non fault claim- car hire not being paid by at fault insurer

hi all, 

I had a non fault claim where a ambulance hit my car whilst parked. They accepted fault and paid out my insurance for repairs but the company my insurance used for a hire car have not been paid out. The hire company are now taking third party insurance to court as they are refusing to pay for a hire car as they feel I had at the time enough money to pay for the hire car myself. The hire car company are asking for bank statements for around the time of the claim to see if I had enough money to pay for the car.

My question is even if I had enough money to pay surely as a non fault claim I should not be losing out on money to hire a car when someone else hit me and took blame? Any advice now? Currently the hire company are taking them to court and asking me for statements before that step and asking what dates I am not available for court 

Comments

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,267
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    Who offered you the hire car and on what terms?  If your insurance told you to get a hire car and it states on the policy that you should have one then it's up to your insurance and the other party to fight out who pays the bill.  

    Frankly it does sound like the hire company is trying it on.  What does having money in the bank mean in terms of what someone can afford?  You might have lots of other prior obligations that you were about to pay out on. 
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • saajan_12
    saajan_12 Posts: 3,567
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    Al123_ said:
    hi all, 

    I had a non fault claim where a ambulance hit my car whilst parked. They accepted fault and paid out my insurance for repairs but the company my insurance used for a hire car have not been paid out. The hire company are now taking third party insurance to court as they are refusing to pay for a hire car as they feel I had at the time enough money to pay for the hire car myself. The hire car company are asking for bank statements for around the time of the claim to see if I had enough money to pay for the car.

    My question is even if I had enough money to pay surely as a non fault claim I should not be losing out on money to hire a car when someone else hit me and took blame? Any advice now? Currently the hire company are taking them to court and asking me for statements before that step and asking what dates I am not available for court 
    Are they refusing to pay for the hire costs entirely, or just any additional charges for paying later? 

    The only reason I can think for their argument is if you took more expensive car hire because you weren't paying upfront. If you had the money, you could have paid for the car hire upfront and the insurance co would reimburse that lower amount. 

    However I don't know if that's a valid argument, as to whether you should have to front the money (vs earning interest on it). Also that doesn't explain denying the entire hire cost. 
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,137
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    Having money of your own doesn't affect your right to a replacement car, but it can affect how you can hire it or how much you can claim.

    Basically you can claim for expenses that you incur as a result of the accident (like a hire car), but you have a duty to keep those expenses reasonable. You are not allowed to go out and hire the most expensive car that you can find just because someone else is paying for it.

    In practice this means that if you have lots of spare cash lying around you'd be expected to go down to your local branch of Hertz and hire a car yourself, which is the cheapest way of hiring a car, then claim the cost back from the third party insurer at a later date.

    However if you're skint you won't be in a position to do that, so you'll need to use a credit hire company. This is (a lot) more expensive, but does mean that you don't have to pay anything up front.

    The third party insurer are probably arguing that you should have taken the first option, and didn't need to take the second. They may or may not be right, but that's where your bank statements etc come in. If they show that you're loaded, your hire company can only claim whatever Hertz would have charged you for the car. If you're skint, they can claim the full credit hire fees. If you're somewhere in between, they can have a good arguament about it with the third party insurer.

    The outcome shouldn't affect you - it's about what the hire company can claim on your behalf. You won't have to put your hand in your own pocket so long as you copoerate with the hire company by providing the information they need to make the claim.
  • yeah it is in my policy that I will be offered a hire car from my insurance which they did as it was a non fault claim. The car I had was a like for like car and I only had it for 5 days. They are arguing that they think I could have afforded to pay the hire car myself. They were even offered a discounted rate by the higher company and they refused
  • What's whether you could afford to hire a car yourself got to do with it? If it's in your policy that a hire car is provided then your own financial position is surely irrelevant. It's like having an accident and being told that we're not paying out because you can afford to pay for the repairs yourself.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,124
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    Al123_ said:

    I had a non fault claim where a ambulance hit my car whilst parked. They accepted fault and paid out my insurance for repairs but the company my insurance used for a hire car have not been paid out.

