My insurer just paid out a claim from a minor incident two years ago - can I argue that they should have fought it?

About three months ago I received an email from my insurance company informing me that Metro travel bus company were making a claim against me. They say that I reversed into a bus and fled the scene.They had six CCTV images taken from the front of the bus. This had happened over two years ago. I responded that I had been waiting at a red light, when they turned green I'd somehow got into reverse gear and bumped into the bus. The driver got out, we looked at the bus, he said I hadn't damaged the bus and that there was no need to exchange details. I wrote to my insurance company saying I didn't think it was fair claim, there was no evidence of damage and I hadn't "fled the scene". If I had, why hadn't they reported me to the police? I then got a letter from my insurers saying the bus company had the evidence and they had no option but to pay because they couldn't win if taken to court. The repair bill was over £500. Now I'm about to change my car. How will this affect a new insurance policy? I do have legal cover on the policy, is it worth me arguing that they should not have paid out to the bus company?

Asked on 23 August 2017 by Mary Frances

Answered by Tim Kelly
Your insurer is being lazy. Ask them to provide all the details of any correspondence from the bus company. You may need to do a "subject access data request" to obtain it if they're awkward about it. Pay particular attention to the date of repairs that would have been required to the bus, and get your insurance company to ask why it took so long to get the bus repaired. They then need to ask the bus company if the vehicle had been involved in any other incidents after the alleged damage that you caused, as you caused no damage and believe this to be a 'vexatious' claim. Say that you 'insist' that they pay it. Your insurer has every option to not pay. They're just choosing not too as it would cost them too much to defend, but that's what you pay them for.

If you have protected no claims, then you are allowed to make two claims in any three year underwritten period before it affects your No Claims Bonus. If you don't have protected no claims, you will loose a percentage of no claims and will now be seen as additional risk, so it will increase your premium. Your legal cover will very doubtfully cover this, but by all means give it a go, as it does depend on the policy. I would certainly fight it and force your insurance company into doing so.
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