Crashed into an ambulance

Charles Morgan

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It's not quite that simple, though. In the case I referred to above, the driver's door of my car was damaged by a cyclist, who didn't have insurance. When I reported the accident to my insurers, they decided that I would need to claim under my own policy, which meant I had to pay the £600 excess. The cyclist reimbursed me for the excess, and I thought that would be that.

But ever since then (Sept 2009), I've been getting letters from my insurers telling me that they are pursing the cyclist for the full cost of the repairs (which was over £3000). They appointed a firm of laywers to recover this money from the cyclist, but this action was launched in my name. That is, the case was lodged with the county court as me (not my insrance company) v. the cyclist. This meant that I ended up dealing directly with the solicitors, and was legally responsible the fees they incurred. Their T&Cs stated that they would recover their fees under the Legal Expenses insurance provided by my motor insurance policy, but also carried the caveat that if their fees exceeded the limit of my cover, I would have to settle the remainder myself. And of course, they could not tell me what the total fees were likely to be - although the hourly rates for the three(!) partners assigned to the case were predictably eye-watering.

Furthermore, the lawyers' T&Cs required my full co-operation in pursuing the case - otherwise they would refer the case back to my insurers and I would automatically become liable for any costs incurred to date. Had that happened, I can only imagine that my insurers would have then taken action against me to recover their loss, on the grounds that I had effectively prevented them from recovering it from the third party. I was also left wondering how much I may have been left out of pocket if I had not had legal expenses cover as part of my policy...

I'm sure this is somehow all part of the gravy train that seems to accompany all insurance claims these days, whereby everyone from lawyers to accident management companies seems to be taking a cut of any payout, but the bottom line was that I was left in a position where I could have been liable for subtantial fees for pursuing a claim in relation to an accident that was no fault of my own in the first place (my car wasn't even moving at time!).
Subrogation is a very long established equitable remedy, which is pretty complex, but they would have a hard time making a claim against you for the legal fees they forced you to incur stick.
 

MOCAŠ

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Subrogation is a very long established equitable remedy, which is pretty complex, but they would have a hard time making a claim against you for the legal fees they forced you to incur stick.
Might have known there'd be a name for the practice. :)

No doubt you're correct in your assessment of the situation, but it felt to me like a Catch 22 situation: either I support the insurer/lawyers in their pursuit of the cyclist, or I become liable for the loss myself. I'm sure the terms of my policy would have made it clear that it was my duty to cooperate in the recovery of such a loss.

Going after the cyclist felt wrong, especially after he'd settled my excess amicably, but it was either that or pay for the repairs myself. Simply opting out of the process was not an option.

Last I heard was that the case was on hold pending the outcome of a separate test case, so it may yet all come to naught.
 

Charles Morgan

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Might have known there'd be a name for the practice. :)

No doubt you're correct in your assessment of the situation, but it felt to me like a Catch 22 situation: either I support the insurer/lawyers in their pursuit of the cyclist, or I become liable for the loss myself. I'm sure the terms of my policy would have made it clear that it was my duty to cooperate in the recovery of such a loss.

Going after the cyclist felt wrong, especially after he'd settled my excess amicably, but it was either that or pay for the repairs myself. Simply opting out of the process was not an option.

Last I heard was that the case was on hold pending the outcome of a separate test case, so it may yet all come to naught.
Yes - you are obliged to pursue a claim if they require as only you have the right to sue the person for loss and yes you have to comply. I quite agree with you that this sounds wrong in this instance, but I suspect they'd rather he'd paid them the £800 than you.
 

Dryce

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They appointed a firm of laywers to recover this money from the cyclist, but this action was launched in my name. That is, the case was lodged with the county court as me (not my insrance company) v. the cyclist.
Surely if you haven't instructed this then it's not your liability.

The small print of policies generally makes it clear that the insurer will take on legal action as it sees necessary - you're required to allow them to do this. But I've not seen anything that makes the policy holder liable for this.
 

MOCAŠ

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Surely if you haven't instructed this then it's not your liability.

The small print of policies generally makes it clear that the insurer will take on legal action as it sees necessary - you're required to allow them to do this. But I've not seen anything that makes the policy holder liable for this.
I would need to check the detail of my policy to see how this situation was covered, but that is nevertheless how the matter was handled.
 
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Gucci

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Result!

Is he going down the R32 route again or something else this time?

Perhaps a dodgem.
A dodgem could be fun :thumb: but I believe he's looking at a BMW 120d M Sport coupé. No idea what his insurance would be like?
 

Spin_bowler

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Let's face it, his next quote'll be a bit spicy.

Mine are just calming down 3.5 years after an at fault accident and with my licence being points-free for the first time since 1993!
 

Dieselman

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A claim normally removes 2 years NCB, but if the policy has protected NCB then theoretically there will be no change.
 

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A claim normally removes 2 years NCB, but if the policy has protected NCB then theoretically there will be no change.
Regardless of what happens to his NCB/NCD, the premium will almost certainly rise as a result of this accident.
 

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Regardless of what happens to his NCB/NCD, the premium will almost certainly rise as a result of this accident.
Correct. The risk in insuring him has just increased so the premium go up and the NCD will reduce the higher premium, so he'll pay more.

Although, as NCD is a percentage the absolute amount of money that it represents is more on a higher premium so through crashing he has actually generated a higher discount... ...we should all do it :crazy:
 

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How, if he has no claims protection?
Because it's only protecting the "bonus", not the premium.

Let's say you've built up 60% NCD and it's protected. If your premium works out at £1000, you pay £400. That doesn't mean your premium can't go up to, say, £1500, in which case you'd pay £600.

Premiums can increase for all sorts of reasons: market forces; increased risk profile; insurance company needs to make more profit...
 

Dieselman

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But isn't the premium the standard price for a driver of that age and conditions, such as vehicle type, etc.

The discount is then awarded against that standard premium.

I have protected NCB, but before that if I was to make a claim I would lose 2 years NCB, but the premium would remain the same, so I would pay a greater percentage of that premium as I would have less discount.

e.g. my insurance was £1600, but with 35% NCB I paid £1040, with 65% NCB I paid £560.
If I lost 2 years discount I go back to paying £1040. the premium remains the same, but I would forfeit some discount.
 

renault12ts

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But isn't the premium the standard price for a driver of that age and conditions, such as vehicle type, etc.
Mocas is absoulutely correct.

My wife has protected NCB, but following two small bumps, her premium went up...but the NCB was unaffected...but applied to the higher base premium.
 

Dieselman

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My wife has protected NCB, but following two small bumps, her premium went up...but the NCB was unaffected...but applied to the higher base premium.
Was hers protected for two claims or just one?
 

MOCAŠ

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But isn't the premium the standard price for a driver of that age and conditions, such as vehicle type, etc.

The discount is then awarded against that standard premium.

I have protected NCB, but before that if I was to make a claim I would lose 2 years NCB, but the premium would remain the same, so I would pay a greater percentage of that premium as I would have less discount.

e.g. my insurance was £1600, but with 35% NCB I paid £1040, with 65% NCB I paid £560.
If I lost 2 years discount I go back to paying £1040. the premium remains the same, but I would forfeit some discount.
The whole point of NCB is to reward you for not having made a claim (although some cynical souls would claim that it's all a 'smoke and mirrors' marketing ploy anyway). So, unless it's protected, your discount percentage will indeed be reduced following a claim.

However, that's completely separate form your risk profile and the other factors that determine your premium in the first place. Seems you were lucky not to see your original premium increase, in addition to the reduced NCB.
 

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