WIBU not to hand over insurance details?

(60 Posts)
MinistryofRevenge Mon 28-Dec-15 11:55:45

About nine o'clock last night, there's a loud knocking at my door. DD goes to answer it, and standing on the doorstep are a man, a woman and a teenage girl. The woman says something to DD along the lines of "had she found it difficult parking the car" - I went to the door, because I was in fact the person who had parked the car and so best placed to answer, and it transpires that these are new(ish) neighbours who had parked in front of the house yesterday afternoon. Not a problem, there was space for me to park between their car and my next-door neighbour's because I'm brilliant at parallel parking so I'd parked in the space available.

The woman then asks for my insurance details. I asked why, and she told me that I'd damaged her car. I'm pretty sure I'd not touched her car, though I was parked very close to it.

She then said that if I didn't want to give insurance details, then we could sort it out privately. The reason I didn't want to give insurance details was because I hadn't damaged her car - I'm certain I would have noticed if I had touched it. The man (who I guess was her DH) said that if I didn't want to sort this out with them, he'd have to report me to the police as a hit and run driver - I told him to do so, because if their car had been damaged, I'd rather go through proper channels.

So, WIBU not to give details? Normally I wouldn't have an issue with this, but they were acting strangely aggressively - not just the turning up mob-handed on the doorstep late at night, but the woman in particular loudly repeating questions like did I find it difficult to park, do I have parking sensors, why did I park so close to her car, do I generally just damage other peoples' cars and drive off (I walked back into the house after this last one, and they spent another five minutes ostentatiously taking photos of my car). It may well be that the front of her car was in fact damaged (though I didn't investigate - I didn't notice anything wrong with it when I was taking the shopping from the boot of my car, but I had no reason to inspect it closely), and if someone has hit her car, she's perfectly within her rights to want to have the damage repaired. But the whole episode felt a bit off; if they think that I was responsible, wouldn't it be more "normal" behavior for one person to just come to the door, say that they thought I'd reversed into the car, and exchange insurance details, without all the posturing, loud accusations and strange questions?

It may just be that they've put my back up with their strange behaviour, and I'm happy to give my insurance details, but tell my insurance company that I'm confident I haven't hit their car, and leave the two insurers to sort it out between themselves, but I'm wondering whether I'm being set up to take responsibility for some pre-existing damage. Just the way that she opened the conversation with "did you find it difficult to park" and the constant questioning. I work in financial crime, so I'm possibly a bit cynical. WWYD?

VimFuego101 Mon 28-Dec-15 11:58:44

YANBU - it sounds dodgy. Get out there ASAP and take pics of both cars.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 28-Dec-15 11:58:45

Have they moved the car now? I'd get photos yourself to show that there is limited damage, if any.

Postitblue Mon 28-Dec-15 11:59:54

If you did hit them you'd have felt it- they've prob noticed some recent damage only now and seeing you are parked close to them are either assuming it's your fault or are trying it on. Let them report you if they are that bothered, surely it would show on your car if it was you xx

Postitblue Mon 28-Dec-15 12:00:30

Yes take photos too as suggested

DawnOfTheDoggers Mon 28-Dec-15 12:01:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Junosmum Mon 28-Dec-15 12:01:55

I'd have taken pictures of both cars myself in their parked positions and then stated that I did not damage their car and advise them to speak to the police about it. Legally you have to provide name, address and registration for any road traffic dispute. So yanbu not handing your insurance details over.

Oysterbabe Mon 28-Dec-15 12:02:46

I'd have given details but then immediately called my insurer and tell them about the incident. You need to do that anyway. When she gives your reg to her insurer they will find your details in 2 seconds on the motor insurers database and start a claim.

Bunbaker Mon 28-Dec-15 12:03:17

I agree that you need to take photos. Whatever you do, do not sort this out privately.

Also, the police will not be the slightest bit interested. I once was involved in a bump where no-one was hurt. I called in at the police station on my way home to report it and they said that if no-one was hurt it was nothing to do with them.

I think you are right to think this is dodgy.

saraht84 Mon 28-Dec-15 12:03:39

YANBU. A rather aggressive bloke once came into my workplace and asked who the red car in the car park belonged to. It's mine, he started screaming because I'd apparently hit his wife's car and done a runner. She'd made it home to him and was going to sue me, blah blah.

Turns out she had reversed into my already parked car and didn't want to take the blame. I had to get the police involved because they started threatening me.

Check your car carefully OP!

Morecheesegrommet Mon 28-Dec-15 12:03:49

Is your car damaged?
If it isn't, then you can't have damaged theirs.

ClaireLumia Mon 28-Dec-15 12:05:33

Have you been out and had a look? Might be a good idea to take your own photos?

Bunbaker Mon 28-Dec-15 12:06:50

I will go against the grain here and say that it is possible to gently bump into a car and not feel it. Cars are designed noways to take the impact and reduce the sensation of an impact for the driver. That is why they crumple so easily.

"Crumple zones are areas of a vehicle that are designed to deform and crumple in a collision. This absorbs some of the energy of the impact, preventing it from being transmitted to the occupants."

