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MOT lapsed, insurance invalid

(9 Posts)
DuggeeHugs Tue 10-Oct-17 20:26:14

DBIL rear-ended a van at the weekend. As far as I can tell it was due to tiredness (DBIL has an 8 week old DS).

The police checked details at the scene and found his MOT ran out last month. The officer said that as vehicle condition wasn't a contributing factor they weren't going to take the matter any further.

Today the insurance company have said his policy is invalid due to the lack of MOT. DBILs car is a write-off (uneconomical to repair) and the van was also damaged, though less badly.

Can anyone advise what happens next? How does he begin to handle this? Will he be dealing directly with the van driver's insurers? Which costs will he incur? Advice appreciated!

Collaborate Tue 10-Oct-17 21:20:01

The insurers will settle the other party’s claim but can recover that from your brother in law.

DuggeeHugs Tue 10-Oct-17 22:00:01

Thank you for responding.

I'm assuming recovery is an invoice followed by court action if payment terms can't be agreed?

Do you have any idea about how he would go about minimising costs already accruing with his own vehicle (recovered to secure site and held awaiting inspection)?

I realise he needs to talk to his insurers but the information came through last thing today, causing a lot of stress this evening for DBIL and DSIL, hence my posting here.

Collaborate Tue 10-Oct-17 22:44:32

Well, he really should read through the terms of his policy. It should spell this out there. They won't invoice him for what he'll owe, they'll just write to him and demand payment. Up to him then to come to a deal with them, including payment over time.

There's an obvious common sense answer to your question about minimising his costs, that isn't really a legal problem.

prh47bridge Wed 11-Oct-17 00:25:25

He should dispute the insurer's decision. The Financial Ombudsman has repeatedly held that lack of an MOT certificate is not a valid reason to refuse payment of a claim where the condition of the vehicle has no bearing on the accident. According to guidance issued by the Ombudsman in 2015 the insurer can reduce the payment for your BIL's vehicle by up to 10% if, on the balance of probabilities, it would have failed the MOT test. They cannot refuse to pay anything.

DuggeeHugs Wed 11-Oct-17 02:53:41

Thank you prh - we'll look up the ombudsman's guidance.

The email received today included the following passage:

In view of the above, we have confirmed to Random Insurance Services that we will not be indemnifying you for any claim that has arisen from the incident

Where 'the above' relates to exceptions for claiming losses related to your vehicle, including driving without an MOT. This caveat is not present in the exceptions for claiming losses for the costs related to the third party. But, DBIL's now found an overall exemption elsewhere in the policy stating the whole policy is invalid without an MOT.

He cannot tell from the letter if this means they're therefore refusing to cover losses to either party or just to DBIL. Would the general exceptions override the specific exceptions (even though they don't mention them in the letter, instead referring only to the 'your vehicle' exceptions)? Should he argue that the insurer pay for the costs incurred by the third party and a proportion of DBILs costs?

I'm assuming he should dispute with the insurance company directly in the first instance?

AJPTaylor Wed 11-Oct-17 13:57:26

insurers will be well aware of the ombudsmans view. unless it was a shed and was unroadworthy they are trying it on .
your db needs to immediately escalate to the complaints team at the insurer for a sendible response.

safariboot Wed 11-Oct-17 14:19:37

Your brother-in-law should get some legal advice regarding the insurance being invalid. If it's regarded as ^"declined, cancelled, voided, or had special terms imposed^" (wording may vary slightly) then he will have to declare that and can expect doubled or worse premiums for the rest of his life. I'm not sure if that applies, but it's obviously greatly in BIL's interest for it to not the case.

DuggeeHugs Thu 07-Dec-17 12:40:31

Just a quick update:

DBIL challenged the insurers and escalated through their complaints department. After a significant amount of difficulty and the policy being cancelled, the insurers accepted they were in the wrong, reinstated the policy and agreed to pay all costs for both parties. He finally received payment last week.

Thank you all for the advice to dispute, challenge and escalate - he'd never have known otherwise and they'd likely have gotten away with it. He's also signed up to the MOT reminder email service so hopefully this will never be a problem again flowers

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