A learner driver hit me and now his insurance are refusing to pay out - should I take legal action?

I was recently sat stationary at a junction when a third party drove into the back of me because he was waving at another driver in a vehicle in the next lane. The third party produced an ID in the form of a provisional license. I asked him to ring his insurance company, who verified that the vehicle was insured. I ended taking a picture of him, his car, the driving license and also a debit card that he had. He rung me within an hour and offered to pay for the damage with cash, but my intention was to inform my insurance and get some guidance. I ended up calling at my local body shop the following morning who gave me a number for a solicitor. After initial searches from the solicitor, they had concerns that he hadn't passed his driving test and was driving on learner insurance. This meant that they could not assist. I informed my insurance who then took over to make yet more enquires. It took four weeks to receive a response from his insurance. He is insured with a company called Collingwood, who are specialists in learner insurance. They have advised my insurance that they are not willing to cover the accident because he has breached the terms of his insurance. He hasn't passed his driving test and was driving unaccompanied at the time of the accident. The company have admitted liability for my personal injury and are willing to cover costs such as my policy excess and hire car rental, but they've essentially just opted out of paying out for the extra £750 damage to my vehicle after the excess is paid. I've been told by my insurance that they cannot do anything about the problem. Do Collingwoods have a legal responsibility to cover my losses? The police say they don't have the resources to investigate. The ombudsmen have said that they cannot act against an insurance company that I don't hold a contract with. I've applied to MIB who, by the looks of it, wont act unless I claim on my own insurance because I haven't incurred a financial loss until I do. I'm apprehensive about doing this because I don't want my premiums to rise because it will class as a fault claim. As a last resort, would applying to take the third party or the insurance company to Small Claims Court be advisable?

Asked on 12 July 2017 by James Barlow

Answered by Honest John
Very sorry to hear about this situation, you are very much being given the run around by everyone as none have a clue what they are talking about. The initial solicitors are just being lazy, as are both insurers. Whether the at fault party has or has not breached the terms and conditions of his policy are not your concern. The at fault insurer at the time of the loss are liable under the 1988 Road Traffic Act. There is an obligation on all insurance companies to meet a judgement against their insured in all cases where there is a subject to a right of recovery against him personally. If they have paid or are paying out on the personal injury claim, get your solicitor who is handling that to pursue the loss of damage to your vehicle of them at the same time.

Do not under any circumstances deal with the at fault insurer directly in this situation. Should they pay out for the personal injury claim, they will advise this is full and final for the full claim. It is better to have a legal representative. If you do speak to Collingwood, advise them you are taking them to court for the damage to your vehicle, and understand your entitlements under Coles v Hetherton: www.honestjohn.co.uk/insurance/coles-v-hetherton-w.../
Advise they have a legal duty under statutory provision in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and have to meet any third part claim. They cannot avoid this. They can refuse cover to damage to their insured, but not to you, as they did have a policy in place at the point the incident happened. I would take the third party insurer to court, do not claim via your insurer unless you really need to. If you do, your insurer must reclaim these losses back from the at fault party.

Try using Kevin Bolton, www.accident-claim-expert.co.uk/road-accident-clai...l
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