I lifted this from a car website ^ ^

tiggytape Mon 28-Dec-15 12:18:17

YANBU to be cross at how they approached you but if they believe you have damaged their car and have your registration number then withholding your insurance details is pointless as when they report it to the police or their own insurers, they will quickly know your details anyway.

All you can do is take pictures that back up your claim (so pristine and undamaged paintwork on the part of your car that they claim hit theirs) and pictures of their car to guard against false or inflated claims about damage.

Perniciousness Mon 28-Dec-15 12:26:12

Depends on the car but you can definitely bump another car and not feel it and you can also cause damage to another car without causing damage to your own.

It depends on the car, speed etc, etc.

I lightly hit a post and didn't notice blush I was playing music in the car so I didn't hear anything and I didn't 'feel' anything.

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Mon 28-Dec-15 12:26:22

YANBU. They sound aggressive. The fact they were v quick to mention sorting it privately is suspicious to me.

As others have said, you should take plenty of photos.

MinistryofRevenge Mon 28-Dec-15 12:30:37

My car definitely isn't damaged, but if I'd reversed into their car I don't think it would show on my car because I have a towbar - which is why I'm so certain that I didn't hit the car, towbars aren't designed to crumple so they transmit the slightest knock.

They'd moved the car by the time they came around to complain, but are saying that the damage on their car matches up with the level of the towbar, but given that the towbar is at the same level as the bumper, presumably if any "normal" (ie, not massive 4x4, not tiny sports car) had hit it, then it would be at the same level. Couldn't see any damage to their car last night, and it's not there this morning. I'll get in touch with my insurers, but I'll need to ask the aggressive neighbours for their details, as I don't even know the reg of the car. Should have taken pictures last night but I was calming DD down (she suffers from anxiety, so was stressing a bit afterwards).

I was out most of yesterday afternoon, so any number of cars could have come and gone by the time I got home. I know it sucks to have your car hit, and for the person responsible to just drive off, but I think they're either unfairly trying to make me liable for someone else's accident, or they're trying it on. Sigh. Will go around (on my own, in a non-aggressive manner) to ask for their details later.

VulcanWoman Mon 28-Dec-15 12:33:11

Another reason not to answer the door to people you don't know.
Sorry no help in your situation now. Maybe next time though.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 28-Dec-15 12:37:00

I expect she hit your parked car as she was trying to get out of the space and is not keen on fessing up

OurBlanche Mon 28-Dec-15 12:42:46

And laugh, out loud, right now....

... unless your house picked up its foundations and skipped over a few streets, you have not committed a 'hit and run' either!

Take photos. Contact your insurers and state, very firmly, that you did not hit their car and believe they are trying to scam you into paying for their repairs. Tell then you will refute any implication to the contrary.

They will give your further advice!

Bunbaker Mon 28-Dec-15 12:44:29

Leave it to the insurers to deal with. They will send someone out to look at the cars and decide what happened.

skankingpiglet Mon 28-Dec-15 12:53:54

It sounds dodge to me. I can understand her perhaps bringing her H (if genuine obvs) as she didn't know if you'd be some aggressive burley man, but why would you bring your teen?
Definitely call your insurer and tell them about the visit. Also please please don't let the insurer end up turning it not a 'knock for knock' (or worse dumping it full on you) like they did with DH. He had a call from his insurer saying a claim had been made against him after he apparently bumped another car in his work car park. He denied it and they sent an assessor out who found no damage to his but damage to hers. DH has no knowledge of this happening and believes it didn't. The other driver, who was apparently sitting in her parked car at the time, even claimed for personal injury! How can a bump that the 'at fault' driver didn't notice and caused no damage to his car, cause damage AND bodily injury to another?! I'm still annoyed with him for giving up on pursuing it. The insurer gave some crap about not being able to prove it wasn't him hmm so they agreed to a knock for knock... We are now paying for this through increased premiums, and will be for 5 years angry

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Mon 28-Dec-15 12:58:19

the damage on their car matches up with the level of the towbar, but given that the towbar is at the same level as the bumper, presumably if any "normal" (ie, not massive 4x4, not tiny sports car) had hit it, then it would be at the same level.

Tow bar damage would be different to just being reversed into with a plain bumper.

There is, of course, no way of knowing whether you backed into them without noticing or they went forward into you later. Is their teen DD of driving age? Could she have done it and not owned up?

whaleshark Mon 28-Dec-15 12:59:11

Of course YANBU. It is only if you have an accident the law says you have to exchange details. If you haven't, then you have to do nothing. Let her do what she wants. If you haven't hit her car, you have nothing to worry about.

Berthatydfil Mon 28-Dec-15 13:02:37

Can they prove it was you / your car that caused any supposed damage? Do they have witnesses ? Did you actually damage her car?
If the answer is no and you are adamant you aren't responsible for any alleged damage why should you give them your insurance details ?
You would be making a big mistake doing so as this might seem like your are admitting done kind of liability for the damage.

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