Insurance Voided After Accident

deckz
deckz Forumite Posts: 27
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edited 1 August at 10:20PM in Insurance & life assurance

Dear forum members,

I seek your advice regarding an issue with my motor insurance policy that has been recently voided. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The policy, registered under my name and personal address, has been voided due to a discrepancy with the registered keeper's details, which are in the name of a company of which I am a director.

Almost 2 months ago, I was involved in an accident. Subsequently, my vehicle has been retained in a repair garage, and the estimated cost for repairs has been forwarded to my insurance company.

Rather frustratingly, for almost two months, the insurer demanded various documents one by one, rather than asking for all the necessary paperwork at once, causing a significant accumulation of car storage fees at the repair garage.

Following this prolonged period of back and forth, my insurer issued a voidance notice, refusing to cover the repair costs. In the policy details, I clearly stated that the legal owner of the vehicle is a company. Although the insurer did not allow me to input the company's specific details when I was filling out the policy, this information remains present in the car insurance documents.

At the time of the accident, I was fully insured by the company. They honoured their obligations by arranging the recovery of my car and organising a taxi to transport me home. However, they decided to nullify the policy when it came to covering repair costs.

To avoid future complications, I've updated the V5C details through the DVLA, transferring the registered keeper to myself, under my personal name and address. During this process, I realised that I could backdate this change to the date of vehicle purchase, which I proceeded to do as it accurately reflects the real situation.

Given these circumstances, I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could provide some insight into whether I have a viable case for an appeal or grounds to bring this matter before the financial ombudsman?

Thank you for your assistance.

Details:
Policyholder's name and address: My personal name and address.
Vehicle owner: The company
V5C Document details: Initially the company's name and address, but now updated to my personal name and address and backdated to the vehicle's date of purchase.


SECOND THREAD
Seeking advice on next steps for damaged vehicle - insurance voided:
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6463790/seeking-advice-on-next-steps-for-damaged-vehicle-insurance-voided/p1

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Comments

  • deckz
    deckz Forumite Posts: 27
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    I forgot to mention - in their voidance notice, they quoted the incorrect date of the accident (a discrepancy of 20 days). A minor error on their part I'd like to inform you of, if it can play any significance in my case.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,273
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    Of which accident? The one you are claiming for or a prior one?

    Not sure why you are talking about legal owner and registered keeper if this hasnt been raised by the insurer. If these were both correctly declared the last thing you want to be doing is backdating a change which would then make the details incorrect. 

    You ultimately need to register a complaint about the policy being voided and substantiate that the specific information which you gave them that they claim was false was correct. Dont get distracted on other matters they havent raised!

    Under CIDRE they are only entitled to void the policy if they can show you deliberately or wrecklessly provided wrong information. If it was careless or accidental they can only void it if they wouldnt have insured you had you provided the accurate information. If you can show you honestly believed it to be correct at the time even if it subsequently proves to be incorrect they cannot void the policy only cancel it. 
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Forumite Posts: 114,285
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    To avoid future complications, I've updated the V5C details through the DVLA, transferring the registered keeper to myself, under my personal name and address. During this process, I realised that I could backdate this change to the date of vehicle purchase, which I proceeded to do as it accurately reflects the real situation.
    You will also need to make your accountant aware as a transfer of an asset out of the company into your name will be a reportable transaction for the accounts and create taxation differences.

    Given these circumstances, I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could provide some insight into whether I have a viable case for an appeal or grounds to bring this matter before the financial ombudsman?
    Before you can go to the FOS, you have to complain to the insurer and give them a chance to respond.

    Unlike when you are self-employed, a limited company is a distinct legal entity separate from you.   Even if you are the sole beneficial owner of the limited company.   If you note DDG's comments above and feel the insurer are acting unfairly, then you raise the complaint with them first.

    I forgot to mention - in their voidance notice, they quoted the incorrect date of the accident (a discrepancy of 20 days). A minor error on their part I'd like to inform you of, if it can play any significance in my case.
    That works both ways.   i.e. if you were 20 days out on declaring an incident you wouldn't expect the insurer to hold it against you.    Equally, you wouldn't for them either.    Its irrelevant in the scheme of things.   There is nothing to gain from trying to score points against them in areas it doesn't matter.    Plus, winding the person up that deals with your claim (or complaint) won't help you get an outcome you want.   You want that person on your side.   You don't want them to think you are an ar** and go out of their way to work against you.



