At present motor policies are hit by the knock on effect of uninsured drivers and the financial implications they create; so any steps to deter uninsured drivers would be a move in the right direction.
(PRWEB) September 14, 2008
According to comparethemarket.com, the price comparison site, UK drivers are paying, on average, £31 a year more on their car insurance in order to cover for people who are uninsured, equating to more than £500m. This figure doesn't take into account the financial costs surrounding accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
In addition, YouGov research released today by comparethemarket.com reveals 87% of motorists feel that the Government doesn't do enough to prevent people driving without insurance and are calling for tougher penalties.
At present, the lack of clear and concise penalties for drivers flouting the law serves as little deterrent to would-be illegal motorists. In fact, the average fine for getting caught driving without insurance in the UK is just £250, which 79% of respondents felt was too low.
Aside from the incremental price increases for a policy, 68% of motorists involved in an accident with an uninsured driver had to incur liability and either pay for the incident themselves (19%) or claim on their own insurance (49%), potentially jeopardising no claims bonuses that may have been accrued. From the survey sample, more than one in 10 respondents (12%) had been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
"comparethemarket.com is keen to get consumers the best possible deal on their motor insurance. One way the Government can help with this objective is to take action to reduce the number of illegal drivers on Britain's roads and that has to be through more severe penalties. If the number of illegal drivers decreases then the industry will have more flexibility in pricing policies for law abiding motorists," said Jeremy Moll, Head of Insurance, comparethemarket.com. "At present motor policies are hit by the knock on effect of uninsured drivers and the financial implications they create; so any steps to deter uninsured drivers would be a move in the right direction."
CompareTheMarket.com deserves credit for highlighting the extent to which uninsured drivers are a serious menace on British roads," said Theresa Villiers, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. "They are adding money on to every law-abiding driver's insurance premium at a time when the cost of living is increasing sharply.
It is high time the Government took decisive action on this problem. The average penalty for an uninsured driving offence is a fraction of the cost of a year's car insurance, incentivising law-breaking. That cannot be right, and I hope Ruth Kelly will pay attention to the 87% of motorists who have told this survey that she should do something about it. Motorists have had enough of footing the bill for uninsured drivers."
"It's clear that any deterrent to the problem of uninsured drivers in the UK would be welcome. It's a major problem in this country and it's an unfortunate consequence that legal drivers have to bear the cost of this type of crime. Awareness of the potential penalties needs to be increased so it makes drivers think twice before taking to the roads uninsured," said Ashton West, Chief Executive for the Motor Insurers' Bureau.
The research also identified some regional variances including:
Londoners were most likely to pay for damage caused by an uninsured driver themselves, with 46% choosing to foot the bill*.
Almost 6 in 10 Northerners (59%) have had to pay for damages themselves when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, whilst in the Midlands this falls to 46%.
*Based on very small base sizes which is not statistically robust