Admiral Insurance Drink and Drugs policy

Convicted Driver Insurance
Thanks for sharing. It is very hard to find out the outcomes so your input is very much appreciated.

Why do you think they backed out?

Did you feel well prepared for the court experience?
Were you going to represent yourself, or did you have a legal representative?

If the law backs them as they claim then the court case should surely be a formality.

I suspect there's something in their strategy that is untested in court, otherwise just take everyone to court as soon as the claim has been settled.
Why keep harassing people over a number of years if they are on solid ground. Successful court cases would surely act as a lever to get others to cave in.

It's a mystery.

The official reason for the discontinuance was a lack of evidence, in reality it was due to breaches of PACE and an unreliable witness. I had legal representation that (I felt) really were on the ball and up for the fight. They advised me the case would be discontinued, so I was happy that the outcome was exactly what they'd advised.

Going back to Admiral, I like you have spent some time looking around on the web but there's not a whole lot of information about these cases. Although my £2k bill, in reality, is not that much money, I will continue to hold out until such time as a court case materialises. If threatening letters is the only pressure they plan to apply I'm quite happy to hold out.

Annoyingly, I'm due to renew my car insurance in the next 2-3 weeks. The cheapest quote was Admiral!
 

Jdrums

Member
It's hard to find a solicitor that understands this area of road traffic law and the MIB. They would need to engage with a barrister who specialises in their area. They usually work for the insurance companies, usually in arguments about who is liable.

I did recently find one barrister who was prepared to have a chat without me having to go via a solicitor. Cost £600 for 1 hour!
I couldn't justify the cost just to satisfy my need to understand if Admiral are operating within the law.

It has definitely been worth haggling with them. They dropped in stages from £23k to £9k. Still didn't pay.
They do seem to have reduced their engagement with the people they are pursuing. I don't know why. They always seemed incompetent to me.
The claim will be inflated and they will not have done much to challenge it on your (or their own) behalf.

You do not have to disclose anything about your financial status unless they take you to court and get a county court judgment against you. If they know you can afford it they'll keep pursuing you.

You will not need to sell your house!
Seek advice from Citizens Advice or StepChange about debt management options.
Hi Depressed dad,

Firstly I Hope your depression has gone since creating the name, depression is brutal.

I contacted admiral today, prob not wise putting myself on the radar but my anxiety can't handle uncertainty! They said the current costs they have paid is £6200 (accident was 01/04/22, so I'm hoping most costs are accounted for by now) but they are going back and forth with the solicitors about car hire costs, solicitors of which i assume i have the pleasure of paying for? I assume the legal fees will dwarf the car hire fees anyway!

The accident was 7 months ago but I've only just been found guilty due to the length in time it takes to get blood tests back! Could he have been hiring a car this whole time!?

The burden of this is a lot for my mental health to deal with and I hate uncertainty. The fear of the unknown and length of time everything takes is agony as I'm sure you're all aware. I'd rather pay £30k now than £15k in 3 years just to get it over and done with. Not that I can afford £30k now :D
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
The official reason for the discontinuance was a lack of evidence, in reality it was due to breaches of PACE and an unreliable witness. I had legal representation that (I felt) really were on the ball and up for the fight. They advised me the case would be discontinued, so I was happy that the outcome was exactly what they'd advised.

Going back to Admiral, I like you have spent some time looking around on the web but there's not a whole lot of information about these cases. Although my £2k bill, in reality, is not that much money, I will continue to hold out until such time as a court case materialises. If threatening letters is the only pressure they plan to apply I'm quite happy to hold out.

Annoyingly, I'm due to renew my car insurance in the next 2-3 weeks. The cheapest quote was Admiral!

Sorry. Misinterpreted your earlier post. Thought Admiral had taken you to court.

Irrespective of a successful conviction Admiral have enough to pursue you. Balance of Probability is enough for them.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Hi Depressed dad,

Firstly I Hope your depression has gone since creating the name, depression is brutal.

I contacted admiral today, prob not wise putting myself on the radar but my anxiety can't handle uncertainty! They said the current costs they have paid is £6200 (accident was 01/04/22, so I'm hoping most costs are accounted for by now) but they are going back and forth with the solicitors about car hire costs, solicitors of which i assume i have the pleasure of paying for? I assume the legal fees will dwarf the car hire fees anyway!

