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Can Direct line force me into this line of action?

(8 Posts)
NoWayNoHow Thu 27-Sep-12 17:23:03

I was involved in an RTA with a pedestrian 2 months ago. The police deemed it "one of those things" and said she was very lucky not have been more seriously injured (she crossed the road in front of me when there was a perfectly good zebra crossing a few metres up the road, and claimed not to have seen me even though I was stationary mid-way across the road waiting for traffic to allow me through) - they are not taking any further action regarding the case. She also, at the time, repeatedly said, "I don't blame you, I don't blame you."

Surprise surprise, and 2 months down the line she has put in a claim against me with my insurer, Direct Line. They are ALREADY going on about how the pedestrian is normally favoured in these matters, and even though she can't prove if she was/wasn't already in the road when I was moving, that they "will probably settle because we can't take the chance with taking it to court".

Considering that it's my premium that will shoot up, and my no claims bonus that I will lose, and as I don't believe I have any liability, I can't believe that they can either prevent me from fighting the claim, or force me to accept the fact that they're going to settle.

Please can someone clarify this for me - I don't want to have this black mark against my name just because the insurance company want to protect their profit margins. Surely if this is what they do, then ANYONE can just claim against anyone else for something frivolous and get away with it because the insurers won't fight it?

NoWayNoHow Thu 27-Sep-12 17:35:36

Desperate bump!

NoWayNoHow Thu 27-Sep-12 18:17:41

Another bump!

kNickerbockerGloryCherry Thu 27-Sep-12 23:21:54

Unfortunately they can admit liability for you without your agreement if they feel that's the best course of action.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

It should be in your Ts and Cs.

CointreauVersial Thu 27-Sep-12 23:28:03

They tend to make a judgement as to how likely they would be to win a court case. If you have no witnesses in your favour it makes it difficult.

suburbandweller Fri 28-Sep-12 09:28:49

I read your other thread about this and have real sympathy with your position. Unfortuantely the likelihood is that the pedestrian is claiming less than the probable costs to the insurer of fighting the claim (and there would be no certainty of those costs being recovered even if they defend successfully), so the sensible thing to do is settle. The courts encourage early resolution in these cases - it isn't solely to do with the insurer's profit margins. I can see how that would rankle but you may find you can get a decent insurance quote elsewhere when you come to renew.

Collaborate Fri 28-Sep-12 09:57:59

If you have legal expenses insurance you can invoke that to pay for defence costs. Then it wouldn't be up to your insurer in the same way.

antsypants Fri 28-Sep-12 16:33:43

I'm afraid that they can accept liability as they are your insurer and as such are entitled to pay out rather than spend more money arguing in court.

You may have motor legal cover, but this will not cover you for taking action against your insurer.

It isn't fair, but insurance is not about fairness, all claims come out of the common pot, so all insurers have a responsibility to make sure any claims are settled for the minimum amount they can get away with paying.

I've worked in different lines of insurance and these cases are notoriously difficult to defend.

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