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Drivers without Insurance in France

Wednesday 08 September 2021

Nearly 30,000 people were victims of an accident involving an uninsured driver in France last year.

The figure comes from the annual report of the statutory compensation fund, the Fonds de Garantie des Assurances Obligatoires de dommages (FGAO).

The fund operates in a similar manner to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) in the UK and other commensurate bodies elsewhere around the globe.

In the event of an accident involving an uninsured driver, claims made by victims to their insurer are referred to the FGAO for compensation to be paid. The FGAO is funded by a levy on the insurance policies of drivers as well as a separate levy on insurers.

Last year, the fund received over 27,000 requests for compensation, down 14% from 2019, but in the context of the Covid crisis when total road accidents were down by 20% from 2019.

The fund paid out €106 million to accident victims, of which €91 million went to those who suffered injury in the accident, a reduction of 8% on 2019 but still nearly 16% up on 2015.

Not surprisingly, the profile of the uninsured drivers were 60% aged under 35 years, on a low income, of whom 80% were male. Over a quarter of those who were uninsured did not have a driving licence.

Philippe Roux, director of the FGAO, stated that; "The current situation may soon reveal a population that will not necessarily have the means to insure itself."

On average, 2.8 accidents were caused by uninsured people per 10,000 vehicles in France, but the largest number of uninsured accidents occurred in those departments where the general accident rate is highest - Seine-Saint-Denis (15.3), le Val-de-Marne (8.1), le Val-d’Oise (7), Paris (6.5) and the Bouches-du-Rhône (6.2).

Since 2019, France has had in place a national database (Fichier des Véhicules Assurés - FVA) of insured vehicles, supplied to the police by the insurers. Using the FVA in tandem with the national vehicle registration system, the government estimate that there are around 700,000 drivers in France driving without insurance and 600,000 without a driving licence.

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