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Car Engine problems and insurance won't pay


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Hello All,

 

It would be greatly appreciated if someone can advise on the situation i explain below.

My car (Ford Focus LX 2006 model Automatic) was bought from an authorised Ford dealer in June. It had around 36000 miles on it when i bought the car. Last week I was driving on the M6 and in a service station, I hit the Kerb while trying to get into the service station. The impact was not much and after that I checked the car and there was no visible issues with it.

So I drove off, but after 10 mins, the car Engine started overheating and so i pulled off on the hard shoulder. When i opened the bonnet i saw that all

the coolant had drained off. I tried pouring water but the water did not stay and it drained off. So I called the AA breakdown recovery. The man came in and said the Cylinder gasket has blown off and so it was a no-runner. He also said that since my policy did not have a relay i would have to hire a private recovery. So I had to book a private recovery that cost me £800.

 

Once it was in the ford garage from where i bought it, I was told that since this was an accident it would not be covered under the warranty. They charged me £200 to look at the issue. They found that the due to the accident, the radiator got pushed back into the belt causing a hole. This has caused the coolant to leak which inturn has caused the Engine to overheat and the cylinder gasket got damaged.

They quoted me that the charge was around £2500 and in the event that they find more problems with the car it could cost me upto £5000.

 

I contacted my insurance company who approved my claim and got their authorised garage to have a look. The inhouse engineer took pictures of the car and sent it to the insurance company.

But my insurance company is now saying that it will not cover the cost of the engine/gasket because, i drove the car without checking it properly.

 

I don't understand this because, the garage won't cover it since it is an accident and insurance won't cover it as well. So what is the purpose of having an insurance then???

I feel totally conned by the dealer and insurance company.

 

Is there anything i can do in terms of claims against the insurance?

I also do not understand how a minor impact can cause such a damage. Is there something i can ask for the dealers about this?

Please can someone advise of my rights in this case.

 

Please advice

 

Kan

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Basically there is very little you can do.

 

Your insurers are correct, they wont cover it because had you not driven the car after the initial impact then there wouldn't have been the subsequent damage to the engine. They are only responsible for accident damage and NOT any subsequent damage that would not have happened had the car not been driven.

 

The garage is also correct, their warranty will not cover accident damage and it was an accident that caused the damage BUT it was your actions that escalated the damage to it's current state.

 

I'm afraid you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.

 

Mossy

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Basically there is very little you can do.

 

Your insurers are correct, they wont cover it because had you not driven the car after the initial impact then there wouldn't have been the subsequent damage to the engine. They are only responsible for accident damage and NOT any subsequent damage that would not have happened had the car not been driven.

 

The garage is also correct, their warranty will not cover accident damage and it was an accident that caused the damage BUT it was your actions that escalated the damage to it's current state.

 

I'm afraid you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.

 

Mossy

 

I think the OP still has a case,if you claim etc from my experiance,the claims people always ask "is the car drivable?" if not they will arrange recovery. As the car was drivable & no visible signs of damage.

 

What does their policy wording say under "if you have an accident"?

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I think the OP still has a case,if you claim etc from my experiance,the claims people always ask "is the car drivable?" if not they will arrange recovery. As the car was drivable & no visible signs of damage.

 

What does their policy wording say under "if you have an accident"?

 

Sorry vusys1 but I disagree

 

The claims handler will probably do the following

 

1) Look at the damage

 

2) Ask the question was this caused by impact/accident, if yes pay

 

3) Ask the question was this caused by the action of the policyholder and not damaged in the accident, if yes don't pay

 

If you determine that a car is driveable after an accident then you take responsibility for anything that is wrong with it and any damage that it may cause. Ignorance is no defence, had the OP carried out a full inspection before driving away then it is reasonable to assume that they would have noticed coolant escaping from the vehicle, accordingly therefore I suspect that the Insurers will stick to their guns

 

Mossy

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I am sorry but hitting a kerb has nothing to do with a head gasket failure. That should be covered by the warranty. Only if hitting the kerb caused the fluid leak, which is highly unlikely, could this be classed as causing the head gasket failure. Was the only fluid leak from the head gasket? if so I would say there is no chance that kerbing could have caused it. If there was no visible damage from hitting the kerb, it's a shame you mentioned it at all as it has provided the insurers with an excuse not to pay up; albeit a highly dubious excuse.

