Vehicle insurance claim costs

Hi, so 1.5 years ago my partner was involved in a minor car accident with another vehicle. Unfortunately her insurer at the time invalidated the cover due to a technicality (she was not covered for commuting), so we had to personally pay the claimant's cost (6K)... fair enough, we've learned from the mistake and have ensured my partner is fully covered by her new insurer! We assumed it was concluded, but…

Fast forward to today and out of the blue we receive a letter from her old insurer, asking her to pay 1.5K in costs, that “may include vehicle repair or replacement, recovery and storage, replacement hire vehicle, personal injury, legal costs and any other costs associated with us settling the claim.”

They state: “The circumstances of the incident indicate that you were 100% responsible and we have settled the third party claim.”

Our question is how is this so? We had to personally settled with the claimant directly, since the insurer wanted nothing to do with it.

How can the insurer ask for their costs to be paid, when all they did was send a few letters and answer a few of our phone calls? Is this 1.5K the cost of ‘admin’?

I’ll be calling them tomorrow, but any prior help, advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,140
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    Despite the fact that your wife wasn't covered for commuting by her policy, her insurance company would still have been liable for certain third party costs under Article 75 of the MIB agreement - basically acting on behalf of the Motor Insurers Bureau to compensate third parties who have been harmed by uninsured drivers. They could then potentially claim these costs from your partner.

    Of course your partner settled directly with the third party - but are you sure she settled everything? If there were things that she didn't settle (additional repair costs, storage costs, personal injury etc) then potentially these could come back on her insurer later. Any chance that the other driver decided he had whiplash and went to her insurer after she thought everything was settled?

    Alternatively if there was damage to street furniture, leaking oil damaging the road surface etc this could lead to a separate chain from the Highways Agency which might have gone straight to her insurer and which she's only found out about now...?
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,214
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    Aretnap said:
    Despite the fact that your wife wasn't covered for commuting by her policy, her insurance company would still have been liable for certain third party costs under Article 75 of the MIB agreement - basically acting on behalf of the Motor Insurers Bureau to compensate third parties who have been harmed by uninsured drivers. 
    More likely its under S151 of the RTA as most insurers will accept commuting for all drivers. 

    Hi, so 1.5 years ago my partner was involved in a minor car accident with another vehicle. Unfortunately her insurer at the time invalidated the cover due to a technicality (she was not covered for commuting), so we had to personally pay the claimant's cost (6K)... fair enough, we've learned from the mistake and have ensured my partner is fully covered by her new insurer! We assumed it was concluded, but…

    Fast forward to today and out of the blue we receive a letter from her old insurer, asking her to pay 1.5K in costs, that “may include vehicle repair or replacement, recovery and storage, replacement hire vehicle, personal injury, legal costs and any other costs associated with us settling the claim.”

    They state: “The circumstances of the incident indicate that you were 100% responsible and we have settled the third party claim.”

    Our question is how is this so? We had to personally settled with the claimant directly, since the insurer wanted nothing to do with it.

    How can the insurer ask for their costs to be paid, when all they did was send a few letters and answer a few of our phone calls? Is this 1.5K the cost of ‘admin’?

    I’ll be calling them tomorrow, but any prior help, advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

    What was the £6k you paid for?

    Your insurers will advise you what the £1,500 is for, it's likely to be street furniture, emergency services charges or other bills that always come late. Alternatively if you just reimbursed the person their excess and a hire car then the monies could be for the repair of their vehicle as reclaimed by their insurers. 
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,790
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    edited 18 January at 1:20PM
    My sister had a similar incident i n2019 (she had changed house, and while she changed her address, she had forgotten to update her status to reflect her commute, total accident on her part). Fortunately in 2021 the government introduced reforms to standardize whiplash payouts.

    I'd just say, thank your lucky stars it's only cost you 6k-7.5k.

    In my sisters case, despite the low speed accident (on a roundabout), a while after the accident the driver and the passengers all suddenly realised they had crippling whiplash. AFAIK the claim ended up at around £30k.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), her and her partner work in a supermarket earning not much more than minimum wage and have two little kids. While she (understandably) prefers not to talk about it, I believe she reached an agreement to pay something like £10 a month towards effectively indefinitely, unless she has a change in her financial circumstances.

    In the first instance, I'd ask them exactly what it's for - they surely appreciate you can't just hand them money with no details.
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