A minor accident is now costing me a fortune - can you help?

My car was subject to a very minor accident whilst parked car outside my home, whilst a third party was attempting to park. The damage was very minor (possibly none to theirs and a small mark on my bumper) so I suggested, and we agreed, the third party get a mobile specialist to spray my bumper without insurance companies involved. A month later, still no repair or contact so I notified my insurance company and put in the claim. They were informed that my wife witnessed the lengthy parking debacle so requested she make a statement, which she duly did. My vehicle was subsequently repaired successfully. 10 months later and after the third party claims to have never had the accident and with an engineer's report to suggest that there is no damage on his bumper so couldn't have caused damage to another vehicle, my insurance company has informed me that my wife's witness statement cannot be upheld because of her 'vested financial interest' and is now holding me at fault and so demanding my £500 excess. Do you have any advice for me please?

Asked on 18 May 2017 by James West

Answered by Tim Kelly
Your insurer are just being lazy, they always are. Write a letter of complaint to your insurer to their claims liability department asking them how your car came to be damaged when you were not in the vehicle. It does not matter whether they feel your wife has a vested interest or not, she witnessed it and it is evidenced that your car was damaged by way of the insurers engineer's report, and subsequently repaired. Advise your insurer that you insist they issue proceedings against the at fault party, and should they do anything different, they will be prejudicing your legal position. Make them aware in your written letter of complaint that to do this is a breach of the Financial Service and Markets Act 2000 under ICOBS 8.3.3: www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/ICOBS/8/3.html You may well at this point find things turn in your favour quickly. Should you have any issues, your other opportunity is to buy the claim of your insurer, and sue the third party directly via the small claims court.
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