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HELP ! Non fault car incident - Hit by penalty


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Hi everyone,

 

I need some advice regarding an issue with my car insurance.

 

First a bit of background info. In December 2005 my car was parked outside shops and a third party reversed into the side of it. The driver appologised, admitted fault a gave insurance details. My car needed a new door panel and the whole incident was dealt with very quickly by the third parties insurance company. I did not have to pay anything and did not loose any No Claims Bonus.

 

In March 2006 at the expiration of my policy I switched to Admiral as they were the cheapest at the time. I filled in an online quote form. A question on the webiste asked "Have you had any Claims in the last 3 years". I ticked No as I took this to be at fault claims (there was no mention of non-fault accidents).

So I paid the premium (£389) and had a years insurance with Admiral.

 

A few weeks ago they sent me a renewal, the price was good and I was happy to renew the policy. The enclosed letter stated that I should check the details of the policy and if any are incorrect to let them know. Whilst checking I noticed that renewal form asks if you have had any claims in the last three years and now states "Including non fault accidents".

 

So I rang Admiral and the girl on the phone wasn't very pleased at all and questioned me about why I had failed to declare this in the first place, to which I explained as above and told her that to the best of my knowledge I had been honest.

 

She then tells me than because I failed to disclose it last year I will have to pay an extra £113 for my policy (which ends in a few days) and then a further £62 on top of next years policy if I choose to renew.

 

Two days later I receive a letter from them requesting this payment only now it has risen to £144 without any explanation as to why.

 

My question is can they do this and back charge this extra amount, and an amount of so much for a non-fault accident ? Is there any way of getting out of it.

 

Oh I forgot to mention, I still have 10 years no claims bonus.

 

 

Any comments much appreciated.

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Yeh they said that the additional £31 was the increase for the renewal (next years policy) even though I had already told them I wasn't going to renew. On the phone a few days ago they originally said it was £62.

 

But forgetting that, it's the £115 i'm not happy about, they wont waiver that or bring it down. I think it's ridiculous that if somebody hits a parked car the owner of that car then suffers such a hike in insurance.

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Hi,

 

This is an interesting one. On the one hand you are in the wrong for not declaring the claim. You've said yourself that the question on the quote was "have you had any claims in the last 3 years" Even though a full recovery was made, you were still involved in a claim so should have declared it as a non-fault claim (the option would have been on the form, usually something like "hit by third party - full recovery made").

As this should have been disclosed at point of sale then yes admiral are within their rights to backdate the amendment to the start of the policy as had it had been, the risk would have changed and therefore the premium may change too.

 

But.....

 

On the other hand i cant understand why admiral are charging an additional premium for a non-fault claim. Something like a speeding offence or a fault claim then I'd agree but i just cant see how they can justify anything let alone £115!

 

Might be worth calling them and asking why they are charging for adding on a non-fault claim, what rating has changed for them to justify this increase, where is the increase in the risk as you were completely exonerated of liability so theoretically it was as if the claim never happened.

 

Let us know how you get on

 

 

DA

If you find the advice I give is useful, then please feel free to click the scales :)

 

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" :)

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Thanks for that,

 

I called them today and they keep saying that it is my fault because I did not tell them when I took out the policy about the claim. Also it doesn't matter whether it is an at fault claim or non-fault claim, their underwriters see it as a "claim being made".

 

When asking about how that affects the risk catergory and about how they arrived at the figure of £113 they tell me "it is a Trade secret within Admiral and their underwriters which cannot be disclosed, even to Admiral staff, this is to avoid competitors knowing how Admiral reach their premiums"

 

I asked if they would consider waiving the fee in return for me renewing my policy with them (£426), but she said they wouldn't and the fee will stay regardless of whether or not I renew and it will not be written off under any circumstances.

 

Obviously they would rather get £113 than £426 and are basically using it as a punishment as I didn't mention it when I took the policy out.

It's an absolute joke.

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Thanks for that,

 

 

When asking about how that affects the risk catergory and about how they arrived at the figure of £113 they tell me "it is a Trade secret within Admiral and their underwriters which cannot be disclosed, even to Admiral staff, this is to avoid competitors knowing how Admiral reach their premiums"

 

 

 

That has got to be the best excuse for not giving out information that I've ever heard! what they really mean to say is "We don't know why it is charging more, the computer just shows an extra premium and we have to blindly follow it"

 

They really are having a laugh if they expect you to pay an additional premium but not explain to you what its for.

