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Settling car insurance on a 50 50 basis

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A year ago someone reversed into me as I was waiting to pull out onto a main road from a car park and turn left. Traffic on the main road was stationary and the car reversed so that it could get into a parking bay, they did not check their mirrors, I started to reverse out of the way but was hit before i could completely get out of the way. The other driver claims they were stationary and I just pulled out into them. I maintain that the photos show that the position of the vehicles after the bump, back up my version based on the points of impact. It was only the front left corner of my car that touched the rear left corner of their car. Based on the photos if I had pulled out into a stationary car the front of my car would have hit the rear side of their car. After a year of this going nowhere due to the other insurance co dragging their feet and my insurance co not actively chasing them I have been told that they are going to settle 50/50 - I will loose out on £125 of my excess and suffer the extra cost of cover.

They do not seem interested in trying to match up the two versions and using an analytical approach to the points of damage, and positions of vehicles


I have pushed this as far as I can with the company, spent hours on the phone, and have also raised a complaint about the delays and the fact that no one ever calls back when they say they will. I feel they just want this out the way as it has dragged on too long. They keep telling me that unless they have a completely water tight case they will not go to court for fear of loosing.

I feel completely let down by privilege

Any help on how to proceed would be really appreciated:-x

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I'm struggling to picture this based on the description, where was this parking bay they were reversing into? Could you provide the location so I can look at it on a map site?


It seems unlikely a driver would just reverse into a clearly visible stationary vehicle at a junction and judges tend to decide cases based on what's the more likely version of events - 'on the balance of probabilities'. I can see why your insurers don't want to run this to court, there's a distinct chance a judge will ignore the photo and just say it's one persons word against another, then criticise the insurers for not taking a 50:50 deal before court. A court hearing for a minor accident isn't like a criminal trial that can run on for weeks. For the sake of argument say the claims worth £2000, your insurers have a choice between agreeing settlement now and paying £1000 or running it to court in which case they might pay nothing if they win but if they lose or the other side get the 50:50 they've offered then your insurers end up paying full hearing costs - say £10,000. It sounds like the reward of a hearing here simply doesn't justify the risk.

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Thank you very much for your reply.


I have uploaded the diagram I made for my claim

It was dark and wet at the time, it was a busy high street with christmas shoppers, that would be the only reason i could come up with why someone would reverse without checking properly.


I naively believed that the reason for having insurance was to cover you if things went to court,you would not have to worry about the cost or risk of loosing, the reality is clearly quite different.


My diagram shows the third party car partially in front of my car, my photos also confirm that. Based on their explanation i would have had to have reversed after driving into them then driven forward into the final position in the photos. They have not claimed that, only that I drove into them.


I appreciate now that a court is probably not too concerned about the intricate detail and is looking for a simple explanation so this is all probably a lost cause, which actually suits both insurance companies fine but leaves me at their mercy for higher premiums.

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That's much clearer, thanks.


Your sketch shows the extreme corners of the vehicles coming into to contact - if that's the case then I'm afraid the 50:50 sounds like the best bet assuming the other drivers evidence is reasonably decent. If you had damage a few inches further back than that, ie wing instead of bumper corner it would put you in a much better position, however I suspect if that were the case you would have shown it differently in the diagram. Have your insurers provided you with a statement/diagram from the other driver? They're not obliged to give your insurers one but it's pretty common practice.


Looks like the other driver was really pushing their luck reversing like that without paying attention but if they are happy to lie about it then sadly it's a very simple lie to tell, just deny having any intention of parking at all. No doubt they'll also state the photo's were taken after the vehicles were repositioned. I suspect in 10 years or so a lot of folks will have 'always on' front/rear video cameras to avoid people like this being able to get away with it but I appreciate that doesn't help you now.


About the only advice I can really offer is to consider the economics of your claim - for example if your repairs are £1000, but losing no claims discount will cost you a total of £1500 over the next 5 years then consider asking your insurers to put a 'bear own losses' offer on the table to the other side - that way you could pay your own repairs and preserve your no claims discount. Naturally if your repair bill is high and your insurance premiums low then that's not a viable plan, plus not every insurer will allow that sort of deal. You could make a formal complaint (emphasise their failure to call you back when they said they would), then go to the ombudsman, however I suspect the ombudsman would find your insurers had acted reasonably in this specific instance.

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I think you are offering very wise sound advice.



I will be making a formal complaint and have got some information on the other parties "version of events" but do not have anything on what they claim was the point of impact.


The positive that will come out of this is that I will probably change to the other parties insurance company.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and offer independent advice.

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