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Bin man damages car with bin, is that a public liability claim or a motor claim

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Bin man damages car with bin, is that a public liability claim or a motor claim

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John_ZeeJohn_Zee Forumite
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Dear All,
I am posting here today to try and get some advice on my situation.  I feel I am being harassed/bullied by the third part insurance company and am feeling a bit cornered.  My situation is as follows:
Bin men damaged my car.  As they pull the wheelie bin off my property they lost control of it (only holding bin with one hand) and it falls onto my car, creating a big dent.  On two occasions (yep this is the third time) the councils insurance agreed liability and dealt with it as public liability claim.  This has now happened a third time, only this time they are saying it's a motor claim.  I can only assume the reason for this is to discourage me from claiming.  My insurance policy clearly says to declare all motor claims maid in the last 5 years regardless of fault, so as a public liability claim I don't need to declare.  The councils insurance company have clocked onto this as I used this fact during the first two claims and so are now trying to force me down the motor claims route.  They have even gone as far as fabricating the claim by saying the bin was loaded on the vehicle and it fell from their lorry.  I have CCTV so can prove that the bin was being wheeled of my property and when one wheel dropped of my step the binman lost control and the bin toppled onto my car.  I have been arguing with the councils insurance that this is no different to the last two times, therefore it's a public liability claim but they are reciting all sorts of insurance jargon and saying it's a motor claim.  When I ask them why were the previous two incidents treated as a public liability claim, I'm told it's on a case to case bases......BUT the circumstances of the incidences are exactly the same, bin falls from my step onto the pavement and hits my can on the way down.

I am concerned that accepting this as a motor claim will result in my premium going up (because I will have to declare it) fighting for it to be dealt as a public liability claim is really hard work (been at it for last 7 months), I'm at a point now where I am doubting the facts, so am hoping someone here can shed some light on this.

Is this a motor claim or a public liability claim.  Any help or advice would be most appreciated

Thanks and stay safe
JZ
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Replies

  • edited 23 July at 5:59PM
    moleratmolerat Forumite
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    edited 23 July at 5:59PM
    No other vehicle was involved, it was a pedestrian employee that damaged your vehicle and you have video evidence of this.  I would be sending a letter before action to the council stating that unless this claim is settled by them within the next 14 days you will be issuing action in the courts.
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    All three incidents need to be declared to your motor insurers as "incidents" involving your car anyway. Each insurer uses slightly different wording but have never seen anyone who asks specifically "have you made claims against motor insurance in the last 5 years?". For example Aviva ask:
    You need to tell us about any motor related claim whether fault or non fault
    Even if you claim off their PL policy its still a "motor related" claim because it was a motor vehicle that was damaged.

    The fact they are trying to push it to their Motor insurance rather than PL insurance technically would make no difference to you, though clearly they may be attempting something underhanded for their own purposes. As the circumstances you describe it would be a PL claim as the damage was caused by a pedestrian.If the circumstances were an unsafe load falling off the lorry as they are saying then that would be a claim against their Motor insurance

  • Barny1979Barny1979 Forumite
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    I would be flagging up with the Head of Service, potentially Chief Executive and Local Councillor, as this will get your complaint taken seriously, or log through complaints process and then if not fully resolved, then potentially take to Ombudsman if both stages exhausted.
    2013 - 313 AFDs, 2014 - 289 AFDs, 2015 - 321 AFDs, 2016 - 276 AFDs, 2017 - 276 AFDs, 2018 - 240 AFDs 2019 - 285 AFDs 2020 - 181 AFDs to end of August
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  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    I would dispute that this is a 'motor related' claim.  The car just happens to be the item of property damaged by the bin.  The car was not in use at the time, nor was it on the road.
  • edited 23 July at 7:03PM
    SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    edited 23 July at 7:03PM
    TELLIT01 said:
    I would dispute that this is a 'motor related' claim.  The car just happens to be the item of property damaged by the bin.  The car was not in use at the time, nor was it on the road.
    Hows that any different to your park unattended vehicle being hit by something and it not stopping? Or do you think if its car that hits it it is motor but not a bin? How about a mobility scooter or bike?