Ring them back, log a formal complaint, advise you want a formal response in writing, outlining the justification for the increase in the premium.

Explain to them that you are not prepared to pay the balance until you receive it, and that you will take this further to the ombudsmen to get this matter settled.

 

As far as renewing your policy with them goes, I'd seriously think about going elsewhere if it were me mate, I'm sure if you shop around you will find another insurer that will offer you cover for less than them.

 

Hope this helps

 

DA

If you find the advice I give is useful, then please feel free to click the scales :)

 

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" :)

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I have now rang them to log a complaint which they tell me I have to do in writing to their complaints department. Which I shall do.

 

I was only considering renewing with them if the were to waiver that fee.

I have managed to find another insurer quoting £370 with the non-fault included.

 

I'll send the complaint and you let know what they say.

Many Thanks.

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I'm afraid I think I'm going to have to side with the insurer in this particular case (although I don't work for Admiral). Here's my reasoning:

 

You are required to disclose all claims, including non-fault ones. If you are unsure as to the meaning of a question, it is best to contact an adviser for clarification. Even if you have a car accident which doesn't give rise to a claim (during the course of a policy) you are still required to disclose it. If you are still in any doubt as to whether a fact is material or not, the usual advice is to disclose it anyway. This reduces the risk of a claim being rejected at a later stage.

 

I know it seems unfair, but many insurers do charge more for people who have had non-fault claims. From what I've read on other forums, this is because if someone has had a non-fault claim, it makes it more likely that they will have an at-fault one in the future. I'm not really sure how this works, but ultimately the statisticians must have found a correlation between non-fault claims and future at-fault claims, in order to justify charging more for these drivers.

 

I know that in your case, the non-disclosure was innocent and that you didn't deliberately set out to mislead anyone. I do agree that the question should have been worded in a better way. The extra charge is not a punishment, it simply reflects the fact that you have been undercharged for your insurance over the last 12 months. So I think they are within their rights to recover the amount of the underpayment. The only other alternative would have been for them to void your policy completely, which would be even worse, as it would then become more difficult for you to find insurance in the future.

 

Furthermore, they are not required to disclose how they arrived at the figure. To do so would involve divulging their pricing strategy.

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I think part of the issue is why the quoted one price over the phone but another in writing. I would hope that anyone would find it reasonale that insurers would ask for the money they woul have charged had they know about the information in the first place.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have you tried using their website to get 2 quotes - one including the incident and another including the incident to see if their is any difference in price?

 

In all my years as a broker I have only ever encountered 1 insurer whereby an incident involving a full recovery could affect your premium but this was ONLY after you had 4 such incidents.

 

DA has it right where they say -

 

That has got to be the best excuse for not giving out information that I've ever heard! what they really mean to say is "We don't know why it is charging more, the computer just shows an extra premium and we have to blindly follow it"

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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Guest Aviva Support

Hi

Sadly, although the accident was not your fault, statistically you are at a higher risk of having an accident once you've had an accident of any kind. Also, they are entitled to backdate the premium to the start of the policy, this is better than them invalidating the cover full stop (which is something else they could do) However as someone else has said, you may find you get a better deal shopping around anyway.

Becca

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statistically you are at a higher risk of having an accident once you've had an accident of any kind.

 

With all due respect, may I ask how?

 

Leaving the innocent failure to disclose the claim to one side, it seems grossly unfair that having your empty parked car crashed into should directly make your premium increase. It also seems grossly unfair that the companies have the idea that if you leave your car in a legal and safe place to go shopping, and return to find someone has hit it, you are all of a sudden apparently a worse driver who is more likely to cause an accident in the future - even if you weren't even there when this accident occured.

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I & my BH had 3 non fault accidents in one year one of which involved a hit & run causing considerable damage. At no time did my Insurer even suggest they would increase the premuim.

 

the argument "your more likely to have an accident because you have already had one" is nonsense & I doubt would hold up in court - why? because where you live, your age, vehicle type, convictions if any etc has already been taken into account by the insurer when setting the premuim

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the argument "your more likely to have an accident because you have already had one" is nonsense

 

I couldn't agree more.

 

Just a fabrication to take more money from you. I've been victim of a non-fault accident and it didn't make me a worse driver. Also I know many people who've had non-fault accidents and they have gone on to drive for many years without incident, just as they had before. It does not change your driving one bit. If anything, it would make you MORE cautious and aware of other drivers, not less.

