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I’m the 3rd party non fault driver, Aviva repeatedly IGNORING my claim


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Hi all. 
 

A driver misjudged a gap and scraped my stationary car. They initially drove off and didn’t stop. I chased them and they stopped. They initially claimed we were both moving but witnesses approached us and said they saw everything and I was stationary and they had attempted to flee the scene.

 

The driver then admitted liability and asked me to get quotes to avoid an insurance claim.

 

I took their details and witness details. I got quotes but the driver then said they were too expensive so please claim from Aviva and gave me the ref.

 

I contacted Aviva, they said they consider it a 50/50 as there were parked cars on both sides of the road. I argued that it wasn’t 50/50 as I was stationary and the other driver simply misjudged the gap.

 

Aviva asked for a full account and a copy of the quote. I sent this along with witness details. No reply. I followed up several times, no replies. Incidentally, Aviva did not contact the witness either. I obtained a statement myself from the independent witness present.

 

I then submitted a complaint online and got a reply saying they couldn’t locate the claim. They asked for more details, which I provided instantly. No reply since. 3 further emails sent, no reply to any of them. Telephoned them and they’ve closed the office due to covid and instruct you to email. I did, and got no reply.

 

I am now at the stage of sending a letter before action. Should I send it to the driver or to Aviva? I have asked Aviva what the official address for the arm of their multi company corporation who is responsible for this and they just ignored that too. So I am unsure if it’s Aviva plc, Aviva Insurance (registered in Scotland) or Aviva Digital… The incident happened in England and the insured driver lives in England.

 

Thank you all for any advice/tips offered, it’s hugely appreciated!

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I would hold off on sending any LBA as that might not be the best thing to do at this point.

 

Have you made your insurance company aware of this claim? If not, why not?

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If you do eventually sue then it would be the driver. However a little preparation might be useful and I would suggest that you send an SAR to Aviva and find out what they've got and also that will give you a clue as to why they aren't responding to you.

In a separate letter you could usefully start a formal complaint and tell them that it's going to go to the ombudsman – but also tell them that you may consider bringing a claim against them for unfair treatment under ICOBS.
Make sure the formal complaint is in a separate letter because these people are incapable of appreciating that there are two issues on the same piece of paper.

What is the value of the damage?

As you have the address of the driver you could also go to the land registry web search and see whether they own their property because that will give you a clue as to whether or not they have assets.

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices/FindAProperty/view/QuickEnquiryInit.do?_ga=2.174890539.883102894.1647954903-1500751136.1627887581


 

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Thank you all very much.


homer67: I didn’t tell my insurance company, I perhaps foolishly didn’t think I had to as I had bare minimum third party cover, no legal assistance cover, it wasn’t my fault, she admitted liability and had offered to pay for the repair privately.
 

I also had a heck of a lot of very serious life stuff going on at the time (and since then too, including nearly dying twice when I had Covid-19!) and all the hassle etc just wasn’t a priority, but I certainly accept its best to do everything as soon and as official as possible.

 


BankFodder: Thank you! I will look into submitting an SAR immediately.

 

Re the ombudsman, as I understand it they cannot help me as I am not a customer of Aviva?

 

The official written quotation for repair was approx £1200. I believe the driver (a professional lady) could afford to pay the claim. I also think a LBA to her could shock her into getting her insurance to respond/pay, although it is possible she hasn’t been truthful in her account of the incident. Luckily the independent witness account is honest and correlates with my version of events.

 

I will look at your complaint advice and take such action too. The online complaint appears to have been ignored, along with every single other email/follow up sent. The only replies I have EVER had was asking for more info and automatic acknowledgments of emails received. The way Aviva have behaved here is absolutely shocking IMHO.


 

The Citizens Advice Bureau today advised a LBA to the driver for reference.

 

Thank you all again

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You should not send out a letter of claim unless you absolutely intend to proceed with the claim on day 15. Do not try to use a letter of claim as a tactic which is calculated to elicit a reply. If there is no reply or nothing satisfactory then you will be left dangling and you will lose credibility.
A letter of claim is not a bluff. It is a promise to issue a claim if you do not get a satisfactory response – which basically means reimbursement.

