How insurance works
If you have recently been involved in an accident and are looking for some legal help then we are here to listen and advise you – contact us now!
If you have been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may also be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. See our Personal injuries page for more information on making a personal injury claim.
It is sometimes difficult to understand how insurance works after you have been involved in an accident, but hopefully the information below will help.
In the absence of insurance
If no insurance was in place, everyone who was involved in an accident would have to pay for their own vehicle damage in the first instance.
If it could be proved that another person had caused the accident, a claim could be made against them for vehicle damage. That claim could include a claim for damages for personal injury (e.g. loss of earnings, medical treatment, etc). In the absence of insurance, there would always be the risk that the person at fault would be unable to pay for the damage.
Fortunately, a situation where no insurance (in one form or another) is in place is rare.
Every motorist is obliged to have insurance. If a motorist doesn’t have insurance, they are committing a criminal offence (see our driving without insurance page).
If there is a party at fault, that party’s insurers will have to pay for any damage to the other party’s vehicle. In other words, if someone negligently crashes into you, you can claim off their insurance.
If the party at fault does not have insurance, you can usually claim from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. The process for doing this, particularly in personal injury cases, can be complex. Please get in touch with us for more information if you have suffered personal injury as a result of the negligence of an uninsured driver, because you will usually need a solicitor.
It follows that if you negligently cause an accident, and you cause damage to a third party, your insurer will have to pay out. That will usually have consequences for your no claims bonus, for example (i.e. you will lose it). However, there is not normally an excess to pay when a third party makes a claim against your insurance.
The comments above are general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or procedure. Expert advice should always be sought on this area. We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise.