Consumer complains about the way insurer handled his car insurance claim

Motor Insurance Distress and inconvenience Up to £750

We looked into Craig's complaint about how his insurer handled a claim, after delays settling the claim meant Craig had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against him, showing on his credit file. After months of waiting, the insurer managed to get the CCJ removed, but this had caused Craig a lot of stress.

What happened

Craig accidently reversed his car into another parked car. The person who owned the other car claimed on their insurance for the repairs to the damage Craig had caused. The other insurer then contacted Craig’s insurer to try and claim the costs back.

Craig’s insurer didn’t respond, and the case was passed to a solicitor to deal with. They applied for a court judgement to get Craig to pay back the money, which was sent to Craig. Craig told his insurers and they told him to send this on to them to deal with. He did this, but his insurer didn’t do anything when it received it. The case ended up going to court and Craig had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) granted against him to pay back the other insurer’s outlay and costs.

He told his insurer and sent them a copy, but they didn’t settle it within the 30 days allowed. They did settle it after 50 days, but this meant it would show as settled on Craig’s credit file. If the insurer had paid it in the 30 days it would have been marked as cancelled on the court records and not shown on Craig’s credit file.  

The insurer said they would try and get it removed from his credit file. They managed to get this done, but it took several months, and they had to involve a solicitor. Craig was really upset about the whole siltation and was very concerned about the impact it had on his credit file. 

What we said

We felt the way Craig’s insurer dealt with the claim caused a lot of problems and worry for him over several months. If it had acted sooner, then it could have stopped the case going to court by settling the other insurer’s claim. Then Craig wouldn’t have had a CCJ recorded against him and it wouldn’t have appeared on his credit file at all. And if it had acted more quickly and settled the judgement when it found out about it, then it still wouldn’t have appeared on his credit file. As they took some time to take any action on two occasions Craig had the worry of the CCJ and this being registered on his credit file for several months. So, even though this had now been removed, we felt the CCJ and the process had caused Craig a lot of distress and inconvenience. And this could have all been avoided or had a more limited effect if his insurer had acted sooner.

We thought it was fair and reasonable for his insurer to pay £750 in compensation to make up for this distress and inconvenience.