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Insurance claim whilst under investigation

Adt2525

New member
Hi there,

Im looking for some advice on behalf of my son who was involved in an accident. He claims an animal ran in to the road, he swerved and lost control of the vehicle. There were no third parties involved but a bollard was damaged and the car has been damaged beyond repair. There were no witnesses and it happened early in the morning.

It’s a unique situation as after the incident, he left the vehicle to return home and get his phone and call me and also arrange recovery of the vehicle. Unfortunately, he claims that during this time, he drank around a bottle of wine. I advised him that the police are likely to turn up as the car had been left and they may suspect it was stolen and abandoned. The police Did turn up and he advised them that he had drunk after the incident. They took him to the station to be breathalysed and questioned and he was released under investigation whilst his breath sample was analysed. He was over the limit at that point.

He had the car recovered to his home as I wanted to assess the damage myself and see if it could be repaired (I purchased the car for him) without going down the insurance route.The car is beyond repair.

I’m trying to help him sort out an insurance claim and was just looking for advice on a few things, mainly, how much of an obstacle is the on going investigation likely to impact the insurance claim? He part completed an on line claim but one of the questions was ‘do you currently have any pending prosecutions?’ I know this is quite ambiguous and obviously I don’t want him to end up with his insurance invalidated, however, technically he doesn’t as he is under investigation and has not been charged. I have heard these things can take a very long time before receiving an outcome.

I’m just looking for any advice or pointers that I can help him with as the car technically belongs to him but was purchased by me so I’m just trying to work out what the best route is.
 

grice96

Well-known member
Having drank after a crash is an age old story, one I tried to tell my own parents after crashing. The police can prove your son was over the limit, they can also prove that he was driving at the time of the accident by his own admission.

Being over the limit invalidates your insurance and he must tell his insurance about any pending criminal convictions when making a claim. Non disclosure can lead to the insurance company reclaiming the costs of their payout in court. The insurance will pay out for the third party damage your son has caused (bollard, the council will claim for them there was 3 bollards on the claim against me) but will not pay out for his car. If you do not tell the insurance company, they will find out, they have entire teams dedicated to investigating claims.
 

Adt2525

New member
Yes, I must admit I thought the same regarding what might have happened. He maintains what he has told me so it will be for the police to determine. This is what I said, honesty is the best policy or there will be repercussions. The issue is whether it’s worth going through insurance at all really. The car is worth about 3k, by the time the the excess is taken off and I doubt he will get full market value for it, plus loss of no claims at the very least. Obviously he will have to declare any accidents or convictions in the future. He is looking to me for advice and having not been through anything like this myself, I’m struggling to provide answers. Regarding the bollard, did you contact the local council directly?
 

grice96

Well-known member
The excuse has been used so many times that the police don't even entertain it anymore mate, motoring solicitors will claim they will be able to get him off but it is a waste of time and thousands of pounds. A crashed car plus blowing over the limit when they came to investigate is pretty much bang to rights. Don't spend anything more than about £300 on a normal solicitor to present mitigation and make sure to ask for the drink driving awareness course as this will reduce the length of your son's ban by 25% upon completion. If his breath reading was over 87.5 this will also make him a high risk offender which will make him subject to a DVLA medical plus an investigation with his own doctor to satisfy the DVLA that he has no alcohol issues. If below 87.5 then it's just a normal re-application.

Unless you have the means to pay back a first party claim in the event your insurer finds out he was over the limit I would not make a first party claim, an expensive lesson for your son. I found out the council had claimed for bollards as I asked my insurance for a break down of the third party claim and 3 bollards and damage to a bus stop were listed with the receiver of the payout being my local council.
 

Adt2525

New member
Thank you for your help. I don’t know the exact result but I’m certain is was below that from memory. Yes, this is exactly my thinking, an expensive lesson and one that that thankfully he and nobody else was injured in. I have no doubt, whatever actually happened, he has learned a big lesson.

So with the bollard, is this likely to have been handled directly via the police and council? Or is this something that is dealt with if and when he goes to court? I guess what I’m trying to work out is, does he need to contact his insurer at all at this stage? if no claim for the car is going to be made. Does he need to advise them that he has damaged a council bollard?
 

grice96

Well-known member
Hopefully he takes the lesson on board and you'll never have a reason to be back on this forum.

He does not need to inform them, I didn't tell my insurer I just said I had been caught drink driving and cancelled my policy. The council deals directly with the police who provides your insurance details and they claim. With everything going on right now a damaged bollard may fly under the radar and he might get off without a claim against his record.
 

Rbt1238

New member
Hi there,

Im looking for some advice on behalf of my son who was involved in an accident. He claims an animal ran in to the road, he swerved and lost control of the vehicle. There were no third parties involved but a bollard was damaged and the car has been damaged beyond repair. There were no witnesses and it happened early in the morning.

It’s a unique situation as after the incident, he left the vehicle to return home and get his phone and call me and also arrange recovery of the vehicle. Unfortunately, he claims that during this time, he drank around a bottle of wine. I advised him that the police are likely to turn up as the car had been left and they may suspect it was stolen and abandoned. The police Did turn up and he advised them that he had drunk after the incident. They took him to the station to be breathalysed and questioned and he was released under investigation whilst his breath sample was analysed. He was over the limit at that point.

He had the car recovered to his home as I wanted to assess the damage myself and see if it could be repaired (I purchased the car for him) without going down the insurance route.The car is beyond repair.

I’m trying to help him sort out an insurance claim and was just looking for advice on a few things, mainly, how much of an obstacle is the on going investigation likely to impact the insurance claim? He part completed an on line claim but one of the questions was ‘do you currently have any pending prosecutions?’ I know this is quite ambiguous and obviously I don’t want him to end up with his insurance invalidated, however, technically he doesn’t as he is under investigation and has not been charged. I have heard these things can take a very long time before receiving an outcome.

I’m just looking for any advice or pointers that I can help him with as the car technically belongs to him but was purchased by me so I’m just trying to work out what the best route is.

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