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Title: Third Party Insurer won't pay up

Date: 26 October 2011

Question

I am a regular reader of your column in MCN and could do with some
advice.

I was involved in an incident back in July, where I hit some debris
that had come off a trailer being towed by a Van down the M4. Several
cars were involved as well, having hit debris themselves. The Police
did not attend but the Highway's Agency did and they have a report
filed.

I contacted the Firm who owned the van the next morning and they said
they were aware of the situation and provided me with some insurance
details which it turns out was an expired policy. We think it was
their Public Liability insurance as my insurance company have found a
different insurance policy covering the van that they own. My
insurance company have repeatedly contacted their insurance company,
but they refuse to communicate, as far as they are concerned no
accident has been reported to them.

I am worried as my insurance company don't seem to be doing anything
to pursue this and I do not accept any changes to my No Claims
Discount, as this was not my fault. My insurance company waived my
excess straight away and repaired my bike. I do have Legal protection
but as I am not claiming for Personal Injury they do not seem to be
interested either.

Would really appreciate your thoughts, is there anything I can do to
try and progress this ?

Kind Regards,

Andy Verrent

Answer

If you or your insurer has the registration number of the vehicle to blame then a simple Motor Insurers Database (MID) search can be run in seconds to find out the identity of the
insurer assuming a valid insurance policy was in place. It is the motor insurer that will be responsible for the settling the claim not the public liability insurer. You say that the other party's insurer
will not deal with the matter in which case your insurer should appoint solicitors and commence court proceedings against either the driver or the insurer directly, the latter of which can be done by
virtue of European Regulations. Once it is in the hand of your opponent's solicitors which it will be once court proceedings are underway, they should take a sensible view and settle the claim.
Therefore you should instruct your insurer to commence court proceedings.

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