According to the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) the number of 17-20 year olds driving without insurance has decreased by over 50% over the last three years. Calculations made by MIB suggest that in 2008 around a quarter of a million young drivers were driving without insurance, compared to current approximations that only 125,000 have no insurance. Although there are still approximately 1.2 million motorists currently uninsured on the road, young drivers are accountable for only 10 percent of this figure. The pressure of continuous Insurance Law Enforcement in conjunction with stricter road policies are said to be accountable for the significant decrease.
The motor insurance database scheme, which directly tackles the issue of uninsured drivers, is a key contributing factor to the recent statistics. The database involves co-operation between the motor insurance industry and the MIB, creating a database in order to discover any vehicles that aren’t insured or declared off road (SORN). This cross referencing of the database with DVLA records helps track down these uninsured drivers.
MIB Chief Executive, Ashton West had this to say: ‘‘Whilst the overall number of uninsured motorists in the UK is decreasing, and there is a very welcome drop amongst young drivers, there is still much work to be done.
‘‘There are more than a million drivers under the age of 20 on our roads, and having insurance in place is crucial to protect inexperienced young drivers and other motorists.
‘‘Uninsured driving adds £30 per policy per year to the cost of insurance premiums, resulting in £400m a year in costs to the industry.’’
For many new young drivers passing their test is the easy stage, as many cannot afford to drive. Insurance premiums are one of the fundamental reasons for this setback with a 20% hike in premiums since last year alone. Consequently you might anticipate a rise in young uninsured drivers to avoid such high premiums. In light of these premiums younger drivers are seeking alternate ways to cut down on their premiums such as black boxes, limiting driving times and becoming a named driver on their parent’s policy.
Although uninsured drivers are a contributing factor to increased premiums they are not the only cause for the inflation. Other reasons for increased premiums include dubious whiplash claimants, fraudulent ‘crash for cash’ claims and personal injury solicitors.
‘‘The fall in uninsured driving is good news, thanks largely to the efforts of the police and more recently the introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement.”
‘‘But we cannot be complacent. Uninsured drivers are a danger on our roads and that is why the government will continue to tackle uninsured drivers and leave them with nowhere to hide,’’ said Mike Penning, Road Safety minister.