The accident was 7 months ago but I've only just been found guilty due to the length in time it takes to get blood tests back! Could he have been hiring a car this whole time!?

The burden of this is a lot for my mental health to deal with and I hate uncertainty. The fear of the unknown and length of time everything takes is agony as I'm sure you're all aware. I'd rather pay £30k now than £15k in 3 years just to get it over and done with. Not that I can afford £30k now :D

Up to you if you would rather pay an inflated claim. Not everyone is willing or able to take up the fight.
You can't pay more than you can afford.

Try Citizens Advice or Step Change when you get the final figure. They can advise on the best way to deal with it.
 

Henri0000

Member
I was involved in a RTI earlier in the year, I was breathalysed at roadside and blew 41mg. Arresting office made the decision to take me to hospital to get checked over, I agreed to blood samples there, due to delays & time for police nurse to arrive my blood was taken approx 3.5 hours later.
I opted to keep a sample and has this analysed by UKAS lab with a quick turnaround (police results have still not come back)
Lab results confirmed 74mg/100ml so below the prescribed legal limit.
Submitted this information to admiral as part of the insurance claim assuming I was ok or very lucky however and like many fell foul to the ambiguous wording of admirals policy, my insurance was cancelled with reference to clause 11 and on the balance of probability that I was over the prescribed limit at the time of the accident, with Admiral's standard of proof required being lower than that of a court of law, I disputed this and raised it with the finial ombudsman however my complaint was not upheld.

After reading posts on this forum and doing some research I am interested to know if any one has had similar situation or pursued legal advice / gone to court. as I understand it is more of a contract law case compared to criminal.

The basis of my argument against admiral is the wording of the policy, the policy does not state specific details regarding legal limits or what admiral deems to be, obviously the legal limit is 35mg on a road side breathalyser, but this is merely an indicator to the police officer, evidential samples would be required to confirm alcohol levels, but admiral has based their decision to cancel my policy on this preliminary breath result without consideration to the blood results on the balance of probability, I did not the option to provide evidential breath sample

After researching I found a FO complaint from 2017 that was upheld against Admiral (DRN5654740) regarding preliminary breathalyser results.

Admiral has said that it refused the claim based on the balance of probabilities that Mr Z was over the legal limit at the time of the accident. It says this because the police asked Mr Z to take a preliminary breath test at the side of the road. The reading showed that Mr Z was over the legal limit of 35mg. Mr Z gave a positive reading of 38mg.
However this type of test isn’t used to give an accurate measure of alcohol levels. It is used to give the police an indication on whether the person being breathalysed could be over the legal limit. If the person being breathalysed gives a reading which exceeds the legal limit then they will be arrested and asked to provide two evidential samples of breath. And usually the lower reading of the two samples will be used to make a finding on whether they are over the legal limit. So while I appreciate that Admiral has said it thinks it was likely Mr Z was over the legal limit at the time of the accident I don’t think there is enough evidence to say this. In Mr Z’s case he gave two evidential specimen samples at the police station, the first reading was 35mg and the second was 38mg. So Mr Z was found to be within the legal limit.
Because the preliminary breath test isn’t the official test used to determine if a person is over the limit I don’t think it is reasonable that Admiral has based its decision on this. Based on the two evidential breath tests completed, Mr Z was considered to be under the legal limit. So, I’ve gone on to consider the preliminary roadside test, the two blank simulator tests and the two evidential breath test. Having done so, I think on balance its likely Mr Z wasn’t over the legal limit.


However the decision to cancel my policy by Admiral (see below) was based on the preliminary test result and my complaint was not upheld by the ombudsman..

Although you were not convicted of the offence outlined above, I must make you aware that this has no bearing on the application of General Condition 11. We have based our decision on the evidence provided by yourself which confirms you provided a breath reading of 41 micrograms, which is above the legal limit of 35 micrograms.
For an insurance company, the standard of proof required is lower than that of a court of law. A court of law will convict when the evidence is beyond reasonable doubt, whereas we consider the evidence on a balance of probabilities. I feel, on the balance of probabilities, you were over the prescribed limit of alcohol at the time of the incident


Two contradicting statements made by the finical ombudsman when concluding the two complaints to admiral regarding preliminary test results as deciding factors.
I would be interested to know if any one has experience or advice, I may seek further legal advice.
I had just accepted that the decision by admiral was final, car was a write off and potential recovery of third party costs at a later date, damage to parked cars, looking at 40k+ if that happens,
 

Jdrums

Member
Up to you if you would rather pay an inflated claim. Not everyone is willing or able to take up the fight.
You can't pay more than you can afford.

