Bicycle insurance - Hit and run
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Hit and run incidents are legally usually covered by the offence AC10 - Failure to Stop After an Accident. If you are involved in a hit and run accident, you might think that there could be no one to make a claim against. Fortunately, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) is a non-profit organisation funded by the whole UK insurance industry, and it exists to provide someone to claim against in hit and run accidents, or in cases in which the offending driver is known but was driving without insurance. In order to make a claim against the MIB, the law requires you to prove that:
The driver of the vehicle which failed to stop was negligent, and injury to you, or damage to your vehicle or caused by your vehicle as a result of the accident, actually did occur as a result of this negligence.
If you are unfortunate enough to have been involved in a hit and run incident, contact your insurer and they will advise you about what to do next. If you have been able to see and remember all or part of the vehicle registration number, or the make and model of the vehicle, make a note of them before you forget them. You should take names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident and take photographs of the accident location if possible. Witnesses will be very important when making an insurance claim, as the Motor Insurers Bureau will meet repair costs only if the offending vehicle is subsequently identified or traced (although personal injury claims will remain enforceable). The MIB will expect you to have reported the incident to the police.
While assignment of liability to a third party might prove difficult, the resulting damage to your vehicle and injuries to you or your passengers must still be dealt with. Check to see whether your insurance policy has the following cover:
- Personal accident cover – it covers you and your passengers for injuries suffered in an incident.
- Legal expenses - covers you for legal expenses which you may incur in pursuing a claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau following a hit and run.
- No claims discount protection - protects your no claims discount if you have to claim following a hit and run as no third party liability can be enforced.
If it is the case that your policy is fully comprehensive and hence allows you to claim for the injuries suffered, it may be quicker to claim through this rather than through the Motor Insurers Bureau as the required standard of proof is lower. However, you should bear in mind that this may result in a loss of all or some of your no claims discount, and may involve payment of a large excess.You should know
- Make sure you declare any changes in personal circumstances that may affect your policy
- The quoted price will be based on a less detailed set of data about you, so the actual price may go up once the company has received more
- detailed information about your circumstances and desired level of covers
- Most insurance policies will renew automatically, but your insurer should inform you of this in good time beforehand
- After you take out a policy, or it is renewed, you’ll have a cooling-off period during which you have the right to cancel. This is typically 14 days
- Always provide as much evidence as possible for any claims you make
- If you cannot resolve your issue you can take your case to the Financial Services Ombudsman after eight weeks
- If you’re making a complaint about making an insurance claim rather than a mis-sold policy, check your documents to see who the “underwriter” is. You’ll need to make a complaint to that organisation.
All insurance policies are there to help protect you against emergencies. It is important that you read your terms and conditions prior to signing any agreement.
It is essential that you declare any changes in your circumstances that may affect your policy, as otherwise this can void your policy. If you are in any doubt, contact the insurer immediately.
Difference between quote price and actual
Sometimes the price quoted by an insurer is different from the price paid after you have signed the agreement. This may be because the price that they quoted was based on assumptions, or perhaps the onus was on you to provide some additional information.
If this is not the case, go back to the insurer and challenge the difference. If you’re within the first 14 days, you can cancel without any issues. After this, you will need to prove the terms that you signed to are unfair.
Any exclusions that the insurer will not pay out on should have been clearly explained to you when you signed the agreement. This could be within the general terms of the agreement.
The excess is a way of reducing the cost of your policy. This means that you will have to pay a specified amount towards a claim, and the insurer will then pay the rest. This should have been made within your insurance policy as well as when you signed/agreed to the insurance policy.
Informing your insurer when claiming
You should get hold of your insurer prior to spending any monies that you want to claim on your insurance policy. If it’s an emergency and this is not possible then you can agree to have works done, but this is a risk and as soon as you can you should contact the insurer and explain.
Reasonable terms and conditions
All the terms and conditions must be reasonable within the policy. All financial products follow the principles of being fair and reasonable. If you think that the terms are not fair and reasonable then you have the right to challenge these – you should do so by complaining via resolver.
Insurance contracts will have a cooling-off period, typically 14 days. This happens after you sign/agree to an agreement or after you automatically renew your agreement.
Most insurance policies will auto-renew, to ensure that you are protected. If this happens, then the firm should have contacted your prior to your renewal, typically three weeks before. Even if you have auto-renewed, you still have 14 days in which to cancel.
Paying up front or in monthly instalments
It is usually cheaper to pay in advance. If you pay monthly, the insurance firm may charge interest on the repayments. They are entitled to do this, but you should expect the extra costs to be reasonable.
Making a claim
When making a claim on your insurance policy, ensure you have as much supporting evidence as possible. If applicable, take photos or videos with your phone and store these as evidence, as well as any emails or written documentation. Use Resolver to store and manage your claim, so that if you cannot resolve your issue then you have a complete case file to send to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Claim rejected/too low
If your claim is rejected or the proposed payout is too low, then explain why you feel this is the case. If, for example, it is below the market value, then you need to find out if your policy has a new-for-old clause where they will replace any item with a new one.
If, however, you have a replacement policy, then you can only expect a replacement or money based on the age of the product; this means the payout could be below what you bought it for or what you feel it is worth.
If you are dissatisfied and cannot resolve the issue, then raise our case with the Financial Ombudsman Service. If you need to take the payment, then accept the payment but clearly explain this is accepted under duress and that you intend to challenge the decision.
If the firm goes out of business
If the firm goes bust, then you should contact the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) who are able to assist in resolving any money that you may be owed.
If the issue is not resolved
If the issue is not resolved then you have the right to escalate your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Financial Ombudsman Service will only accept your case eight weeks after you’ve raised the issue as a complaint with the insurance provider. Resolver will help ensure you have a fully packaged complaint to send to the ombudsman. The ombudsman will look at your complaint and determine if you have been treated fairly and also if their terms and conditions are fair and reasonable.
Any decision by the ombudsman is binding on the company, but only binding on you if you accept the decision.
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