    To continue picking on Aviva given I've got their website open... if you click yes to a claim it asks for circumstances of which one is "Ηit when parked"... they don't distinguish between what type of thing hit your parked car.
  • John_ZeeJohn_Zee Forumite
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    Sandtree said:
    All three incidents need to be declared to your motor insurers as "incidents" involving your car anyway. Each insurer uses slightly different wording but have never seen anyone who asks specifically "have you made claims against motor insurance in the last 5 years?". For example Aviva ask:
    You need to tell us about any motor related claim whether fault or non fault
    Even if you claim off their PL policy its still a "motor related" claim because it was a motor vehicle that was damaged.

    The fact they are trying to push it to their Motor insurance rather than PL insurance technically would make no difference to you, though clearly they may be attempting something underhanded for their own purposes. As the circumstances you describe it would be a PL claim as the damage was caused by a pedestrian.If the circumstances were an unsafe load falling off the lorry as they are saying then that would be a claim against their Motor insurance

    Hi Sandtree,

    Thanks for you input.  Unfortunately I disagree with having to declare all three as the policy wording does not ask for incidences just motor claims.  They don't say have you made claims against motor insurance.....etc, they paragraph is worded have you made any motor claims in the last...etc

    Also the insurance company has set he precedent by accepting the first two as PL claims.  Still none the wiser :(
  • John_ZeeJohn_Zee Forumite
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    Barny1979 said:
    I would be flagging up with the Head of Service, potentially Chief Executive and Local Councillor, as this will get your complaint taken seriously, or log through complaints process and then if not fully resolved, then potentially take to Ombudsman if both stages exhausted.
    Hi Barny1979,
    I have made complaints to the insurance company and all I get is someone calling me from India who can't help, I'm then told a manager will be in touch within the next 24 hours and nothing.  I complained to the council and they told me it's not their problem.  As they have passed the insurance details onto me.  I have had advice from CAB and they have informed me the liability still lies with the council so taking them to court should be my next move.  I am also going to the Ombudsman as this insurance company is trying to intimidate me into doing what they want.  They have fabricated the claim by stating the bin was loaded on the lorry and refusing to budge.  It's funny, had that been me making things up to make a claim it would be considered fraud.
  • John_ZeeJohn_Zee Forumite
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    Sandtree said:
    TELLIT01 said:
    I would dispute that this is a 'motor related' claim.  The car just happens to be the item of property damaged by the bin.  The car was not in use at the time, nor was it on the road.
    Hows that any different to your park unattended vehicle being hit by something and it not stopping? Or do you think if its car that hits it it is motor but not a bin? How about a mobility scooter or bike?

    To continue picking on Aviva given I've got their website open... if you click yes to a claim it asks for circumstances of which one is "Ηit when parked"... they don't distinguish between what type of thing hit your parked car.
    Again Sandtree,

    not really understanding your point as if someone hit my car with a motorised vehicle I would be asking for insurance details but if someone walked pass and damaged my car or a scaffolder dropped a pole on my car or a cyclist cycled into my car, or a traffic warden damaged my wiper when issuing a ticket I would not be asking for car insurance details,
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    In future can you not put the bin somewhere else for the bin men, rather than where it's going to potentially land on your car? 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    @John_Zee I will bow out this conversation as you clearly don't like insurance professionals who don't agree with your point of view. I have already stated what the position most insurers will take on the matter and what would be a PL and a Motor claim from the councells point of view.

    Confused.com - one of the largest quoting companies in the UK state:
    ​Please list details of any incidents, accidents, losses, thef​ts or claims involving a motor vehicle in the last five years, regardless of fault or whether you claimed or not. 
    Again, all three of the incidents involved a motor vehicle, yours and so you would have to mention it. If you want to not mention it and hope to argue your way out of it then thats fine but there won't be many sympathetic ears when you come back saying your insurance has gone up 10 fold for not declaring incidents.
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