Admiral/Albany Claim - Getting Out Help!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
8 replies 893 views
Tim1984Tim1984 Forumite
5 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
I recently had someone drive in to the back of me whilst I was stationary. The guy gave me the details of the insured party and informed me he was a named driver, then promptly left before I could speak to him properly. The address of the insured party also doesnt have any activity, so I am concerned that no one is actually there!

Sorry for the length of post, but stick with me...

I obviously informed my insurer, Admiral, who told me if I went with Albany Assistance it would not affect my NCB and not cost me any excess, as they deem me to be at zero fault as I was stationary and hit from behind. This all sounded good, so I went with Albany and gave details etc....

I asked Albany specifically if there was ANY financial liability to myself, and they informed me that there was none whatsoever. They said that they provide credit for 49 weeks to cover costs which they will recover from the TP, and there was an insurance policy which covers me should they be unable to claim all these costs, or the TP doesn't admit liability. So, all sounds fine, no financial liability to me!

However, when I later received the documents from Albany I actually read the T&Cs and found a clause which states that if the TP if untraceable or uninsured then I will be liable for ALL costs and the insurance policy doesn't come into effect. Hence my concern with having a named driver who wanted to leave quickly, and the address doesnt have any activity....

I know that the car that hit me is insured, but not that the driver was. So promptly phoned Albany to say that the clause on uninsured or untraceable driver was not made clear to me, and that they actually they lied when I asked a specific question about financial liability. I wanted to go no further, as for the cost of a bumper crack, the risk if he does turn out to be dodgy was simply not worth it. They have told me that in order to exit I am liable for all costs to date, including engineers fee and garage parts cost. All in this will probably be about £250, and obviously I lose out twice; lost money and a damaged car...great. I told them that they lied to me and that I dont agree to the T&Cs as they differ from what I was told.

They assured me that all was fine and that they had the driver details and the claim would go through and I should not exit. I requested that they put this in writing and if they did so then i would go ahead. They have not emailed me this as agreed, or called me as they again agreed to do...so i'm not convinced that they have confirmed the details of the named driver at all and just told me they had on the phone, potentially a blatent lie to hook me in, perhaps the truth, but who knows!

What do I do? Anyone had any experience of getting out? Or can I find out if the named driver IS insured somehow...? If the TP actually is insured then this is all fine and I'll go ahead.

I should mention that the police were involved as the TP didnt provide his OWN address, just his name. As such I have police incident report, and possibly CCTV from a local shop. No independent witnesses, just my girlfriend.

Also, In order to mitigate my losses I have not taken a hire car, which I understand can cause a whole heap of trouble, and will just take a taxi to and from the garage and lump this on to the claim.

Any help or experience of these circumstances VERY much appreciated!

Thanks,

Replies

  • You will have a 14 day cancellation right on the consumer credit agreement documents they have posted to you.
  • Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, you are right, however they state that if I exit within this time I am obliged to pay the costs to date. Which as I say include the 'engineers' assessment, and the cost of parts bought by the garage. This is what I wish to dispute, as I wasn't given the facts over the phone and so shouldn't be liable for costs...but Albany maintain that I would be.
  • Do you know if their calls are recorded?
  • Yes, they state that they do on the automated message when you call. Whether they 'lose' tapes if they don't work in their favour, who knows.
  • I'm not 100% on this so take this as theory rather than advice, but if what you have said is reflected in the recordings of these calls, then you have entered into a verbal agreement at no cost/ risk to yourself for the provision of repair services to your vehicle.

    You have been up front with your dealings and the information you have provided that has allowed them to risk assess the situation as one they would like to continue with.

    The formal paperwork has then arrived, so no written or binding agreement yet entered into or one you could technically cancel if you haven't signed in the first place.

    The further telephone assurances to you that "it'll be alright" etc and no cost to you sir etc would count, in my opinion, as "antecedent negotiations" and this changes the landscape of what should be contained within the agreement at the time you sign it.

    With the "49 weeks credit" you have referred to earlier, that suggests the credit agreement they have sent you is an "exempt" agreement. Exempt agreements suit the credit hire & repair industry well as there are less requirements for what needs to be stated on the agreement when you sign it, such as not needing to state the total amount of credit being given.

    When antecedent negotiations take place where an exempt agreement exists, the exempt status disappears and due to the lack of specific credit figure being present when you sign such an agreement, this can render the agreement unenforceable due to a breach of the regulations (consumer credit act).

    Your best bet if you don't want to go ahead with this is to state you were given various verbal assurances before instructing them to do anything that there would be zero financial liability to yourself (as will be confirmed in the recordings of the calls), so these are the terms of agreement as far as you are concerned.

    You have not yet entered into any written agreement with them as you have not signed the credit agreement they have sent you, so you have no "agreement" to even cancel.

    Tell them politely that you do not wish for them to do anything further and that you have no liability for the costs they have incurred and to not waste any of their time attempting to pursue you. Also advise them you will be speaking with your insurer about the company they referred you to.

    Until it is confirmed the vehicle in question was definitely insured (and not that there was still an insurer noted against it on the MID from say the previous owner who had just sold the car/ or a trader policy details still being on the MID) there is no guarantee there is an insurer at the end of the rainbow.

    If the driver remains untraced, but was just an unauthorised driver on a policy that was in place (assuming the car was not reported stolen) the identified insurer would have to deal as Article 75 insurer and would pay out repairs etc.

    If Albany can give you a written assurance in an email that they have spoken with the third party insurers and liability is admitted and no indemnity enquiries exist, then it would be safe to proceed in my opinion.
  • Many thanks for your post, that is certainly some reassurance.

    I really dont want to fight them as I dont want the hassle or the risk, also the process might well be absolutely fine; but I have just read so much bad press on them that signing agreements makes me nervous to say the least! I am hoping they will just provide confirmation of admitted liability by the TP and I can let them get on with it.

    If this doesnt happen then I will take what you have said on board and attempt to shut down any dialogue with them and hope they do not want to pursue and make this worse. Such a lot of hassle, if anything like this happens again I will go straight to my own insurer and let them deal with it rather than Admiral's shady 'assistance' firm!

    Thanks again for your help Bertthe Raccoon. Any other similar experience from MSE users gratefully received.
  • Has anyone on the forum successfully got out of Albany's 'Assistance'? Or know a way to trace and verify the insured status of a named driver on a policy? I'm going to call and speak tomorrow so any further advice this evening hugley welcome!

    Thanks
  • malc_bmalc_b Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    For what it's worth I have ongoing complaint with Albany. It's gone to the ombudsman. The first stage of this has suggested that albany pay my costs. Albany have refused and it now awaits the ombudsman decision on which there is 6 month or more delay.

    In my dealing with Albany I found them rubbish and won't touch them with a barge pole! Never answer emails or letter etc. etc. I've since taken out separate legal cover when I renewed (Admiral were still cheapest otherwise I would have changed).

    Do you have breakdown cover? Mine also includes legal assistance. Do you have house insurance? Mine has legal cover so if you have similar perhaps look to house insurance or breakdown cover legal to help you sort out Albany.
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