Insurance companies defination of a 'fault claim'
Everyone has their own opinion about who was at fault when something happens. Who was responsible for leaving the milk out of the fridge? Who’s job was it to book the hotel room? Who was supposed to call Jimmy and tell him to come at 9 o’clock? But when an insurance company is dealing a claim on a motor policy their defination of ‘fault’ is not always the same as people would normally understand it to be.
To an insurance company the defination of a fault claim is:
a) That you did something that caused the accident to happen. You are responsible for your actions and their consequences.
b) Your insurance company is unable to get the cost of the claim reimbursed by the person who was responsible for damaging your car. Which means that you are at fault even though you didn 't do anything wrong.
Here are some examples of why this might happen.
-If your parked car is hit by an unknown vehicle then this is classed as a fault claim. It is your ‘fault’ because the driver who is responsible cannot be traced.
-Likewise, vandalism is treated as a fault claim. Even if the police catch and prosecute those responsible your insurer will not persue them for the cost of repairing your car as the chances of making a full recovery from them will be nil.
-In an instance where your vehicle is damaged by a roof tile falling onto your car. Or it is hit by a gate caught by the wind. This will also be treated as a fault claim because your insurer will have to prove a case of negligence against the property owners concerned and here again the chances of doing that are practically nil.
-Your vehicle is damaged while going over a pot hole . Your insurer will not be able to make a recovery from the council unless it can prove that the council was aware of the pot hole but failed to take the necessary remedial action it in good time.
- You slid on a muddy surface or where there was oil on the road. Same scenario as with the pothole.
- An object falls from a passing vehicle onto your car.
- You hit an animal . It's going to be a fault claim if you hit a wild animal of-course but also if you hit a farm animal that has strayed out of a field. Your insurer wont be able to hold the farmer liable unless they can prove negligence. Likewise if you swerve to avoid a dog on the road and hit a parked car theoretically you will be able to claim against the dog owner but only if your insurer can prove that the owner acted with wilful irresponsibility.-You are hit by a vehicle that is not insured . In theory your insurer can attempt to recover their costs for the repair to your car from the driver but the chances of doing that with any likelihood of success are negligible.
A brief summery
Many policyholders feel that they are being punished by their insurance company or even that their insurance company isn’t trying hard enough to hold those responsible to account for their actions. But if an insurance company cannot prove who was responsible for damaging your vehicle they wont waste their time pursuing them.
Your policy simply means that damage to your car (and indeed damage and injury you may case to others) is covered. You are entitled to drive your car on the public highway but you do so at your own risk. All you can do is insure against this risk but that risk will include instances where you will be held at fault for something happening that wasn’t your fault.