I suggest that you post up a letter of claim here in draft for us to have a look but only send it if you have decided to issue the claim.

On the basis of what you tell us here, your chances of winning are extremely high – better than 95% and so you should have no qualms about beginning the claim

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Also, be aware that if she does decide to respond she will refer your letter to her insurer and she will require you to contact her insurers and to do with them. Her insurers will do the same thing.

You should not do this. It is her problem. And you should continue directly against her. Don't forget she is the weak link in the chain she. She will have less resolve.

She owes you the money and she is the one who failed to stop so that shows dishonesty.

You can tell her that once you obtain the judgement against that you will be forwarding a copy to the police

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BankFodder: Thank you once again. Yes I absolutely intend to proceed with the small claim. I have good evidence and I am confident that a claim would succeed if everything was presented to a court.

 

I have had the experience of 3 successful MCOL claims, thanks very much to the excellent help and advice given on these forums so I am prepared to do it all again if need be.

 

Aviva’s conduct up until this point has affirmed what you’ve said about not dealing with them. If they do contact me I  will update on here.

 

Yes her honesty/integrity is questionable… she tried to drive away, then said she drove away because there was no damage (which there was, to both cars), then she tried to say I wasn’t stationary when I absolutely was. It was only when the member of the public that saw it came over and disagreed with her saying what he saw that she admitted fault and said please get some quotes.

 

Additionally, she never asked for any of my details in case I was at fault… she knew I wasn’t.

 

With her credibility in mind, it could be possible that she has “tried it on” and reverted back to the “we were both moving” tale, which could explain why Aviva have considered it a 50/50 fault incident. But ignoring all my correspondence doesn’t exactly make Aviva look credible either!

 

As for getting the police involved, I don’t think they would be interested as nobody was hurt and she did stop (albeit after she realised she wasn’t going to get away with fleeing).

 

Thanks again for all the help. Hopefully this thread will help someone else in a similar situation in the future too.

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I quite agree that the police won't be at all interested. But I would still tell her that you will pass the judgement on to the police .

It's all about leverage

 

You can also tell her that once you get your judgement you will be posting an unredacted copy on this forum and elsewhere on the internet so that her name will be well known for what she has done.

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An update.

 

In an attempt to resolve amicably pre LBA, I contacted the driver explaining that I have been repeatedly ignored by Aviva and I am now going to pursue her for the repair cost. She didn’t seem very happy about it and said she’d contact Aviva.

 

Then miraculously I get an email from Aviva (It’s been 21 days since my last email which was ignored).
 

In this latest email they say that the reference number I provided is wrong and they can’t locate the claim. They asked for more information, repeated information which was already supplied to them in the complaint and follow up email. There’s absolutely no doubt that Aviva are giving me the runaround.

 

I then told the driver this and she said that Aviva have advised her to tell me to get my insurance company or representative to contact them. Pretty much exactly as you predicted, BankFodder.

 

She also said the reference number IS correct and Aviva had no trouble finding the relvant details, which is not what Aviva told me. Incredible!

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Aviva has many different channels of business.

 

So you could be contacting Channel no.1 and the third party channel no.2. 

 

Make sure you are contacting same telephone number and therefore same people about the claim.

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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UncleB: I was emailing the representative that I spoke to on the phone, on the email address he gave me. All ignored.

 

Official complaint was made via their online complaint form with the same ref, then I’ve replied to the representative that contacted me from that. Then subsequently ignored.

 

I have absolutely no doubt they are trying to simply avoid it, hence me giving up and pursuing the driver.

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Mantis Shrimp: Yes, like you and BankFodder have said. 
 

Until this situation arose I would have previously assumed it would be a case of battling the insurance company… which of course I tried to, but as they ignored me I’m left to pursue the driver.

 

Ive found out that when you’re the 3rd party claiming from someone else’s insurer you have little to no rights to good service from them as you are not their customer.

