A new Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement will come into force for accidents occurring on or after 1 August 2015, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) has announced.
With the current agreement in operation since 1999, the Department for Transport consulted on changes in 2013, and has finally approved a new version.
The 1999 and prior agreements will continue to be in force for accidents occurring before 1 August.
The MIB said the new agreement reflects changes to domestic and EU law, developments in case law, changes in MIB working practices, and a simplification or deletion of some clauses
The main changes include:
- Simplified notice provisions, involving the mandatory joinder of MIB into proceedings as a named party from the outset;
- Amendments to the passenger knowledge exclusions, such as:
- The current wording ‘ought to have known’ has been replaced by ‘had reason to believe’.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 has been deleted as a result of this year’s ruling Delaney v Secretary of State. In addition, the related clause dealing with knowledge of escaping from or avoiding lawful apprehension has also been 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; and
- The agreement has been extended to recognise the common practise of settlement of a claim using a form of assignment.
MIB chief executive Ashton West said: “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 Department for Transport 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’.”