    It sounds like your insurance company referred you to a "claims management company" or "accident management company" to deal with.
    • They have a reputation for trying to make themselves extra profit by charging excessive amounts for car hire, car repairs, etc - then trying to claim it back from the 3rd party insurer.
    • In your case, it sounds like the 3rd party insurer is pushing back, because the charge for the car hire is excessive. 
    • One way that these companies justify their high car hire charges is by offering credit (hire now, pay later) - with a very high rate of interest, which is charged to the 3rd party insurer.
    • So the 3rd party insurer is checking whether you really needed to get a hire car on credit - with a huge rate of interest - or whether you had the cash available to get a much cheaper hire car from Herz, Europcar etc.
    • For example, hiring a car from Herz might have cost £100 per day, but you arranged a credit hire car which might cost £500 per day (when the interest is included). So you didn't mitigate your losses.
     



    You probably entered into a contract with the "claims management company" - you need to read it to see what it says.

    A 'better' contract might say...
    • 1) If the 3rd party insurer refuses to pay the costs, you must cooperate to help the Claims Management Company get their money. And that includes going to court.
    • 2) If you don't cooperate, and the Claims Management Company lose the court case, you will have to pay the (very expensive) car hire charges.
    • 3) If you cooperate, and the Claims Management Company still lose the court case, the Claims Management Company will cover their own losses - so you don't have to pay for the car hire

    A 'worse' contract might say...

    • 3) Even if you cooperate, and the Claims Management Company still lose the court case, you will have to pay the (very expensive) car hire charges.

    Here's an article by the Financial Ombudsman Service:



    Motorists who do not understand the risks of credit hire could face bills of tens of thousands of pounds the Financial Ombudsman Service has warned today.

    Link: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news/financial-ombudsman-service-warns-credit-hire-risks

    Here's what a legal firm say about Credit Hire Cars:  https://www.furleypage.co.uk/following-a-car-accident-do-you-use-a-courtesy-car-or-credit-hire-car-pitfalls-to-avoid/


  • Cloth_of_Gold
    Cloth_of_Gold Posts: 688
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    edited 21 December 2023 at 5:49PM
    eddddy said:

    Al123_ said:

    I had a non fault claim where a ambulance hit my car whilst parked. They accepted fault and paid out my insurance for repairs but the company my insurance used for a hire car have not been paid out.

    It sounds like your insurance company referred you to a "claims management company" or "accident management company" to deal with.
    • They have a reputation for trying to make themselves extra profit by charging excessive amounts for car hire, car repairs, etc - then trying to claim it back from the 3rd party insurer.
    • In your case, it sounds like the 3rd party insurer is pushing back, because the charge for the car hire is excessive. 
    • One way that these companies justify their high car hire charges is by offering credit (hire now, pay later) - with a very high rate of interest, which is charged to the 3rd party insurer.
    • So the 3rd party insurer is checking whether you really needed to get a hire car on credit - with a huge rate of interest - or whether you had the cash available to get a much cheaper hire car from Herz, Europcar etc.
    • For example, hiring a car from Herz might have cost £100 per day, but you arranged a credit hire car which might cost £500 per day (when the interest is included). So you didn't mitigate your losses.
     



    You probably entered into a contract with the "claims management company" - you need to read it to see what it says.

    A 'better' contract might say...
    • 1) If the 3rd party insurer refuses to pay the costs, you must cooperate to help the Claims Management Company get their money. And that includes going to court.
    • 2) If you don't cooperate, and the Claims Management Company lose the court case, you will have to pay the (very expensive) car hire charges.
    • 3) If you cooperate, and the Claims Management Company still lose the court case, the Claims Management Company will cover their own losses - so you don't have to pay for the car hire

    A 'worse' contract might say...

    • 3) Even if you cooperate, and the Claims Management Company still lose the court case, you will have to pay the (very expensive) car hire charges.

    Here's an article by the Financial Ombudsman Service:



    Motorists who do not understand the risks of credit hire could face bills of tens of thousands of pounds the Financial Ombudsman Service has warned today.

    Link: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news/financial-ombudsman-service-warns-credit-hire-risks

    Here's what a legal firm say about Credit Hire Cars:  https://www.furleypage.co.uk/following-a-car-accident-do-you-use-a-courtesy-car-or-credit-hire-car-pitfalls-to-avoid/



    That is really interesting, and news to me - thank you.