    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,273
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    dunstonh said:
    To avoid future complications, I've updated the V5C details through the DVLA, transferring the registered keeper to myself, under my personal name and address. During this process, I realised that I could backdate this change to the date of vehicle purchase, which I proceeded to do as it accurately reflects the real situation.
    You will also need to make your accountant aware as a transfer of an asset out of the company into your name will be a reportable transaction for the accounts and create taxation differences.

    Ownership and registered keeper are two separate things... the OP only stated they had changed the registered keeper not that they'd bought the car from the company (or been gifted it). 
  • deckz
    deckz Forumite Posts: 27
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    Of which accident? The one you are claiming for or a prior one?

    Not sure why you are talking about legal owner and registered keeper if this hasnt been raised by the insurer. If these were both correctly declared the last thing you want to be doing is backdating a change which would then make the details incorrect. 

    You ultimately need to register a complaint about the policy being voided and substantiate that the specific information which you gave them that they claim was false was correct. Dont get distracted on other matters they havent raised!

    Under CIDRE they are only entitled to void the policy if they can show you deliberately or wrecklessly provided wrong information. If it was careless or accidental they can only void it if they wouldnt have insured you had you provided the accurate information. If you can show you honestly believed it to be correct at the time even if it subsequently proves to be incorrect they cannot void the policy only cancel it. 
    Hi DullGreyGuy,

    Thank you for your advice and for taking the time to respond.

    Apologies for any confusion - I should clarify that there was only one accident.

    Here's a more detailed timeline for clarity:

    30 Dec 2022: Vehicle purchased under company name and V5C registered accordingly.
    The insurance policy is taken out under my name and address.

    27 May 2023: The accident occurred.

    Mid-June 2023: The car was taken to the repair garage and repair estimates were sent to the insurer.

    20 July 2023: The insurer issued a voidance notice.

    The insurance policy was voided due to a discrepancy between the policyholder's details (my name and address) and the V5C Registered Keeper document (registered under the company's name and address). This discrepancy was an honest oversight during the registration process at the dealership, not a deliberate or reckless misrepresentation of information. I have since rectified this by amending the V5C to reflect my name and backdated this to the date of purchase, to accurately reflect the actual circumstances.

    In relation to your point about voidance due to accidental or careless misinformation, the insurer stated in their voidance notice email: "Had we been aware you were not the registered keeper of the vehicle we wouldn’t have been able to offer you a quotation, nor issue you a policy."

    This is my first accident in 15 years of driving, so I must confess that I'm navigating unfamiliar territory here. In order to lodge a formal complaint against the voidance, should I respond directly to the voidance email? If my complaint is either rejected or ignored, would it then be appropriate to bring this matter before the financial ombudsman?

    Again, thank you for your advice.
  • CSI_Yorkshire
    CSI_Yorkshire Forumite Posts: 1,792
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    So, there was accidental misinformation at the time of taking out the policy.

    If correct information was provided, the insurer would not have offered the policy.

    Does that not mean that the decision to void was legitimate?

    On what grounds would you be trying to challenge that decision - i.e. which bit of the procedures/rules/guidance do you think they have not followed?

    Technicalities are the only things that really matter in complaints, particularly Ombudsman complaints.  Sentiment, emotion, implications or actual outcomes are not really that relevant.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,273
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    deckz said:
    Of which accident? The one you are claiming for or a prior one?

    Not sure why you are talking about legal owner and registered keeper if this hasnt been raised by the insurer. If these were both correctly declared the last thing you want to be doing is backdating a change which would then make the details incorrect. 

    You ultimately need to register a complaint about the policy being voided and substantiate that the specific information which you gave them that they claim was false was correct. Dont get distracted on other matters they havent raised!

    Under CIDRE they are only entitled to void the policy if they can show you deliberately or wrecklessly provided wrong information. If it was careless or accidental they can only void it if they wouldnt have insured you had you provided the accurate information. If you can show you honestly believed it to be correct at the time even if it subsequently proves to be incorrect they cannot void the policy only cancel it. 
    Hi DullGreyGuy,

    Thank you for your advice and for taking the time to respond.

    Apologies for any confusion - I should clarify that there was only one accident.

    Here's a more detailed timeline for clarity:

    30 Dec 2022: Vehicle purchased under company name and V5C registered accordingly.
    The insurance policy is taken out under my name and address.

    27 May 2023: The accident occurred.

    Mid-June 2023: The car was taken to the repair garage and repair estimates were sent to the insurer.

