The driver of a car I hit is claiming personal injury - should my insurer defend against this fraudulent claim?

In 2016, I was involved in a very minor public car parking collision, accidentally reversing into a car and causing very minor damage to the third party vehicle. We exchanged details at the scene and my passenger took photographs of the damage. There was no damage to my vehicle, and the third party driver was composed and not distressed in any way. I informed Direct Line, my then insurers, and it was clearly my fault. I would have been happy to settle any damage without involving insurers, but the other driver engaged a claims agent and alleged more serious damage to her vehicle, along with personal injury claim for herself and a passenger. I maintained there was no indication of personal injury at the time, and so far as I was concerned, she was alone in the car, and made statements to that effect to my insurers' inspectors. An engineer was even sent to inspect my car. After a few months, Direct Line advised that there had been no further response from the agents, and they had sent a modest cheque for damage repair in full and final settlement. Eighteen months after the original incident, Direct Line have been in touch to advise they have re-opened the case following response from the third party agents with 'evidence' of personal injury, threatening litigation. They reopened the file and are negotiating settlement, admitting themselves that it is cheaper to settle than to contest what I believe to be a fraudulent claim through the courts. I believe that the circumstances surrounding the incident do not substantiate either significant damage to the other vehicle and certainly not personal injury of any sort whatsoever. But I can't prove this other than the photos taken at the time. I'm no longer insured with Direct Line, and no longer own the vehicle involved.

Asked on 27 October 2017 by Peter Lawley

Answered by Tim Kelly
Complain to Direct Line, advise that you believe the claim for personal injuries is a "vexations claim of no merit" and that you wish for Direct Line to defend the case.There is now no reason why they cannot, as the courts can not award all cost to them should it be found to be a claim that is fraudulent. Contact the ABI and make them aware of your concerns, then report it to the IFB by calling 0800 422 0421 or by filling out a form on the IFB’s website: www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issu.../ and www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline/
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