Try Citizens Advice or Step Change when you get the final figure. They can advise on the best way to deal with it.
Admiral are saying the other insurance company are try to "highball" them with car hire fees. Do you know if anything will change now that my insurance is cancelled? For the first six months i wasn't convicted so admiral were fighting my corner i guess, now I've been convicted and my policy cancelled will they just give up and accept figures?

Also would you be able to give a breakdown of what your £24k costs were. It would be interesting to see what I can expect to be charged for. I know car hire, car replacement, police fees, but I'm sure there are more? No one was in the car so thankfully no personal injury claims.
 

admiral

Member
Sounds like you had a lot of good points to raise with them and they are not playing ball.

Keep seeking clarification. If you don't get any joy raise an official complaint. They have to respond to that and if you're still not happy with the outcome raise it with the FOS.
I have insisted to get some answers and i have received the following
-The medical examinations are carried out independently. A recent reforms requires that a medical report is shown to make any offers;
-The claim was dealt as RTA;
-The case law Coles v Heatherton allows the claimant to choose their own repairer/provider;
-Although the claimant was provided with a different vehicle spec, they have taken into account that this resulted in no loss of earnings claim being made;
-Temporary repairs were not recommended by the report, therefore, they have not questioned it.

That's how they are justifying no doing their work. They have not tried to challenge those costs, accepting 4k for rental of a Merc for 28 days.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
I have insisted to get some answers and i have received the following
-The medical examinations are carried out independently. A recent reforms requires that a medical report is shown to make any offers;
-The claim was dealt as RTA;
-The case law Coles v Heatherton allows the claimant to choose their own repairer/provider;
-Although the claimant was provided with a different vehicle spec, they have taken into account that this resulted in no loss of earnings claim being made;
-Temporary repairs were not recommended by the report, therefore, they have not questioned it.

That's how they are justifying no doing their work. They have not tried to challenge those costs, accepting 4k for rental of a Merc for 28 days.

Who carried out the medical examination and what makes them independent?

Need to have a think about the RTA v Article 75. If they cancel the policy I thought you were treated as an uninsured driver. I admit to not understanding this area.

They might be allowed to choose their own repairer but is the work needed and fairly priced? My insurer charges me more to choose my own repairer.
Have they shared the engineers report?

I cannot see how a avoiding a loss of earnings claim entitles them to hire a Merc.
How long between the accident and start of car hire?

So they didn't assess the damage themselves to determine if the car was drivable until repaired.
Sounds like they've done nothing to reduce the amount of the claim, or validate any element of it.
 

admiral

Member
Who carried out the medical examination and what makes them independent?
Medco Expert, a guess a question to ask.
Need to have a think about the RTA v Article 75. If they cancel the policy I thought you were treated as an uninsured driver. I admit to not understanding this area.

They might be allowed to choose their own repairer but is the work needed and fairly priced? My insurer charges me more to choose my own repairer.
Have they shared the engineers report?
i do have the engineers report, the repair seems reasonable although the car was sat two weeks for a bumper replacement charged at a nominal fee of 1k + £200 fees for being a nissan
I cannot see how a avoiding a loss of earnings claim entitles them to hire a Merc.
How long between the accident and start of car hire?
10 days
So they didn't assess the damage themselves to determine if the car was drivable until repaired.
Sounds like they've done nothing to reduce the amount of the claim, or validate any element of it.
they just looked at the repairer's report and that was it, no assessing of the damage themselves.
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
Medco Expert, a guess a question to ask.

i do have the engineers report, the repair seems reasonable although the car was sat two weeks for a bumper replacement charged at a nominal fee of 1k + £200 fees for being a nissan

10 days

they just looked at the repairer's report and that was it, no assessing of the damage themselves.
What people really need to understand is that any costs incurred by the injured party that Admiral are looking to recover from you, must be 'Fair and Reasonable.'

If they had been driving a top of the range Merc then, yes it would have been reasonable for them to hire another Merc.

But going from a Nissan to a Merc would never be considered reasonable by a court.

