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Someone making up car accident claim against me

(32 Posts)
doesthismatter Tue 21-Sep-10 19:00:01

I have had a letter from my car insurers saying that someone has made a claim that my car was in a collision with them at the beginning of August.

I had no idea what this was about and thought it must be some mistake so I rang the insurers but they gave a date and time and the car details (which are definitely mine) and the name of the road where this allegedly happened. I said I had no idea what this was about and that I had never even heard of that road and I certainly hadnt been in any collision (no one else ever drives my car).

So the insurer said they would go back to them and say I denied any incident. It went quiet for a while then yesterday the insurance rang again and said that this other party were still pursuing the claim for damage and for injury.

I just kept saying I had no idea what it was about as I hadnt been in any accident or collision.

Now I am worried that someone is making things up and I dont know how I can prove they are wrong. I know what I did that day and I know I wasnt in any accidents.

Has anyone else had this happen to them - do people go around making up claims? If it is their word against mine do the insurers just pay up? It just doesnt seem right that this can happen and people can just make things up like this. Should I get a solicitor involved in this as my car insurers dont seem to be bothered that someone is doing this to me. They just say we will have to wait and see what the other people have to say.

Sorry this is a bit of a ramble - thanks for reading this far.

LucindaCarlisle Tue 21-Sep-10 19:35:44

It may be that a criminal has made up cloned registration plates with your car registration number on them.

Is the make, model and colour claimed by the claimant identical to your car details?

Can you remember exactly where you were on the day that it is claimed you were in this accident? Try to get evidence or witnesses who can give you an alibi for the day in question.

Go in to your Police Station and show them the letter from the insurance company, and ask the Police is there any way to register that your vehicle is being "impersonated"

LucindaCarlisle Tue 21-Sep-10 20:11:51

Ask your insurance company to write back to the other party requesting a description of who was driving the car and whether there were any other passengers in the car.

LucindaCarlisle Tue 21-Sep-10 20:31:52

Secondly. Go to the Direct Gov web site. Or google "What to do if my car registration number has been cloned"

scurryfunge Tue 21-Sep-10 20:35:21

Could you have caused an accident and been oblivious to the fact?

LucindaCarlisle Tue 21-Sep-10 20:48:07

Criminals do make up registration plates to put on their cars so as to avoid getting parking fines and to disguise their identity.
It has been getting worse over the last ten years. Did the alleged accident happen in another city , many miles away from where you live?

marriednotdead Tue 21-Sep-10 21:20:01

This happened to my DD a couple of years ago- it's a scam.

First a claim that she had been involved in a shunt, followed by someone else claiming they got whiplash from the accident that never happened.

She was really angry and stressed by all the letters/claims but I insisted that she make her insurance co. deal with it- that's what you pay so bloody much for.

In the end, they sent a guy round who took a statement from her that she had never had any accident and we heard no more. Quite common these days sadly.

bobsgirl Wed 22-Sep-10 00:14:27

I have been googling all sorts of insurance problems as I am having a major issue myself (bored everybody already in other threads so won't hijack yours with it) I think I saw some similar problems on the "Honest John" website which deals with all things car related. Sorry I can't remember the advice, I've slept since then and my mind has wiped clean but try that site and you may find more advice.

hammybobs Wed 22-Sep-10 00:41:22

I deal with this a lot in my job. In genuine accidents, it's because someone has taken a reg number down wrong and that 1 digit means you end up getting the claim against you. The other reason, as mentioned, is due to cloning, but that's not as common as you'd think.

Your insurer should be asking whoever has intimated the claim how your details were obtained - exchanged at the scene, a note taken of the reg number etc. The point at which the other person is able to confirm the make/model/colour of the car involved is also important as this information can be established from a few enquiries with either the DVLA or MID. They need to demonstrate that the other person could accurately describe your car before they made those enquiries, not after. They should also be asking for a description of the make, model, colour and area/extent of damage the car involved sustained as a result of the collision. Your car can be inspected to confirm it's not been damaged in the area alleged to be been damaged by the car actually involved. As already suggested, they need to give a description of the person driving. Once you get a reply to all of this, the insurer should then arrange to get someone out to interview you, who can then also provide the insurer with a description of you and photograph, if the other person is still proceeding with the claim. They might even be able to bounce the claim out with a photocopy of your photo ID - driving license or passport.

The onus is on them to prove you were involved and also that you were at fault. If they can't provide matching details to your car, you and any damage supposed to have been sustained, they won't have a leg to stand on.

I've also been involved in an accident myself where the other person then subsequently denied being involved. It was my description of her and the interior of her car (car seat giving an approx age range of her child) that swung it for me in the end - that and the ex-directory phone number that she gave me at the scene that I had no other way of knowing unless I'd been given it by hersmile.

It's a pain but with a bit of digging, your insurer can determine your innocence with the above enquiries.

