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Insurance company using bully boy tactics

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I am in discussions with QBE Insurance via their solicitor Paul Holmes of DWF( specialising in fraud and litigation )who is 'investigating' my case.


I am claiming against QBE on their insureds liability cover re an engine rebuild in a Nissan performance car,

we are now over a year down the line still arguing over certain items and associated losses,


they have admitted liability and have made an interim payment of almost 13K on an approx claim of 50K,

this was paid on the 2/5/19 with reference that after a meeting with their expert witness another payment would be made the following week on the engine actual loss and associated losses to be discussed.


I am a self employed mechanic and director of a dormant company that would specialise in tuning and maintenance of the same car as when we get it up and running.


My question is

how invasive is this solicitors investigation allowed to get?


From the offset it was clear they are trying to not payout and asked for my bank statements and credit card bills to prove transactions (despite my belief that an invoice is all thats required as proof by British consumer law)


he also requested the engine builders accounts and bank statements for the last 9 years (which they have and tie in with all transactions,


they have dug up every internet post I have made about these cars of which there are many as i am very active on these forums,

they have accepted the claim is genuine despite the underlying tone that this was some sort of fraud and are now asking the most ridiculous questions such as

what is the reg number of my daily driver ( I am not claiming for a hire car)


also I advertised a car breaking for a friend who has a very respected business breaking Japanese cars,

they have been featured in many different TV shows asking what the reg number of the car was,


why I could not harvest parts from it (

1 its not mine,

2 it was advertised 6 months before my  engine failed

3 even if it was mine why would I take parts off a 11K plus vat engine that had 8000 miles on it) 


they 'believe' I have a workshop I work on cars at and why can I not store the car free of charge!

They say I am not due loss of use or depreciation of the car even though I have had to rent a single car size unit for 1 year to keep it in and due to the value (its insured for 100K) I had to keep the insurance current in case anything happened to it.


I believe as this claim is completely a non fault even if I did have a workshop it could be stored in that should still be covered as it could commercially be used to earn money and why should I be deprived of my car for over a year? 


Liability was admitted in February 2019 yet here we are in September still arguing and trying to penny pinch with no regard to my loss of use etc, after receiving my associated losses the solicitor  took a month to even acknowledge receipt.


Its my opinion that this is all the consequence of arguing with the 'expert witness' and making it obvious he had no clue as to what would be required to put my engine back together to the point he had to ask the engine builder for a workshop manual to see how the engine worked.

QBE should be ashamed of the way this has been handled 


I would like to know how do I complain officially about

 (forensic engineer)

(solicitor) and

QBE (insurer) .


There are many post and much controversy over impartiality and every Forensic Engineer I have spoken to knows of his reputation,

I spoke to one and relayed the saga to him not revealing the name , which he told me !!!!


In my opinion someone who cannot comment on the correct parts needed for a rebuild cannot be classed an expert anything if he needs to borrowed a manual to see how and what parts are used ie solid shim under bucket tappets and he tells me you can have the hydraulic lifters cleaned (after putting in writing anything that had contaminated oil pass through it would need replacing.


I also question the logistics of this action (although I understand the insured is claiming on their own policy for another engine from the same machine shop they used to use) when its proven QBE have a case against the builders machine shop to recoup this money!



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A tad too complicated for an internet forum.


I would suggest getting a Solicitors involved and taking this to Court to resolve. 


You would have to think that this Insurers may be happy for this to go to Court, given what has happened to date. Hence why you might want to speak to a Solicitor first. What they have done so far, may be deliberate, so you issue a Court claim.   As this is business related, I don't think you have the same rights as a consumer would have.

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Thanks for reading, this is not business related, I engaged as a private individual and paid from private accounts, the caris registered and insured privately, the GTR company is dormant and has not traded.


They have said an offer will be made but how can they just refuse legitimate claims and threaten take this offer we do not want to discuss, the only discussion at court would be the amount liability has been admitted.


I just hope people read this and do not use QBE insurance 

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If you are a private consumer, have a read through this linked info below.  I would suggest that you write a letter to the head of claims at QBE and ask them for an explanation about the way they have handled the claim and the current position. Keep the letter simple and ask them questions about their conduct to date.



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If they've admitted liability then the only issue is the "quantum" or amount that you can claim/justify in damages.


I can understand why they may want to investigate this (from what little you have told us - very expensive highly tuned performance engine gone "bang" after rebuild?), but so long as you can establish and prove what your loss is (eg purchase receipts, repair receipts, expense receipts etc) then your claim should be ok.  If they attempt to use their "expert" to reduce what you are claiming, challenge his evidence and explain why you challenge it.


If this has been dragging on for some time, remember that as a claimant you are meant to mitigate your losses.  You may not have been able to use a very expensive high performance Nissan GTR for several months, but that does not mean you necessarily are entitled to long-term hire a similar car, for example.  (FWIW I would want to, but the law may not think you should).


Make sure you can justify the amount of losses you are claiming.  If you are claiming a total of 50k and they've already paid 13k interim, they will want to minimise what they offer you.


PS - I assume it's not reached court?

Edited by Manxman in exile
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Thanks for the reply, no it hasnt reached court yet.


I have I believe played 'ball' re mitigating losses, I havent hired a car and its their expert who declared all moving parts in the engine will need replacing,


they have already paid out a % of the claim,

they are upset because I have said  I want a new oil cooler and they want it cleaned, but the firm who cleans them will not guarantee its 100% clean which could lead to another £49,000 engine failing.

The cause has been found to 100% bad machining of the crankshaft align bore resulting in a part seizure and subsequent failure.


They acknowledge all receipts for parts etc of which there are many and I have confirmed that they can arrange to collect all the failed parts they replace except the heads which seeing as they said they would be replaced in April have been disposed of, it was only 2 weeks ago they stipulated this.


The company who built it have been audited and their accounts looked at for last 9 years and they are all perfect .

Their broker thinks the associated losses are more than reasonable.


Its the time its taking that is annoying, this solicitor is just hanging the process out ( a cynical person would say to increase his invoice which I will warrant is more than my claim) the engine failed 13 months ago and claim went in almost 1 year ago so I ask what have they done too mitigate my loss of my car and the use of it?


I really would like to put a complaint in about these 2, the solicitor and who I believe to be the route of this action the Forensic engineer, my one bit of luck is by instigating this action he has probably cost QBE twice the cost of paying me and as such one would hope that he never works for them again.


I fail to see how a litigation solicitor expects a car to be stored free of charge when they admit liability in the claim, its kept in a single car sized secure alarmed storage unit just big enough to store the car and associated parts that have been removed from it.

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I'm not sure how you would do it, but it may be prudent to remove the name of the individual you have identified.  Not sure if you can still edit it out?


If you are confident of your position and the insurers want to throw money away, let them.


Bearing in mind your claim is quite large (well 50k is quite a lot to me) have you received any formal legal advice?

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