Accident with substandard tyres, insurance company refusing cover. Options?

DirectDevil

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If the insurance company is going to repudiate liability under the contract they must justify their position.
I base this argument on a dictum from several years ago in the Supreme Court in Superwood -v- Sun Alliance and others.

I would ask the insurers for a detailed written decision with specific reasons for the proposed declinature of indemnity.
IMHO repudiating liability over the telephone is both unprofessional and lazy.

Much of the answer lies in the actual contract wording.
I see one Aviva product that is so specific as to make it a condition that tyres are maintained to the correct tread depth.
That strikes me as an unreasonable contract term for a person to adhere to with the absolute degree of strictness implied if the tyre depth was slightly off standard as distinct from being way off the mark. Curiously enough the specific condition covering this and related issues contains the preliminary phrase requiring the taking of reasonable steps to prevent loss and so on. So, which standards of contractual construction and interpretation are AVIVA seeking to apply within the one condition or different parts thereof ? Are they applying the reasonable standard or the absolutist (and arguably unreasonable) standard ?

Where OP goes from here depends on the specifics of the letter of repudiation which needs to be specific.
 
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LS400

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I would ask the insurers for a detailed written decision with specific reasons for the proposed declinature of indemnity.
How detailed a letter do you need... to state the obvious

Slightly off, a little more than slightly off, where do you draw the line.

They tyres were not road worthy. This car should not have been on the road with tyres in this condition. There are a hundred ways of saying the same thing.

This is personal responsibility again, where we try to dilute the blame away from ourselves.

Anyway, most insurers will discount 25% of the claim per worn tyre, ie 4 tyres, 100% decline.
 

michaelm

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If my insurance company said I wasn't insured due to tread depth I would argue my case if I did not believe that the tyres affected the outcome. For example, if I didn't brake or if the road was dry. Given that we pay 7% (was 5%) government levy I'd tell the 3rd party that my insurance company were refusing to pay and that they should claim from the MiBi.
 

cremeegg

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This is personal responsibility again, where we try to dilute the blame away from ourselves.
The OP is not trying to "dilute the blame away" (sic). She knows she/her husband was at fault.

That what we have insurance for. To pay out when we are at fault.
 

Leo

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I see one Aviva product that is so specific as to make it a condition that tyres are maintained to the correct tread depth.
That strikes me as an unreasonable contract term for a person to adhere to with the absolute degree of strictness implied if the tyre depth was slightly off standard as distinct from being way off the mark.
All tyres now have thread wear indicators, cross bars that mark the minimum thread depth. These are easy to assess, and all road users should check these periodically.
 

DirectDevil

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How detailed a letter do you need... to state the obvious

Slightly off, a little more than slightly off, where do you draw the line.

They tyres were not road worthy. This car should not have been on the road with tyres in this condition. There are a hundred ways of saying the same thing.

This is personal responsibility again, where we try to dilute the blame away from ourselves.

Anyway, most insurers will discount 25% of the claim per worn tyre, ie 4 tyres, 100% decline.
To state the obvious ;

1. OP and insurer are in a contract.
2. Insurer argues OP is in breach of contract condition.
3. Insurer seeks to repudiate contract.
4. Stating a reason like the breach of a policy condition is a general statement.
5. Insurer needs to explain the exact facts relied on to ground the contractual repudiation.

If this went to court the insurers would have to present the evidence on which they seek to repudiate the contract.

Where do you draw the line ?

That would start with the contract wording and the relevant evidence.
Some contract terms are so absolute as to be almost indisputable.
Some are modified by qualifying phrases.
You also have to consider the reasonableness of the contract terms and whether there is any legal ambiguity on which to argue contra proferentem ?


Tyres were not roadworthy ?

Any quantitative and or legal reference on this as to what constitutes an unroadworthy tyre ?
I distinguish this point from the axiomatic issue of prescribed minimum tread depth.
 

jim

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But if the OPs car was certified as roadworthy by the NCT and this was still in date then how can the OP be at fault? If you are getting your NCT done then arent you making sure your car is roadworthy. What else should one be doing (within reason and assuming there isnt an obvious problem with the car)?
 

jim

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Id say theres a fine line though between what is roadworthy and what isnt...if tyres are blatently crap then i coukd understand the insurance denying liab.if the tyres are reasonable then it seems unfair to me.

This is why its important that the insurance provides a formal report to the OP outlining why they deny liab. Its not sufficient to just verbally state it esp as the sum is significant
 

LS400

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Any quantitative and or legal reference on this as to what constitutes an unroadworthy tyre ?
I distinguish this point from the axiomatic issue of prescribed minimum tread depth.

Well, unless Im mistaken, a standard minimum thread dept was agreed upon by legislators at 1.6mm for general road users, as opposed to professional users, ie Taxis etc which is greater than 1.6mm. It either was at this limit, above, or below this limit.

Why do we need to dissect the very obvious, to the point of making a mockery of what all agreed to.

If your tyre is below 1.6mm at Nct examination and your car fails the test, do you protest that you have been unfairly treated, no you dont, because you accept this is a failure, an agreed safety measure for the protection for all concerned.

Yet when something like this, what has happened to the OP becomes reality, law books come out, and every angle is explored to try and avoid the very consequences of the inaction.

Now, if I were in court trying to diminish my responsibility of this subject post, I would like to have you DD in my corner protesting my innocence as your posts ave very informative and very well grammatically written, to the point of, this guy knows what he is talking about.

But, many qualified professionals are well versed in the dissection and reassembly of events, whether they are the actual events that happened, or what they want others to believe happened, is another thing.