Good luck

EldonAve Wed 22-Sep-10 06:56:34

Similar happened to me

I had to keep hassling the insurer as the claim only came to light when my policy was due to renew

It took 12 mths to sort but finally the other side gave up

babybarrister Wed 22-Sep-10 07:44:39

there are a lot of scams around unfortunately - my colleagues who crime are frequently involved in these cases I suspect your insurers will be v scxeptical as let's face it they do not want to pay out!

LucindaCarlisle Wed 22-Sep-10 09:28:31

Ask your insurance company to write back and tell them that they must have made an error in recording the registration mark correctly.

doesthismatter Wed 22-Sep-10 11:01:00

Thank you for all these replies. I still cant get the insurers to tell me where this accident was meant to have happened - they gave me the name of a road I never heard of and when I googled it there is no such road in my town but there are some in various other towns/cities. When I asked what town it was meant to be in, they wouldnt tell me. I said that I know the car did not leave my town that day.

I know what I was doing that day and most of the time my car was sat in my street - unfortunately there isnt anyone who can give me (and my car!) an alibi. Who is going to be able to remember such a thing - unless I go round asking the neighbours if they remember where I was parked on a certain day a couple of months ago. Apart from that I was taking the children to activities. No one notices what car I bring and at the time I didnt say to anyone - hey look and remember my car today please!

But I know for sure I have not
unknowingly bumped into anybody at all - I have not even opened a car door and scratched another car, I am certain of it.

Marriednotdead, it sounds like the incident you describe. First they claim some sort of colision, then an injury. And it is stressful especially as my insurance is due for renewal at the end of October.

I have written to the insurers asking for evidence and details such as a description of the driver, details of the damage, witnesses etc. I dont think it is a cloning thing as they have provided a matching description of my car. I dont know how they got this.

Also it is unfair that they can leave it a couple of months before they claim because by then it is harder for me to show where I was and show the condition of my car etc.

I just dont understand how they think they can do this - do some insurers pay up or something?

prh47bridge Wed 22-Sep-10 11:56:37

Matching the description of the car doesn't mean it isn't cloning. When a criminal clones a car they will usually make sure the make, model and colour match. If your car has been cloned it can be a nightmare with parking fines, speeding tickets, accident claims and worse until the police catch the cloned vehicle.

Your insurers seem to be very unhelpful. What justification do they have for not telling you the details of this alleged accident? Tell them that you suspect your car has been cloned and that you need full details so that you can report the matter to the police.

RaisedFromPerdition Wed 22-Sep-10 12:03:29

My parents had a similar issue. In their case it turned out that the 'accident' was 300 miles away from their home address in a place they have never been to and have no links to. They were both at work that day too. Their insurance company handled it. It was a cloned reg in the end I think.

LucindaCarlisle Wed 22-Sep-10 12:32:08

Are you sure that the letter is from your insurance company and is genuine?

My advice is to go to your local Police Station and ask them for advice if your car has been cloned.

mummyinlaw Wed 22-Sep-10 14:57:01

DTM it is important to remember that a personal injury claim is a civil claim and not a criminal one. Whilst providing alibis etc may be necessary to prove to your insurer that you were not involved in the first instance, if this claim were to go before a civil Court, on raising the defence you have (ie that you were not on that road at that time) it would be up to THE OTHER DRIVER to prove, on the balance of probabilities (the standard of proof in the civil Courts) you caused their injury. What I find odd about this is, normally if someone causes an accident and drives off without stopping, most lay-persons go to the Police with the registration number of the vehicle. The Police then send out a notice to you asking you to confirm whether you were the driver when the incident occurred or to nominate who was. Lay-persons rarely know how to 'find out' themselves. None of this appears to happened in your case, more evidence of a potential scam. Therefore my advice to you is drill it into your insurers that they should NOT pay out this claim (recite the proof bit above if you like). Your insurers should be asking the other driver for proof. If that doesn't materialise they should defend this case, through the civil Courts if necessary (your insurance policy covers you for this). If they say they are going to settle the claim without proof threaten them with the ombudsman as you have a financial interest in the outcome of this matter (your insurance premium will increase). There is also an organisation to whom you can report fraudulent claims, tell your insurers you are going to bring this to their attention. In the meantime, hopefully like RTP's parents, the other driver will give up. Good luck.

doesthismatter Wed 22-Sep-10 19:56:58

Thank you for all this advice. I spoke to the insurers again as I didnt want to go to the police with such little detail. But they said they dont actually have much more detail hmm. They said that they have written to the other insurers asking for more details and saying that I deny any involvement/liability. They said I should just wait and see what they come back with - they would not be paying out on it without a lot more information etc. What is worrying is that it is unlikely to be sorted out and my renewal is coming up. Which means I wont be able to shop around and will probably have an increased premium sadangry

Mummyinlaw it is interesting what you say about people normally go to the police. I dont know if they will allege it was a hit and run. I guess I will have to wait and see if they come up with some explanation. It is all speculation at the moment because most frustratingly I have no idea what this accident supposedly was.

