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Help with stubborn insurance companies


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On 22nd January this year I was involved in a minor accident. Whilst moving slowly in traffic a van ran into the back of my car. The van can't have been doing more than about five mph as I came to a stop.

 

At the time of the accident the other driver refused to give any details of himself or the company he worked for but gave me a mobile phone number of who he said was his boss.

 

The following morning I rang the number and tried to explain what had happened but a very angry man at the other end just kept telling me to f***k off.

 

I reported the incident to the police and the van turned out to belong to a lease company but the lease company couldn't supply details of the driver. The police issued a notice of intended prosecution which resulted in the details been given.

 

In the meantime my insurance found out who the van was insured with and contacted them claiming they where liable for my damage.

 

My insurance agreed within a couple of days to repair my car but I would have to stand the excess of £350 till liability was sorted. As the car was still drivable I said I would wait till liability was sorted.

 

Now over three months later this is still not sorted. My insurance have said they can't do anything until the other insurance admit liability and can't take them to court unless they have a financial loss so would have to pay the excess and have the car repaired first.

 

I therefore spoke to the other insurance company and they have confirmed despite asking three times for an accident report form from there client they have not done this. They have told me they wont deal with it till there client fills in an accident report form.

 

So everything is dead lock unless I have my car repaired and stand the £350 until it is sorted if it ever gets sorted and risk losing some of my no claims bonus.

 

Any ideas what to do next as it seems to me the insurance have a policy of ignoring and hoping it will go away?

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OK I'm assuming you are fully comp with an excess.

 

Ask your insurer for a payment in lieu of repairs, that's where they pay you the amount of the estimate (usually less VAT until you actually have the work done), you are entitled to this so they cannot refuse.

 

Now they have incurred a financial loss they can issue the Court Summons.

 

Alternatively (although this is risky unless you know what you are doing), you tell your insurer that you wish to handle it personally and then you use the other party for the full cost of repairs PLUS any uninsured losses (excess, hire car, expenses etc).

 

The other persons insurance company is correct, until they receive a request for indemnity (ie an accident report form) there is nothing they can do, hence why any Court summons is issued on the other party and NOT on their insurance Company.

 

Mossy

 

PS Yes you stand to lose some of your NCB because it is a no claims bonus and you are making a claim, it's not a no fault bonus, so until your insurers recover their outlay your NCB is affected

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Just to add, it is my understanding that an insurer cannot refuse to deal on the basis of no report from their insured forever. I think after a 6 month period of no response, insurers will generally accept liability anyway. Of course, I am sure you do not wish to wait for so long.....

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Spoke to my insurance yesterday with a view to having payment in lieu of repairs. They will contact me with a date when the assessor is coming to look at the car. Once they have paid me they will start legal proceedings as they will then have a financial loss.

 

Also tried again to speak to the other party's insurance which is Norwich Union. Even though they promised to call back they never did. When you call them they contact you to an Indian call centre where you get to speak to somebody who has no understanding of the situation, can't make a decision, and can only read from a script which isn't in there native tongue. They then pass you on to the same again and again and again until you are that feed up you just give up.

 

Also emailed the customer service rep from Norwich Union that posts on here on Thursday evening but haven't even had a courtesy email back.

 

Seems to me Norwich Union are just another poor quality company that will do there best to avoid payment at all cost even when it's obvious they should now sort this. I doubt any reasonable person would disagree they have had long enough to sort.

 

Looks like I will be adding Norwich useless to the list of companies I personally will never use and will allways recommend to others not to use.

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At the very first instance, the van driver committed an offence by refusing to give you his details. At the scene of a collision, it is a legal requirement for the parties involved to inform each other of their personal details and insurance companies.

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At the very first instance, the van driver committed an offence by refusing to give you his details. At the scene of a collision, it is a legal requirement for the parties involved to inform each other of their personal details and insurance companies.

 

That is incorrect

 

It is only a guideline that you exchange details and NOT a legal requirement.

