For those with Motor Insurers Bureau claims a new Uninsured Driver Drivers agreement comes into force on the 1st August 2015. Here we look at the major changes.
THE KEY POINT
The rules are now much simpler. The key points are:
- To submit an application to the MIB in the proper form.
- To join the MIB into the action at the outset.
THE OLD AGREEMENT
The previous agreement was always controversial. It introduced a large number of procedural steps, default in any one of which could lead to the MIB escaping liability. The harshness of these rules was later mitigated by the introduction of a voluntary Code of Practice. Most, but not all, of the difficulties could be overcome by ensuring the MIB were a party to the action at the outset.
As a result of the consultation the MIB the Department of Transport concluded:
- The procedural requirements imposed by the 1999 agreement were cumbersome and placed an unfair burden on claimants.
- The requirements needed simplifying whilst, at the same time ensuring that the MIB was given adequate warning of proceedings where it may be involved.
The new agreement replaces the old provisions with simplified rules for notification. These include:
- A requirement for the claimant to give the MIB such information as it may reasonably require.
- A requirement to name the MIB in the claim form at the outset.
Consequently the MIB should receive all the relevant court notices and procedural documentation in the same way that a defendant does. This removes the need for the claimant to take separate steps to notify the MIB.
AN END TO THE UNLUCKY CLAUSE 13
Clause 13 of the old agreement required claimants, as a condition precedent to the MIB’s liability, to pursue insurance details of the relevant driver and to ledge a complaint with the police. This obligation has been ended (and was not being relied on by the MIB in any event).
APPOINTMENT OF ARBITRATORS
Certain parts of the Agreement required any dispute to be arbitrated upon by the Secretary of State. This was rarely used. However independent arbitrators have now been appointed.
END OF THE SOME OF THE EVIDENTIAL PRESUMPTIONS OF KNOWLEDGE THAT DRIVER WAS NOT INSURED
The Agreement still does not cover those who enter a vehicle knowing it is not insured. However some of the provisions in the 1999 agreement which attended to raise an evidential presumption against the claimant have been removed. The clause which reversed the burden of proof when a claimant knew that the driver was not the registered keeper, or employee of the registered keeper, of the vehicle or any other vehicle has been removed.
Part 8 of the agreement reads.
8. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), MIB is not liable for any claim, or any part of a claim, in respect of a relevant liability by a claimant who, at the time of the use giving rise to that liability, was voluntarily allowing himself to be a passenger in the vehicle and, either before the start of the claimant’s journey in the vehicle or after its start if the claimant could reasonably be expected to have alighted from it, knew or had reason to believe that –
(a) the vehicle had been stolen or unlawfully taken; or
(b) the vehicle was being used without there being in force in relation to its use a contract of insurance complying with Part VI of the 1988 Act.
(2) Paragraph (1) only applies where the relevant liability is incurred by the owner or registered keeper or a person using the vehicle in which the claimant was a passenger.
(3) The burden of proving that the claimant knew or had reason to believe any matter set out in paragraph (1) is on MIB but, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof by MIB of any of the following matters is to be taken as proof of the claimant’s http://www.mib.org.uk MIB Uninsured Agreement | 6 knowledge of the matter set out in paragraph (1)(b) –
(a) that the claimant was the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle or had caused or permitted its use;
(b) that the claimant knew the vehicle was being used by a person who was below the minimum age at which he could be granted a licence authorising the driving of a vehicle of that class; or
(c) that the claimant knew that the person driving the vehicle was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence.
(4) In the case of a claim brought by the dependants or estate of a deceased person who could otherwise have made a claim under this Agreement had they survived, it is the state of knowledge of the deceased which is determinative for the purpose of determining a claimant’s state of knowledge under paragraph 8(1) where “dependant” has the same meaning as the term- (a) “dependant” in section 1(3) of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 in England and Wales; and (b) “relative” in the Damages (Scotland) Act 2011 in Scotland. (5) For the purposes of this clause –
(a) references to the claimant being a passenger in a vehicle include references to the claimant being carried upon or entering or getting on to or alighting from the vehicle;
(b) knowledge which the claimant had, or had reason to have, includes knowledge of matters which the claimant could reasonably be expected to have been aware of had the claimant not been under the self-induced influence of drink or drugs; and
(c) the “owner”, in relation to a vehicle which is the subject of a hiring agreement or a hire-purchase agreement, means the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement.”
END OF THE “CRIME” EXCLUSION
The “crime” exclusion has been taken out of the Agreement as a result of the decision in Delaney -v- Secretary of State for Transport  EWCA Civ 172