LucindaCarlisle Wed 22-Sep-10 20:03:27

Can you give us a clue as to the name of the road, please? Then we can look it up in our local areas for you.

LucindaCarlisle Wed 22-Sep-10 20:20:51

I recall reading on another forum about eight months ago, when the snow was on the ground, a poster saying that the Police had phoned her up to ask whether she owned a car with a certain reg number. She said she did and it was currently snowed in at her house and had not been used for several months. Police said that it had been logged at a petrol filling station driving off without paying for petrol. It appeared to be a cloned car.

Often cloned vehicles are used for multiple crimes. So, I repeat my suggestion to ask the Police for advice. You could ask the Police to flag the registration up for a stop and search.

werewolf Wed 22-Sep-10 20:21:49

Did you go shopping/take out any money/pay for anything so you might have a timed receipt or two?

nancydrewrocked Wed 22-Sep-10 20:40:57

Two years ago someone claimed that my car hit a parked motorbike in a supermarket near to where I lived.

It was bizarre they had the reg and a description of the vehicle (which was accurate) and an "independent witness". Fortunately I was able to prove that I was at legoland on the day in question (I had used a cashpoint there at almost exactly the time the "accident" happened).

I had to fill in some forms for my insurance company and then didn't hear anything for about a year when I was contacted by the police - a very nice police officer came to my house and very apologetically interviewed me under caution (stating before he did so that he knew I wasn't in anyway responsible)

After the interview he showed me the statements of the "independent witness" that stated the car was being driven by a 40 year old man, 6' 2" with dark collar length hair (I was a 30 year old woman, 5'3" with long blond hair)

The police officer confirmed from paperwork that I was the only person insured to drive my car and that in any event my DH didn't meet that description. He also examined my car and confirmed that there was no way it had either been in the accident alleged or repaired.

Sorry this is long winded but I am telling it to you because the police were really helpful and it was all appeared resolved until one year later when I was contacted again by my insurance company who had now received a claim from a car that the bike that I allegedly hit had hit when it fell.

Despite all the evidence that neither myself or my car was involved and the fact that my insurance company hadn't paid out on the first claim they paid out. I begged them not to - asked them to take the matter to court but the claim was for less than £1000 and they said it wouldn't be "worth their while". Grrrr.

I didn't lose my no claims but the principle pee'd me off. It would have been the most easily won case in the world.

doesthismatter Wed 22-Sep-10 22:08:52

I am keeping up to date with replies - thank you. Unfortunately some of the replies are worrying me more - if my car has been cloned then who knows what other things are going to crop up in the future. sad

I will go to the police if it goes further but the insurer said I should wait till we hear back again from the other party. Until I know where/what I was supposed to have done, I can see their point. There really isnt much the police can do and there probably isnt enough evidence yet that it was cloned - if it turns out it supposedly happened in some place i have never been etc then I will definitely be onto the police.

I did google the name of the street and found a few possibilities but none in or near the place where I live - and I know for sure I never left this area on the day in question (I rarely drive elsewhere anyway). So I dont want to name it on here as that wouldnt help I dont think. I have never heard of it before but thought I better look it up just in case.

Sadly I was not at work, not getting cash out at Legoland, not shopping or eating out courtesy of my credit cards. I was mostly at home (school holidays) and went out once to take my children to an activity which I very much doubt anyone would remember if I was there or not. And even if I was there it doesnt prove my car was there, my DH is a named driver and was at home with no witnesses. At this stage we dont know if the driver is alleged to be a man or a woman. I will just have to be patient and see what happens next.

elvislives Wed 22-Sep-10 22:43:40

I don't know whether this will help you, but I was idly looking out of the window at my car while at work one day, when I noticed the reg number was wrong. The second letter was F and I was sure it should be L. Checked all my paperwork when I got home, all L. Reported to the Police that somebody had switched my plates.

It turned out the wrong one had been on there since I'd had the car blush. I was adamant it hadn't been and the policeman I was speaking to on the phone said he'd check for me. He thought somebody had cloned my car.

He went back over CCTV pictures while he was talking to me, and was able to confirm it was definitely me and my car on particular dates in the previous weeks/ months (a trip across the Channel; driving through the next town etc) and that the wrong plates were on, all that time ago. I think he said they can go back 3 months. They were colour photos too because he commented on what a nice colour my car is!

The police may be able to check their cctv for the area where the accident was, with your reg no.

LucindaCarlisle Wed 22-Sep-10 22:45:37

If your car has been cloned then you can ask DVLA for a new registration number. See DVLA web site.

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