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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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whilst I was working abroad I received an email from Admiral

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whilst I was working abroad I received an email from Admiral insurance telling me they were not able to renew my car insurance. My car was parked in London on the street so I phoned a friend who told me his personal car insurance covered him to drive my car. I asked him to move my car from the street to a collogues local business where there was off street parking. the distance being approximately 1 mile. My friend was involved in an incident on the Marlybone road, where he went into the back of another vehicle. he gave his name and number to the other driver, which is on record with Admiral. At the time he did not inform me. I later then received an email from Admiral stating I am liable. I have since spoken to my friend several times via phone and email and been told that his insurance company is dealing with the matter. finally I receive a letter from Admiral demanding payment. My friend will no longer accept my calls, return texts and emails. Admiral have no record of him or his insurance company contacting them. I understand it is my rensponsabilty to confirm he was insured
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

Are you basically saying that Admiral is holding you personally liable? Have you supplied them with your friends full name and address and contact details?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
at the incident he gave his name and phone number I have also given them these and email, unfortunately I do not know his address. Admiral are saying as they have had no contact with this person and it is my responsibility to confirm his insurance details at the time., I am liable. I was busy working long hours in Southern Poland and Admiral forced me to have my vehicle moved from the street by failing to renew my insurance.
OK, understood.

But do you not have an address for your friend? Surely you must know where he lives?

Can you prove that you were out of the country at the time e.g. stamps in passport?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
unfortunately, I do not know where he lives. I'm sure I could find out but at this stage I don't want to get other people and employers involved.
travelling to Poland does not require any passport stamps but I could request a proof letter from an employer.
Thanks. I will have to look at a little case law for you and will report back this afternoon. Please bear with me.
Thanks for your patience. I have had a chance to review your problem and indeed check some case law on the issue of liability.

There are a couple of issues that you need to consider:

Criminal Law

If your friend was uninsured then under criminal law you may have committed an offence of permitting him to drive without insurance. This carries 6 penalty points and a fine. Hopefully this will not be an issue, but if it does become a problem then your only defence will be to prove that your friend was insured to drive either under your own policy or his. As this is a strict liability offence it will not be enough to say he told you he was insured - to establish a defence you must prove that he was.

Civil Law

In the normal course of events when an accident occurs the drivers insurer will indemnify any loss. Obviously where there is no insurance, the driver becomes personally liable.
In this case either your friend did not have insurance or for other reasons his insurer is refusing to pay out (he may not have Third Party cover to drive other vehicles).
So if he or his insurance will not pay then you may well be landed with the bill because you allowed him to drive your car.
The best way for you to defend the claim is to prove that (a) your friend was the driver (his full details are essential) (b) you were told in good faith that he was insured (c) that it would be unjust to hold you liable for somebody elses negligence.

I hope this helps.

Alice H and other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Graham

I am following up our conversation to see how you got on with the issue. If you need any further help then please let me know - remember I am a qualified UK Solicitor and able to help on most aspects of English Law. I am London based and usually able to respond to your query very quickly.

Alex Hughes