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Car Insurance (Fault Claim)

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
10 replies 989 views
scrabble33scrabble33 Forumite
5 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
I was involved in an accident last year where I had a rear-end collision with a car in front. The traffic suddenly slowed and I was not able to stop in time. I reported to my insurer right away and they advised me it would probably come out as my fault. I was informed this is what normally happens in rear-end collisions, and I don't have a strong reason (or will) to contest that.

Nothing happened for around 6 months, then today I received a letter from the solicitor acting for my insurer asking me to sign a Form Of Consent, which asks me to admit liability. The accompanying letter says my insurer will cover the costs of the claim. The paperwork also says the reason for this course of action is to ensure things go through quickly without parties and witnesses having to attend court.

The Form of Consent (which I have to sign) mentions a County Court and claimant (third party) / defendant (the insurer). It just seems concerning as I thought these things normally settled between the insurers rather than going through a Court?

It seems wise to get this form signed and sent off right away, but do I have anything to worry about besides my premiums going up? Mention of Court makes me nervous, but is it just the standard practice with third-party claims?

I'll call my insurer tomorrow to see what they have to say, but any input appreciated, as mentions of Court is naturally concerning.

Replies

  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    It's a way of insurance companies dealing with at fault claims, to avoid litigation taking place.

    You were at fault due to failing to keep a safe braking distance. Even if someone slams their brakes on in front of you, for no apparent reason, you still need a safe braking distance to stop and avoid going into the back of someone.

    Were you trying to dispute that it was your fault?

    Just sign and return the form. If you don't and your insurance company don't settle the TP's claim you will get taken to court, a CCJ will be obtained if you/your insurance company don't defend (wouldn't expect them to), or court order (CCJ) will be made if you defend the claim, attend a hearing and lose (which you will). All of this increases the costs your insurance company has to pay.

    Yes premiums go up, you've had an accident and are therefore deemed a higher risk. Best thing you can do is keep the costs of the claim down now as the higher the payout to TP/their insurance company could have a knock on effect at renewal as they tend to ask how much a claim was for.
  • edited 17 May 2019 at 7:54AM
    scrabble33scrabble33 Forumite
    5 posts
    edited 17 May 2019 at 7:54AM
    Thank you - this all makes sense. I am not disputing it was my fault, in the sense of keeping a safe braking distance.

    My particular concern is it sounds like it has already gone to court as a County Court is mentioned, and my insurer named as a Defendant. Is this normal for third-party claims?

    I'll certainly sign the form and will give my insurer a call today to see what they say.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    What does it actually say about court?

    Your insurer might be saying they expect you to agree to attend court if necessary. This is perfectly normal to agree to as proceedings have to be against you personally not the insurer.
    It’s probably standard wording explaining your obligations, but only if something goes wrong. It’s perfectly normal to have this kind of thing in contracts.

    But we don’t know what it says and just because it mentions court doesn’t mean it’s actually gone to court.

    So read it and work out what they are asking you to sign.

    If you want your insurer to pay you have to expect to agree to do things their way.
    Worst case you’d have to take time off on a weekday but this is not norma, as it’s expensive so insurance companies do their best to avoid.
  • I spoke to my insurer just now, and they informed me the third party have litigated against them so it's gone to County Court. I'm not sure why - maybe the two insurance companies couldn't agree on a settlement.

    I'm happy to sign the Form of Consent which allows the solicitor acting for my insurer to admit liability as it says this means I won't have to attend court.

    My real worry is I could get a CCJ against my name. Is there any chance of this, given that the Defendant is my insurer rather than myself? Everything I read suggests a CCJ is about unpaid money, but if I'm admitting liability and it goes in favour of the third party isn't that technically a judgement made in a county court?

    Sorry for all the questions, you don't think you need to know until suddenly you do.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    scrabble33 wrote: »
    I spoke to my insurer just now, and they informed me the third party have litigated against them so it's gone to County Court. I'm not sure why - maybe the two insurance companies couldn't agree on a settlement.

    I’m guessing here but your insurer sounds like they have dragged their feet if they haven’t done anything for 6 months, the other side have threatened court to get things moving then your insurer starts moving as whilst they want to delay paying for as long as possible, they don’t want to go to court.
    My real worry is I could get a CCJ against my name. Is there any chance of this, given that the Defendant is my insurer rather than myself? Everything I read suggests a CCJ is about unpaid money, but if I'm admitting liability and it goes in favour of the third party isn't that technically a judgement made in a county court?

    My feeling is that it’s unlikely as it seems like your insurer is now sorting this out an settling which will satisfy the other side.
    A CCJ is a judgment.
    A unsatisfied CCJ is unpaid.

    Most likely this is simply the other side have got fed up of your insurer doing nothing but it seems they are now acting to resolve it.
    Some insurers won’t pay until they have to i.e. they get court threats, it simply how some businesses operate.
  • edited 19 May 2019 at 8:25AM
    Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    edited 19 May 2019 at 8:25AM
    Hi, I'm a driving instructor and someone drove in to the back of me on a lesson in January, classic case of pupil stalled at a roundabout and car behind assumed we had moved etc etc. No injury for me but claiming out of pocket expenses for one lesson, and fuel costs for going to authorised repairer for estimates etc.

    I used my legal cover/accident Managment company attached to my insurer (I'm not keen on these companies but have to as they provide me with a dual control car whether fault or non fault in my insurance terms which I need for my business)

    Any how it's now May and I contacted them for an update. They said they have not had a response from the third party insurer so I've just signed forms for them to authorise a solicitor to give notice of court action.

    As others have said I think it's just so things get moving. I'm very doubtful you will need to go to court and I'm sure your insurer will pay out. It may be the other party used a credit hire company and your company want to dispute the costs.

    Good luck.
  • Thank you for these encouraging replies. Agreed it does now look like a case of getting things moving.

    I was able to contact the solicitors who sent the letter. The situation is that an agreement couldn't be made on the amount of the settlement, and that's why it's ended up going to court. So yes, it sounds likely the third party might have used a credit hire company or something like that.

    As for the letter I was asked to sign, it looked a bit concerning as it was asking me to 'admit liability on behalf of' my insurer (the Defendant in the case). I was reassured by the solicitor that 'liability' here means liability for the accident, and that I would still be indemnified by my insurance from the legal proceedings. So that's cleared that concern up.

    Thanks again all, your replies have put my mind at rest!
  • edited 19 May 2019 at 9:07PM
    QuentinQuentin Forumite
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    edited 19 May 2019 at 9:07PM
    scrabble33 wrote: »

    My real worry is I could get a CCJ against my name. Is there any chance of this, given that the Defendant is my insurer rather than myself? Everything I read suggests a CCJ is about unpaid money, but if I'm admitting liability and it goes in favour of the third party isn't that technically a judgement made in a county court?

    Sorry for all the questions, you don't think you need to know until suddenly you do.
    This court case is not to decide on blame. That's already been agreed.

    This looks to be an argument between the insurers on the amount of compensation the other side are asking for.

    If your insurer were to lose the case in court, (assuming this does actually reach a court hearing and isn't settled between the two legal teams earlier) then judgement will be made against them (this is a CCJ)

    This judgement would then be paid by your Insurer.
  • Thanks Quentin - a scary prospect, and a little confusing too since the Defendant is named as my insurer rather than myself. At least the record should be expunged, if it gets that far.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
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    As your insurer is named as the defendant (missed that in your post) then no ccj comes your way whatsoever the outcome of the case might be
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