A gentle reminder for all of you who practice in motor claims that the new Untraced Drivers Agreements and a supplemental Uninsured Drivers Agreements came into effect for all motor accidents occurring on or after 1 March 2017.
The earlier MIB agreements continue to apply to accidents which occurred prior to that date.
The most substantive changes to the Untraced Drivers Agreements
appear to be:
- The use of an MIB claim form is now compulsory whereas before the claim only needed to be made in writing;
- The requirement to report to police now only applies if the MIB reasonably requests them to do so;
- The position in cases of property damage remains largely the same. MIB will still only pay property damage claims arising out of the use of an unidentified vehicle above the excess where a claim for significant personal injury arising from the same event has been paid.
- The definition of significant personal injury has been changed and now requires death, 2 nights of hospital in-patient treatment (previously 4 days) or 3 sessions of hospital out-patient treatment (not previously covered). This is a significant reduction in the ‘significant personal injury’ threshold in such cases;
- Where a claim is brought by dependants or the estate of a deceased person the knowledge for determining whether a claim can be refused on the basis that the vehicle was known to have been stolen or was known to being used without insurance is now the knowledge of the deceased;
- The terrorism exclusion is removed;
- The exclusion of vehicle damage claims where the damaged vehicle was uninsured is removed.
- A new costs structure is applied which appears to reduce costs payable for claims up to £48,000 but increases costs where more than £48,000 compensation is paid;
- MIB can no longer ask for a lower award where there is an appeal against the original award;
- Awards to children and protected parties will now be subject to approval by an arbitrator in all cases (clause 14).
The most substantive changes to the Uninsured Drivers Agreements
appear to be:
- deletion of clause 7 (which excluded liability for damage to a vehicle which was also uninsured) This means that insurers handling a claim on behalf of the MIB against an uninsured motorist will no longer be able to refuse to meet a claimant’s vehicle damage claim where that vehicle is also uninsured.
- Deletion of clause 9 (which excluded terrorism from the scope of events covered) meaning that insurers handling claims on behalf of the MIB will be liable to meet claims against motorists who cause death, injury or property damage in the course of terrorist activity. Given recent terrorist events involving vehicles across Europe, this has the potential to be significant for motor insurers.
The Court of Appeal is expected to deliver judgment shortly in Cameron v Hussain & Ors
in which the Claimant has pursued the unidentified driver of an ‘insured’ car in an attempt to obtain a judgment which the insurer will have to satisfy under s.151 of the RTA 1988.
If the Claimant is successful this could lead to other such Claimants looking to pursue "unidentified” drivers of "insured” vehicles in the courts rather than making a claim under the Untraced Drivers Agreement in order to obtain higher recoverable costs.
We will of course report once that Judgment is released.
In the meantime the new Untraced Drivers Agreement and the supplemental Uninsured Drivers Agreement are available at: