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smallenson

Disputed/Repudiated Car Insurance Claim

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My 12 plate BMW 320D has been insured (Fully Comp) by Hastings Direct since May 2013. The car has been great, no issues, low mileage and still under warranty. The car is parked on my drive.

 

Over the Christmas/New Year period I had been driving the car with no issues. But clearly, living in East Sussex we bore the brunt of gales, torrential rain and leaf fall debris, particularly during the first week in January.

 

When I opened the car on the morning of 9th January, the car autodialled through to the emergency services. When I looked into front passenger footwell it was some 3 inches or so deep in water. The rear footwell was similarly flooded.

 

With the aid of saucepans and cups I bailed out what water I could. The water was not stagnant, there was no smell and there it tasted like clean rainwater. I rang my local dealership and drove the car to them. There was a lot of sloshing noise in the car as I was driving. There had been no evidence of any water sloshing sounds when I had driven the car over Christmas/New Year.

 

I notified Hastings Direct on the same day and raised a claim. The BMW dealership had at that point confirmed that in addition to clearing and drying out the vehicle, there may be additional electronic damage and'or speaker damage. The verbal estimate at that point was around £800 (net of VAT or any electronic repairs) to repair the vehicle.

 

I received conformation of my claim details from HD a few days later in the post.

 

After numerous false starts, many phone calls and repeated insistence from HD that they had not yet received the garage estimate, an AIA assessor was sent to examine the vehicle around 16th-18th Jan. At no point during that entire period had HD ever contacted me directly to notify of any issues. Nor did they respond to my repeated requests to keep me informed. My emails to named member of the claims team went unanswered.

 

Phone calls from me during the week of 21st-24th to understand the status of my claim were unproductuve. I was told multiple times that either the claim had not been updated, that they were waiting for the assessors report or that the report was been looked by internal engineers.

 

From the 27th-30th January I was repeatedly informed that there no issues with the claim and that my garage had been on 26th to go ahead with the repairs and that approval had been given verbally and in writing. My garage had received no such instruction. Yesterday morning I was told by another HD Claims person that everything had been approved and I should take the car to the garage for repair. (Obviously it's there already. It's been there since 9th Jan.) BMW were clearly unhappy to begin the work without formal confirmation from HD. I rang back at around 10:30am yesterday and was assured that email confirmation would be sent to both myself and BWM "as quickly as possible".

 

I called again yesterday after lunch and was told (after a significant wait) that HD were not prepared to authorise the claim, after discussions with their internal engineers. This was the first time any doubt had been raised on the claim and directly contradicted everything I had been told thus far.

 

I was called yesterday at around 3pm by a manager who told me that the claim was being repudiated on the grounds of maintenance. The internal flooding of the car was caused by a build up of leaf debris in the filter. I was assured that the matter was being referred to another manager and on subsequent call at around 7pm yesterday evening was told that another manager was going to discuss the claim further with internal engineers and I would receive a phone call before 12 noon today.

 

I drew attention to the obvious weather issues we have experienced over the past month, which were acknowledged, but largely avoided.

 

I have had no call from anyone at HD so far today (though I rang them early this morning to make sure they had my contact details, landline and mobile).

 

I cannot begin to express how exasperating this is.

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Hi smallenson, Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience. Can you please contact us directly and provide some policy or claim reference details and we will follow this up to help you get the matter resolved as soon as possible. Many Thanks, Jamie help@hastingsdirect.com

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Jamie,

 

Just sent you an email

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Hi smallenson, Thank you, we have now received your email and will contact the relevant team for you to ensure that this matter is dealt with appropriately. Please let us know if there is anything further we can do to assist in the meantime. Many Thanks, Jamie

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When did you last have your car serviced or worked on?

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