 

You can refuse to give your details to the other party providing you report the accident to the Police within 24 hours of the accident.

 

And furthermore there is no legal requirement whatsoever to disclose your insurance company to the other party.

 

Mossy

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It is only a guideline that you exchange details and NOT a legal requirement.

 

You can refuse to give your details to the other party providing you report the accident to the Police within 24 hours of the accident.

 

And furthermore there is no legal requirement whatsoever to disclose your insurance company to the other party.

 

Road Traffic Act 1988, section 170:

Duty of driver to stop, report accident and give information or documents

 

(1) This section applies in a case where, owing to the presence of a motor vehicle on a road, an accident occurs by which—

(a) personal injury is caused to a person other than the driver of that motor vehicle, or

(b) damage is caused—

(i) to a vehicle other than that motor vehicle or a trailer drawn by that motor vehicle (...)

 

 

(2) The driver of the motor vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address and also the name and address of the owner and the identification marks of the vehicle.

 

 

(...)

 

 

(4) A person who fails to comply with subsection (2) (...) is guilty of an offence.

 

 

Section 171 says:

 

 

171 Duty of owner of motor vehicle to give information for verifying compliance with requirement of compulsory insurance or security

 

(1) For the purpose of determining whether a motor vehicle was or was not being driven in contravention of section 143 of this Act on any occasion when the driver was required under section 165(1) or 170 of this Act to produce such a certificate of insurance or security, or other evidence, as is mentioned in section 165(2)(a) of this Act, the owner of the vehicle must give such information as he may be required, by or on behalf of a chief officer of police, to give.

(2) A person who fails to comply with the requirement of subsection (1) above is guilty of an offence.

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If you go through the entire Road Traffic Act, included the 'as amended sections' you will learn why it is not an offence providing you report the accident within 24 hours to a Police Station.

 

Your original post also stated that it was an offence not to disclose details of your insurance company to the other person, the RTA deals with disclosing them to a Police Officer.

 

If you are in any doubt then please feel free to ask a policeman or a solicitor the following question

 

If a motorist is involved in an accident which involved damage to a third party car, the motorist left the scene without exchanging details and within 24 hours they reported the accident to the Police. Has the motorist committed an offence.

 

The answer you will get to that is No

 

Mossy

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Yes you are right, that is the rule in theory but definitely not in practice. I would advise anyone NEVER EVER to take the risk of not swapping over details at the scene, even if you plan to go and report it at a police station within 24 hours. I was once involved in a minor non-fault prang in traffic, I explained to the 3rd party I was in a hurry to get to a hospital as I was carrying a very ill relative and that I would report it to a station and they should do the same. The 3rd party was very understanding and had no problem with this. I duly went to the station a few hours later to report it, all I got was a barrage of verbals from the officer, I couldn't even get a word in edgeways to explain that what I had done was not illegal as I was here reporting it to a police station as per section 170 of the RTA. I was charged without even being able to explain anything as I quite literally could not get a word in edgeways. Because I was young at the time, it made matters worse as they saw me as a typical young driver causing trouble (even though it was established later by the insurers that I was 100% blameless for the collision).

 

So I was duly charged and sent to court. When the day came and the charges were read against me, the judge asked me what I had to say for myself. I explained calmly that I was indeed involved in a collision and did not swap details at the scene, but as per RTA Section 170, I reported the accident to a police station less than 24 hours (3 to be precise) after the incident.

 

The judge then asked me why I didn't explain this at the time, because then there would have been no need whatsoever for a court case. I replied that I had been shouted down and quite literally had not been given the opportunity to explain myself at the time. The judge threw out the case and there were no doubt some red faces at the local nick.

 

Conclusion: ALWAYS swap details at the scene, don't take the long route, it could cost you a lot of time and money and even a court appeareance.

 

My apologies for the incorrect information about the insurance details, I realise now that is not true.

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