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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9971
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi, this relates to a car accident though im not sure what

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Hi, this relates to a car accident though im not sure what area of law it would come under.
Long story very short, my wife had an accident over new year and she's now being badgered by a lawyer on behalf of the accident management company that our car insurance used. The reason being, the insurance offered her an expensive hire car during repair for "no extra charge" over our existing courtesy car. Weve since found out the accident management company failed to mention or pass on an offer of a cheaper one from the 3rd party. The 3rd party won't pay for the hire car and now the lawyer wants to essentially lie and say we took the hire car "credit" agreement because we couldn't afford to pay for the car ourselves and they want all our bank statements to prove that? The cost didn't come into it for us, it was offered as a free upgrade from the courtesy car we have anyway. My wife agreed to cooperate as if we didnt, the accident company would pursue us for the costs. I don't like that their defence is essentially a lie and I don't want to handover our personal info. Also it seems that the offer of a cheaper car was never forwarded to us from the accident company so we didnt have the chance to "mitigate our losses". Is there any way to make them go away? They have been quite threatening over email, implying they'll pursue us if we dont "cooperate". Where as I see our bank/income information as not relevant. If we thought the hire car would cost us even £1 per day we could have just stuck with the courtesy car included in our insurance. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
This is a very common situation and you should not get involved with the accident management company at all. You were given a free courtesy car. If you had not been given a free courtesy car the third party insurance would have provided one and in either of these cases you would have been seen to mitigate your loss.
So the fact that an accident management company, which is in concert with your insurance company to make money I presume, now want you to lie for them is a very serious matter.
Tell them you will not be doing so and they will not be claiming the additional cost from you either. Credit hire in respect of vehicles supplied to customers of insurers is a controversial issue and the way that you have been approached here borders on the fraudulent.
The previous case of Dimomd v Lovell which you can get online may be of useful background to you.
Happy to discuss further.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Thanks for the quick response. I was very uncomfortable about the whole situation and felt they were trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Before I go back to them Ill give you a bit more info...

Rough timeline:

  • Accident occurs 31st Dec.

  • Contacted insurance who offered a hire car same spec as our own at no extra cost. We accepted.

  • Insurance passed us to "Kindertons" to manage the repair of the car.

  • Car picked up & hire car delivered. My wife signed for the hire car which later appears to be a "credit agreement". A condition says we must allow Kindertons to act on our behalf to recover money from 3rd party.

  • Lawyer for Kindertons gets in touch & asks my wife for a signature so they can take 3rd party to court for the hire car costs they wont pay. She agreed.

  • Lawyer then wants our bank details to prove "we had to take a hire agreement or we couldnt afford the hire car...."

  • My wife gave them her bank statement but we stopped them when they asked for our joint account information.

  • The lawyer tells us that there was a letter sent from the 3rd party offering a cheaper car...we didnt receive it and they didnt specify who the letter was sent to.

Thats where we're at now... here's the last email from the lawyer..

Dear Mr Porteous,

We refer to your previous correspondence dated 24th June 2014. Your case handler has now returned to the office.

The reason why we require your joint financial information is to show that your wife was not able to afford a hire car at the time of the accident. Your joint accounts shows funds that you, together, had saved for your wedding. If you wife had used these funds to purchase a hire car then you would have not been able to pay for your wedding.

The issue comes done to your wife's duty to mitigate her losses. Your wife had a duty to conduct her affairs to ensure that she suffered minimal loss as a result of the other side's negligence. We would argue that she did that by accepting the credit hire agreement as the other option was to cancel her wedding.

The reason why we require the joint account beyond the accident date is to show that those funds had a specific purpose, that they were effectively 'spent' at the time of the accident.

The reason why we are at this point is because the other side are arguing that your wife did not mitigate her loss by accepting the credit hire agreement. This stems from a letter sent to Kindertons offering a hire car at a lesser rate than the car you were using. Unfortunately, because the agreement is between your wife and Kindertons, she is legally liable for the cost, hence Kindertons have to sue the third party for the costs under your wife's name. This also means that we must show that the credit hire agreement was the reasonable option for your wife.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss this further.

How would I best respond to this? Thanks

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Probably best start by asking why your wife was involved in a hire car at all when her insurer's repairer was offering a courtesy car, if I have understood your initial narrative correctly.
And secondly why your wife was induced to accept the Kindertons car and not the cheaper alternative?
When you have an accident you are guided by your insurer and this accident management company. They make the decisions and you follow them. For them now to ask for personal bank statements is a nonsense in my opinion.
A complaint by you to the Financial Services Ombudsman is not far off I would say.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We have spoken to the financial ombudsman who has raised a complaint for us to the insurance company. They have in turn raised one to Kindertons. Thats the last we heard.

I might have muddled things a bit there...

Our insurance included a courtesy car but when my wife reported the accident & advised it was not her fault the insurance company said "We can offer you a hire car to match your own at no extra charge." She accepted it. I mean, no extra charge, there's no reason not to. the insurer then passed us onto kindertons. So we were led the whole way with it. We werent given any other choices apart from the hire car.

As for the third party's offer of a cheaper hire car, we never saw that offer until a few weeks ago & I think it was sent to Kindertons & they just didnt pass it on.

Should I reply to their lawyer & say I will not be providing any further bank details and that they will have to pursue the third party with the information they have? Could they take that as us not cooperating & try to pursue us for the costs?

Thanks again

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
So was the hire car offered by the insurers/Kindertons to give her the same standard of car as the damaged one, as opposed to the courtesy car which would just have been a runaround?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Correct. :)

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
In that case the question you need answered from Kindertons is why they did not tell you about the option of the car offered by the third party insurer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ill reply and ask them that though I think its because it was received too late. I think we have a copy of it somewhere, sent to us by the lawyer. I cant find it in my emails at the moment though.

