Dad had car accident but he'd failed to renew insurance

in Motoring
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Sid1982Sid1982 Forumite
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Can anyone help with advice, my dad who is suspected to be suffering from early signs of dementia has had a car accident outside his home hitting a neighbour's vehicle. He was taken to hospital but in the meantime Police have impounded his car for no insurance. After the dust has settled today it appears he thought the insurance was automatically renewing but it wasn't and ran out 5 weeks ago. He now has a situation where he is liable for driving an uninsured car and the costs for repairs and hire car of his neighbour, any advice on a way forward? Repairs costs will run into thousands so no easy way to solve that.

His impounded car was heavily damaged so he's happy to leave that at the pound, can he just do that? Also what are the police likely to do about this incident? I've read a fine and points though it's unlikely he'll drive again.
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  • Jenni_DJenni_D Forumite
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    No, he can't just leave it at the pound as it will be racking up storage costs. He could perhaps "sell" it to a scrappie for the release costs (otherwise he'd need insurance on it to get it released, AFAIK).

    As to the general issue - the Motor Insurer's Bureau will probably come into effect for the 3rd party's claim, but your dad may still have a claim against him filed to recover costs. I think you (he) need to get proper legal advice ... does he have legal cover on his home insurance? (Although they may not assist with motoring-related advice).
    Jenni x
  • edited 24 November at 12:12PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 24 November at 12:12PM
    Has he had any renewal reminders? Does he check his emails? Just wondering if there’s any argument that he didn’t get any renewal information from the insurer? 
    Although it would be very surprising if he hadn’t, just something to rule out. Does he check his spam folder? 
    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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    Jenni_D said:
    No, he can't just leave it at the pound as it will be racking up storage costs. He could perhaps "sell" it to a scrappie for the release costs (otherwise he'd need insurance on it to get it released, AFAIK).

    As to the general issue - the Motor Insurer's Bureau will probably come into effect for the 3rd party's claim, but your dad may still have a claim against him filed to recover costs. I think you (he) need to get proper legal advice ... does he have legal cover on his home insurance? (Although they may not assist with motoring-related advice).
    The pound may well allow him to sign the car over to them and its salvage be deducted from the storage and recovery fees, a scrappie may give a better price but obviously will be adding days of storage costs until they can collect.

    The MIB is unlikely to come into effect unless the TP is also uninsured as your father has been identified. Their insurers are likely to settle the claim and then pursue your father for their outlay and as you've already identified, uninsured losses like car hire may also be involved.

    Depending on your fathers relationship with his neighbours it may be worth a friendly conversation with them about the situation. You have no right to ask for them to do anything different but if they know he is going to be personally funding it all they may decide they can make do with a little courtesy car from the garage rather than the like for like car from a credit hire company.
  • Sid1982Sid1982 Forumite
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    First Post
    elsien said:
    Has he had any renewal reminders? Does he check his emails? Just wondering if there’s any argument that he didn’t get any renewal information from the insurer? 
    Although it would be very surprising if he hadn’t, just something to rule out. Does he check his spam folder? 
    There's been no renewal notice that I can see nor an email, it's all a bit of a mess to be honest.
  • TooManyPointsTooManyPoints Forumite
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    He will almost certainly be offered a fixed penalty (£200 and six points) for driving without insurance. If he ignores or declines that  the matter will be dealt with in court and it will cost him considerably more. 

    There's no real point in taking legal advice. It's all been outlined on here. The TP's insurers will almost pursue him for their outlay and the police will pursue him for the offence. He doesn't have a case to defend either.
  • KimJongUn88KimJongUn88 Forumite
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    At least there’s no PI claim to pay out.
  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
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    Should he be driving in the first place? it might be time for him to surrender his license.

    The pound will charge by the day for the car to be there, the longer it is there the more they will charge,  what are the daily charge, if you don't know then ring them and ask,   your father needs to get it insured and removed from the pound, to a garage for repair / or onward sale to a breaker.

    Your father / you need to come to some arrangement for the damage to the other car, and get it paid.

    Yes it is a mess, but sort it out and draw a line under it.

    I hope your father recovers ok.
    :) Sun, Sea :)

  • AretnapAretnap Forumite
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    Had his policy renewed automatically in the past? If so, what steps did his insurer take to ensure that he knew it would not renew automatically again? 

    There are some Financial Ombudsman decisions to the effect that if an insurer is switching from auto-renewal to non-auto-renewal, it has to take significant steps to make sure that the customer is aware of this fact. Simply sending a renewal quote which says "call xxxx if you want to renew" may not be enough. I summarised a few cases in this post a while ago in this post - unfortunately the OP in that thread never came back to say how his claim had ended up.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/comment/78333332/#Comment_78333332

    If you (or your dad) can persuade the Ombudsman that it was reasonable for him to think that his insurance would automatically renew, the insurer may have to cover his costs regardless of the fact that it didn't. 
  • emmajones1976emmajones1976 Forumite
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    Aretnap said:


    If you (or your dad) can persuade the Ombudsman that it was reasonable for him to think that his insurance would automatically renew, the insurer may have to cover his costs regardless of the fact that it didn't. 
    We are dealing with someone with early onset dementia, surely all bets are off as to whether the OPs dad was told, he could have been told 10 tens and deleted the lot and can never remember a thing about it.
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