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  • FIRST POST
    • henrygregory
    • By henrygregory 8th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    • 448Posts
    • 49Thanks
    henrygregory
    Drunk Driving Crash - who will pay out?
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    Drunk Driving Crash - who will pay out? 8th Oct 17 at 11:41 AM
    Good morning, just looking for a little advice for a friend (yes it really is, I don’t drink or drink drive - am not stupid).

    He had one too many and drove up the road from pub to his house and hit a parked car causing quite significant damage to his vehicle and lots of scraping of back bumper and wing of parked car.
    Luckily, police were already patrolling and came across him in seconds, breathalysed him and I think he said he was double the limit – can’t remember exactly.

    He knows he is going to loose his licence for 12 mths – what a silly mistake and a jolly good job no people were around or injured.

    My question is what will be the stance with the insurance here. My understanding was (and something I tell many drinking friends) if you’re drunk behind the wheel, your policy would be invalid from inception.
    Meaning any damage to your vehicle, would need to be covered by yourself and any damage to the claimant’s vehicle, would still legally be the responsibility of your insurer, though one would expect the insurer would then pursue you for the money they have had to spend on the claimant.

    Am I clear on that? He is naturally worried, and tells me that the arresting officer thought he had caused around £8k in damage, so a considerable amount.

    I have told him it is best he doesn’t look into matters too much as he may find it all quite stressful, but to be honest, and deal with the matter and put it behind him. So silly that people do this, he needed a vehicle for his job, just not worth it over a silly tipple.

    Any clarification on my understanding would be greatly appreciated.
Page 1
    • gycraig
    • By gycraig 8th Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    • 410 Posts
    • 295 Thanks
    gycraig
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    Insurance have to pay it but then will sue him
    • mgfvvc
    • By mgfvvc 8th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • 229 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    mgfvvc
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    I think it depends on your Insurer. Admiral group policies have a specific term allowing them to reclaim their costs from you in these circumstances. As far as I know other insurers don't.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    • 33,535 Posts
    • 17,422 Thanks
    Quentin
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    My understanding was (and something I tell many drinking friends) if you’re drunk behind the wheel, your policy would be invalid from inception.
    Originally posted by henrygregory
    Not necessarily


    Your many friends should check their policy wording - some insurers do include a condition like that, others do not.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 8th Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • 1,932 Posts
    • 2,441 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    As I understand it, the insurer may pay for the damage to the parked car - but not for your friend's car.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 8th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    • 2,519 Posts
    • 2,701 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:37 PM

    He knows he is going to loose his licence for 12 mths
    Originally posted by henrygregory
    18 months would be more likely ....
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 8th Oct 17, 12:50 PM
    • 1,932 Posts
    • 2,441 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:50 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:50 PM

    He knows he is going to loose his licence for 12 mths
    Originally posted by henrygregory
    18 months would be more likely ....Posted by TonyMMM
    Mr S lost his licence for 6 months after he fainted. No alcohol, wasn't driving at the time.

    Yes, I know it's a very different case - but a 12 month ban for being twice over the limit would be very lenient.

    P.S. - He's fine now - turned out his BP meds were too high.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 08-10-2017 at 1:52 PM.
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 8th Oct 17, 1:58 PM
    • 1,148 Posts
    • 627 Thanks
    wongataa
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 17, 1:58 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 17, 1:58 PM
    Insurers will always pay the third party costs. They have to by law. However, some insurers have a clause in their terms that in the event that if you were over the alcohol limit and caused the crash they will sue you for the money they paid out and they will not cover any damage to your vehicle.

    Look at the relevant insurance documents to see if this applies to you/your friend/etc. It certainly applies to Admiral group policies.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 8th Oct 17, 3:23 PM
    • 2,843 Posts
    • 2,339 Thanks
    Aretnap
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 17, 3:23 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 17, 3:23 PM
    He had one too many... and I think he said he was double the limit
    Originally posted by henrygregory
    Twice the limit is a bit more than one too many - unless you mean one bottle of wine...

    My question is what will be the stance with the insurance here. My understanding was (and something I tell many drinking friends) if you’re drunk behind the wheel, your policy would be invalid from inception.
    Meaning any damage to your vehicle, would need to be covered by yourself and any damage to the claimant’s vehicle, would still legally be the responsibility of your insurer, though one would expect the insurer would then pursue you for the money they have had to spend on the claimant.
    It's certainly not invalid from inception - that would mean that the policy would be treated as if it had never existed in the first place, and if he'd had a quite separate accident while sober a couple of months ago which hadn't been settled yet, the insurer could refuse to pay for that one as well.

    They can, however, refuse to cover him this particular accident if their policy terms allow them to do so. The actual policy terms vary from insurer to insurer.

    Many insurers (probably most, although drink-driving exclusions are increasingly common) don't have any special terms at all, and will pay out as normal, just as they would if he was speeding, not looking where he was going or any other way of driving like a muppet that you can think of.

