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MrTomato

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#230380 21-Feb-2018 16:49
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The index says this forum's the right one for insurance, so fingers crossed...

 

I have a serious problem with a car insurance claim (in NZ). Last year another vehicle collided with my car, which ended up being a total loss. Fortunately no-one was injured, and my insurer paid out promptly, minus excess. That's where the smooth sailing ended.

 

I wasn't at fault, but for some reason the third party have flatly refused to accept responsibility, although on what grounds I have no idea. About two months after the claim, my insurer became uncommunicative - I presumed that it was just taking a long time to sort out.

 

Then, early this week, I received notice from the Ministry of Justice that my insurer made a claim in my name with the Disputes Tribunal late last year - that I wasn't informed about - and that the hearing date is in a couple of weeks' time. Horrifyingly, my insurer filed it saying that they have abandoned subrogation rights, so presumably they won't even be attending court, and I'd be having to argue against a lawyer from the third party's insurer.

 

In other words, my insurer has started a Disputes Tribunal action without my knowledge or consent and left me twisting in the wind. I have no idea why there's a stalemate between them and the third party's insurer. I've tried contacting my insurer, but cannot get a response either from the person in charge of my claim or the person who filed the Disputes Tribunal claim.

 

I've never been involved in a situation like this before - I have a 20+ year no-claim driving record - so although it seems very wrong, it could be standard practice for all I know.

 

Has anyone even heard of something like this happening before? Does anyone know if it's even legal?

 

(I don't want to reveal the name of my insurer at the moment. If there's interest, I'll try to keep this thread updated until the situation is resolved one way or another, and name and shame at the end.)


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scuwp
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  #1961768 21-Feb-2018 18:53
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Your insurance policy/contract will give your insurer complete rights to commence dispute tribunal proceedings on your behalf.  Happened to me and also without notice.  Mine was resolved before we got to the hearing but I was to have a lawyer (or representative) from the insurance company present. 

 

  





Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity - Robert J Hanlon



 
 
 

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cadman
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  #1961770 21-Feb-2018 18:58
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I'm not sure why you're worried. If they're not attending, don't bother either, unless you want to try and claim your excess back from the other party (although presumably there was some fault apportioned to you because otherwise there would be no excess deducted since clearly the other party was identified).

 

There are no lawyers at the Disputes Tribunal either.


Batman
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  #1961776 21-Feb-2018 19:04
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Wow which insurer is this?




cadman
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  #1961790 21-Feb-2018 19:44
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Batman:

 

Wow which insurer is this?

 

 

My money is on Youi.


MrTomato

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  #1961796 21-Feb-2018 20:01
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Thanks for all the responses so far!

 

scuwp:

 

Your insurance policy/contract will give your insurer complete rights to commence dispute tribunal proceedings on your behalf.  Happened to me and also without notice.  Mine was resolved before we got to the hearing but I was to have a lawyer (or representative) from the insurance company present.

 

 

That's the thing - I have no problem turning up and giving evidence, but they appear to be expecting me to argue the case without one of their lawyers present.

 

From what you've said, scuwp, it adds to what I've heard from other people that this situation isn't normal.

 

cadman:

 

I'm not sure why you're worried. If they're not attending, don't bother either, unless you want to try and claim your excess back from the other party (although presumably there was some fault apportioned to you because otherwise there would be no excess deducted since clearly the other party was identified).

 

There are no lawyers at the Disputes Tribunal either.

 

 

I'm worried because if I lose I'll officially be at fault, even though I wasn't at fault. In fact, had they come a matter of a few more centimetres over, I would have been lucky to have escaped with my life. Aside from the blood-boiling injustice of it all (!), it'll be disastrous for the cost of my insurance premiums in the future.

 

There are lawyers at the Disputes Tribunal when an insurance company is involved. Your insurer is supposed to assert their subrogation rights, which means that they argue the case on your behalf.

 

cadman:

 

My money is on Youi.

 

 

We have a winner!

 

Never again. I actually have quite a lot of business with them, too - presumably they've decided they don't want it any more.

 

Edit to add:

 

cadman:

 

(although presumably there was some fault apportioned to you because otherwise there would be no excess deducted since clearly the other party was identified).

 

 

It appears that they don't pay back the excess unless the third party admits fault, and if the third party never accepts fault - no matter how insane - the whole process seems to come unstuck.


cadman
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  #1961800 21-Feb-2018 20:10
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MrTomato:

 

cadman:

 

My money is on Youi.

 

 

We have a winner!

 

Never again. I actually have quite a lot of business with them, too - presumably they've decided they don't want it any more.