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I am sorry but hitting a kerb has nothing to do with a head gasket failure. That should be covered by the warranty. Only if hitting the kerb caused the fluid leak, which is highly unlikely, could this be classed as causing the head gasket failure. Was the only fluid leak from the head gasket? if so I would say there is no chance that kerbing could have caused it. If there was no visible damage from hitting the kerb, it's a shame you mentioned it at all as it has provided the insurers with an excuse not to pay up; albeit a highly dubious excuse.

 

My understanding from the OP was that she hit a kerb, as a result of that impact the radiator was damaged or caused damage to another part of the coolant system. As a result of driving the car with no coolant the engine overheated and caused further damage in the shape of a blown gasket.

 

I'm no motor engineer but to me that does make sense that it could happen like that.

 

The warranty wont cover it because it wasnt a failure or a defect, it was caused my the car been driven with no coolant in it.

 

Mossy

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If the damage was caused by hitting the kerb as described, how come there was no evidence of a leak? Surely when the OP checked it would of been apparent that the radiator had been breached? This dosn't make sence to me. The OP must of hit the kerb with some force to damage the radiator!

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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every fender bender better call out for the recovery vehicles then;), when i had an accident they said go to a garage & get a quote for the repairs,not a mention of dont drive etc only is it drivable? yes.

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Neither do I understand why the AA did not recover the car to the nearest garage; even the most basic AA membership covers that, in the event that the AA patrol cannot effect a roadside repair. £800 for a tow seems extortionate beyond belief.

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Neither do I understand why the AA did not recover the car to the nearest garage; even the most basic AA membership covers that, in the event that the AA patrol cannot effect a roadside repair. £800 for a tow seems extortionate beyond belief.

 

The OP has stated that they did not have relay, if they only paid for roadside repair and it isn't possible to repair the car at the roadside then the AA will not arrange recovery, you need Relay for that.

 

The OP opted for a cheaper policy from the AA and was given the level of service commensurate with that policy.

 

£800 is a lot of money for a recovery, but this is a fairly typical figure for a recovery from the motorway. I'd certainly suggest to anyone taking out breakdown cover to pay the extra £20 or £30 to make sure that recovery/relay is included, you only need one breakdown for it to pay for itself.

 

Mossy

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The OP has stated that they did not have relay, if they only paid for roadside repair and it isn't possible to repair the car at the roadside then the AA will not arrange recovery, you need Relay for that.

 

The OP opted for a cheaper policy from the AA and was given the level of service commensurate with that policy.

 

£800 is a lot of money for a recovery, but this is a fairly typical figure for a recovery from the motorway. I'd certainly suggest to anyone taking out breakdown cover to pay the extra £20 or £30 to make sure that recovery/relay is included, you only need one breakdown for it to pay for itself.

 

Mossy

 

Basic AA membership includes recovery to the nearset garage which is totally seperate from Relay cover.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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So why didn't the AA recover them to a garage then?

 

Mossy

 

Thats a question the OP should be asking the AA. Their basic 'Roadside Assistance' cover includes towing the vehicle to the nearest garage if a repair cannot be done at the roadside. More info click on link;

 

Breakdown Cover : Policy Summary - The AA

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I've heard that sometimes the AA won't tow you from a services but would tow you if you pushed your car out of the services and onto the hard shoulder ! imho the RAC are much better and more helpful.

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I've heard that sometimes the AA won't tow you from a services but would tow you if you pushed your car out of the services and onto the hard shoulder ! imho the RAC are much better and more helpful.

 

Ed if you read the OP, it states he had broken down 10 minutes down the road which would of put him about 6 miles from the services. I also note that the OP has not contributed further to the thread for example; questions I asked in post #7?

Edited by sailor sam

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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