 

I’m fairly sure now that, after asking me to get repair quotes then deciding they were too expensive, the driver decided to twist her account of the incident when she told her insurer. They have subsequently accepted this, decided there’s nothing to pay the third party (me), and subsequently just ignored me.

 

Some of her recent behaviour has also brought her character/honesty into further question…

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Time to stop chatting about it and to put in procedure.

Post your draft letter of claim here and will have a look.

If you aren't  prepared to send a letter of claim then frankly you may as well give up.

 

If you do send the letter of claim then do understand that you will have to do issue the claim on day 15. Don't imagine that sending a letter of claim is automatically going to produce a response.

You need to take control and show them that you have control.
Even if they respond but they don't meet your demands expressed in letter of claim – then you issue the claim.

Once they receive the claim papers, then you will see a remarkable change in attitude

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Letter Of Claim

 

From: Me

 

To: The Driver

 

Reference: Motor accident of date/time/location 

 

 

Dear Driver

 

As it has not been possible to resolve this matter thus far, it is apparent that court action may be necessary. Therefore I write in compliance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct.

 

On DATE at TIME I was driving North on LOCATION. There were parked cars on both sides of the road with nowhere clear to pull in. There was oncoming traffic so I pulled up very close to the parked cars on my side and stopped. You were coming the opposite way in VEHICLE/REG. You also stopped.

 

There was nowhere for either of us to pull in or reverse into and you had traffic behind you so I tucked up very close to the parked cars on my near side and then remained stationary with my foot on the brake.

 

You then decided to drive through the gap, misjudging it slightly and scraping your right side along the offside rear wheel arch/rear bumper area of my stationary car.


You continued South without stopping. I sounded my horn to alert you to stop but you continued. 

 

I chased after you sounding my horn and then you stopped. When I asked you why you didn’t stop, you said “because there wasn’t any damage”. There was an obvious scraping noise as you drove your car past mine, so you had a duty to stop and check. You initially claimed we were both moving, to which I replied adamantly that I was stationary, then you eventually admitted fault when a member of the public who saw the incident came over and said he saw I was stationary and you drove through the gap, and then continued off without stopping.

 

You then asked me to get some repair quotes to settle privately. You only identified yourself as Mrs SURNAME and I took your phone number and address. I took the pedestrian’s phone number and the phone number of the driver of the vehicle behind you who also clearly saw the incident.

 

The damage sustained to both cars clearly shows that you were in motion and I was stationary as you had a long mark along the driver’s side of your car caused by linear moving contact with the isolated area on my stationary car. I obtained quotations as agreed but you decided that they were too costly and asked me to claim from your insurer.

 

I spoke to NAME OF REP of Aviva who informed me that they considered the event a 50/50 fault matter. I explained to him that I was stationary and you had misjudged the gap and he requested more information which I duly sent to him by email. He also assured me that there was plenty of time to resolve: he stated we had 6 years from the date of the incident. My initial email pack was ignored. All follow up emails were also ignored.

 

I then made an official complaint to Aviva which they responded to requesting more information, which I provided. No reply was received since.

 

Then, after I had contacted you, and you had subsequently contacted Aviva, I had an email from them on DATE stating that the reference given (REF NUMBER) was wrong and they couldn’t locate the claim.

 

I explained to you via text messaging that I needed your full name and confirmation of your current address for this Letter Of Claim. I asked for this confirmation several times and you repeatedly avoided providing this information. I have managed to confirm this information myself via extensive searches of public records.

 

From you I am claiming a total of £X as per the repair quotation supplied by GARAGE NAME to repair the damage caused by you, a copy of which is enclosed herewith. 

 

Listed below is the evidence on which I intend to rely in my claim against you:

 

Text messages between you and me

 

Emails sent to Aviva which were ignored

 

Emails from Aviva requesting more information, much of which was already given in the same thread and the email from Aviva stating that the reference was wrong

 

An Independent Witness Statement from a member of the public present during the incident

 

Photographs taken at the incident location and of the damage

 

I can confirm that I would be agreeable to mediation and would consider any other system of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved by the courts. I would invite you to put forward any proposals in this regard.

