A driver hit my car and admitted liability - why am I now being taken to court for a counter claim?

I was involved in a car accident last year and the other party admitted liability. His insurance company rang and confirmed liability both to me and my insurers. My insurance duly paid for all the repairs on my car and the hire car. I had no excess to pay as I was not to blame. However, my insurers failed to recover the costs from the other insurance company and passed unrecovered costs to a claims company to sort out. My insurer (Skoda) told me that I have to make the claim on their behalf to recover costs. My legal costs were to be all covered. I have now received a letter from the claims company saying that the other party's insurance is making a counter claim and want me to attend court to defend the costs made by my insurers. My insurers have told me that it's quite common for a claims company to have to recover costs from another insurer, but I feel completely out of my depth here with little support from my insurer. They just tell me to liaise with the claims company. What is your advice about this?

Asked on 21 August 2017 by Alex Wedgwood

Answered by Tim Kelly
Firstly, you have not claimed via your insurer from the sound of it. You've claimed via an accident management company. Your insurer would not provide a hire under your contract of insurance unless it was a benefit your policy afforded and you had paid for. If your insurer has failed to recover your loss, then they have breached your contract of insurance by failing to indemnify. Skoda is not your insurer, read all your documents.

Find out who you have claimed through. Then read the contract that you must have signed. Speak with that company, ask them what area of cost is in dispute. It will probably be around the cost of credit hire. It may be around whether your are "impecunious" or not, and whether you required credit hire. You have said, "my legal costs were to be all covered". Who by? If you have claimed through your insurer, they should do everything for you and cover any legal cost involved. Your issues lie with you not knowing who you are claiming through, and who is acting on your behalf. If you are claiming via an accident management company, have you taken out'after the event insurance'? If so, legal cost would be covered by that. If not, you are liable for any 'unrecovered loss'. The company handling the claim should be well-versed in what to do, and you should not have an issue as this company should have fully advised you prior to you contracting with them.
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