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Elephant Refusing to Defend Claim

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Hi there

 

I am new to these forums so please do point me towards any previous threads that have dealt with my situation previously.

 

I am 23 years old and have my own car insured in my own name (fully comp). In May 2015 my father took my car without my permission and was hit by another car. My father believed he was insured on my car but wasn't. When he realised this he admitted to the investigating police officer that he had taken the car without my permission (in my absence - I was at work) and also accepted that he did not have insurance to drive the car. He was charged and fined for driving without insurance but no further action was taken about the car being taken without my consent.

 

Whilst the third party driver hit my dad rather than the other way around, my insurance company (Elephant) decided that because he had driven without insurance, they are not going to defend the claim.

 

Elephant have now written to me and stated "unfortunately there is no evidence that the vehicle was taken without consent." They have also said that their Claims department will be in touch with me to recover costs from me that they pay out to the third party (as they have decided not to defend the claim).

 

The 2 points therefore are that they don't believe the car was taken without my permission and want me to pay them their costs which will probably be in excess of £10,000 (including whiplash claims + vehicle repair etc).

 

What can I do?

 

I have so far responded to their letter to ask what specifically they consider "evidence" considering my statement and my father's admission that this is what happened, clearly doesn't seem to be enough.

 

I have asked them to forward me the police report they have received.

 

Any suggestions on how I should approach this? I certainly don't have £10,000+ available to pay out to Elephant. Neither does my father although he does jointly own a house.

 

Any help welcome.

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Do you have legal cover under the Elephant policy ? If so, will it cover you to see a Solicitor to get advice and then pay any legal costs to help you.

 

Elephant as the Insurers of the car, have a responsibility under the Road Traffic Acts to deal with any third party claim. The third party obviously holds your Dad responsible for the accident. If there is a Police report, your Dad as the driver at the time, should request a copy from the Police to see whether it suggests he has any responsibility for the accident,

 

Elephant can try to recover any costs from you, but you could defend any action in court and it would be up to a Judge whether you were responsible. Hence why I suggest that you need proper legal advice. It is also possible for you to issue a court claim against your Dad to recover any sums you are liable for. This may be something you would not consider.

 

There is no need to rush into this. Get legal advice, once you have a copy of the Police report. I would also suggest that you send Elephant claims department a Data Protection Act subject access request for a copy of all of the claims records. From this, you might see what the third party driver has said and why Insurers believe they have to accept liability.


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You seem to be saying that the accident in which your father was involved, was caused by a third party.

 

What evidence do you have for this? Are there any witnesses? Is there anybody – police for instance who accept that the accident was caused by this third-party?

 

Apart from all of the other aspects of this rather over complicated case, it seems to me that if there is clear evidence that the third party caused the accident, then it is a question of establishing that and getting their insurer to pay for the damage to the car.

 

As far as that goes, I don't see any relevance as to your father's status at the time of the accident.

 

I have seen the advice above to try and put it into the hands of your insurers legal services, that I expect that this will be completely useless.

 

In my experience, for the most part, legal services provided as part of some insurance cover are generally speaking limp wristed and unambitious about representing their clients.

 

If you feel that you are able to establish the liability of third party then the way to go is to deal with this yourself. You are the only person who will be energised and motivated and prepared to go the last mile for yourself. Some legal services insurer who gets paid regardless of what happens will simply do the minimum to get paid and then hurry to move onto the next case. In a messy situation is complicated as yours, they will simply find reasons to avoid getting you a proper remedy because they won't want to get bogged down – in the same way that your insurer will behave as well.


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The advice re legal cover, was whether it would cover the OP to see an independent Solicitors. I am not sure any Solicitors or legal execs that work for or are appointed by the Insurers would be any use, as they might just take the Insurers view.

 

In the absence of any legal cover, the OP might be wise to see their own Solicitors, once they have more information. At the moment, they don't have enough information to know best course of action.


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The advice re legal cover, was whether it would cover the OP to see an independent Solicitors. I am not sure any Solicitors or legal execs that work for or are appointed by the Insurers would be any use, as they might just take the Insurers view.

 

In the absence of any legal cover, the OP might be wise to see their own Solicitors, once they have more information. At the moment, they don't have enough information to know best course of action.

 

Legal Cover attached to car Insurance excludes claims against your own Insurers

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As far as that goes, I don't see any relevance as to your father's status at the time of the accident.

 

 

I agree, whether father was driving with permission or without permission has no relevance to the matter*

 

If you're deemed to be at fault in the accident, your Insurers will be required to pay out under your policy whether your father had permission or not, indeed they would have to pay out whether he was covered by the policy or not.

 

What are the circumstances of the accident eg did the other vehicle hit your father in the rear or reverse into him etc etc.

 

* The only relevance it has is that if he had stolen it you may be able to claim for the repairs to your own vehicle, although most Insurers exclude cover in these type of circumstances where the "thief" is a member of your family

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Legal Cover attached to car Insurance excludes claims against your own Insurers

 

I was thinking possible claim against the third party, if the information available is helpful. Depends on what info is available about the accident.

 

Although the cover might exclude paying expenses for a claim against own Insurers, it might pay for an opinion about the situation, which might influence the Insurers course of action.


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I was thinking possible claim against the third party, if the information available is helpful. Depends on what info is available about the accident.

 

Although the cover might exclude paying expenses for a claim against own Insurers, it might pay for an opinion about the situation, which might influence the Insurers course of action.

 

Assuming the Legal Expenses Insurer deem the chances of a successful recovery to be 51% or greater, it's feasible although I doubt they would pay for anyone else's opinion apart from their in house or approved solicitors

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