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Auction of vehicle even though claim settlement not accepted and being referred to FOS

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Would appreciate a bit of urgent advice.


I can add more detail a bit later if required, but the brief details are:


My vehicle hit while legally parked and unattended. Third party and his insurer (Somerset Bridge) have accepted liability.  So, a non-fault claim which I duly notified to my Insurer at the time of the incident.


My insurer (Hastings Direct) have offered no option except to total loss the vehicle (Cat N).  I have disputed their valuation and requested that they repair the vehicle up to its market value.  They have:


ignored my industry data (from Cazana, Cap and Glasses), or Somerset Bridge's informal but higher valuation,

said that their valuation is "based on retail transacted sales",  so they won't be changing anything,

and not even acknowledged my request for repair even though their estimate is below their market valuation.


They have issued a final response letter on the 5th Nov.  So I am raising a complaint to FOS.


Yesterday, 16th, I received an email stating that my vehicle has been valued and they will pay me within 7 days (regardless it seems and with no reference to my complaint).  I have obviously not received any payment yet. 


I have not agreed in any way with their settlement at anytime.  I have not signed any sort of release for the vehicle. Today I have discovered that my vehicle is up for auction on a salvage website (due to end in 6 days).  I retain the V5C, but handed over the keys when the vehicle was collected and I believed it was going to a repair facility.


As I'm still in dispute with Hastings, and I haven't agreed to the total loss of my vehicle, I'm bit upset about this treatment.  To rub salt into tings they have also offered me renewal at £800 (135%) uplift in premium based on making a non-fault claim.




What is the legal/consumer position please?


1. Does the insurance company or salvage company have the legal right to sell this vehicle?

2. Can an insurance company force settlement on a customer and under what circumstances?

3. Anything else I should consider/ be careful of, such as insurance databases etc.


Kind Regards, and thanks in advance.

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Contact the auction house immediately by telephone and also in writing and put them on notice that the vehicle is subject to dispute and there is still yours and it is not for the insurers to dispose of it because they don't own it.

Send a copy of this to Hastings as well.

Make sure you have a paper trail of everything.

In a separate letter to Hastings, tell them that you have stopped the auction because you have given the auction's notice and that they are not authorised to dispose of the vehicle and particularly because there is a dispute which is subject to the FOS.

Tell them that if they take any further action in relation to the vehicle that you will definitely sue them for breach of statutory duty under ICOBS. Tell them that they are required by law to treat you fairly and to communicate with you fairly and they are not doing that.

You could also tell both Hastings and the auctioneers that if any further un-authorised action occurs in respect of the vehicle that you will also report it to the police as stolen. Warn the auctioneers that if they do anything then it will be a stolen vehicle and that means that any purchaser will not be able to purchase good title.

Make sure the auctioneers know that if they continue with the sale of the vehicle that you will report the matter and provide copies of all correspondence to the new owner to show that the auctioneer was fully informed as were the insurers.

Tell the auctioneer that they are not entitled to take any instructions in respect of the treatment of the vehicle from anyone other than yourself. Tell Hastings the same thing.

All of that for starters

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Brilliant as Always!

Thank you so much for your amazingly swift response. I was just drawing up a letter to the auction house.


Kindest Regards,

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But call them as well – and make sure they understand full well that this is serious. Of course you should be recording your call – but as you have been here since 2018, you know that don't you? Because you are thoroughly familiar with our customer services guide

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