 

Any insurer that tries to claim that you are more likely to have an accident if you've had a non-fault one deserves to be abandoned by their customers.

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I put this to an old friend in underwriting. His response?

 

"If we have statistics to prove it, we're right and can charge whatever the hell we want".

 

Make of that what you will.

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yeh, but everyone knows that 74.6% of statistics are made up.

 

Besides, i still stand by my original post in that this is all a load of c**p and the OP should not be charged for making a non-fault claim.

 

 

DA:rolleyes:

If you find the advice I give is useful, then please feel free to click the scales :)

 

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" :)

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I put this to an old friend in underwriting. His response?

 

"If we have statistics to prove it, we're right and can charge whatever the hell we want".

 

Make of that what you will.

 

Should an Insurance Company claim that to me then I would demand to see the 'statistics' which, not being an actuary, I would have checked forthwith

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and they'd probably cite commercial sensitivity or one of the other hundreds of thousands of getout clauses available.

 

that conversation com up in the light of discrimination cases (difference in premiums between male and female drivers). The conversation started to go along the lines of race, religion etc. the response was that, where it not for anti-discrimination legislation, they probably would, so long as they didn't have to reveal it due to the uproar it would cause. He cited a particular ethinc minority in the UK and said theire driving skills were generaly appaling, and in 80% of cases where people of this group made a claim, fraud was suspected. He wasn't actually racist (despite the way it comes across). To him, it was all statistics, and if he could have, he would have started racial profiling in order to determine risk and, if he had his way, would have probably barred anyone of this certain group from having insurance (and probably even driving).

 

Again, I am not necessarily supporting that view, but his argument was, from an insurers point of view, compelling.

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This is why I've lost faith and respect for the insurance industry.

 

It's all crap & the most well known which many of the public fall fo are below

 

1/"Because there are more uninsured drivers on the road premiums have had to go up".

 

This couldn't have anything to do with the fact that premiums have increased to unfordable levels for many ordinary folk - I suppose:rolleyes:

 

2/"The cost of settling claims has risen"

 

You bet it has but NOT in a way most people are led to believe. The ONLY increase is in their own legal costs because they fight every claim even where liability or injury is obvious & victims are NOT receiving more in compensation

 

3/ "Due to the compensation culture there are more claims than before"

 

Before when? before the car was even invented perhaps!. If they mean before legal aid was dropped in 2000 for PI claims they are outright liars & they know it - why? because even their own research, as well as that of the government, revealed about 1 year ago that there are many fewer claims now than 10 years ago when LA was available

 

I'll include more IC myths later but I leave you with this thought, how is it that IC profits have rocketed in the last decade - couldn't have anything to do with increased premiums + the fact most IC's have gotten rid of their more highly paid & therefore experienced staff to replace them with kids many of whom are just out of nappies & can't spell liability let alone admit it - could it :roll:

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and they'd probably cite commercial sensitivity or one of the other hundreds of thousands of getout clauses available.

 

that conversation com up in the light of discrimination cases (difference in premiums between male and female drivers). The conversation started to go along the lines of race, religion etc. the response was that, where it not for anti-discrimination legislation, they probably would, so long as they didn't have to reveal it due to the uproar it would cause. He cited a particular ethinc minority in the UK and said theire driving skills were generaly appaling, and in 80% of cases where people of this group made a claim, fraud was suspected. He wasn't actually racist (despite the way it comes across). To him, it was all statistics, and if he could have, he would have started racial profiling in order to determine risk and, if he had his way, would have probably barred anyone of this certain group from having insurance (and probably even driving).

 

Again, I am not necessarily supporting that view, but his argument was, from an insurers point of view, compelling.

 

They might try that but as a customer expected to pay their premium I am entitled to know why I am paying what I'm paying. - Anyway actuary tables are not confidential trade secrets

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Well gyzmo whilst your comments about insurers don't surprise me one bit, all I can say is that they had better hope their premiums structure doesn't become public knowledge or they are going to have the racial equality board screaming down their neck & quite right to IMHO

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Would the insurance company have paid out if he claimed or the policy be void because of non-disclosure.

 

non-disclosure can only be used as a reason to void a policy in cases of proven fraud. usually the insurer would ask for payment of additional premiums before meeting a claim (or would reduce payout if a total loss). If the insured refused to pay they usually just cancel the policy.

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