Plus did they really require the car for their work? Why would not having a car have caused them loss of earnings?
The list could go on forever.
 

dd1979

Member
Question - has anyone been told by Admiral that they can’t provide phone records prior to 3 years ago, because of Credit Card Data Protection regulations? This is what I’ve been told.

Those phone calls are central to the case against me really. Without them what do they have. It was all done over the phone.

Now they’re telling me after an FOI request these can’t be accessed nor provided. I think that’s more than a little convenient.

Just wondered if anyone been told the same during their discourse? And is this a potential data breach issue?
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Question - has anyone been told by Admiral that they can’t provide phone records prior to 3 years ago, because of Credit Card Data Protection regulations? This is what I’ve been told.

Those phone calls are central to the case against me really. Without them what do they have. It was all done over the phone.

Now they’re telling me after an FOI request these can’t be accessed nor provided. I think that’s more than a little convenient.

Just wondered if anyone been told the same during their discourse? And is this a potential data breach issue?
This might be something to do with PCI DSS regulations.
I assume you gave credit card details over the phone?

Not an area I know well but it requires credit card data to be obfuscated when stored.

When was the phone call and what is it about that call that's relevant to your case?

Admiral failed to find a copy of my call when I took the policy out. Typical of their incompetence.

If they have destroyed the data have they told you when it was destroyed?

Not sure but there must be something in the regulations to retain data if there is an ongoing dispute.

Also, I assume your card may have expired at some point after the call so I'm not sure if it needed to be protected after expiry. It would need some research into PCI DSS regulations.

If they take you to court it ends up being 'on the 'balance of probability'. The judge ends up siding with whoever sounds the credible. It becomes a lottery.
 

dd1979

Member
This might be something to do with PCI DSS regulations.
I assume you gave credit card details over the phone?

Not an area I know well but it requires credit card data to be obfuscated when stored.

When was the phone call and what is it about that call that's relevant to your case?

Admiral failed to find a copy of my call when I took the policy out. Typical of their incompetence.

If they have destroyed the data have they told you when it was destroyed?

Not sure but there must be something in the regulations to retain data if there is an ongoing dispute.

Also, I assume your card may have expired at some point after the call so I'm not sure if it needed to be protected after expiry. It would need some research into PCI DSS regulations.

If they take you to court it ends up being 'on the 'balance of probability'. The judge ends up siding with whoever sounds the credible. It becomes a lottery.
Thanks. Have sent a PM with the rest.
 

Lee05

Member
I haven't been charged with drink driving, it has been over 1 year now so it is time barred. However at the time of the incident (no other vehicles were involved) I told the insurance that the police were carrying out investigations and I had a positive road side breathalyser but did not have a figure for that. I need to provide the urine same result to progress my claim. Any idea if contacting the police for the urine sample results could promt them to produce further charges such as dangerous driving. Plus im not sure if an inconclusive urine sample result would be suffice for the insurance claim considering I told them that I had a positive roadside breathalyser.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
I haven't been charged with drink driving, it has been over 1 year now so it is time barred. However at the time of the incident (no other vehicles were involved) I told the insurance that the police were carrying out investigations and I had a positive road side breathalyser but did not have a figure for that. I need to provide the urine same result to progress my claim. Any idea if contacting the police for the urine sample results could promt them to produce further charges such as dangerous driving. Plus im not sure if an inconclusive urine sample result would be suffice for the insurance claim considering I told them that I had a positive roadside breathalyser.

I very much doubt the police will pursue you for any offences if you request the urine test results. The surely would have charged you for the offences, irrespective of the alcohol reading.

Unfortunately Admiral don't need you to be convicted of drink driving. You just need to be over the prescribed limit and a positive roadside test is enough for them.

Admiral will tell you they work on the 'balance of probability' so you'll need a urine test result that puts the balance of probability back in your favour.

What reading did you have at the roadside breath test?
 

