Is it underhanded for a repairer to carry out work if they know they aren't insurer-approved?

In February 2016, I called National Windscreens to replace my windscreen. They checked my insurance details and confirmed that they could do the work. The work was carried out five days later and the engineer who attended asked for my insurance details again. He also asked for me to pay the excess, which I did. Two weeks later, I received an invoice for the full cost of the windscreen (£370 minus the excess). I called the company and spoke to their accounts department. I stated that I never would have authorised NW to carry out the work if I knew they were not an approved supplier to Zenith Insurance. I wrote to them stating I was happy to go to small claims court to argue my case. I heard nothing more from NW until last week, nearly two years later, confirming they were taking me to court to pursue the debt. NW have confirmed that their Terms and Conditions allow them to pursue the payment from me in the event that the insurer won't pay them. I argue that having checked my insurance details twice, they should not have taken the work on knowing they were not approved by my insurer.

Asked on 23 January 2018 by mark weller

Answered by Tim Kelly
You are doing the correct thing. Do it as a counter claim. Even if they were not an approved repairer, your insurer should still pay it, or a proportion of it (it depends on the policy wording). Contact your insurer and inform them they are in breach of contract, and that you will bring them in as party to proceedings. You may find as soon as they know they need to attend court, the bill gets paid. Raise a complaint with both them and the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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