    Others (eg Hastings, last time I checked) reduce cover to third party only - so no repairs for your mate's car, but he'd be covered in full for the damage he caused to the other vehicle.

    And some (eg Admiral) go a step further - they'll pay the third party's costs, then pursue your mate for them. (This is as far as the Road Traffic Act allows them to go - you're right that they can't refuse to cover the third party's costs entirely)

    So the scenario you outline is by no means certain to happen, but it's a possibility. Your mate needs to read his policy terms pretty quickly. (Probably he should have read them before he got behind the wheel after a drink, or better still not got behind the wheel after a drink, but it's a bit late to say that now...).
    • singhini
    • By singhini 8th Oct 17, 4:25 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    singhini
    My classic car policy does not cover me in the event of drink driving (they will not pay for repairs to my car nor the third parties), the third party would sue me for repairs to their car and i would have to repair my car).


    it clear states my policy is invalid for braking the law
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 9th Oct 17, 10:57 AM
    • 2,843 Posts
    • 2,339 Thanks
    Aretnap
    My classic car policy does not cover me in the event of drink driving (they will not pay for repairs to my car nor the third parties...
    Originally posted by singhini
    It doesn't matter what they say in the policy - they will still have to pay for the third party's repairs. The Road Traffic Act states that any term in a policy which attempts to invalidate the third party cover in these circumstances has no effect. (Drunkenness is covered by "the physical or mental condition of the person driving the vehicle")

    It does, however, give the insurer the right to recover any sums it pays to the third party from you, so it would be of small comfort to you. It's there to protect the third party rather than to protect you. Essentially it means that if you are unable to pay for all the damage yourself then it's your insurer who loses out rather than the innocent third party.
    • gardner1
    • By gardner1 9th Oct 17, 11:08 AM
    • 2,237 Posts
    • 3,312 Thanks
    gardner1
    Good morning, just looking for a little advice for a friend (yes it really is, I don’t drink or drink drive - am not stupid).

    He had one too many and drove up the road from pub to his house and hit a parked car causing quite significant damage to his vehicle and lots of scraping of back bumper and wing of parked car.
    Luckily, police were already patrolling and came across him in seconds, breathalysed him and I think he said he was double the limit – can’t remember exactly.

    He knows he is going to loose his licence for 12 mths – what a silly mistake and a jolly good job no people were around or injured.

    My question is what will be the stance with the insurance here. My understanding was (and something I tell many drinking friends) if you’re drunk behind the wheel, your policy would be invalid from inception.
    Meaning any damage to your vehicle, would need to be covered by yourself and any damage to the claimant’s vehicle, would still legally be the responsibility of your insurer, though one would expect the insurer would then pursue you for the money they have had to spend on the claimant.

    Am I clear on that? He is naturally worried, and tells me that the arresting officer thought he had caused around £8k in damage, so a considerable amount.

    I have told him it is best he doesn’t look into matters too much as he may find it all quite stressful, but to be honest, and deal with the matter and put it behind him. So silly that people do this, he needed a vehicle for his job, just not worth it over a silly tipple.

    Any clarification on my understanding would be greatly appreciated.
    Originally posted by henrygregory
    Well it's a case of tough 5h1t for your friend because his one for the road is going to cost him big time
    Insurance company will be chasing him for money
    His car might be a write off which he will be financially responsible for
    He might lose his job
    His insurance will be sky high after his ban ends
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 9th Oct 17, 11:38 AM
    • 1,932 Posts
    • 2,441 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    Well it's a case of tough 5h1t for your friend because his one for the road is going to cost him big time
    Insurance company will be chasing him for money
    His car might be a write off which he will be financially responsible for
    He might lose his job
    His insurance will be sky high after his ban ends
    Posted by gardner1
    Your friend should be counting his blessings. He could have killed someone.
    • henrygregory
    • By henrygregory 9th Oct 17, 12:18 PM
    • 448 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    henrygregory
    Thank you everyone for your comments, especially the detailed ones.

    Yes, for those of you saying he should be counting his blessings etc, certainly, and I think he has realised this. It is just a shame that people can't experience this before they drink and drive, as I think they would really re-consider what they are doing.

    Thankfully no one was hurt in the accident. Let's just hope more people can get the idea into their heads that this sort of thing is in no way acceptable, even if it is just to move your car off of double yellows. It isn't worth it.
    • henrygregory
    • By henrygregory 9th Oct 17, 12:19 PM
    • 448 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    henrygregory
    It doesn't matter what they say in the policy - they will still have to pay for the third party's repairs. The Road Traffic Act states that any term in a policy which attempts to invalidate the third party cover in these circumstances has no effect. (Drunkenness is covered by "the physical or mental condition of the person driving the vehicle")

    It does, however, give the insurer the right to recover any sums it pays to the third party from you, so it would be of small comfort to you. It's there to protect the third party rather than to protect you. Essentially it means that if you are unable to pay for all the damage yourself then it's your insurer who loses out rather than the innocent third party.
    Originally posted by Aretnap
    Thanks, that is very interesting. I had assumed they would use the MIB.
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