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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70180
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I had my car seized and impounded by traffic police

Resolved Question:

Hi

I had my car seized and impounded by traffic police whose computer showed no insurance. I showed them the email documents from the insurance company, the one where you tick the box which is legally accepted as your signature and identical to the paper certificate i had at home It clearly states all information, after one police officer looked at it he told the other one to look at it which he did, then when he handed it back to me asked me to read out the policy number and wrote it down. It was early evening on sunday 23rd Feb so i called my insurance claims line hoping to reach someone and did, the lady spoke to one of the police officers to confirm it was a live policy. They still took the car. Advice please

Carrie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


 


Do i have any recourse, the email document, i was told by the manager at the car pound would be acceptable to them for the release of my vehicle as insured. The only comment the olice would make was their computer showed no insurance. It seems during the day when they get verification from speaking to insurance companies on the phone they accept it. When speaking to the manager at the car pound he said they might still seize the vehicle if they are suspicious in any way but they gave me no cause to think this, they did not search the car or ask any other questions apart from my cause to be there which was to wash and hoover the car, they have a good hoover so i go there. The insurance company told me the following morning they could have given a producer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


 


Do i have any recourse, the email document, i was told by the manager at the car pound would be acceptable to them for the release of my vehicle as insured. The only comment the olice would make was their computer showed no insurance. It seems during the day when they get verification from speaking to insurance companies on the phone they accept it. When speaking to the manager at the car pound he said they might still seize the vehicle if they are suspicious in any way but they gave me no cause to think this, they did not search the car or ask any other questions apart from my cause to be there which was to wash and hoover the car, they have a good hoover so i go there. The insurance company told me the following morning they could have given a producer. Can i claim in any way or can the police just do this to people?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Why do the insurance company say that this vehicle would be flagging up uninsured?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Seems the system had not been updated, which i understand is for them to do, the police office told me once updated it goes to the askmid website then on to their system but can take up to seven days.


1/ I feel the insurance company are at fault for not updating the system.


2/ I feel the police where less than reasonable, they saw the documents they spoke to the insurance people they voiced no other concern regarding the vehicle.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

You do have a claim but not against the police.

The police can only act upon what is showing uninsured upon their system which links directly to the DVLA. They will usually make a phone call to the insurance company but an email is not adequate.

They can deal with no insurance by a fixed penalty but they cannot let you drive away uninsured which is the issue here. That is what lead to the impound.

They could not deal with this by a producer if you were about to drive away as that would be potentially another offence.

However, the insurance company are at fault and you do have a claim against them essentially in negligence and, indeed, in breach of contract as they failed to discharge their obligations under the contract properly.

They will probably offer something to reflect that but you can always complain to the Ombudsman or sue in the small claims court.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo,


 


You have answered as i wanted which is simply to know where i stand in this matter, for the car pound to accept the email having the responsibility to make sure insurance is in place but for the police not to seemed quite a contradiction but so be it.


Would it also mean the insurance company were misinforming me when they told me the police could have given a producer.


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No. The police can issue producers. It just wouldn't be appropriate here because you would have driven away and therefore potentially have committed a further offence. That is just that the insurance company don't know police procedure.

The reason the police didn't accept it at scene is that its not an insurance certificate and their database suggested you were not uninsured.

That is not to say that you cannot recover this though but from your insurance company.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have in the last hour had the police call me to advise this matter will go no further, they had said i would have to go to court, they have given me over the phone the address to write to for a refund of the car pound costs.


 


Would a negligence claim against the insurance company for time and upset caused for example be an option?


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thats good of them then. They will sometimes do that if you prove that you were insured.

You cannot get compensation for time and distress in court but they might offer you something for inconvenience in the interests of good business.

You do have a claim for the sum of your loss but if the police are refunding you then it mostly falls away.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo i found the whole episode unsettling to say the least and happy i have been able to clarify the matter with you.


 


Caroline

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will do and thanks again

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
All the best.