Help with incorrect fault claim on my car insurance - Please

Hi. Iwould like your guidance on a fault claim made on my car insurance when I was no longer the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle. Let me explain.

On the 14/01/2022, my car was parked outside my property, with no one in it, when a council refuse truck crashed into it. The driver of the truck took full responsibility and gave me their details. I felt it best to contact my insurance company and made a claim through them against the council. My insurance company stated it would go down as a fault claim whilst the incident was being investigated.
My insurance company arranged for CoPart to take my vehicle away to assess if its in economical repair. It wasn’t and so was declared a write off. The last time I saw my car was when CoPart took the vehicle away on 17/01/2022.
I received a sum of money for the viewed value of my car as settlement. The council insurance company accepted full liability and therefore this incident was deemed a non-fault accident on my policy. As far as I’m concerned this whole matter is now closed and settled.

Fast forward 2 years, I haven’t had a car insurance policy in my own name. However, realising that the 2 year anniversary date is about to pass since I last had car insurance, my no claims bonus validation window is about to end. Most insurers only accept no claims bonus within 2 years of last having insurance in your own name.

In anticipation of purchasing a new vehicle, I contacted my previous insurer from 2 years ago, to get proof of my no claims bonus. I received this, and to my shock, not only do I have the non-fault accident dated 14/01/2022, but I also noticed a fault claim dated 01/03/2022. I was utterly surprised by this as I didn’t have the car then. I contacted my insurer, who asked me to contact my underwriter, and so I did. My underwriter stated there was an accident involving my vehicle and the other party had car footage that showed my old vehicle crashing into it, hence a claim was made against my policy. I asked why I wasn’t notified of this, in which the underwriter stated they had made several attempts to contact me, via letter, email and phone call. I never received one correspondence on this matter.

In January 2022 I informed the DVLA that I was no longer in possession of my car in which they responded with physical confirmation acknowledging this. This confirmation was dated 29/01/2022.

I asked my underwriter for this fault claim (dated 01/03/2022) to be removed from my policy. The underwriter informed me that they will approach the third party insurer who made this fault claim against my policy to see if they will re-imburse my underwriter.
My underwriter informs me that if the third party insurer reimburses them, the fault claim will be removed from my record. If the third party insurer will not re-imburse them, I have been informed the fault claim will remain on my record. Of course, if it remains on my record I will be penalised financially in future car insurance premiums.

Although I no longer had possession of the car, the insurance policy didn’t cease until 11/03/2022. The reason being is there was still some negotiation taking place in relation to the car valuation settlement amount to be paid to me.

This is the full story so far.

Question 1.) How can this fault claim be made against my policy when the DVLA had acknowledged I was no longer in possession of the vehicle, and the underwriter and insurer/broker, both were fully aware that I was no longer in ownership of the vehicle as it was declared a write off? There seems to be a lack of common sense in this particular matter.

Question 2.) I seem to have all the proof I need, so where do I stand legally on this fault claim dated 01/03/2022 being removed from my record?
And can this be removed within the next 3 weeks so I can purchase a new policy within the 2 years no claims bonus window without paying a higher premium because of this fault claim?

Question 3.) The underwriter has stated that if the claimant’s insurer do not re-imburse my underwriter, then the fault claim will stand against my record. Is this legal?

Question 4.) Is it worth taking this matter up with the car insurance Ombudsman to have this fault claim removed from my record if the underwriter doesn’t remove it? And would seeking help with the Ombudsman expedite the removal?


Your help and guidance will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Comments

  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    Whilst you may think it's common sense the reality is the law is slanted to ensure that innocent victims are not the ones out of pocket. The Road Traffic Act states that if there is a valid certificate of insurance and if that policy had been an "any driver" policy it would have covered the incident then the insurer must act even if the driver wasn't named on the policy. The insurer then gets a right of recovery from the driver and also their policyholder if they were complicit in allowing the driver to use the vehicle. The three times this most commonly comes up is 1. lend the car to a friend who says they're insured to drive it but they aren't, 2. sell the car and decide its cheaper to let the insurance run out than to cancel it and the buyer doesn't get insurance and 3. when the car is stolen and the thief identified.

    Obviously with 1 and 2 above the policyholder is complicit so may find a big bill coming their way, we had two posters on here recently both facing bills around £35,000. In 3 they aren't but its rarely possible to get monies back from those at His Majesties pleasure and so it stands as a fault claim but it should be attached to the theft claim which is already fault so doesn't have any higher impact. 


    The main thing to find out is why your policy wasn't ended when the car was written off, maybe you had a conversation with them and asked them not to or it could be an admin error at their end. Assuming its the later then there are grounds to argue that they are the creators of their own misfortune and whilst the claim will remain paid out it should be removed from CUE and your personal record. 

