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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3655
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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On 16 April I parked my car in a street in London and I have

Customer Question

on 16 April I parked my car in a street in London and I have just had a phone call from my insurance company to say that another driver is making a claim for damage to their vehicle. I said that I was not aware of having caused any damage as I just parked my car and left it there for a couple of hours and have only just heard now. They are sending an engineer to check over my car now so what should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Part of having an insurance policy is to protect you against these types of incidents so I would certainly co operate with the engineer. That said I would not allow this be used as some sort of fishing exercise to look for other issues. Before the engineer comes round ask them to confirm exactly the nature of the allegations being made against you and confirm what the engineer will be checking. Make sure they provide this information in writing. Once you have confirmation in writing you can use this as evidence and a show of good faith if you need to raise any complaint against the insurance company.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
THanks - can I keep this enquiry open while this unfolds?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. Yes please feel free to revert back to this thread if and when you receive additional information. Any feedback of my answer in the mean time is gratefully received. Kind regards AJ

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex
I have received this email from Esure:
Good Morning Miss Taylor,You have had allegations made against you that the vehicle was involved in an incident on 16/04/2016 on Church field Road in ActonThe allegations being made can be found belowOur insured’s vehicle was parked and unattended and upon returning to the vehicle our insured noticed damage to the vehicle. The Third party vehicle was parked in front of it. This was witnessed from a shop keeper opposite.At the moment we are currently disputing liability due to you not being aware of any incidentsWe have instructed an independent engineer to come out and inspect your vehicle to help assist with enquiriesThe third party’s insurers haven’t given us a claim cost or the damage involved at this stageIf you have any further queries please don’t hesitate to contact us on the number belowKind RegardsI have looked at my car and discovered dents on the panel below the driver's door but cannot recall anything so what should I do? It's a bit odd that a shopkeeper should have witnessed this too as I cannot recall anything at all... I have a clean licence and full NCB as I have never had an accident so a bit flumoxed.
Thanks
Anne
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. Until a figure is actually claimed then is not much you can do as there is nothing to pay. It may be the case that you will want to consider paying this directly to preserve the NCB. The email above does not explain what the engineers are looking for - you should ask them to confirm this in writing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
THanks Alex, will do.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

If I can assist any further please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear AlexI have asked Esure to tell me exactly what the engineer would be looking for and below is the response - is this sufficient?Good morning Miss Taylor,I can confirm that our engineers will be inspecting your vehicle, checking for signs of any damage consistent with your vehicle being involved in an incident and any recent repair work that may have been undertaken.Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. At least that limits the search to an extent. Make sure they keep you updated on the progress of the claim - it may be that you will want to settle this yourself to protect your NCB. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At what point would it be best to indicate that I would prefer to settle any repair bills personally rather than via my insurance and even if I do so, will my insurance company not record that I had an incident even if they do not have to pay for it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Alex
At what point would it be best to indicate that I would prefer to settle any repair bills personally rather than via my insurance and even if I do so, will my insurance company not record that I had an incident even if they do not have to pay for it?
Thanks
Anne
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. At the moment you do not have a value of a claim or actual proof the claim is valid. I would not make any admissions until the insurance company confirm that they believe there is a case to answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That sounds fair - I will fix the appoitment and wait for their verdict.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. ***** can assist any further please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Alex
Having had my car inspected, I have now heard from my insurance company and the cost of repair is nearly £2,000! I told them I was prepared to pay it myself but it is really extortionate. I have had quite bad damage to my car in the past and it only cost me £600, and I wasn't even aware that I was causing damage to this car, so I find this incredible. The guy I spoke to said that in insurance cases the body shops bump up their price - what a racket! I suppose there is nothing I can do but pay if I want to protect my NCB. He said that this way, I would only lose 3-4 years out of the 20 I have. What do you think?
Best wishes
Anne
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. Has the expert concerned been and inspected the car and confirmed in writing that it is damaged? Do you accept responsibility for the damage or are you still unsure it was your fault?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Apparently there was an independent witness so I can't really deny anything although I was not aware of it at the time.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. If you are prepared to admit it then the question really is, is £2000 worth more than 3-4 NCB? Would your premium next year go up dramatically bu making the claim? Can the insurers advise you on this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will ask them. I suppose that I am concerned that my premium will go up for several years now so it might be better coughing up now and not affect my premium for the years to come?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. I would ask for a copy of the invoice you are paying to verify that the £2000 is legitimate. Unfortunately you cannot control where the other party chooses to have the car repaired. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Having looked at the numbers, it might make sense to let the insurance pay the bill. Although they can't tell me how it would affect my premium it would be nowhere near £2000 and esure only go back 3 years, so it might make sense to let them foot the bill since it is such a big item.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. Ultimately you could always go to another insurer if the premium is too high. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have told them that I would let them settle the claim. Many thanks for your assistance, it was great to have my hand held throughout this thing - I have never had an accident before or been accused of damage so it was a bit hair-raising for me so it was very reassuring to have an experienced and informed presence to guide me.
Best wishes
Anne
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

No problem. I wish you the best of luck, if I can assist any further please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards AJ