By daughter's car was hit by a refuse lorry - what should she do?

My daughter's car was parked quite properly outside her house when it was hit by a BIFFA refuse collection lorry. The driver left a note admitting fault and an office number to contact - luckily the incident was also seen by a number of witnesses who are available.

As I understand, if she reports this to her insurance company, even if it's a 'no fault' accident, she will have to then declare it for five years and probably be charged higher premiums for those five years.

She's spoken to BIFFAand they've told her they are already aware of the incident and their protocol requires them to interview the driver involved before informing their insurers after which they will contact her. What should my daughter now do for the best?

Asked on 3 September 2018 by T1tone

Answered by Tim Kelly
Your daughter's lawful entitlement is here www.honestjohn.co.uk/insurance/coles-v-hetherton-w.../
The need to notify your insurer stemmed from the 1934 Road Traffic act, you only had to notify your insurer when there was a need to notify when "there was risk someone should seek rise to a claim". As your insurer held the third party liability for this. This has been manipulated by insurers and primarily price comparison websites to "any claim". This may well be in breach of the 2015 insurance act and GDPR as the insurer should only be requesting relevant information and not penalising for an incident out of your control. Unfortunately, this does not stop them from doing so it appears.

If you deal directly with BIFFA's insurers, should something go wrong, you have no rights to dispute resolution via the FOS or any other Ombudsman. Also letting the paymaster control your claim is never a good idea. I would either use an Accident Management company, or your insurer with dealing with BIFFA's insurer as the least preferential way of claiming. Reference the increased premiums, if this claim is subject to an insurance claim it goes on the underwriting database and would need to be declared. Had the company paid for the damage privately, it would not have been recorded as such.
Go on a Price comparison site, see what difference the claim makes to a premium, multiply if by five years and request your solicitor (or whoever is doing your claim for uninsured losses) claims this back.
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