Driver initially accepts liability; Wrong Insurance Company Targeted

Report your accident to the police- it is the law!
On the second day of the New Year, Karen was driving in her Honda Accord motor vehicle when, according to her, a motor vehicle driven by John collided with her vehicle. John accepted liability at the time of the accident and agreed to pay for the repairs to her motor vehicle. Karen was dissatisfied with the repairs claiming that the foreign used parts used to repair her vehicle changed its appearance externally and its functioning internally. Karen also wanted payment of $5,000.00 for loss of earnings as a result of the accident.

It was at this point that Karen visited the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman (OFSO) for assistance. Karen requested that this Office communicate with John’s insurance company to recover expenses related to repairing the motor vehicle and loss of earnings. The OFSO sent communication to the insurance company as indicated by Karen. However, upon investigation, it was discovered that John was not insured by that insurance company and as such it had no record of the accident. The company also attempted to contact Karen numerous times but was unsuccessful.

When contacted by the OFSO with the insurance company’s response, Karen indicated that she was mistaken and that John was in fact insured by her own insurance company. Karen confirmed that her motor vehicle was finally repaired but her claim for loss of earnings was not as yet settled. Given that there was no further indication from Karen that she wished to continue the matter with her insurance company, the file was closed.

Lessons Learnt:

1. Report your accident to the police- it is the law!

According to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chap 48:50 (M.V.R.T.A.) Sect 79 (1):

If involved in an accident which causes damage or injury to person, vehicles or property or any animal not in your vehicle, you must stop, take the injured to the nearest doctor or hospital, give your name and address to interested persons and report the accident to the nearest Police Station or to a constable in uniform immediately.

2. It is always advisable to report the accident to your insurance company and to the other party’s insurance company even if the person admits liability at the time of the accident.

3. To expedite the claims process, ensure that correct information is relayed to the insurance company and the OFSO.