    Back in 1997 I bought a new car and after only 3 months someone went into the side of me at a junction (their fault). Someone at work suggested I used a company called Help Hire, which I did. They provided me with a Lexus GS 300 which I had for 6 weeks, as the dealership took a long time over the repair. The repairs cost around £6K iirc but I dread to think how much the car hire cost. The person at fault and I had the same insurer so I don't know if that made any difference but they paid for everything without demur. I wonder if, unknowingly, I was at risk of a huge bill or if my situation was different. 
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,632
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    Al123_ said:
    yeah it is in my policy that I will be offered a hire car from my insurance which they did as it was a non fault claim. 
    Doesn't sound like you have been though, you have been passed to an accident management company and your insurer has washed their hands of you. unless thats what you meant by offered.

    Unfortunately we see more an more of this and people signing up without understanding what they are signing up to.

    All you can do now is to supply them with what they ask for as being non compliant just gives them a way to pass the bill to you.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,086
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    eddddy said:

    Al123_ said:

    I had a non fault claim where a ambulance hit my car whilst parked. They accepted fault and paid out my insurance for repairs but the company my insurance used for a hire car have not been paid out.

    It sounds like your insurance company referred you to a "claims management company" or "accident management company" to deal with.
    • They have a reputation for trying to make themselves extra profit by charging excessive amounts for car hire, car repairs, etc - then trying to claim it back from the 3rd party insurer.
    • In your case, it sounds like the 3rd party insurer is pushing back, because the charge for the car hire is excessive. 
    • One way that these companies justify their high car hire charges is by offering credit (hire now, pay later) - with a very high rate of interest, which is charged to the 3rd party insurer.
    • So the 3rd party insurer is checking whether you really needed to get a hire car on credit - with a huge rate of interest - or whether you had the cash available to get a much cheaper hire car from Herz, Europcar etc.
    • For example, hiring a car from Herz might have cost £100 per day, but you arranged a credit hire car which might cost £500 per day (when the interest is included). So you didn't mitigate your losses.
     



    You probably entered into a contract with the "claims management company" - you need to read it to see what it says.

    A 'better' contract might say...
    • 1) If the 3rd party insurer refuses to pay the costs, you must cooperate to help the Claims Management Company get their money. And that includes going to court.
    • 2) If you don't cooperate, and the Claims Management Company lose the court case, you will have to pay the (very expensive) car hire charges.
    • 3) If you cooperate, and the Claims Management Company still lose the court case, the Claims Management Company will cover their own losses - so you don't have to pay for the car hire

    A 'worse' contract might say...

    • 3) Even if you cooperate, and the Claims Management Company still lose the court case, you will have to pay the (very expensive) car hire charges.

    Here's an article by the Financial Ombudsman Service:


    Motorists who do not understand the risks of credit hire could face bills of tens of thousands of pounds the Financial Ombudsman Service has warned today.

    Link: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news/financial-ombudsman-service-warns-credit-hire-risks

    Here's what a legal firm say about Credit Hire Cars:  https://www.furleypage.co.uk/following-a-car-accident-do-you-use-a-courtesy-car-or-credit-hire-car-pitfalls-to-avoid/


    That is really interesting, and news to me - thank you.

    Back in 1997 I bought a new car and after only 3 months someone went into the side of me at a junction (their fault). Someone at work suggested I used a company called Help Hire, which I did. They provided me with a Lexus GS 300 which I had for 6 weeks, as the dealership took a long time over the repair. The repairs cost around £6K iirc but I dread to think how much the car hire cost. The person at fault and I had the same insurer so I don't know if that made any difference but they paid for everything without demur. I wonder if, unknowingly, I was at risk of a huge bill or if my situation was different. 
    HelpHire got renamed to Auxillis and is the most talked about accident management/credit hire company on here as Admiral Group refer all their non-fault accident cases to them. 

    You are generally only running a big risk if you refuse to continue supporting the hire company through the claims process... the problem tends to be the person has their GS300 for 6 weeks, currently available at £193.15 + VAT per day, give the car back and think job done. Then in 9 months time when the hire car company comes back and says they are having problems recovering their outlay the person doesn't want to know. 

    Back in the 90s HelpHire used to charge £1.50 or such a day if you wanted the certainty of not having to pay anything, that at least fell away.
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