 agreement applies in respect of accidents on or after 14 February 2003 and consideration will be given to property damage subject to the accident being reported to the police within 5 days or as soon as reasonably possible and the offending vehicle is identified. Claims will be subject to a £300 excess.
How do I know when to claim from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau?
Normally, it will be self evident as to whether a motorist has failed to stop after an accident or cannot be identified. However, since every accident involving personal injury must be reported to the police, they will tell you if their enquiries have failed to identify an offending motorist.
Nonetheless, it is helpful if you contact MIB as quickly as possible and you should note that applications under the agreement can only be considered if they are received within three years of the date of accident for personal injury or 9 months in respect of property damage claims.
What will happen when I contact the Motor Insurers’ Bureau?
MIB will require you to complete a claim form, using either a paper form or the online facility. Both are available from this site. You need to explain what has happened, giving details of your injuries and your losses and you will be asked to provide authority to obtain evidence from, amongst others, your doctor and your employers.
Investigations cannot commence until a claim form has been fully completed and submitted.
What happens after I have completed and submitted the claim?
MIB will investigate the claim. This usually involves contacting the police to obtain a copy of the report that they will have compiled. As soon as the police have confirmed that the accident has been reported, MIB will need to establish liability and may appoint a claims investigator to assist in taking statements and gather other claims related information.
How long will these enquiries take?
It is very difficult to give a precise answer, since so many factors are involved. For example, it may be necessary to wait until the police have completed their investigations; witnesses may prove to be elusive and your application may not be capable of valuation until you have achieved medical recovery. Enquiries will be completed as quickly as possible taking into account the circumstances of each case.
What happens when the enquiries have been completed?
The procedure will depend on whether your application is dealt with under the 1972, 1977, 1996 or the 2003 agreement.
The 1972 agreement requires that a full report of the evidence be made to the MIB and a formal decision in writing given.
The 1977 agreement introduces a simplified procedure under which an award can be discussed between your representatives and MIB (or MIB's agents) and if agreed you are asked to sign a form of receipt and discharge.
The 1996 agreement combines both procedures so that either the formal procedure as set out in the 1972 Agreement or the informal procedure as per the 1977 Agreement can be used.
If your application has to be dealt with under the formal procedure which generally applies to the more difficult or complex applications then the MIB or if an agent has been appointed, will compile a detailed report of the evidence for consideration. You will be advised of the decision but in the event that that decision is not acceptable, you will have a right of appeal to an independent Arbitrator whose decision will be final and binding on both you and MIB and will conclude the application.
Under the 2003 agreement there is a right to an oral hearing if all other aspects of the appeal procedure have been exhausted.