My daughter and I are at our wits’ end. A lorry ran in to the back of her while she was driving my car on the M6 in October 2013. Since then we have been passed from pillar to post with Direct Line in an attempt to have her claim settled – with dozens of phone calls and emails. In the meantime we have been forced to drive a car which has extensive damage to the rear, and she has had to pay to have repairs to the back light (to get through the MOT) as well as increased insurance premiums due to the “unsettled claim”.
While Direct Line paid &300 compensation in March this year in recognition of the fact that “the claim has been handled poorly by our claims department”, it now says that it cannot get a response from the third-party insurers to ratify the “no-fault” premise – because it was a foreign driver! This also means she has not been entitled to a hire car, even though this was covered by her policy.
Despite there being two witnesses, and the Polish driver accepting liability and apologising, and photos of the driver’s licence, insurance certificate and lorry/registration plate, there is apparently nothing Direct Line can do to progress this claim. SF, Telford.
In its adverts, Direct Line makes much of the fact that customers do not have to worry if they are hit by an uninsured driver; however, your experience suggests the same cannot be said if it is an insured, but foreign, driver. Claims made against non-UK drivers are not the easiest to resolve but, after taking that into account, this is a complete mess – you have not been treated well.
We contacted Direct Line and it didn’t exactly leap into action. A spokesperson claimed the delays were due to the fact that the lorry driver had initially disputed liability. However, we appear to have prompted some action. It has gone back over the case and the truck driver has now accepted liability. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused and, as a gesture of goodwill and since the third-party insurer has confirmed liability, we have arranged for the repairs to take place, the &600 excess to be waived and provided and paid for a hire car.”
Direct Line says that normally you would have to pay the excess and then reclaim it. The company says it will also provide evidence to your new insurer – once this is all settled – that you were not at fault. This will restore your no-claims discount and allow you to reclaim the additional premium you had to pay the insurer you switched to as a result of the this fiasco.