    20 July 2023: The insurer issued a voidance notice.

    The insurance policy was voided due to a discrepancy between the policyholder's details (my name and address) and the V5C Registered Keeper document (registered under the company's name and address). This discrepancy was an honest oversight during the registration process at the dealership, not a deliberate or reckless misrepresentation of information. I have since rectified this by amending the V5C to reflect my name and backdated this to the date of purchase, to accurately reflect the actual circumstances.

    In relation to your point about voidance due to accidental or careless misinformation, the insurer stated in their voidance notice email: "Had we been aware you were not the registered keeper of the vehicle we wouldn’t have been able to offer you a quotation, nor issue you a policy."

    This is my first accident in 15 years of driving, so I must confess that I'm navigating unfamiliar territory here. In order to lodge a formal complaint against the voidance, should I respond directly to the voidance email? If my complaint is either rejected or ignored, would it then be appropriate to bring this matter before the financial ombudsman?

    Again, thank you for your advice.
    So it sounds like you are saying that they are correct, that you did declare the vehicle as registered to yourself when in fact it wasnt. So what grounds are you going to complain on?

    Your policybook will have a complaints process, whilst strictly they should log any expression of dissatisfaction with a claim of material loss, inconvenience or distress as a complaint its always best to do what the policybook states.

    You can escalate to the ombudsman either after receiving a final response to your complaint (can also be called a deadlock letter) or 8 weeks have passed since the complaint was received.
  • deckz
    deckz Forumite Posts: 27
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    So, there was accidental misinformation at the time of taking out the policy.

    If correct information was provided, the insurer would not have offered the policy.

    Does that not mean that the decision to void was legitimate?

    On what grounds would you be trying to challenge that decision - i.e. which bit of the procedures/rules/guidance do you think they have not followed?

    Technicalities are the only things that really matter in complaints, particularly Ombudsman complaints.  Sentiment, emotion, implications or actual outcomes are not really that relevant.
    Hi CSI_Yorkshire,

    Thank you for your input.

    The point of contention here, as stated in the insurer's voidance notice, is the registered keeper status:
    "This is because, during our routine checks, we found that you are not the registered keeper of vehicle registration XXXXXXX. This was different from the information you gave us when you bought your policy. Had we been aware you were not the registered keeper of the vehicle we wouldn’t have been able to offer you a quotation, nor issue you a policy."

    The discrepancy here relates to the V5C Registered Keeper status, which I had mistakenly believed was correct to be under the company's name when, in fact, it should have been registered under my name. This misunderstanding was an oversight on my part, not a deliberate attempt to mislead. I've since corrected this by amending the V5C to my name, backdated to the vehicle's purchase date.

    The insurer's statement implies that if the correct registered keeper information had been provided at the outset, they would not have voided the policy. The primary issue, therefore, seems to revolve around an honest misunderstanding of the distinction between the "registered keeper" and the "legal owner" of the vehicle.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,273
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    deckz said:
    The discrepancy here relates to the V5C Registered Keeper status, which I had mistakenly believed was correct to be under the company's name when, in fact, it should have been registered under my name. This misunderstanding was an oversight on my part, not a deliberate attempt to mislead. I've since corrected this by amending the V5C to my name, backdated to the vehicle's purchase date.

    The insurer's statement implies that if the correct registered keeper information had been provided at the outset, they would not have voided the policy. The primary issue, therefore, seems to revolve around an honest misunderstanding of the distinction between the "registered keeper" and the "legal owner" of the vehicle.
    There is nothing wrong with it being under the company's name, if that is what it was, just this company doesnt insure vehicles where the registered keeper is a company and had you correctly declared it was the company then they wouldnt have quoted, someone else would have and you would have bought from them instead. 

    Whilst you many not have initially understood the nuance of difference between the two, and its not that uncommon, you have two issues that go against you... firstly you say you thought the owner and keeper were different in your case which would strongly suggest you have a reasonable idea that the two are different things. Secondly, and it goes for most, the company asked you for both and if you had no idea that these were different things why did you give different answers?

    If it was reckless or careless is irrelevant in this case because the insurer have stated they wouldnt have provided cover if the correct details had been given.
  • deckz
    deckz Forumite Posts: 27
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    In this case because the insurer have stated they wouldnt have provided cover if the correct details had been given.
    Hi DGG,

    Thanks for your reply

    I understand that they would not have offered the policy if the V5C Registered Keeper is the company.
    However, the V5C Registered Keeper should have been me all along. If the V5C Registered Keeper was me since the start of the policy, wouldn't the policy still be valid?

    I never wanted to have the policy under the Comapny name and address.
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