Insurer is reasonable in refusing to fix pre-existing damage

Motor Insurance

Frank complains about repairs carried out by his insurer after an accident.

What happened

Frank’s insurer initially agreed to repair his car’s bodywork, after an accident.

There was also engine damage present on inspection but the insurer said this damage was pre-existing and it had been caused over time, not by the accident.

Frank disagreed and felt the engine damage was caused by the accident, so he complained to his insurer. Unhappy with the outcome, he contacted us to make a complaint.

What we said

Frank told us his car had passed its MOT just before the accident, so the engine couldn’t have been damaged at that point. The insurer disagreed and sent us a report from an independent engineer. This included photos of the rust on the engine and said the evidence pointed to long-standing engine damage.

We explained to Frank that the MOT proved that the car was safe to drive, but not that it was damage-free. We accepted the engineer’s detailed, independent view and we decided the insurer’s decision was fair.