 

 

Haha it just has their M.O. all over it!


timmmay
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  #1961807 21-Feb-2018 20:19
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I've only ever heard bad things about youi.




jonathan18
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  #1961814 21-Feb-2018 20:47
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Did a Colmar Brunton survey on insurance yesterday - the only company I was clear I’d never touch in any circs was Youi. I really can’t understand why anyone is with them, given their rep both here and overseas.

This doesn’t help the OP, of course, but it seems like you’ve seen the light and will be moving anyway. Good luck with sorting this, and let us know what happens in the end.

mudguard
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  #1961832 21-Feb-2018 21:32
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Do the police determine fault on a serious accident? Or do they only need to be involved if someone is injured?

MrTomato

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  #1961834 21-Feb-2018 21:36
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mudguard: Do the police determine fault on a serious accident? Or do they only need to be involved if someone is injured?

 

I believe you have to call the police if someone's injured.

 

No-one was injured in my case, but I desperately wish that I'd called them anyway and that the witnesses hadn't immediately driven off (bloody Auckland) - I wouldn't be in the strife I'm in now.


dfnt
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  #1961890 21-Feb-2018 22:08
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It won't be a lawyer, it'll just be a claims specialist from the third parties insurer. And the third party should/will be present as well to provide evidence.

 

I've been involved in a claim that went to the disputes tribunal, both insurers attended and their only input was justifying the cost of their claim - they didn't argue the details of the claim as that was up to myself and the third party.

 

I've also been involved, as a witness, when a third party hit my friend in the side and didn't accept responsibility. He only had third party insurance, so his insurer didn't attend. But again, the referee only heard evidence from my friend and the third party. The third parties insurer didn't.


cadman
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  #1961902 21-Feb-2018 22:58
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MrTomato:

 

Edit to add:

 

cadman:

 

(although presumably there was some fault apportioned to you because otherwise there would be no excess deducted since clearly the other party was identified).

 

 

It appears that they don't pay back the excess unless the third party admits fault, and if the third party never accepts fault - no matter how insane - the whole process seems to come unstuck.

 

 

Yes, I recall once before raising the fact (possibly even here) that their policy document basically left them free to choose whether they charge the excess even if the other party is identified. Most clearly specify that they will waive the excess in the same scenario.


Aredwood
3885 posts

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  #1962158 22-Feb-2018 11:46

Sounds like the 3rd party have told some lies to their insurance company. Both insurance companies have compared their claim notes, they know that someone is not telling the truth. But they don't know who.

Is it possible to tell from the damage to the cars, who caused the accident?

Also most car insurance in NZ is offered by just 2 companies. And my understanding is that they have an agreement between eachover, to net out the cost of claims to themselves. Meaning that if an accident happens between 2 parties who are insured with either of those companies, nothing ends up at the disputes tribunal.

But the smaller insurance companies that don't have such agreements. Have to be more assertive through the tribunal.





kryptonjohn
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  #1962179 22-Feb-2018 12:20
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I had to show up at the DT to help my insurer (AMI) try and recoup their loss from an uninsured driver that hit me. I didn't want to but AMI pointed out that my insurance contract states I *must* help them, or else my insurance would be voided and they'd want their money back from my repairs!

 

So I turned up along with AMI and the DT found in our favour.

 

So in your case, I understand the requirement to attend the DT, but am mystified that they aren't going to bother turning up. What's the point, as you have nothing to gain really and they have everything to lose by not being there. Very strange. But I guess you will need to turn up and answer any questions honestly, and they will probably throw it out as your insurer are so useless. All in all a waste of your time but you need to cross your t's to make sure you don't invalidate your insurance.

 

Does your insurer have a claim manager you can talk to who will confirm all this and explain what you need to do? Sounds like they are completely failing in their duty to you.

 

I would never go near Youi... even before the bad news around them started hitting the media. Their greasy advertising campaigns made me just *hate* them.

 

 


kryptonjohn
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  #1962181 22-Feb-2018 12:21
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Aredwood: Sounds like the 3rd party have told some lies to their insurance company. Both insurance companies have compared their claim notes, they know that someone is not telling the truth. But they don't know who.

Is it possible to tell from the damage to the cars, who caused the accident?

Also most car insurance in NZ is offered by just 2 companies. And my understanding is that they have an agreement between eachover, to net out the cost of claims to themselves. Meaning that if an accident happens between 2 parties who are insured with either of those companies, nothing ends up at the disputes tribunal.

But the smaller insurance companies that don't have such agreements. Have to be more assertive through the tribunal.

 

Sounds to me that the other party is uninsured.

 

 


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