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Car insurance - accepted liabilty!


Phaigherty
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Hi all, my first post on here. Not a good one sadly.

 

Looking for a little advice in regards to my insurance paying out on a claim made agaisnt me. Basically on 11/11/13 i was stopped at a set of red lights, handbrake on and car in front rolled back into me at no more than 0.5mph. No damage whatsoever on close inspection. Just took number plates etc and that was that as far as im concerned. Then on approx 20/12/13 recieved an hand writen note posted through my door from insurance investigators asking my to contact them. So i thought i would ring my insurance company first. They said the other party has put a clakm for whiplash in, no damage just whiplash! Said that im not accepting liabilty so they could respond to the other party. Arranged to me the independant investigator working on behalf of my insurers.

 

Met with the investigator today, gave my statement, along with photos shown no damage. Stated how could there be a whip lash claim with no damage? And that if i had hit him his tow bar would have made a mess of the front of my car. Everything sorted, statement was to be types up, posted to me to agree its correct, sign and return.

 

4 hours later my insurers rang babbling away, so i stopped them in there tracks and said so your going to settle? They said yes.

 

Right my questions :)

 

1: How can my insurer agree to liabilty whithout seeing any statements or any evidence from either party? They just said that because both have admitted that there was contact we are going to admit liability! All they know is that his is claiming whiplash. Can they do this?

 

2: Who can i complain to?

 

I have again spoken to my insurance tonight, customer service for claims department. Even they agree that they cant understand why or how its been settled with the very little information given and no investigation taking place. They are not sure if they can retract the admission now. Its has been referred to someone higher up and will be in touch with me within 48hrs. I said to them that when this originally started that i would stand up in court. Now that since they are so keen to pay they can, but i do not want to lose my ncb due to them basically doing nothing and just agreeing.

 

Hope this makes sense :)

 

 

Any advise would be greatly appreciated

 

Thanks

 

Pete

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the other person has probably claimed you ran into the rear of him

 

it seems to be a fairly common trick running around now, ask for full details of the accident

Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

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Something a bit odd here, it seems very strange that the first contact from your insurers was via a note through the door. Normally they'd call and write several times before trying that (it costs them money, and like most businesses they don't like to pay more than they need to). I'm guessing you didn't warn your insurers there'd been contact between your vehicle and someone else's? Plus you would normally have notification of a personal injury claim direct from the claimants solicitors.

 

1) Your insurers can largely do what they like with third party claims. When you took out a policy with them you agreed that in the event of a claim they could decide how best to handle it. However, as per my point re money/business above it would be very strange for them to not even attempt to fight this claim IF they felt you were a reliable witness. In terms of statements there's really not much call for one - the other driver has the easiest claim in the world - they just assert someone hit them, little damage to the vehicle because the tow bar transmitted the force of the impact into the frame. Plus you already said they had your statement before they made their decision. I would guess they have at least brief allegations from the other side via solicitors.

2) Your first complaint should be to your insurers, although complaint is perhaps not the right word. You need to enquire why they will not defend this, ie did a lack of contact for 40 days make them think you would be unwilling to defend this in court? If they absolutely not fight it you only really have two options:-

 

a) Fight it yourself. Ask your insurers to withdraw indemnity, you will take on all the risks (be warned, may be over £10,000 for a court case). However if you win you keep your NCD.

 

b) If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint to your insurers you can then complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), however be aware that they are likely to support your insurers in this instance, its not like your insurers will be agreeing the claim because they want to give money away.

 

In relation to a couple of the points you made - in the UK our courts will (sadly) allow claims for minor injuries like whiplash even without damage to the vehicle. Several other EU countries have more robust frameworks which discourage claims for minor accidents but our system is claimant friendly. It's difficult to comment too much in respect of vehicle damage as you have not mentioned the make, model, age and condition of your vehicle, however it's entirely possible for the front bumper of most cars to take a minor impact (even into a tow bar) without much outward sign. If your car is say, 20 years old with some cosmetic damage then your insurers have not got a hope of arguing the impact was negligible. If its only 2 months old and literally doesn't have a scratch on it they might have run the case. Certainly if it was a 50mph impact the front of your car would be a mess, but as mentioned, courts in this country are likely to accept that a 3mph impact would a) not wreck your car and b) cause a minor injury.

 

You use the word 'babbling' in relation to the phone call - suggests you were not dealing with the people making the decision - if at all possible ask to speak to someone with authority to make decisions in relation to your query/complaint.

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If there was no damage to the car (lets be honest who would report a cracked number plate) why would you contact your insurers.

 

 

This sounds wrong to me - why would an insurer send out an assessor and then settle before getting their views?

 

 

I think the OP needs some more views.

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If you know there was contact and you know someone has written down your registration not warning your insurers is asking for trouble, in fact it's probably a breach of the policy conditions. The OP stated that the insurers made their decision after he'd been interviewed.

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I would certainly not recommended asking for indemnity to be withdrawn and fighting the claim to trial yourself.

 

Dealing with a personal injury claim on your own is hard enough and a Low Velocity Impact ("LVI") claim is even more complicated.

 

If you were to lose at trial you would personally be liable for whatever the whiplash claim is, say £1500.00 for the sake of argument, and at least £15k costs or even more.

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