Making an insurance claim is like walking a tightrope – the slightest change of circumstances can mean the entire claim falls through. When dealing with such precarious circumstances, and with huge potential claims at stake, you’d expect insurance companies to be full of sensible, upstanding advice for claimants – right?
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Just recently a client, Mr K, came to us at Hopkins. He’d been driving along a road when he saw a van in front of him swerve into the opposite lane and hit an articulated lorry head-on. The lorry fell over onto its side and started sliding towards Mr K, shedding its load.
Mr K did what any normal person would do in this situation – he swerved to his right to try and avoid a collision with the lorry, which was showing no sign of stopping. He changed direction to get out of the path of the sliding lorry – unbeknownst to Mr K there was a large ditch at the side of the road, and he drove right into it.
A scary accident, no doubt – and one which left Mr K shaken up. The lorry eventually came to a stop after demolishing a stone wall and outhouse – if Mr K had not swerved, his car would have come off much worse.
On calling his insurance company to discuss the claim further with them, Mr K was astounded to get some rather unorthodox advice. “It would have been better if you had hit the lorry,” they stated, saying they wouldn’t be dealing with his claim. Stunned and indignant, with the feeling that he most certainly did have a claim, Mr K brought his case to us here at Hopkins.
We’re now bringing a claim against the van driver’s insurance, despite them originally saying there was no claim to be made.
Unfortunately, these types of responses are part and parcel of dealing with insurance companies, who often don’t want to pay out unless there’s concrete evidence that an accident could not have been helped by the claimant. In this situation, the claimant did what was best to protect himself and his property – and still was turned away by his insurers.
If you feel you have been given bad advice from insurance companies, don’t panic – it’s not the end of the road. Bring your claim to an experienced solicitors – our team at Hopkins are experienced at handling these cases, and can help clients to take claims further even after their insurance company has refused to pursue it. And if you’re ever told by an insurer that you should have taken further damage to bolster your claim… change provider!
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