My insurer paid out a false claim, leaving me with higher premiums - what can I do?

While sorting out insurance for my new car, I've been informed by my new insurer that there's a claim on my insurance for an incident that was reported on the 17 March 2017. There was an incident in a car park where a third party said I'd hit their car when I didn't. They tried to make out that I'd made a mark on their car, but there was no mark on mine and I know I didn't hit their car. I refused to share my details with them because, as far as I was concerned, they were scamming me. They got my number plate anyway and placed a claim against me. I got a call from my insurers and I informed them that I didn't do anything and that they were making it up. I was then contacted by someone who checks cars over after a claim is made and he came out to look at my car. There are marks on my car as it's 13 years old (I'd had it for six years at the time), so plenty of wear and tear on the car. But there were no dents or bumps on the bumper where the third party had said I hit their car. I heard nothing back from my insurance company, so thought the issue was over. I then receive my insurance renewal from Halifax in January this year and, on the documents, it states that the accident is pending. But still nothing on there to suggest a claim had been made or any money been paid out from my policy. My new insurer tells me there is a claim on my insurance and a pay out of £562 had been paid from my policy. I knew nothing about this. How can they find it in the third party's favour when there was no police, no video footage, no witnesses and no proof? Furthermore, how can they get away with not informing me? Is there anything I can do?

Asked on 23 March 2018 by hannah

Answered by Honest John
All you can do is raise a complaint with the insurer and the take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Completely down to your insurer being lazy, and they will advise you it will cost more to defend the case than to pay it out. This is not true. If a vexatious claim is defended in court and found in your favour, then the court can make the claimant pay all the fees. You can advise that your insurer have breached FCA regulations under ICOBS 8.3.3 by acting in conflict to your interest. You now have an affected claims history that will lead to higher premiums as a result of them choosing not to defend. Did you photograph the other vehicle at the scene? Whether or not there's damage, always photograph everything.
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