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If someone’s involved in a car accident, their insurer may decide to accept liability and settle the claim with the other driver’s insurer.

We hear from people who think this is unfair. Some are confused about why a "fault" claim has been put on their records – when the accident wasn’t their fault. Or they may be unhappy that their insurance premiums have gone up.

need to know

  • We often need to explain that when an insurer accepts liability, it doesn’t necessarily mean they think their customer is to blame. It usually means they’ve looked at the evidence about the accident – decided they wouldn’t be able to defend the claim in court – and chosen to pay out rather than spend money fighting it.
  • Some people are upset that their insurer didn’t ask their permission first. In fact, nearly every motor insurance policy says insurers can make their own decision about accepting liability. But we often find they didn’t explain what was happening. We think some complaints
    could be avoided with better communication.
  • It’s not our role to investigate the accident and decide who’s responsible. But we’ll make sure that the insurer’s decision was reasonable – given all the evidence they had. This may include accounts from the drivers involved, witness statements, engineers’ reports and CCTV footage.
  • If we decide it wasn’t reasonable for an insurer to accept liability, we’ll tell them to change the way the claim’s been recorded. The customer’s current insurer can then recalculate their premium.

common complaints showing our approach

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