Insurance Sham!!! - fredthefifth
Hi All,

Some of you will be familiar with this so I will be brief in reviewing the reason for this post.

Some months ago a car drove into the left hand side of my daughters car on a roundabout and despite the driver being contrite and apologetic at the scene subsequently took a different line and denied any liability.

My daughter shopped around and lacking the admission from the other party that her insurance company required, decided to get her car fixed at her own cost rather make a claim and lose her NCD etc. As she had advised her insurance company of the accident, today she phoned them up to advise that she would not be pursuing a claim. During the conversation with the insurance company she was told that the other party had never responded to their correspondence.

So the situation, familiar to many back roomers I'm sure, is that the other party causes an accident but then refuses to admit liability and does not respond to correspondence. Who wins? The other party and the insurance company, the latter seeming to allow this to happen, presumably because it would be too costly to pursue and it also allows them to avoid paying out.

So my conclusion is that insurance is merely a legal requirement and a safely blanket should we really have the biggy for which the increased premiums that follow a claim are worth while.

Any expectation that they will stand by the innocent and pursue the guilty is badly mistaken. Cynical even naive of me maybe to expect any different, but my views and any loyalty towards insurance companies have been severely dented!!

Insurance Sham!!! - catsdad
That's a bad situation. Sorry to add to your woes but you may still find the insurance company regards this as an accident and it may affect your NCD. The fact you've had an accident (even though not your fault and not claimed for) is what counts with some of them. They live in a different world. For example my wife backed into a tree and dented the tailgate and broke the window. We declared it but they regarded it as two incidents (glass and bodywork) with two excesses to pay. We decided to leave the dent as it was fairly minor but still the renewal came back with 2 "at fault" incidents. Luckily we have a good protected NCD but it still irked. Your situation is slightly different as you were not at fault but without witnesses I assume? Might be worth checking to ensure your record is still clean and push hard if not - you may need to sign a declaration that you will never claim in respect of the the incident. Good luck, as the innocent party this is really annoying
Insurance Sham!!! - Westpig
this has long been the case:

6 years ago, my pride and joy was hit by a supermarket lorry whilst parked and unattended. A lot of damage was caused, over £5,000...and the lorry was still there, when i returned to the car. The driver denied responsibility, but being 0530 in the morning and in a quiet dead end, I snooped about the lorry and found my car's metallic paint all down the lorry's rear loading platform. I took a sample of paint off his lorry with a colleague's pen knife and had another shift come to report the accident, ensuring the paint sample was properly preserved in evidence bags etc. Unknown to me the reporting officer took a separate sample from my damaged car. The driver of the lorry made an unpleasant, false allegation that i'd falsified evidence. My top boss, being a shrewd old sod told me that Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice was a very serious allegation to make about a police authorised the paint samples to go to a forensic science lab. Result being I was proved entirely proved the lorry damaged my car, unless i'd picked my car up and rubbed it against the lorry.

Did the other party's insurance company pay out, despite being given all that info..did it hell. The driver still denied it, so my insurance company rolled over, despite me having paid for legal cover which was 100% TOTALLY USELESS. I even had the legal team from an accident recovery company involved (they'd given me a decent courtesy car for a month and wanted their money back from the third party).

No one was interested in starting court proceedings..least of all me..i'd had enough stress and anger already. I ended up being about £1,000 out of pocket, what with my excess and increased insurance premiums on 3 cars and a motor cylce...pretty galling really...but sometimes you have to take it on the chin, unless you're prepared for more weariness.

Insurance Sham!!! - ifithelps
...Unknown to me the reporting officer took a separate sample from my damaged car... My top boss, being a shrewd old sod...


At least your colleagues were on the ball.

Knowledge of the job and experience - you can't buy it.
Insurance Sham!!! - L'escargot
fredthefifth, I think you're probably wrong to slag off insurance companies over this matter. I had a similar experience a number of years ago, except that the damage to my car was extensive. My car was parked and unoccupied at the time that the other driver's car hit it, and the other driver knocked on house doors to find the owner (me) in order to admit full responsibility.

However, he then failed to report the matter to his insurer.

His insurer told me the only thing they could do was to invalidate his insurance because he hadn't complied with their rules. I consulted a solicitor who told me the only thing I could do would be to claim off my own insurer for insured losses, and to sue the other driver for uninsured losses. Unless the law/rules have changed, the general purpose of insurance is to indemnify the insured against claims from a third party, and to pay for damage claimed by the insured. Your insurer has no power to deal directly with either the other driver or his insurer unless the other driver reports the matter to his insurer. If the law/rules have changed I would be grateful, for my own future benefit, if someone would explain the current situation to me.

Edited by L'escargot on 28/11/2009 at 08:02

Insurance Sham!!! - Altea Ego
I will repeat what I have said on here previously. Insurance companies are not a public service. They exist solely to make money. The only way the business model works, and can work, is to take as much money as possible in premiums, and pay out as little as possible in claims.