Here's a copy of an email they sent where they were threatening to pursue us for the costs..

I attach a copy of your signed credit hire agreement. Under section "2: Payment" it states that you are liable for the hire costs unless you allow Kindertons to make a claim against the other side. You do not need to pay for the hire, provided that Kindertons are allowed to pursue a claim on your behalf.

The other side are refusing to pay for your hire car. Under the agreement you are liable for the hire car costs. The only avenue open to you to avoid paying the hire charges is to raise a court action against the other side. Kindertons have instructed us on your behalf, and you have provided authority to them to do this under the agreement you signed.

In order to win our case we have to prove that you could not have afforded to pay for a hire vehicle unless you took our a credit hire agreement such as this one. To do that we must show that at the time of the accident you had insufficient funds to afford, essentially, a pay-as-you-go hire agreement.

Please confirm your instructions, that you wish us to pursue a court action against the other side and that you are able to send the financial documentation requested.

The document she refers to

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
If it was received too late to be any use, and to fair, it would have to have been received immediately after the accident, then your alternative, possibly only alternative, was to run with the one you were offered. That being the case you would have to cooperate with any action for recovery of the costs.
However I bet they didn't tell you at the time that you were liable for the costs if they couldn't recover them from the third party.
On balance I would give them the paperwork reserving your position as regards ***** ***** actions here which I think have been less than transparent and typically hidden in the small print of the paperwork that these companies like to rely on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So you think I should provide them with the bank account information & my wage slips?

Im not sure I also mentioned the fact that the credit hire agreement my wife signed was handed to her by the delivery driver of the hire car & it was not explicitly pointed out that she was entering into a credit hire agreement. It all feels very underhanded.

An overall question would be - are we safe from any come back, given that the case the lawyer is trying to prove (that we took the credit hire agreement because we couldnt afford the car otherwise) is essentially a lie or an irrelevant point. If there was any costs involved, we would not have accepted the hire car. I dont want us agreeing with this un-truth. Does that make sense?


Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Yes, and I think you also stress your second and third paragraphs to the lawyer in a letter and keep a copy so that you are protecting your position. It is almost invariable that this type of action will be thrashed out and settled before it is heard by a court but you should cover your own interests by committing your position to writing. Then if they lie about it they won't have any comeback to you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, Thank you.

So you dont see any way around providing them with our joint bank records? Im best just sending them? Thanks

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
If they are arguing affordability they will need them, yes. The fact that you wouldn't have bothered if you had had to pay doesn't matter. You are entitled to a car of equivalent standard.
Although I still think that the way these accident management companies go about things is questionable.
I hope that they manage to sort this out for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Sorry about the delay in picking this up, Ive been away on business. I also just received a call from the lawyer which reminded me about this. Id appreciate some help.

They tell me that the 3rd party isnt budging and will only offer a fraction of the settlement that Kindertons are offering them. The lawyer says that Kindertons are willing to take it & they want to bill ME for over £700!

The only other option is court action and me & my wife get dragged into court! say that we didnt receive the 3rd party's hire car offer (which we didnt) - but even then, if the judge doesnt agree, Kindertons can still come after us for that money!?

I dont know what to do! We're caught in the middle here when eSure & Kindertons both promised the hire car wouldnt cost us any extra. Then they never forwarded the 3rd party's offer of a cheaper car. How can we be liable for their lies & deceit!?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
I think this is a very unfortunate situation. I think you have to say that if Kindertons are going to accept the offer it has to be on the basis that you are not charged for any shortfall on the basis that that is what you were told at the outset.
I a,so think that you should renew your contact with the insurance ombudsman and I would also call your insurers and report to them directly what is going on here.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

From what the lawyer said, Kindertons wont accept it if they cant come after us for the remaining amount.

Ill contact the ombudsman. We're no longer with the insurance company though so Im not sure what I can do with them.

Should we tell the lawyer to go ahead with the court action? She seems to think we have nothing to lose by doing it, just means we're dragged into court with all this & in the end, we may still get pursued by Kindertons. Thanks for the quick reply

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Would you like me to look at the agreement you have with Kindertons? If so scan and send it to [email protected],com and ask the moderator to forward it to JGM.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Here's a link in dropbox - can you see it here?

If not, ill email it to the support email. Thanks

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
No it says the file has been removed or deleted, unfortunately.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry, my fault. can you try again.

here's also a link to the letter from esure - maybe that can help us...

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** helpful.
The credit agreement does make you responsible to pay the charges but your insurer accepts that their agent didn't explain this fully. He doesn't really follow through with the complaint about Kindertons presumably because of the stage the legal proceedings were at.
I do suggest that you go back to your insurer and advise them of the present position and say that you do wish to further you or complaint based on what you were told by them and also Kindertons.
I think if you complain loudly enough about this Kindertons will take a view on this as the ombudsman would be less than impressed to hear the Esure recording of your call with their representative if it goes back to the ombudsman.
I hope that this helps. I have destroyed the copies of your personal documents.
Don't forget to leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. I got contact details for Kinderton's legal team. So i called them. Discussed it. They said as long as we cooperate they wont come after us for any shortfall from a court action. I got them to send it in writing too.

Its not ideal & may still require us going to court or making a statement but I think its the best we can expect from the situation.

Ill still be pursuing the ombudsman route against esure though. Thanks

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
That seems the least worst option in the circumstances. Good luck if it does go to court.
Please leave a positive feedback so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9971
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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