Money Moral Dilemma: Should I claim on my friend's car insurance for the accident I was injured in?

MSE_Kelvin
MSE_Kelvin Posts: 339 MSE Staff
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edited 6 June 2023 at 1:13PM in Motoring
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

 Recently, I was a passenger in a friend's car. When she stopped to let me out, I accidentally shut my coat in the car door. My friend didn't realise this and, as she drove away, I was dragged to the ground, breaking my shoulder and smashing up my face. I have multiple sclerosis, and these injuries have had (and will have) a further impact on my quality of life. Should I claim on my friend's car insurance, or should I leave it? It was an accident, and if I claim it will put her premium up when she renews her policy.

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Comments

  • Grey_Critic
    Grey_Critic Posts: 1,336 Forumite
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    What is stopping you making a claim?

    Nothing to do with freindship I hope as it was an accident and your friends insurance will be paying if your claim is successful.

    Insurance does not just cover for scratching the car. Perhaps the friend may see a rise in premiums (unless they have a NCD) but you do need to consider the long term implications to yourself.of such an accident. I doubt your friend will fall out with you should you make a claim but I think they would be upset if in the long term it had a serious financial effect on you and you had not claimed out of friendship\
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,215 Forumite
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    What is stopping you making a claim?
    This is @Grey_Critic :
    it will put her premium up when she renews her policy.
    The OP acknowledges that their friend isnt really to blame for the incident and as such feels it may be harsh to have them paying higher premiums for the next 5 years. 

    To be honest, given the circumstances, its not clear that there is any actual negligence on behalf of the friend and therefore a claim may well fail anyway meaning time and effort spent attempting to claim ending up with nothing and the friend still having to declare a defended claim for the next 3-5 years.
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,929 Forumite
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    Aretnap's post confirms the problem here is that you will need to blame your friend in order to claim. This could harm your friendship, but I think an adult conversation with your friend about what different the compensation might make to you could resolve this. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • daivid
    daivid Posts: 1,230 Forumite
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    It seems far from clear to the driver is responsible, so would the insurance pay out? The anonymous person trapped their own coat causing the injuries, so it would come down to how far the driver’s responsibility for their passengers and awareness of the car and surroundings stretches. The injuries described make me think an ambulance was called which should have triggered police attendance - I wonder what they made of the circumstances?

    I also wonder if the driver has told their insurer anything about it - if they keep it a secret (which they shouldn’t) their premiums will be unaffected, once the incident comes to light their premiums will go up. I agree with others there is the risk of putting the friend out of pocket and ending a friendship with no personal gain if the injured party is found to be responsible for their injuries.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,309 Forumite
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    If they are any sort of friend they will be telling you to claim.
    Bur worse than increase in ins, could be facing due car & attention for your accident.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Grey_Critic
    Grey_Critic Posts: 1,336 Forumite
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    It is an accident so I see no problem but as I have said before **We can only express our own views/opinions**

    Insurance is for accidents and that is what this is.I suggest that they submit a claim but the do need need the services of a reputable solicitor. Does the *Victim* have home insurance with legal cover?

    Someone has suggested offering the friend some financial compensation due to increased insurance premiums - That would be ILLEGAL
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,204 Forumite
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    If they are any sort of friend they will be telling you to claim.
    Bur worse than increase in ins, could be facing due car & attention for your accident.
    If the police attended, the driver will already know whether there is a possible prosecution.
    BTW the appropriate charge would be causing serious injury by careless driving - IHMO unlikely.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,198 Forumite
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    Someone has suggested offering the friend some financial compensation due to increased insurance premiums - That would be ILLEGAL
    Only if done to encourage the friend to make false statements or similar - which nobody has suggested.

    A gift to repair a bruised friendship and make up for any (minor in the grand scheme of things) loss that the friend has suffered would not be remotely illegal.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,215 Forumite
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    Someone has suggested offering the friend some financial compensation due to increased insurance premiums - That would be ILLEGAL
    Which law would it be breaking?

    There are many cases where spouse is injured in a car accident at the fault of their partner. They are entitled to claim against the insurance as a consequence. The general principle of marriage is that assets are shared hence the 50/50 starting position of a divorce. 
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