    Where it will get more complex is if it's your broker that messed up as they'll need to agree the resolution with the insurer for their mistake. 
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,140
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    The DVLA is a red herring, as DGG says the insurer remains on the hook for third party claims so long as there is a live policy on the car, regardless of who is driving and regardless of who the car is registered to 

    The question is why there was still a live policy on the car after it had been written off and taken away from you. And also perhaps why someone from the insurer's contractor was driving it around, bumping into things and not dealing with it themselves.

    If this was the insurers fault (or their contractors) then you have a decent argument for having the claim removed from your records but it might not be a quick process. Before you can go to the Ombudsman you have to make a formal complaint to your own insurer, who have eight weeks to respond, and then the typical timeline for the Ombudsman process itself is measured in months. So if you need this resolving within the weeks you are probably at the mercy of your insurer's goodwill.

    Have you checked how much difference your no claims bonus actually makes to your premium? It might well be less than you think.
  • Thanks you for your replies.
    The premium difference with having the fault claim present is an extra £200. That's a lot of money still.

    I was never asked if I wanted the policy cancelled. If I remember correctly, I was advised to keep the policy open until we had received our settlement amount. We all (me, the insurers) knew I no longer had possession of the vehicle - hence the settlement amount being issued.

    I keep ringing my insurer and keep being told its with the handler's manager to decide. This is the same story for three weeks now. I ask to be put through to her and keep being told she's unavailable.
    There's something fundamentally wrong in this. We don't have the car, the insurers know this, but the claim is made against us.
  • To add, the broker have been utterly useless during this whole episode, from claim to now still. The majority of the time they just hang up on me, and I'm always polite. Now I'm ringing the actual insurer. At least they don't hang up on me.

    I don't understand my legal standing here and I feel the insurer doesn't give two hoots about my grievance. Apparently the claim was only for £265. Why can't the insurer just write it off. It's not like it was for thousands.

    I wish to know legal standpoint so the insurer can't drag their heels any longer.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    Did the broker or the insurer handle the claim for you? Which company advised you to keep the policy live?
  • DavidRoy51
    DavidRoy51 Posts: 7
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    edited 13 February at 11:42AM
    When the non-fault arose, the contact was through my broker as they were the ones I took the policy out with. The experience was awful. I couldn't get a straight answer from them. However, we got there in the end.
    It was still the broker I requested my NCB proof from and from that i saw the fault claim. I continued to try and seek a remedy from my broker but they kept hanging up on me. Of the one time they didn't hang up, they said the insurer can answer my questions and so i took it up with them from then on.

    The insurer are the ones stating the claim was for £265 and that it's with the handler's manager to act/decide on. It's the insurer that I keep chasing. There's no point with the broker and they keep handing up on me.

    It was the broker that advised to keep the policy open until the settlement amount had been issued. I'm pretty sure that was advised to me but it was verbal advice.

    As for who handled the fault claim, I'm not actually sure. Given the broker say the insurer can answer my questions, I assume it's the insurer that handled the claim. It feels like you have to do their job for them with asking the right questions. They don't seem to guide you on the process involved.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    Forumite
    When the non-fault arose, the contact was through my broker as they were the ones I took the policy out with. The experience was awful. I couldn't get a straight answer from them. However, we got there in the end.
    It was still the broker I requested my NCB proof from and from that i saw the fault claim. I continued to try and seek a remedy from my broker but they kept hanging up on me. Of the one time they didn't hang up, they said the insurer can answer my questions and so i took it up with them from then on.

    The insurer are the ones stating the claim was for £265 and that it's with the handler's manager to act/decide on. It's the insurer that I keep chasing. There's no point with the broker and they keep handing up on me.

    It was the broker that advised to keep the policy open until the settlement amount had been issued. I'm pretty sure that was advised to me but it was verbal advice.

    As for who handled the fault claim, I'm not actually sure. Given the broker say the insurer can answer my questions, I assume it's the insurer that handled the claim. It feels like you have to do their job for them with asking the right questions. They don't seem to guide you on the process involved.
    The subsequent claim is broadly irrelevant, its the question of what went wrong on the original policy that left it running meaning it was still in force when the second incident occurred. 

    If the broker handled the original claim then you need to speak to them to find out why the policy didnt end after the total loss. 
  • The problem here is the broker just hang up every time. In the past month, I've rang the broker 7 times. Only once did it not end with a straight hang up, or with being transferred and the line go dead.
    It's just a terrible experience.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    Guess email, letter etc for a complaint then
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