Our insurer disposed of our car in error - what can we do?

Two months ago my son had an accident in his 2006 Vauxhall Corsa resulting in no structural damage but a broken plastic front end. The insurer wrote off the car as uneconomic to repair. He was paying his premiums in monthly instalments and told them he wanted to keep his car. The insurer agreed to continue the policy, pay the value less excess and deliver the car to his home.

The cheque came three weeks ago, but no car. As he lives in a rural area and cannot get to work he has sent five emails to the insurer and received no response until today. They admit selling off the car and have made a compensation offer that brings the total up to £1000. Not in itself unreasonable. They have, however, ignored the VED and premiums taken when he had no car. They have skipped his question of whether they will extend the policy for the time they have delayed things. They also ignored the matter of VED and not having evidence of the car's transfer to give DVLA. Can you please advise on what to do next?

Asked on 31 October 2019 by John B Stryge

Answered by Tim Kelly
A complaint needs to be raised firstly with the insurer and then the Financial Ombudsman Service. Accept the payment made as a "interim payment on a without prejudice basis". Advise the insurer that you may wish to issue legal proceedings under the "interference of goods act" and for "theft" and "handling of stolen goods" as they disposed of a vehicle they do not own. You request all out of pocket expense is recompensated, along with compensation for their illegal activity and refund of any monies for premiums paid and not used. Raise the complaint as the above wordings.
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