I promised to expand on my recent car insurance experience (yes, I’m wiser now).
Having an encounter, head on, with another car on a lonely road in the middle of a Sunday afternoon wasn’t exactly a plan. Remember my 3 children (I might as well mention that one of my kids is disabled) and my elderly father with in the car with me and, since I didn’t know the road at all, I was proceeding at the pace of a proverbial snail.
Of course, I could well be lying and making this all up when I tell you that he was a RECKLESS IDIOT and I was an innocent and unlucky driver in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, judging by the way I (the cautious driver) and the other (the stupid git) driver got out of our cars and scratched our heads, neither of us had been in this situation before. We were both novices in the car accident claims department. I knew enough that we should at least exchange names and addresses. His passenger, another cocky youth, seemed a bit more savvy, “Look”, says he, “Your car looks OK, but my mate’ll lose his insurance, Why can’t you do a deal?”
I now know that I should have got my camera out and taken pictures, knocked on every house in the vicinity and got names and addresses and witness statements too. I should have left nothing to chance and human decency.
The following day, I rang my insurance broker to explain I’d had an accident. They said they would inform the insurance company who would get in touch. Of course the insurance company rang my husband, the account holder, but got no reply because he works off shore and isn’t contactable. I heard nothing. And then I got this letter pleading for me not to make my insurance claim:
I have three sons. One day, I expect at least the able-bodied two, will be young, inexperienced car drivers with astronomically high insurance policies too. So I took pity on him and, having not heard from my insurance company (who were apparently being completely negligent in their promise to contact me), I thought I might as well get a quote for the repair to be fair to him. Of course that began a mission in itself when the garage man opened my bonnet and sucked air between his teeth and pronounced that my car (that I’d been driving for two or three days with a dent in the bonnet) was actually un-drivable. The damage to my radiator and cooling system, not visible from the outside, would amount to a repair bill of £2,200.
To cut a long story short. I’m suddenly rendered car-less for three weeks (the LV promise of a courtesy car also wasn’t honoured ) during the repair and chasing to get him to answer the phone, he finally admitted he couldn’t pay the cost to repair my damaged car…and…once I got my husband to confirm to the insurance company that he knew me. I paid my excess and made my claim.
So that was that, I thought. My excess charge in a month or two would be restored in full….
Just before Christmas, I’m told that the other driver is not admitting liability. “It was on a blind corner”, he said, it’ll have to be a 50/50 claim.
Now I have his letter in my hand and a witness – who heard the accident – from a house next to where the accident happened. He begged me, at the time, “I’ve only been driving for 6 months, I’ll lose my insurance.” While I’ve been driving for 30 years. The lady, who came running from her garden as soon as she heard the squeal of brakes and crunch of metal just outside her house, said that she was concerned that with “these young lads racing along these lanes, sooner or later, a dog walker or a child will be hit or killed.”
I laughed at his suggestion that it wasn’t his fault. I knew he was lying.
But the LV man on the other end of the line told me: “We can’t discriminate against this driver just because he is young….” Somehow I felt that my insurance company was on the other driver’s side and not mine.
“But insurance companies do,” I scoffed, “or why else would car insurance for the under 25’s be so sky-high?”
So I sent my evidence through:
- The above letter
- A google map reference to pin point exactly where the accident happened (on a straight piece of road)
- Photographs top show where the accident took place (I went back to take these later)
- A witness statement from my 82-year-old father who was in the front passenger seat of the car.
- A witness statement from the lady who only heard, but didn’t actually see, the accident.
As far as I know he did nothing to prove his case. However his insurance company were adamant, they’d take none of what I offered as evidence (none of the trouble and effort I’d gone meant anything at all) as proof.
However, it could just be that I’m an elaborate liar with a vindictive streak who’s trying to be prejudicial to a young ‘innocent’ driver.
I’ll let you decide.
“Surely, the fact that I’ve been prepared go to such lengths to prove that this was an accident caused by a young, cocksure and inexperienced driver and not some unlucky meeting of two cars on a blind bend means something?” I asked. Sadly, no amount of reasoning, tears, raging and the running around chasing witness statements did me any good. It left me feeling cheated and very, very angry.
I wonder, do car insurance companies really fight on behalf of their clients? (Maybe if your premiums are higher then they do). In my experience it didn’t feel like it. Or was it because I wasn’t the actually policy holder, my husband is, and he hadn’t made the claim himself?
dare I say it?
I could have taken it to court but I wasn’t going to win.
The final stinging insult came later. I’ll save it for my next post Infuriating Mails.
- Car Insurance Scams you May Face (ngap.net)
- What Not to Say to the Other Driver After a Car Accident (thecrimsoncrow.com)