Why this extra car crash bill?
I crashed my wife’s car and it was a write-off. The insurer, LV=, fairly assessed and paid the car’s value.
Apart from my giving up driving and sending my licence to the DVLA, as far as we were concerned that was the end of the matter.
Then some four months later, I received a letter from a utility company demanding immediate payment of £4,665. It said it had already asked for this and it was now 47 days overdue.
Having never dealt with
this company and with no information as to why I owed this money, my wife phoned its office.
She was told that the bill was the cost of repairs to a roadside utility damaged by a car driven by me. It also said that an invoice had been sent to me before.
Another invoice was sent and I dispatched a cheque the next day. JC, GWENT
You are 87 and had suffered an unexplained blackout while driving your wife’s car.
Had it not been for your wife’s presence of mind in seizing the steering wheel, it could have been much worse.
As it was, the vehicle rolled into a bank and damaged a utility company’s gas box. Your wife has no recollection of the car hitting any obstacle.
You paid the bill up front, wanting to have the problem sorted out as quickly as possible.
After paying the bill, you immediately wrote to LV= explaining what had happened and enclosing a copy of the receipted invoice.
You asked the company’s opinion on the insurance position. You had no idea that the utility company had also approached the insurer.
LV= was in fact dawdling over processing this thirdparty claim and still hadn’t done so. This has actually had the advantage of preventing any issue arising over a double payment.
Seven weeks passed with no response to your letter. You wrote again to LV= and still heard nothing back.
I contacted LV= and it reimbursed you the £4,665 at once. It did not address the issue of the lack of response to your correspondence.
Referring to your wife, who is the policyholder, LV= said: “It was never the case that we were refusing to reimburse the customer the costs claimed against her by the utility company.
“Simply we failed to understand that our customer had, rather unusually, settled the utility company’s claim directly and was looking for reimbursement from us.
“Now we have realised this, we have reimbursed our customer in full, with a payment for loss of interest and further compensation for the distress caused.”
These are £160 for interest and £50 for goodwill. You are giving a donation to charity in respect of this outcome.