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Fire Service Appliance v My Daughter's Car

(19 Posts)
EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 17:25:36

Will try to keep this short, but give all necessary details if I can:

In May, DD ran out of petrol and parked her car in a little narrow side road near to us, then walked home. That night, a house fire unfortunately occurred in the road she had chosen to park in (no-one hurt, thankfully) but the Fire Engine attending the scene had to shunt her car out of the way, in order to reach the house in peril. Fair enough. They left their details. Car not roadworthy after the incident, we limped it home, and it has sat outside our house ever since.

Since then, we have had the most dreadful trouble in being able to obtain help from the Fire Service. DD was told: "Don't worry about contacting your insurance company, we have our own insurance and they will deal with it". But, no-one returned her numerous telephone calls. DD then had to rely on taxis (paid as well as the Taxi of Mum and Dad) to ferry her around. She has since bought a new car (on Finance), but her damaged car has been sitting outside our house for months, and the Fire Service has not returned calls.

I have now taken matters into my own hands on DD's behalf, and have managed to get to speak to their insurer. Of course, it transpires, that DD should have informed her own insurance company (as I told her), but we were trying to let her deal with it herself, she didn't, hence the mess she is in.

Anyway, I've provided the Fire Brigade's Insurance company with DD's Motor Insurance Certificate, the VC5 (Car Registration Document), details of the date and time of the incident, details of the driver of the Fire Appliance, etc etc, but now they are insisting upon receiving a copy of the MoT certificate valid at the time. I/we can't find it at the moment, but they appear insistent upon receiving a copy of it before they will even consider paying out. If necessary, we will try to obtain another copy, but my question is, Why do they need this? We've had RTA incidents of varying degrees over the years, and have not had to produce the MoT Cert.

As DD's car was parked quite innocently, early hours of the morning, she wasn't driving it, it was clearly damaged by the Fire Brigade, and now they appear to be coming across as awkward. The whole incident has caused a lot of trouble, one way or another.

Would anyone be able to help with advice as to where we might stand on this? DD is not with the same insurance company now, but would it be too late to ask them for assistance?

BritInUS1 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:29:07

Well any accident needs to be declared to your insurance company, whether you are claiming or not. Presumably her new insurance company are aware of this, otherwise it might affect her ability to make a claim.

I suspect they are ensuring the car was actually roadworthy at the time of the incident, hence requesting the MOT certificate.

RandomUsernameHere Tue 24-Oct-17 17:34:01

I thought all MOT details could be checked online now

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 17:41:12

I thought so too, Random. Possibly because the car is now no longer insured and has since been SORNed, the records are not accessible?

Brit - I know all incidents need to be reported to your insurance company, but at the time, DD 'knew better' as this is what the rep from the Fire Brigade told her - that she didn't need to bother. Of course, it was a telephone conversation, so we have no proof of it. And I appreciate the fact that they need to ascertain whether DD's car was roadworthy, which I'm sure we will be able to do, but she wasn't even driving it at the time. I'm just wondering why they are being awkward, and can she now engage the help of what was her Insurance Company at the time?

prh47bridge Tue 24-Oct-17 17:42:25

MOT details can be checked online at No idea why the insurers aren't simply checking this themselves rather than demanding to see the certificate.

If they insist your daughter can get a new certificate from any MOT centre (i.e. any garage that conducts MOT tests) for £10. She will need to give them the registration and the V5C (logbook) reference number.

RedHelenB Tue 24-Oct-17 17:45:33

Why is the fire service paying out if your dd s car was blocking the road?

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 24-Oct-17 17:46:38

I used to work for motor insurance assessors (in another lifetime) and it was always standard procedure where a third party's car was written off to request a copy of the MOT (but this was before the online ability to check for them).

If there was no MOT it did not mean there would not be a payout although it may have been a lower payment.

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 17:47:57

prh47bridge - thank you, that's exactly what I thought. We have provided them with the V5C and insurance details. We will have to go to an MoT Centre for a paid copy, but I was wondering why they are insisting upon it. Surely all they need is a copy of the insurance certificate? At the time of the incident, DD was still with her old insurance company (she just changed a couple of weeks ago for her new car).

And yes, I know she should have contacted her insurance company at the time, as I have already told her, but she didn't, upon advice from the FB. It is very difficult to not say "I told you so", whilst at the same time trying to help her.

Thanks everyone.

AnotherLegoBrick Tue 24-Oct-17 17:52:40

Why was your daughters car left blocking a road? Maybe I am more aware as DH is a FF and nothing annoys him more they people blocking access for emergency vehicles.

