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Motorhome hire damage… insurance question. Any advice?

(6 Posts)
hydrangea78 Mon 13-Jul-15 13:56:08

We hired a motorhome and unfortunately caused some damage.
Immediately contacted the owners and admitted liability.
We had paid a damage deposit (£700) prior to the hire period which has not been refunded.
Comprehensive insurance was included as part of the hire price.

Owners have now been in touch with a quote for the repairs which comes in quite a bit higher than our damage deposit, so they're asking me to now pay the additional costs beyond our already forfeited damage deposit.

We assumed that the £700 deposit was the insurance excess. However they have decided not to use their insurance policy but are asking us to cover the full cost of the damage.
Can they do this? Where does one draw the line?
In the hire t+c's it unfortunately states that in the event of damage, using the insurance policy is at their discretion...

Collaborate Mon 13-Jul-15 14:33:32

That has got to be an unfair contract term surely? They presumably insist that you pay for the insurance. It is therefore reasonable to assume that it covers your liability. What excess is applied under the policy?

Read through the whole of the terms and see if there's anything else that helps you. If they sue you for it I suspect the judge will either deem that clause (claiming at their discretion) to be unenforceable or on the other hand that if they fail to claim they cannot then ask you to pay.

hydrangea78 Mon 13-Jul-15 16:23:41

Many thanks for the helpful reply Collaborate.

I have just been throughout the t+c's again but cannot see anything that works in our favour unfortunately. See below.

"Where damage is caused to the Vehicle during the hire We may, at Our absolute discretion, utilise the insurance policy to claim for the loss or damage sustained. In these instances you will be liable for the excess.
If We claim under the insurance policy this will not reduce your liability under any other provision of this Condition 20.
We will not claim under the insurance policy where damage to the Vehicle is caused by a breach of any of these Conditions.
You agree that you will be liable for any damage sustained to the Vehicle during the hire where such loss or damage is not claimed under the insurance policy. You also agree that you will be liable for any loss or damage suffered by Us resulting from you breaching these Conditions"

Collaborate Mon 13-Jul-15 16:45:46

They are effectively selling you insurance. How would you know whether they're actually taking out a policy as opposed to pocketing the money themselves?

Can you make a complaint via the insurance ombudsman?

How did they sell the insurance to you? Was it fully comp?

hydrangea78 Tue 14-Jul-15 19:29:08

Hi Collaborate.. they just included fully comp insurance as part of the hire agreement. No further details given and we didn't ask at the time. From the t+c's:

"The Vehicle is fully insured for the period of the hire ONLY and a copy of the insurance policy is available on request. By signing the Hire Agreement you are accepting the conditions of the appropriate hire insurance policy that is in place. Fully Comprehensive insurance is normally included within the Hire Charge and any alternative arrangement will be agreed in writing."

I am going to ask for a copy of the insurance policy, but don't know where I stand legally about asking them to actually use the policy as opposed to us to paying for the total cost of the repairs.

Collaborate Tue 14-Jul-15 22:09:16

Well, I suggest you just don't pay them what they want (assuming that the £700 is the excess). If they have your card details tell the issuer that there is a dispute and they're not to allow them to charge anything more on to the card.

As far as you're concerned it's not them not claiming under the policy that you have a problem with. It's them wanting to claim it from you. Who is to say they won't also make a claim under the policy? Or indeed that they actually paid over the money to the insurance company?

Ask them for proof that they actually took out the policy that you paid for.

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