Henri0000

Member
I haven't been charged with drink driving, it has been over 1 year now so it is time barred. However at the time of the incident (no other vehicles were involved) I told the insurance that the police were carrying out investigations and I had a positive road side breathalyser but did not have a figure for that. I need to provide the urine same result to progress my claim. Any idea if contacting the police for the urine sample results could promt them to produce further charges such as dangerous driving. Plus im not sure if an inconclusive urine sample result would be suffice for the insurance claim considering I told them that I had a positive roadside breathalyser.
I have been in a similar situation, roadside was 41, blood analysis was 74 so below the prescribed limit, however as depressed dad mentioned Admiral cancelled my insurance on the balance of probabilities based of a roadside reading, the evidence they require is lower than that of a court of law. I have gone as far as I can with seeking legal advice, alcohol breath experts and back calculations, complained to the ombudsmen. There is a case against Admiral and the policy wording however to pursue this as it is not cost effective based on the values.I have spoken with Insurance law practitioners and was advised the estimated cost to go through courts would be between 15-20k.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
I have been in a similar situation, roadside was 41, blood analysis was 74 so below the prescribed limit, however as depressed dad mentioned Admiral cancelled my insurance on the balance of probabilities based of a roadside reading, the evidence they require is lower than that of a court of law. I have gone as far as I can with seeking legal advice, alcohol breath experts and back calculations, complained to the ombudsmen. There is a case against Admiral and the policy wording however to pursue this as it is not cost effective based on the values.I have spoken with Insurance law practitioners and was advised the estimated cost to go through courts would be between 15-20k.

Did the FOS find in Admiral's favour?

Anything you can share about the grounds for a case against Admiral and the policy wording?
I'm sure they are reluctant to take people to court because there is a weakness in their interpretation of the law.
 

Henri0000

Member
Did the FOS find in Admiral's favour?

Anything you can share about the grounds for a case against Admiral and the policy wording?
I'm sure they are reluctant to take people to court because there is a weakness in their interpretation of the law.

Yes, the FOS sided with Admiral. The conclusion didn’t address half of the issues I had raised, there is a case from 2017 where the FOS upheld the complaint relating to roadside breath results being insufficient evidence to cancel a policy, however this was not considered in my case, it’s all on individual basis, Personally I feel like it’s luck of who ends up reviewing your case and their understanding of the law and scientific data with alcohol levels . In some cases it’s clear cut when levels clearly exceed the prescribed limit however some are not so simple.
I contacted several alcohol breath expert witnesses for a review of my results and a insurance law experts. It was legal advice that it would not be cost effective for me perusing due to court fees, obviously I am not in a financial position to do this either.

The insurance law expert agreed the wording of the policy is very ambiguous and open to interpretation, it fails to define what method determines a person to be over the legal limit and leans on the balance of probability.
When considering non evidential preliminary road side readings compared to evidential test methods. Very much in admirals favour as you’d imagine to determine a persons alcohol levels. Also fails to mention evidence required by insurance is lower than that of court of law, when taking out insurance would any one question this ? Unlikely, like most we would assume the court of law is the standard. On this basis there may be potential case for miss sold insurance however can’t see any one contesting this and Admiral probably know this, they are nightmare company regardless of if you fall foul to policy wording. As you said it’s all around the interpretation of the law.
 

Lee05

Member
I very much doubt the police will pursue you for any offences if you request the urine test results. The surely would have charged you for the offences, irrespective of the alcohol reading.

Unfortunately Admiral don't need you to be convicted of drink driving. You just need to be over the prescribed limit and a positive roadside test is enough for them.

Admiral will tell you they work on the 'balance of probability' so you'll need a urine test result that puts the balance of probability back in your favour.

What reading did you have at the roadside breath test?
I can't remember the reading at the roadside. The policeman said it was over, next thing I was in the ambulance on my way to hospital. I see about getting my urine sample results then, cheers. Yes, I don't understand why they haven't pursued anything this far. I can't remember the technical terminology but I was charged on the night with not declaring who was driving the vehicle however I have never recieved any citation since the incident.
 

Lee05

Member
I have been in a similar situation, roadside was 41, blood analysis was 74 so below the prescribed limit, however as depressed dad mentioned Admiral cancelled my insurance on the balance of probabilities based of a roadside reading, the evidence they require is lower than that of a court of law. I have gone as far as I can with seeking legal advice, alcohol breath experts and back calculations, complained to the ombudsmen. There is a case against Admiral and the policy wording however to pursue this as it is not cost effective based on the values.I have spoken with Insurance law practitioners and was advised the estimated cost to go through courts would be between 15-20k.
Thanks for the heads up, I think the car would be valued at slightly less than that so I would be struggling to justify going through the courts.
 
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