Forget any notion they exist to assist you, and your expectations about what you get from them will be set.

Edited by Altea Ego on 28/11/2009 at 08:58

Insurance Sham!!! - Mr.Tee43
Oh come on, the poor insurance companies don't make any money according to some posters on here. They do it for the pleasure of losing money year after year ! Thats why there are pages and pages and pages of companies touting for business in the yellow pages and millions spent in TV advertising.

If you believe that you live in the land of the fairies !

They will do anything to minimise paying out.
Insurance Sham!!! - L'escargot
Oh come on the poor insurance companies don't make any money according to some posters

I read somewhere that (at least some) insurance companies do indeed make a loss on car insurance. They subsidise the loss with other forms of insurance on which they make a profit. The cost of the few car insurance claims I've made certainly adds up to more than the total of the premiums I've paid in my 50-odd years of car ownership.

The average cost of an accident which involves a fatality is well over a million pounds.
Insurance Sham!!! - CGNorwich

Motor insurance has made an overall loss in the UK for the past 14 years
Insurance Sham!!! - Robbie
I had a similar instance many years ago. The guy ran into the back of me at a zebra crossing. His car was a virtual write off and mine was severely damaged. My car was only eighteen months old.

I was very shaken up and just got the guy's name and address etc. He refused to make a claim on his insurance, and his insurance co would not act without his authority. My brother was a police officer and recommended a solicitor to me. Took the guy to court and he very quickly involved his insurance co. Result, I got damages and the claim paid in full.
Insurance Sham!!! - ifithelps
...Motor insurance has made an overall loss in the UK for the past 14 years...

So the motor insurance companies tell us, and tell the corporation taxman.

Motor insurance is a legal requirement, so I'm just about prepared to accept the insurance companies would offer it without making any money - reluctantly, and only under official pressure.

But I can't believe a loss-making part of the business would be so heavily advertised, as motor insurance is.

The companies are spending millions to compete for your business, and they just would not do that if it was truly - see corporation tax remark above - loss making.

Nor do I buy the cross-selling argument.

I've never bought other insurance on the back of a motor policy, and I can't believe enough people do it to make up for the supposed losses.


Try rearranging these words into a popular phrase or saying:

Story the full not we being told are.

Insurance Sham!!! - CGNorwich
Motor Insurance as a whole makes a loss. That is not to say that all companies are unprofitable, indeed some are highly profitable. Insurance is a cyclical industry. Competition force rates down and loss making cos withdraw from the market. Rates rise and this draws new companies in and thus it goes on.

I pay £250 a year premium for comprehensive cover. Whilst I don't like paying money away I do find that it pretty amazing that a company can offer a contract that could involve them in paying out hundreds of thousands or even millions of pound for that sum

Insurance Sham!!! - ifithelps
...Motor Insurance as a whole makes a loss. That is not to say that all companies are unprofitable...


Fair enough - other posts of yours suggest you have some expertise in this area.

All I can say is the possible returns from a profitable motor book must be sufficient to entice companies to keep entering the market.

As regards possible payouts of millions, I'm no actuary, but the chances of you - or I - causing an accident with that size of payout must be, er, millions to one, or two, if you include both of us.

It's just glorified odds betting, isn't it?

By the way, I pay about £350 for comprehensive business cover and reckon that is more than fair - provided I get what it says on the tin - which I will only know in the unhappy event of making a claim.

Insurance Sham!!! - Bill Payer
So the situation familiar to many back roomers I'm sure is that the other party
causes an accident but then refuses to admit liability and does not respond to
Who wins?

The solution is very simple in your daughter's case. Use MoneyClaimonLine to take a civil action against the 3rd party for the costs. It's very easy and cheap. Chances are that the other party will panic and contact his insurers.

Of course the other party may still ignore it (so you win by default) and not pay, but you can then (if you wish) take enforcement action to recover the money. It is worthwhile estabishing if he has the ability to pay first though - own house etc. No point in going after a "man of straw".
Insurance Sham!!! - jbif
Pursuing insurance claims against 3rd parties is easy to deal with if you know how.
HJ provides a concise summary of the procedure here:

My own posts on this subject are scattered all over the forum, but here is link to a recent example as recommended by "Slow Eddie":

Bill Payer said:
The solution is very simple in your daughter's case. >>

It is worthwhile estabishing if he has the ability to pay first though - own house etc. No point in going after a "man of straw". >>

Not necessary as their Insurer is jointly liable under EU law:
" ... These Regulations, giving effect to Article 3 of the Fourth Motor Insurance Directive, confer on residents of the 15 Member States a new right to issue proceedings against the insurer of the person responsible for an accident in the UK. ... "
The European Communities (Rights against Insurers) Regulations 2002

ifithelps said:
" ... CG, Fair enough - other posts of yours suggest you have some expertise in this area. .. " >>

A clue is in the name "CGNorwich", but perhaps not as clear as the new name of the insurance company based in Norwich (beginning "Avi.. ").

