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Motor insurance claim - TP Foreign Driver.


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I have an insurance issue I haven't been able to resolve to date. The incident occurred just over 3 years ago.

 

My vehicle was sideswiped in England by a Turkish driver / Turkish registered HGV.

 

My vehicle was being driven by a US resident named driver on my policy. At the time the incident was reported to my Irish insurer for information only and an attempt to pursue losses set in motion using my ULR (uninsured loss recovery) insurance. Liability has not been settled. The only offer so far from the TP's UK handling agents is a 50/50. On the other hand, to date, no counter claim has been presented to my insurers. The claim has no personal injury element. The claim amounts to vehicle damage and consequential losses (car hire, taxis, accommodation), total estimate c. £5k

 

Panel solicitor says to move this claim forward it needs court proceedings issued. Ultimate outcome could be anything (0/100, 100/0, 50/50), or TP may fold beforehand on the prospect. My ULR insurer doesn't want to pay for this avenue and suggest taking the 50/50. Panel solicitor says if ULR aren't paying, to take the 50/50.

 

Now my feeling is that this ULR insurance is a waste of time: If the case is easy, then they'll do it. If it's hard, they don't want to know. I've handled two easy cases myself recently, so what is the point this insurance?

 

I don't want to take 50/50 for three reasons:

1) It's not my/my named driver's fault

2) NCD would be affected and steps back 2 years

3) TP has not put in a counter-claim.

 

In short, I think it would leave me more out of pocket than I already am. Doing nothing doesn't appear to be an option, as despite being zero, a claim is still open on my insurance which is affecting my ability to shop around. My NCD however is presently unaffected.

 

What's the best way to conclude this issue? I would like to be put back in a pre-accident position, but accept this might not be possible or practical.

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If the damage to your car was covered by your Insurance and it is your excess plus other non insured losses you are looking to recover, then you have to weigh up whether it is worth issuing a court claim. That is your choice. As the third party is foreign and it is only the Insurers UK office dealing with it, there is a chance that the court claim could take a long time.

 

The other issue you have is that normally the court claim is issued against the third party driver. If they don't live in the UK, plus they are not in the EU, i would question the process of issuing the claim against the the third parties Insurance offfice based in the UK. You can probably do it, but you would need advice about how to issue the claim, otherwise you risk it being rejected or not getting very far.

 

You might have to accept 50/50, purely down to practicality. But if you have plenty of time, money to cover your costs in pursuing and free legal advice to assist you with the court claim, then you might decide to go ahead.

 

If you are based in Ireland, where would you start the claim, if neither you or the third party driver is based in the UK.

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I can see the practical "path of least resistance" being 50:50. I also see it as potentially no net benefit.

 

The car is covered comp. No claim has been lodged with my insurer either by myself or TP. My own losses are around 3k. So my understanding is that would be reduced to 1500. Against that and I have to consider that my NCD will step back from 50% to 30%. To complicate matters this is a mirrored NCD and it also may be the case that the main NCD will also be affected. Also there may be loadings for an at fault claim on those two policies. In short I think I may stand to lose more than 1500.

 

If I were to going down the road of pursuing it further, hassle/potential of losing aside, I would probably deal with in the English courts. My understanding is it would be small claims track and with the fee bandings 4999 would be better than 5000.

 

If I were to give up at this stage, I would prefer to get some sort of legally binding guarantee that the TP wasn't going to pursue any counter claim (as they haven't so far) and I could go back to my insurer with that and close off the file, leaving me with an intact NCD and a non fault claim on the record.

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You still have to deal with the court jurisdiction issue, which is unclear. Normally you sue the defendant in a court where they are resident. If you cannot do that, you would have to apply to a court to serve the claim out of jurisdiction.

 

If you live in Ireland, you may be able to issue a claim there, so you should speak to the clerk of your local court. I am not sure the claim has to be in an English court, because tbe accident happened there.

We could do with some help from you.

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I'll do some digging with regards the jurisdiction issue. So far didn't appear to be an issue about, but I can see the potential for one. I know I could possibly start something here, but I wouldn't have a problem doing it in England. If I did take it on I'd look at starting from scratch and would try to resolve again without going to court.

 

It seems there is a wide range of outcomes from anecdotes from dead easy, to no hope with lots of outcomes in between.

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I'll do some digging with regards the jurisdiction issue. So far didn't appear to be an issue about, but I can see the potential for one. I know I could possibly start something here, but I wouldn't have a problem doing it in England. If I did take it on I'd look at starting from scratch and would try to resolve again without going to court.

 

It seems there is a wide range of outcomes from anecdotes from dead easy, to no hope with lots of outcomes in between.

 

What you could do is write to the UK office of the third parties Insurers stating that you are looking to issue a court claim in England against them, as the Insurers holding the liability risk under a policy for the at fault driver. That you are seeking to negotiate a settlement from them to avoid court time and additional costs. Then detail why their policyholder was at fault and provide details of your losses.

 

As there seems to have been contact with this third party insurers, they have established that they would deal with it, as the accident happened in England. An English court should accept the claim, but jurisdiction issues could be raised, making it more difficult.

We could do with some help from you.

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Yes it's a green card scheme thing. I think initially the UK agent of TP insurer were answering just the liability question.

 

Driver has receipts for his losses (some GBP, some in EUR).

Passenger 1 has receipts for his losses (again GBP/EUR).

Passenger 2 no losses.

Passenger 3 no losses.

 

I'll have a look again at the MIB site. They suggest 2 quotes for work. So far I only have one (EUR) and that was hard work to obtain. Accident repair centres with big windows seem to want 60EUR or claim number before looking at things. (Which I've never come across before). FWIW, I suppose I don't have a lot to loose by gathering all the evidence I have and writing to set out my stall so to speak.

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Having looked about, I've asked a non-motoring solicitor contact if this is a sort of reference "bible" in the matter. He says it probably is.

 

Law of Motor Insurance, The

2nd Edition

Practice Area: Insurance Law

ISBN: 9780414045194

Published by: Sweet & Maxwell

Authors: Professor Robert M Merkin; Maggie Hemsworth

 

Apparently they have a copy of the previous edition in Trinity College Library, so I may well take a look at the relevant pages (for which there isn't a Google "review" page for, or persuade them they need to update.

 

I see there are template preliminary letters in a sticky. Would timescales be different for a case like this. e.g. instead of allowing 14 days for a reply, would a longer period apply in Green card cases?

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Not sure there is a definite timescale for a letter before action, before you could issue a court claim. But most people seem to give at least 3 weeks.

We could do with some help from you.

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