 

In closing, I would draw your attention to paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Practice Direction which gives the courts the power to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to comply with the direction including failing to respond to this letter of claim.

 

I look forward to having this matter resolved within the next 14 days. In the event that a satisfactory resolution is not reached within this time frame then I anticipate that court action will be commenced with no further reference to you.

 

Yours sincerely


ME

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update:

 

The driver repeatedly avoided giving me her first name and confirming her address when asked, I explained that I needed it for the Letter Of Claim, she really didn’t want me to have it.

 

So I confirmed it all through public records searches and served the letter. 5 mins after the letter was served, the driver texted me confirming her name and address so as if to appear co-operative. That was ridiculous.

 

She asked me to contact Aviva and assured me that they would not ignore me. So I made one last attempt to contact them so I could honestly say that I have tried again even after they have repeatedly ignored me.

 

I called Aviva. They apologised for ignoring me. They said my correspondence was confused as coming from their client and not the third party (me). They said liability now lies with them, having previous told me it was considered 50/50. I asked what had changed. They confirmed that they spoke again to their client very recently and the standpoint has changed, liability is now accepted. She appears to have changed her view of what happened.

 

BUT. They are now refusing to deal with me unless I make a claim through my insurer or instruct a solicitor to represent me. They state that they are under no obligation to deal with me directly and will not do so.

 

I questioned the common sense in such a stance: liability has been admitted, they have the quotation from the main dealer garage, the details/photos are on Audatex, surely just pay and it’s finished, it couldn’t be much simpler. But they refused to deal with me and say they will not.

 

If the law allows me to represent myself in a court claim, why can’t the insurer just do the same and get it sorted without the added complications and expense of a solicitor or a claims management company?

 

Quite amazed, but glad liability is at last accepted officially.

 

I’d appreciate any views/discourse as always.

 

Thanks.

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Normally Insurers would have no problem dealing with a third party.  Do they think that you have not notified your own Insurers of this incident ? 

 

You won't find many no win no fee Solicitors take you, unless you needed a hire car or you wanted to pursue personal injury.

 

Speak to your own Insurers now that fault has been establised to see if they will administer the claim.  If you hired a Solicitors, I suspect Aviva would not want to pay you the Solicitors fees on top of your claim.

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi UncleB, as stated earlier in the thread I didn’t inform my insurer, I thought she was going to pay for the repairs, it was a very simple matter at the time and I can’t believe how complicated it has become!

 

I don’t think it’s reasonable of Aviva to refuse to deal with me and demand that I appoint a solicitor for them to deal with, the matter is so simple now they have AT LAST accepted liability.
 

They refused to give a reason other than repeating “we are under no obligation to deal with you directly”. They have the repair quote, surely they should just pay out, especially after all this time ignoring me and their client changing her version of events. I can’t understand the point of them adding additional complexity and costs, other than it being another attempt to delay or deter.

 

Both Aviva and their client have acted unreasonably throughout IMHO.

 

At this stage I feel I have done all I reasonably can and the best option might be to proceed with the issuing the claim against the driver on day 15 (as always stated by BankFodder!). 
 

I am awaiting my SAR information and I informed them I’d also be reporting them to the FCA as repeatedly ignoring my contact and complaint was not on. They weren’t particularly bothered, stating that I would hear about the SAR in a few days and the FCA won’t help me as I have no contract with Aviva (which I’m fully aware of, but to just ignore correspondence isn’t acceptable conduct IMHO). They also said they don’t log complaints from third parties, so yet more time wasted going through that process.

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That is why Aviva want you to contact your Insurers, as they can see you have not notified them. And if you don't tell your Insurers, I suspect Aviva will pass information to them. And your Insurers will not be very happy, as even a no fault accident where your own Insurers don't pay anything, will still cause your premiums to increase.

 

Make sure you now inform your Insurers and explain the delay,

 

Remember Insurers work together to protect the system they all operate within.

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We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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