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I am sorry to hear about the allegations which have been made. Yes you can sue for defamation. You must show as part of your claim that the statement has damaged your reputation.
It is unlikely though that this is likely to affect your insurance unless it is that the statements were also made to them.
Can I clarify anything for you? I hope I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.
I really cannot say why the law is the way it is. I can only say what the law is. Part of claiming damages is ultimately claiming for the effect something has had on you and as such saying you are entitled to being compensated for this wrong. That is essentially what you are being allowed to claim for.
If the horse has not bolted yet, as you put it, then what you may do is simply write a letter to the person indicating that you intend to sue them for damages if it is they do not stop what it is they are doing. It is perhaps best to have the letter written by a solicitor in order for it to be takne seriously.