Is this a common motor insurance ploy??

  csqwared 16:32 09 Dec 2014

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.

Can't be right surely?

  Batch 19:18 10 Dec 2014

Sounds to me that you've been caught in the credit hire / accident management company scam. In that you are provided with a a hire car (not a courtesy car) and the small print that you sign up to on taking the hire car commits you to paying for the hire car if the other party's insurer refuses to meet the hire cost (e.g. on the ground that they are excessive).

Hire car costs in such instances often are excessive because the accident management company "facilitates" the repairs taking (much) longer than they should do, charging very high rates in the first place (as well as trying to up the model supplied).

Check the small print of whatever you signed.

And take independent legal advice.

  csqwared 19:55 10 Dec 2014


I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comments. The only thing I can say is that the accident management company were my insurance providers and it specifically states in my policy a 'courtesy car' will be provided.

Thanks to you all for your comments. The Financial Ombudsman give my insurers 8 weeks to respond so until then I shall 'hang fire'. In the meantime, for what it's worth, I've written a letter of complaint to the chairman of my insurance company, one can but hope.

I'll bear in mind the comments made here until such time as I might need them.

Thanks again.

  Batch 09:48 11 Dec 2014


As I say, read the small print of anything that you signed in relation to the hire / courtesy car AND of your insurance policy. If it genuinely is a courtesy car supplied under the terms of your insurance policy and does not have any (relevant) caveats / limitations, then I would have thought that it is down to your insurance company to pick up the tab. But if it is a hire car supplied through / by an accident management company (which could be part of the insurance group!), then ......UGH.

One way of thinking of the difference between a hire car and a courtesy car is to think of the situation if you take a car in for service and the garage supplies a car. I'd see a courtesy car being supplied by the garage (e.g. from a pool of cars it has) and there is explicitly NO CHARGE (although you might have to get it covered under your insurance). If the garage supplied a hire car (e.g. from a 3rd party), there may well be charges (in the car supply contract) that requires you to pay something. But there are so many variables, which comes back to read the small print.

Afraid I can't add any more.

Good luck.

  csqwared 17:01 27 Dec 2014

Just to complete the story the chairman (CEO) to whom I wrote responded quite quickly, passing the complaint to Customer Relations requesting a "thorough investigation into the complaint" and promising a response within ten days.

I have now received that response, stating that the action taken by them was, on this occasion, a "little hasty" and the problem with the other insurance company was resolved with one phone call!!, and apologising for the involvement of solicitors and my distress. He has confirmed the matter is now totally resolved and my No Claim Discount is intact.

Thanks for all your input.


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