So following on from my previous post where I rear-ended a brand new 2012 Toyota Avensis, a collision where in the vast, vast majority of cases, the driver behind is to blame, the eventual outcome was in my favour. Although I strongly believed the driver in question pulled out far too soon, it was always going to be very difficult for me to prove this, given the nature of the collision itself.
Following on from the initial post, due to the fact I need the van for work, I repaired it immediately with my Ford Transit Mechanic. There was very light damage to my van and it was fixed and back to good for around €100. I met with the claims assessor from my insurance company and gave him a rundown of the events. We met at the scene and went over the details. The other driver, probably on advice from another party, refused to meet him to give her side of the story. I didn’t hear much while the assessor was dealing with the issue and about 2 weeks later an independent assessor whose job is to assess the vehicles to determine the point of impact, position etc, met with me and gave the van a look over. He said that due to the point of impact it would be difficult to prove my case and in order for proper readings of road conditions (such as rain) to be determined, it would have been necessary to close the road. Otherwise such claims wouldn’t stand up in court.
I spoke to the assessor from my own insurance company again and said how I didn’t want to accept liability. That accepting liability was accepting that I was a higher risk to my insurance company and would be met with years of increased premiums as a result, along with my license and driving history being tarnished. He spoke of what the independent assessor advised them and I was adamant to not take the blame on this. He said he would look into it further and be in touch.
About 2 months passed without me hearing anything. My renewal was approaching and I got a shock when I saw the renewal letter. A premium increase of around 52% and a claim against my policy for about €8,000! I got in touch with my claims assessor immediately who assured me that the case is still open and this is the standard renewal process with an open claim. That they charge you for it as if it went against you and then if you happen to win, they will refund you or charge less for the remainder of the policy based on no claims.
The assessor didn’t realise the renewal date was imminent so told me he would chase it up again. I reminded him again that I did not want to accept liability and was willing to take it further. A cost neither insurance company would want to risk and considering there were no personal injury claims with this case, it was a relatively small amount compared to what some cases can be.
A few days later I picked up the phone and it was my claims assessor again, this time giving me the good news that the third party insurance company has decided to take responsibility for the cost of damage to the vehicle and there was therefore no claim against me. That was it, no more had to be done, over and done with very quickly. I’ve since renewed my policy at the same price as last year and continue to have no claims against the policy.
This started off as an almost impossible task to prove but has thankfully and I believe justifiably worked out in my favour.