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Thread: Legal Advice needed on a third party insurance claim please

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    Legal Advice needed on a third party insurance claim please

    Could someone please help with some advice.

    Two months ago I was in a car accident where a Bakkie skipped the red light in front of me and (although i braked in attempt to prevent the collision) I collided into the side of him, writing off my car and badly damaging his. When my husband arrived on the scene, the driver of the bakkie apologized and said that he had not seen the red light. The accident was reported and both cars were towed away. After reporting it to our new insurance company, we were informed that there was an error when we changed insurers and the car was not covered. Thankfully the accident was on CCTV camera footage so we proceeded with a third party claim. For obvious reasons I will not mention the company's name, but it has been a nightmare ever since. For two months we have jumped through ever hoop they have thrown our way and finally they have sent us an offer of approximately R13 000 for a car that's retail value is R101 000. They used the excuse of "Apportionment of damages act" and claimed that I had been negligent therefore I was 30% responsible for the accident and 30% responsible for the damages resulting. They did not compensate for towing fees or medical costs which came to an additional +-R8000.

    We sent a complaint to their supervisor stating that they can not possibly hold me 30% accountable as I did Brake and could not swerve to avoid the accident as I was in the middle lane of 3 lane traffic. I was also not speeding or driving recklessly. They then came back to us and said they stick to their offer and even if we take them to court the court will make the same decision. Our next step is to contact a lawyer and directly sue the other driver for all costs involved however I just want to find out what people think before I waste more money that I don't really have on lawyers fees.

    Could someone please help?

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    I would try several tacks.
    First
    After reporting it to our new insurance company, we were informed that there was an error when we changed insurers and the car was not covered
    Who was at fault for this,if a broker or insurer they should cover this with professional indemnity or similar.
    Second
    Try the insurance ombud they state "To resolve your short-term insurance complaints fairly, efficiently and impartially". Just be aware they are funded by the insurance industry so retain a professional skepticism to any advice given.
    I hope you find the answer that suits you.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    They unfortunately sent a confirmation email to my husband, and had insured the wrong car and my husband did not notice the mistake, so the other car was insured twice. The ombud can not help us as it is a third party claim, the ombud can only help the "policy holder"

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmes View Post
    They unfortunately sent a confirmation email to my husband, and had insured the wrong car and my husband did not notice the mistake, so the other car was insured twice. The ombud can not help us as it is a third party claim, the ombud can only help the "policy holder"
    Sending out an email should not absolve the insurer from a patently obvious mistake. Insuring the same car twice could be seen as incompetence. Who you can contact to sort this out besides a lawyer I don't know. Maybe try another broker who is willing to try on your behalf.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmes View Post
    They unfortunately sent a confirmation email to my husband, and had insured the wrong car and my husband did not notice the mistake, so the other car was insured twice.
    With the same insurer?

    Also, you mention the retail value of the car - was it damaged beyond economic recovery or was it repaired?

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    Yes, the car was written off. The Retail value is R101 000 and the damages are estimated at R165 000 :/

    My husband and I are married out of community of property. My husband is the owner of the car. I read on an article on the net (I am optimistic yet skeptical) that should my husband (the owner) sue the owner and driver of the other car for the damages, should they succeed with their argument of 70/30% apportionment of damages, they still will not be able to hold him 30% liable for the other car's damages, and would need to counter sue me (the driver) which they will likely not do given the circumstances. Is this true? Do we have a case? or should we cut our losses and avoid extra legal costs going forward? My gut tells me that they are trying to screw us over because it's a third party claim, with the hopes that we fold. On the other hand I'm scared that if we do take the legal route it may end up costing us more as they obviously have the means to good lawyers etc. Any advice will be much appreciated

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    Another question, I've seen on other posts people advising on the "Hello Peter route". What are the legal implications to that? Could the company not pull the public slander card? When it comes to legal issues I always think keeping your mouth shut is the safest option, but when it comes to service delivery, apparently the louder you complain the faster you get helped.

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