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    • snert
    • By snert 22nd Sep 16, 10:51 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    snert
    Unfair treatment by insurance company
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:51 AM
    Unfair treatment by insurance company 22nd Sep 16 at 10:51 AM
    Hi

    Back in November 2014 I was involved in an incident. On a very dangerous crossroads junction, I was turning left. A young girl decided to cross from the corner to my left to the other side of the crossroads, not in front of me, but to the opposite side, instead of using the pedestrian crossing 20 yards up the road. As I pulled out, I had moved about 8 feet from a standing start and caught the side of her foot with my front tyre. She sustained a bruise, a small tear in her jeans and there wasn't a mark on my car.

    She was 16 years old. A claim went in which I disputed as I believed I was not at fault. My insurance company assigned a solicitor as I had legal protection. The solicitor suggested it would be better if I accepted partial liability as he said in his own words, that "it would be quicker to resolve, they'd get a pay out and the problem would go away". That's great, except then I would have wrongly accepted any liability and my premiums would have gone up and I was not prepared to do that.

    Under the law, she has 3 years to make a claim which means my premiums could be screwed for that long until the claim is closed. However, as she was 16, she has until she is 18, AND THEN 3 years, so 5 years!

    I kept pushing my solicitor to sort it as it sat at the stage of the other party's solicitor was "gathering evidence", and with up to a 5 year time limit, they weren't in a hurry.

    9 months later, I bought a new car and lost out on a years free insurance due to this open claim and my premiums were pretty much double what they were previously. Moving forward to about June this year, after my solicitor had been changed about 4 or 5 times as they had left the company, I finally got word that they claim was being closed as they couldn't track the girl down or they weren't replying to requests from their own solicitor. She was from Poland and her witness who was her step brother also quickly disappeared.

    I finally managed to have the claim closed with no liability. I then started the procedure of getting my premiums refunded that had increased, again something that wasn't offered, rather something I had to fight for. The premiums on the new car are being lowered rather than the difference refunded which is ok.

    To ensure the details of this claim were updated I did a subject access request on the CUE database. I got back something which isn't easy to decipher but there are some things that don't make sense to me.

    Claim status: Settled
    Payment 1: £150
    Payment 2: £209.04
    NCD Indicator: NCD Allowed

    Does the claim status mean settled, as in paid out, or settled as in closed with no liability?
    Are there specific claim statuses?
    What are the payments?
    The NCD indicator is obviously no claims discount but what does it mean by NCD Allowed?

    The next issue I have is that it is common practice for insurers to increase premiums as soon as a claim goes in against you. In my opinion, this is presumed liability, which is something we do not allow in the UK. Liability is not determined until a decision is made, which in my case, was nearly 2 years later. So why are insurance companies allowed to get away with this?

    I queried this with the FCA and their handbook, which provides guidelines by which an insurance company must follow, doesn't explicitly cover the defending party, rather it is all about the claimant. However, if you read the more generalised rules, they have 6 consumer outcomes:

    www fca org uk/firms/fair-treatment-customers (sorry, first time poster and I can't post links)

    I think the insurance company falls foul of the first one:

    "Consumers can be confident they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture."

    As my premiums went up, this suggests that I'm treated as guilty until proven innocent as they have presumed liability before a decision has been made, which to me, is most certainly not treating me fairly as I'm a customer of the insurance company.

    What's the legal angle on this? Anyone have any input?

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • Morph4610
    • By Morph4610 22nd Sep 16, 1:28 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Morph4610
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 1:28 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 1:28 PM
    Hi Snert, the CUE database entry is good news as NCD allowed means you'll be treated as having had a non fault claim. Not sure about the payments. Your NCD entitlement shouldn't be impacted in any way. I suspect you'll certainly be treated differently to someone who'd not been involved in this incident at all; but I can't imagine this will have any significant impact on your premiums going forward assuming that your insurer or broker understand what CUE is telling them/
    • takman
    • By takman 22nd Sep 16, 2:35 PM
    • 1,295 Posts
    • 987 Thanks
    takman
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 2:35 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 2:35 PM
    Just remember that a junction isn't dangerous, the drivers and pedestrians using it are!.

    In your case even if she was at fault you had only moved 8 feet from the junction before you hit her so can't have been going very fast. This means that you didn't see her at all so I think you are atleast partially at fault for having poor observation skills. Your lucky you got away without her making a claim.

    I hope you will take this as a lesson in the future to be more observant!.
    • snert
    • By snert 22nd Sep 16, 2:49 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    snert
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 2:49 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 2:49 PM
    Just remember that a junction isn't dangerous, the drivers and pedestrians using it are!.

    In your case even if she was at fault you had only moved 8 feet from the junction before you hit her so can't have been going very fast. This means that you didn't see her at all so I think you are atleast partially at fault for having poor observation skills. Your lucky you got away without her making a claim.

    I hope you will take this as a lesson in the future to be more observant!.
    Originally posted by takman
    Thanks for not offering anyinput.
    • rs65
    • By rs65 22nd Sep 16, 7:13 PM
    • 4,845 Posts
    • 2,275 Thanks
    rs65
    • #5
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:13 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:13 PM
    As my premiums went up, this suggests that I'm treated as guilty until proven innocent as they have presumed liability before a decision has been made, which to me, is most certainly not treating me fairly as I'm a customer of the insurance company.
    Originally posted by snert
    Guilt doesn't come into it. You have had an incident and are now higher risk.
    • takman
    • By takman 22nd Sep 16, 7:54 PM
    • 1,295 Posts
    • 987 Thanks
    takman
    • #6
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:54 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:54 PM
    Thanks for not offering anyinput.
    Originally posted by snert
    If you think telling you to be more observant so you don't hit pedestrians in the future is offering no input then you shouldn't be on the road!. Stop driving now if you are unable to see how unacceptable it is for a driver moving at a very slow speed to hit a pedestrian!.
    • mattk_180
    • By mattk_180 23rd Sep 16, 10:42 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    mattk_180
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 16, 10:42 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 16, 10:42 AM
    Innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply the same for insurance as it does in everyday life.


    As soon as a claim is opened, the insurer is vulnerable to costs with no way of knowing how much they will need to pay and whether they can claim them back from a third party until the claim is settled. That means they have to set aside an amount to pay for the claim in a worst case scenario and therefore have to act accordingly on the basis they are going to have to pay that money, until such time it is closed and they know otherwise.


    In this situation, I'm not even sure you would have a defence if a claim was made. You hit a pedestrian because you failed to notice them in the road.
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 23rd Sep 16, 12:43 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 12:43 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 12:43 PM
    You hit a pedestrian because you failed to notice them in the road.
    Originally posted by mattk_180
    Perhaps he hit them on the pavement, that would definitely make it the pedestrian's fault!
    • FutureGirl
    • By FutureGirl 23rd Sep 16, 5:51 PM
    • 469 Posts
    • 205 Thanks
    FutureGirl
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 16, 5:51 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 16, 5:51 PM
    Unfortunately pedestrians are almost always seen as the innocent party.
    Slimming Target;
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