What follows by above is also unfair, Im sure many have walked out of Court hard done by because unless you play games like above, the other side will contrive a completely different set of events, and while some situations need to be created to be believed, facts dont.

Was the tyre below the the agreed legal limit, Yes or No. Not nearly, or depending on the way you angle your head to view it.
 

Leo

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10,251
Id say theres a fine line though between what is roadworthy and what isnt.
Most of the criteria assessed by the NCT, including tyres, have very clearly defined limits, any single criteria dropping below the minimum level results in the car failing to be regarded as road-worthy.

With regard to their validation of road-worthiness, the NCTS do point out:

The NCT is a check of basic requirements at the time of the test. It assesses components which are visible and accessible. It does not replace or purport to replace your responsibility to ensure your car is roadworthy at all times or the regular maintenance that a mechanic needs to carry out on your car.
 

cremeegg

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Now, if I were in court trying to diminish my responsibility of this subject post,
The OP is not trying to diminish her responsibility. She is trying to get the insurance company to pay out because of her responsibility. Thats what insurance is for.

If the OP was not responsible then she wouldn't have anything to worry about.

Car insurance is there to cover a drivers liability when the driver is at fault.

This "wonderful" insurance company sells insurance that will cover your liability when you are at fault EXCEPT it seems when you are at fault for having bald tyres, or who knows what other reason you might discover after you have had a crash.

What about if you are criminally at faulty for careless driving, will your insurance cover you then or have they some other opt out for that.

Many posters on here seem to think that motor insurance is there to protect innocent drivers i.e. those who are not at fault. That is simply wrong, motor insurance is there to pay for damage caused by drivers who are at fault, so that they do not have to pay themselves.

The law requires all drivers to have motor insurance. Not for the benefit of those who might need to make a claim, but for the benefit of those who might suffer from their fault.

Is it legal to sell motor insurance which does not include certain covers. Surely that defeats the point of the law requiring all drivers to be insured.
 

Palerider

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1,406
The car had the Nct in August 2018, the accident was in April 2019, the Tyres had 8 months more driving on them, this has nothing to do with the nct.

Appeal it internally as best you can,

worn tyres are lethal in a wet road situation with added metres required to get stopped assuming you retain some control.
 

Leo

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Messages
10,251
This "wonderful" insurance company sells insurance that will cover your liability when you are at fault EXCEPT it seems when you are at fault for having bald tyres, or who knows what other reason you might discover after you have had a crash.
Do you think all other motorists should be subsidising those who drive substandard or dangerous vehicles? Every insurance policy comes with a clear set of terms and conditions that must be adhered to, if you fail to adhere to conditions such as maintaining the car in a road-worthy condition, then it's only right that your cover be reduced or withdrawn.

What about if you are criminally at faulty for careless driving, will your insurance cover you then or have they some other opt out for that.
No, they do not! You can't insure against criminal liability.

Many posters on here seem to think that motor insurance is there to protect innocent drivers i.e. those who are not at fault. That is simply wrong, motor insurance is there to pay for damage caused by drivers who are at fault, so that they do not have to pay themselves.
I don't think that is what most people are saying, who has stated that? I would have expected most motorists would understand the difference between third-party and comprehensive cover being that the latter provides cover for your own losses in the event you are at fault.

The law requires all drivers to have motor insurance. Not for the benefit of those who might need to make a claim, but for the benefit of those who might suffer from their fault.
The law requires third party insurance, this thread does not relate to a third party claim. Comprehensive cover is optional, and comes with many caveats. The insurance company will pay the claim of the other party here, and from the OP's contributions there does not seem to be any issue with that. If they can prove the OP was negligent in failing to maintain their vehicle in a roadworthy condition as per the terms of their agreement, they may well be entitled then to seek to recovery of those costs from the OP.

Is it legal to sell motor insurance which does not include certain covers. Surely that defeats the point of the law requiring all drivers to be insured.
Not sure what covers you mean here, but there is no law mandating any level of personal cover.
 

cremeegg

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3,018
Hi, my husband was driving my car last week and rear ended anot I was told that the whole matter is in question now as they are looking at not paying out at all because of the tyres... and if there are any third party damages they will be against me.

I dont have any money ...
If you contributed to this incident in anyway shape or form through negligence, how in all seriousness do you expect to be rewarded for this.
I don't expect the OP to be rewarded, I expect the Insurance company to make her whole, because she purchased insurance, against the risk that she might through her own fault damage her car.

Again insurance is for when you are at fault, you don't need it when you are not at fault.

For the insurance companies to split up the ways in which you can be at fault, damage caused by your careless driving (which is a criminal offence) is covered: damage caused by failure to maintain the car is not covered, in my opinion is underhanded.

People buy insurance in good faith, I am not sure insurance companies sell it on that basis.
 

MangoJoe

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124
How is it a good thing that this person didn't even manage to brake before the moment of impact? What if he had hit 2-3 kids on bikes?

- It seems to me that failing to hit the brakes is being suggested as some sort of a mitigating factor in driving around with 3 bald tyres?!?!?

In my opinion every user on this site is at the greatest risk of suffering life-changing, devastating and traumatic injury through their ordinary, daily road use at the hands of dangerously incompetent drivers.

OP you have my sympathies that you're tied to a speeding, tail-gating, individual who's happy to drive unmaintained cars dangerously and at great speed in close proximity to innocent people without having the wit, intelligence and good judgement to stop said car during the course of normal traffic events…...

I see people like your husband driving in this fashion every day of the week and couldn't have less regard for them.
 
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