Earlier this year my neighbour ran into the back of my parked car. He rang his insurance company admitting liability and my vehicle was subsequently repaired during which time my insurance company provided me with a hire car as set out in my policy and paid for by them.
I have now been contacted by my insurance company's solicitor wanting me to attend court as the other insurance company are refusing to pay the cost of the hire car. I have been told I have two options: go to court, with the possibility of losing the case and subsequently have to pay the excess or, don't go to court where it will be deemed an 'at fault' claim, pay the excess and lose my no claims entitlement. So either way I finish up paying although it wasn't my fault. Not even in the car.
I have spoken to the insurance ombudsman and the financial ombudsman who both say this is how the insurance companies work and there is little I can do.
It appears there is a difference between 'courtesy car' and 'hire car'. Under the terms of my policy, in the of event an accident, the insurer will provide me with a hire car, from Enterprise as it turned out, organised and paid for by them. This is where the other insurer seems to have a problem, they believe I am financially capable of hiring my own vehicle, hence they are refusing to pay that part of the claim. Had it been a 'courtesy car' there would be no problem.
Strangely enough this happened to my sister last Ch......mas(FE might be watching!!), different insurers and she had to provide financial statements etc. and it was only a few days prior to the court case before the other company agreed to pay up.
My point is that this is a wrangle between the insurers surely and we, as customers, should not be subject to this hassle and pressure.
csqared, not fair at all but it was you that made the claim for the cost of the hire car on your own insurance. If the other company will not pay for that then your company has suffered a loss and will expect you to pay the excess and as you have made a claim reduce your bonus.
If you have any breakdown cover, then perhaps check if they provide legal advice into their terms and conditions on their cover, and if so, try them for further advice. Both my breakdown and vehicle insurance cover have these provisions, with the legal advice being provided via a third party company.
Seeing that you have already taken the 'ombudsman' route, then the advice given by both of them would have to be taken into consideration, but also think that it might not always be 100% correct and final.
Not sure though about the 'attending court' part, because is it for you to appear as a witness or is it the case that the 'other party' are actually taking you to court, because it seems rather strange the way you have described things, and perhaps the way the insurance company solicitor as approach you, without perhaps explaining further. I would say that it is even more strange, that your insurance company did all the 'hiring' yet at the time neither made any mention about you having the responsibility to meet the final bill.If it was me, then I would certainly ask or question this.
Another point that some people take and others do not, is the addition of part of the insurance policy a no-claims protection discount, that might cover future renewals, claims and discounts.
I am by no means a legal expert and neither is anyone else on this forum, unless they can produce the appropriate professional qualification, so my advice is the route I would personally consider and take on an issue like this.
many years ago in 80's had a slight knock of bumpers, exchanged names etc then just short of three yers later out of the blue had papers served on me for whip lash. i contacted the old insurance i had at the time only to find they had since gone bust so had to contact their reciever. I said happy to go to court to fight the claim. I chashed them up a few months later for an update only to find they gave her ten grand as it was not worth contesting.