Insurance Forced Into Payout Provides Satisfying Reading

, , , , , | Working | November 9, 2018

I am working for an agency as a temp receptionist and admin, often only staying at each company for a week or so.

One Sunday I get home to discover that my passenger door of my car has a massive dent in it, right across both panels, looking like someone turned too early reversing out of a space next to me. This is around February and I don’t often have passengers, so I haven’t seen this side of the car in the light for well over a week and have no idea when it might have happened. I’ve been working at a couple of places, so I don’t even know where.

I take the car to a couple of garages for quotes, and it’s going to be over £800 to fix. Bearing in mind I am 23 and have been working agency for a week here and a week there for several months, this is money I don’t have. My insurance excess is £500, so I decide I’ll give them a call to find out whether it would be better to make a claim or whether the impact in future would make it a bad idea.

I ring up the insurance company and get a lovely young man on the phone who assures me that as it isn’t my fault, that if I make a claim it won’t affect my premiums, and even better, that I won’t have to pay the excess for the same reason, and that he can arrange for me to have a free hire car while mine is in the garage. This is a heck of a lot better than I expected, so of course I say sure, let’s go ahead and claim, then.

He goes ahead and puts in a claim, and says that their estimator will come out to look at it and the hire car company will contact me within a couple of hours to arrange for the courtesy car.

An hour later, the hire car company rings as promised. We get through the basic name, address, etc., and then they ask for the details of the other driver. I don’t know who did it, I reply, and suddenly they clam up, saying they can’t provide a car and that the insurance company will ring me.

Sure enough, the phone rings to a different insurance agent informing me that as I don’t know who did it I’ll have to pay the excess myself, I can’t get a hire car, and my premiums will go up massively because they can’t claim against the other person’s insurance.

I am in tears at this point trying to explain that I rang to ask all of this and only put the claim in because I was assured it wouldn’t have an impact. I ask them to put the claim on hold as I’m informed they can’t remove it.

Eventually, I get my wits together and put in an official complaint, asking them to listen to the previous call, given they are flat out denying I was told what I was.

The result is them having to honour their first employees words. I get a hire car for two weeks, the work is done through my normal garage as I trust them, I don’t have to pay the excess, and it won’t impact my premiums.

Well, I say that… I have to ring and fight them again to collect the car when the garage hasn’t been paid the excess. Then, come my renewal date, I have to fight again, including another complaint, after they remove my no-fault claims and put my premium up. But in the end, that employee, who I assume was new and just misunderstood no-fault claims, probably cost the company close to £2000 between the repairs and the car hire, etc.

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