From what he has told me in the past - If a fire engine has to shunt out of the way it is up to the owner of the vehicle to claim off their insurance. Not sure he has ever had to do it, although they have lifted cars out of the way.

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 17:53:06

RedHelen - it wasn't blocking the road. There was plenty of room for a normal sized vehicle to get through, just unfortunately on this particular night (the only time she'd ever run out of petrol and parked in that particular narrow road, thinking she was out of the way) an Emergency vehicle needed to get through.

The RB admitted liability, so the crew clearly thought they were at fault at the time.

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 18:19:31

Thank you, AlltheBest - that's helpful. I have just checked via the link that prh47 provided (thanks for that also) and it appears DDs MoT had indeed just expired - hence the FB's insistence on written proof, I'm guessing.

AnotherLegoBrick Tue 24-Oct-17 18:33:59

The Highway Code is quite clear and states you must not stop or park anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services. Leaving room for a normal sized car is not sufficient. Delays in reaching a fire not only increases the risk to the people who may be trapped, but also to the crews growing in to the fire.

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 18:50:49

Thank you, Lego - however, that was not my question. I hadn't asked for the vagaries on where she had parked. And I had said 'normal-sized vehicle' not 'car'. That would have meant up to quite a large lorry. Fire appliance, admittedly, is larger. However, this was at 02:00am, she was going back to move the car next morning at around 07:00am, the fire crew needed to get through at 03:15am - what would be the normal chances of that happening? Anyway, we all know she was evil to have parked there, albeit unwittingly. The fire crew still appear to think they were liable for the damage at the time, no-one was hurt, thankfully. We are just talking about a lump of metal, in this particular instance. I was querying the reason for the request for the MoT paperwork, the answer to which I now have.

Thank you.

AnotherLegoBrick Tue 24-Oct-17 19:11:13

I didn’t say she was evil - don’t put words there that I didn’t say. Car / vehicle - it doesn’t really matter as the Highway Code is clear - she shouldn’t have been parked there.

You were asking about insurance - it is irrelevant what the crew thinks, the insurance will either pay out or not. As she was driving a car without an MOT that was blocking access I imagine they probably don’t want to pay anything at all.

I find your attitude rather selfish to be honest. Yes, the chance of it happening was low, but it did happen and it has caused you a whole load of problems and increased risk to all involved in the fire.

Geographytrainee Tue 24-Oct-17 19:22:32

I think that your daughter could have a shock coming her way........... Without a current MOT, your car insurance would become invalid. Not having a valid MOT certificate is illegal under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and you run the risk of facing a £1,000 fine and a charge of six to eight penalty points on your licence by driving without one.
*Taken from the Internet.

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 19:33:48

Thank you both - I posted in 'Legal Matters' so I could obtain legal facts, not opinion. My opinion matches with your own personal opinion, DD was being stupid, but again, that is not what I was asking. Ergo, I'm not being selfish, as I agree with your personal opinion. But personal opinion I had not asked for. I had asked about the possible lack of MoT, and obtained the answer to that, several posts back.

Yes, she was stupid in the first place to have run out of petrol (never happened to me, in nearly 40 yrs of driving). Silly place to park - we have had words on that, too. MoT - her responsibility, she didn't deal with it.

My question was: why are the FB asking for written proof? Now I know - we really don't need to dwell on how silly DD has been (I already know it). Thank you, yet again!

prh47bridge Tue 24-Oct-17 19:36:22

It is a myth (frequently repeated on the internet) that car insurance is invalid without a current MOT. The financial ombudsman has ruled time and time again that lack of a valid MOT is not a good enough reason for insurance companies to refuse to pay. The insurance company needs to show that the accident was related to the lack of MOT (e.g. it was caused by a fault insured's car which would have been picked up at MOT). If the accident was not related to the lack of an MOT they can reduce the amount paid to the owner of the car by around 10% if they can show that the car would have failed its MOT but they must pay out in full if they can't show that.

In any event, the OP has not said that her daughter does not have a current MOT, merely that she can't find it.

prh47bridge Tue 24-Oct-17 19:37:24

Sorry - missed the post where the OP says that the MOT had expired. However, the rest of my post remains valid.

EvansOvalPies Tue 24-Oct-17 19:45:23

Thank you very much, prh47 - I think this is what I was ultimately trying to get at. DD's car was parked at the side of the road, she wasn't driving, so her car was not at any mechanical fault to be able to contribute to the incident as it was stationary and driverless.

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