In reply to the thread in general - re. profits:
Altea Ego is right, although as CGN says some companies make a profit, others make a loss. The aim is always to minimise losses (hence the use of "loss adjusters"). But then as with climate change, the sceptics are right and those who work in the industry deal with the subject everyday have their own interests at heart and so obviously will tell lies on this forum, won't they? ;-)

Insurance Sham!!! - Bill Payer
a new right to issue proceedings against the insurer of the person responsible

That, I would imagine, would be an awful lot more involved than simply taking direct action against the 3rd party themselves, especially as it appears a relatively small amout of money is involved in this case.
Insurance Sham!!! - jbif
That, I would imagine, would be an awful lot more involved than simply taking direct action against the 3rd party >>

No. As I say time and again, in law, due to the EU regs I cited,
3rd party = thier Insurance Company.

Insurance Sham!!! - WellKnownSid
Yep, that about sums it up.

Only had one accident in my life - and despite not being at fault, my "legal protection" wouldn't help because the other party had a witness - a solicitor!

It took 12 months and even me taking a tape measure to the road to convince my insurers that the other party had travelled EIGHT times further than I did to come to a stop - so either speeding or not paying attention. Only after I applied the thumbscrews did the solicitor (cow!) finally admit she "hadn't actually been watching the accident involving her friend, but was a witness to the environmental conditions leading up to the crash"!

That wasn't the annoying bit. The annoying bit was receiving a cheque for £80 in the post from my insurers.

Me: "Err, you've sent me a cheque for £80"
Them: "That's right sir. It's your no-claims-bonus refund!"
Me: "But, I have full no claims bonus and pay for no claims bonus protection"
Them: "That's right sir. This is the refund because your claim has been sorted and your no-claims-bonus has been re-instated because you weren't at fault"
Me: "But, it's protected - how can it be re-instated"
Them: "Yes, you pay for protection, and it prevented you losing it straight away - but it doesn't actually STOP you losing your no-claims-bonus. It just protects it. A bit...".

Insurance Sham!!! - TurboD
Sadly, I reckon that most drivers are liars, even fraudsters, when it comes to an accident, only filmed evidence will convince them of their mistakes. Sounds a bit like football?
I have been involved in a number of 'incidents' in the last 43 years of driving , as driver, passenger and witness, and am not persuaded that teh British are an honest nation.
Very luckily, my motoring abroad has been devoid of such problems- all but one occasion, which was my mistake, but the damage was slight and he saw the problems of claiming - living as he did in the back woods of Slovakia.
So if you have any problems takes photas as soon as possible etc.
Insurance Sham!!! - jbif
But my reader still got hit an extra £120 on his next premium because he had reported the incident. >>

HJ: I think your news story covered it here:

See my post in the thread titled "Admiral - they up your premium for non-fault bump" to see how to cover yourself against this penalty:

Insurance Sham!!! - fredthefifth
Thanks all, some interesting experiences, many in line with what happend to my daughter. Interesting advice regarding premiums going up despite not making a claim.
Insurance Sham!!! - The Gingerous One

I had a similar thing about 5 years ago, I had right of way on a roundabout and guy came out anyway and crashed into the side of me.
we pulled over, exchanged details and I took photos of his car and him plus damage to both vehicles. sent off claim form & pics to my insurance co, telling them other guy was at fault, included relevant section of Highway Code which stated as much.

My insurance co. had a look at my car and said "ummm arrr bit borderline as to repairing it" and so we settled for cash. His insurance co did actually reply to mine, but it turns out the guy never responded to his insurance company's requests for information as to the crash. Eventually his insurance co paid out due to the photos etc and I got my excess back from them as well. Took about 6 months from start to finish.

Of course, as I had been in a crash the premium went up but I just went somewhere else and it went back down again pretty much to it's pre-crash level.

so they're not all bad (honest).

Insurance Sham!!! - Rattle
They are not at all bad. My dad in 2002 went through a red light (he didn't see it, and after an investigation police decided the shanty town condition road was at fault, so no charges for my dad) but it was a major junction and wrote to cars off causing injuries to another driver (who police said was excederated (spelling?) we suspect he got into some trouble as police suspected him to speeding.

We got out the Punto without a single injury but the car was a complete write off, every single panal dented, suspension fallen in etc. Amazingly the insurance co write it off as a Cat C. They gave us £1500 or the car after a lot of arguing and didn't loose his no claims because of his protection scheme.

He admitted liability to.

Since this we have always stuck with the same company because they have delivered a level of trust. If insurance companies start refusing to pay out on petty things then they will loose business and will gain a poor reputation.

My insurance policy is not the cheapest, I could have saved £150 a year, but I trust direct line and though the premium was worth paying over the other none name insurance company based in Jersey for tax reasons!