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Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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We left our car with a secure parking company over Christmas,

Customer Question

We left our car with a secure parking company over Christmas, our car has been vandalised during a break in to the compound, tyres puntured and body work scratched, The company advised us to claim through our insurance, i am reluctant to do this as we are not at fault & have to pay the excess total 1300 and due to the amount of damage suspect our car will be written off. we have replaces the tyres and some minor repairs at our own expense. the company have now offered to pay our excess costs butthis has to be accepted as a full & final offer.

What is my best approach:

- go though my insurance to pursue full repair costs
- pursue the company to admit they were at fault and claim full repair costs
- accept the offer & repair the car at our own cost.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

What has the secure car parking company done wrong - did they not secure the premises properly?

Customer:

they advertised a secure with 24hr personnel and cctv however it appears the car was in a different compund and the police have said there was no cctv footage

Max Lowry :

Ah, okay. Well, this is going to be a difficult claim, as the law tries to relate everything back to chains of causation. So, in other words, did the lack of CCTV (which might be in breach of contract) cause the break-in to happen? It's hard to say, but it might have made the site more attractive to thieves.

Max Lowry :

So, they might be liable on this basis, but the financial compensation calculation isn't all that easy!

Max Lowry :

The best route would be to claim on the insurance, and then seek to sue the garage for the difference in insurance premiums for the next year until you recover your no claims discount (if you had one).

Customer:

given the car was not in the locate as advertised is that not a breach of contract,

Max Lowry :

It is.

Max Lowry :

But, what loss flows from the breach, is my point.

Max Lowry :

Can you show that the thieves broke in because there was no CCTV, i.e. did the lack of CCTV cause the break-in?

Max Lowry :

The answer: don't know?!

Max Lowry :

BUT, it would be more attractive to them I expect.

Customer:

we cant prove the lack of personnel or cctv caused the break in & subsequent vandalism but when a company advertise a service providing both at airport parking i expect my vehicle to be safer that leaving it in an ordinary airport carpark.so your advice is to pursue them through our insurance, end up paying the excess on the policy & risk a rise in future premiums esp as we like to drive performance cars

Max Lowry :

Yes, sadly, I think that's the more realistic option, it'll make the claim easier and hopefully will be less than £5k, which would be the small claims limit. As such, you'd have less risk in Court of costs being awarded against you etc. than a larger claim over the £5k limit (if it is).

Customer:

this car is probably worth 4000 resale

Max Lowry :

Okay - then I suppose you could do it either way with the same risk from the Court perspective, but if you want the cars sorted, the insurance is the obvious route unless you're content to spend to get the repairs done and then seek to reclaim from the secure garage.

Customer:

ok i guess it is down to how much time and effort we want to spend to sort this.

Max Lowry :

Yes, litigation is time consuming!

Customer:

can we use the offer of payment to cover our excess costs as as admission of fault?

Customer:

or would a legal system see that offer as a gesture of good will?

Max Lowry :

You can if it's not made "without prejudice".

Customer:

which in non legal speak is?

Max Lowry :

The Court might see it is either to be honest - no way of knowing, and it depends on the explanation offered by the parties at the time for why it was made.

Max Lowry :

Ah - WP means it is to be hidden from the Court.

Max Lowry :

Parties put this on letters when they intend to hide them from the Court until after judgment is made.

Max Lowry :

There is a good article on WP letters etc here: http://www.oldsquare.co.uk/pdf_articles/3100151.pdf

Customer:

it was a verbal offer which i insisted was put in writing/ email so i could consider it & respond

Max Lowry :

Yes, that's fine, if not without prejudice you can refer the Court to it.

Max Lowry :

Are you there?

Customer:

so botXXXXX XXXXXne given the car is worth max 4000 and to repair fully to its former condition ie all body panels taken back, damage repaired and respray could be around 3500 so i suspect the insurance company would write it off or we accept the offer of 1300 and repair to our satisfaction at our own costs & not involve insurance company what would your advice be - Insurance route or take the offer and go

Max Lowry :

I'd likely go down the insurance route to be honest. Then see what they offer, and offset that against the claim against the garage (but take into account any increase in premiums).

Max Lowry :

I hope this answers your question. If you need further information, just let me know. Please do remember to rate my answer as highly as you can.

Customer:

ok max thank you

Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience: LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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