Car Insurance FAQs (F-M)
Jumping The Queue:
Q : I was coming out of a side road and was
struck by a vehicle jumping the queue. Who is to blame?
A : This sounds very similar to a case that
came before the Courts some years ago - Powell V Moody (1966).
In that instance, a motorcycle was jumping a queue of traffic
on the wrong side of the road and collided with a vehicle
edging out of a side turning. The Court held an 80/20 split
with the motorcyclist being 80% to blame. Your case might not
be identical to this but it will give you an indication as to
what you might achieve.
Q : My son caught the car of another driver
whilst reversing over a speed bump into the space behind, to
park. The damage to the car, was a very superficial mark to the
door of the other car, but he still gave his insurance details.
This was in September 2001. He didn't hear any more, and
assumed that the mark was so slight that it could be 'T-cut'
out. However, this week (20th January 2002) he has received a
notification of the other parties claim. Is there a limit to
the length of time a party can have to put in a claim?
A : The other driver's claim against your son
arises out of the common law tort of negligence. There are time
limits which are governed by legislation in the form of the
Limitation Act 1980. However, they are very long! For property
damage (as in this case) the limit is 6 years! (Had there been
injury, it is only 3 years). This time limit starts from the
date of the accident and applies to the date that civil court
proceedings are issued naming your son as the Defendant. The
best thing to do is put it in the hands of your son's insurer
and let them deal with it. Tell them of your reservations about
the extent, or rather lack of it, of the damage to the other
Latent Defect :
Q : My car was parked in a Golf Course. A
Council tractor was parked at the top of a slope. It slid down
the slope and hit my car. The insurance company deny liability
saying it was caused by a puncture they could not have forseen
and was a "latent defect" so have not been negligent.
A : If they want to prove latent defect, they
will have to produce service records to show that the vehicle
was properly maintained. I would have thought a vehicle with a
puncture was less likely to roll than one with good tyres! What
happened to applying the handbrake or putting it in gear? Or
were these defective as well?
Motor Insurers Bureau:
Q : I was wondering whether you could advise me
on my situation. A couple of weeks ago, one night a drunken
driver hit my car full on (and is now a write off) I only have
third party insurance (I am a student). The driver has no
insurance and cannot pay anything towards the cost as he is
also unemployed. Is there any form of compensation I can
A : I hope the police have prosecuted the
drunken driver! The answer to your questions is a cautious
'yes'. You can apply to the Motor Insurance Bureau for
compensation. Some details of their activity is shown on my web
site or you can go to their web site. However, for property
damage (i.e. your claim is for your car and not personal
injury) there is a huge excess to pay so if you car was quite
old and not of high value, it might not be worth your
Q : My wifes car was recently hit by another
car on a roundabout. The other driver sped off without
stopping. Fortunately my wife was unhurt but the front offside
wing of the car was badly damaged. My wife managed to get the
first 4 digits of the licence number & the colour of the
car but not the make or model. This was reported to the police
who "attempted" to track down the owner of the other vehicle
but without success and suggested we try the MIB. The MIB site
seems to suggest only death or injury is covered. Is it worth
trying to pursue a claim if the cost is likely to be close to
excess or should we take the hit on the no claims?
The MIB have two separate agreements with the
Govenment, the first provides compensation to the victims of
uninsured drivers. Here owing to EU legislation, the
compensation includes property damage. However, the second
agreement - for untraced drivers, is for personal injury and
death only. So I am sorry to say that in the circumstances you
describe, there is no point in trying to pursue a case against
the MIB. You will either have to take a hit on your no claims
discount or withdraw your claim and pay for the repairs
yourself, whichever is the cheapest option for you.
"On the M6 I moved from the centre lane to the fast
but the other car didn't give way."
|Extracts taken from actual claim
forms submitted to
a number of UK car insurance companies
Car Insurance FAQs (N-S)