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The car insurance industry really is a protection racket, with motorists the victims of a system that encourages all manner of problems. My gripe is regarding the very recent experiences my wife suffered and the repercussion when renewing my car insurance this week.
First, some background details. I have had twenty years of incident free driving; am in my late 30s and own a small ten year old 1.1L car. My wife is 30, owned a small twelve year old 1.1L car and again never had any incidents. Neither of us have had tickets for anything.
Two months ago, my wife was volunteering at a local animal sanctuary, with her car in a lay-by on a quiet country lane. When she and her friend returned to the car, they witnessed an elderly chap fall off his bike, hitting the ground and splitting his skull open. (No helmet of course!) My wife and her friend, doing the right thing, went to assist him, called an ambulance and tended him as best they could (without moving him to avoid further injuries). After fifteen minutes an ambulance arrived. One paramedic jumped out, then tended to the casualty. The other turned the ambulance around, promptly reversing it into my wife's car. My wife had tried to warn the driver: he looked at her, and then carried on, until he shunted her little car back by six foot, bashing in the front end. The two ambulance crew loaded the casualty, but tried to drive off without passing on any insurance details. The driver tried to deliberately write down the details wrong: the registration plate, my wife's name and insurer. OK they were on a 999 call. But the law states that they still had to acknowledge a road traffic collision. The driver deliberately didn't log the collision with his employers either, we found out later.
So my wife has to report to her insurer. It turns out the names the ambulance driver and the paramedic gave were false (both had removed their ID badges). The NHS is still denying the collision ever took place, despite the very obvious damage to the ramp and the vehicle's paintwork. The Police? Ha, they were an utter joke! My wife has asked them to investigate, as the ambulance driver didn't provide the correct details. The police response? "Don't waste our time!"
The insurer took away the wrecked little car, then eventually, a week later, declared it a write-off. Then they sent a cheque for the vehicle. My wife purchased a newer, little car and is astonished to find her insurance premium has gone down, and as she is not at fault her no-claims is protected. But only if she stays with her current insurer for the next five years. The insurer's claims company is still pursuing the NHS for the correct details and to recover the money they paid out.
my premiums have gone up by £70! Despite the fact that she is not at fault
As for me? My car insurance had to be renewed last week, and because my wife has made a claim, and is named on my policy, my premiums have gone up by £70! Despite the fact that she is not at fault, it still affects my policy and premiums and will do so for the next five years. Why is this exactly? My wife didn't hit the ambulance or wreck the car herself. She wasn't even in it, yet the insurance industry, the robbers that they are have determined she is now a'higher risk' on somebody else's policy but not her own. Is there any logical reason for this, or is it just yet another excuse to take money? And what if I hadn't declared the collision? Oh, my insurer could claim that I am acting illegally.
Oh, and by the way, the NHS is still denying that the collision ever took place. This is despite the animal sanctuary CCTV footage showing the collision in glorious detail with the car, the ambulance, the injured cyclist and the two ambulance crew very clearly with time and date. In seems that in the UK with the NHS, no good deed goes unpunished!