These case studies have been modified so as not to identify any actual cases at FIDReC. They are provided for purposes of learning and are not necessarily indicative of outcomes at FIDReC.
Jason drove his car into several parked cars late one night. Jason’s car was badly damaged. As Jason felt discomfort in his chest, he went home to rest. The next morning, he received a call from the Traffic Police. They told him that his car was found unattended at the accident scene, and they towed it away. Jason retrieved the car, sent it for repairs, and made an insurance claim.
The insurer investigated the claim and interviewed Jason. They observed that there were decals of a delivery company on Jason’s car. The insurer informed Jason that they would not be paying his claim and would void the policy. They explained that Jason had “abandoned” his car after the accident. Jason also failed to notify them that he was using the car for commercial purposes. These actions breached the insurance policy conditions.
Jason appealed unsuccessfully to the insurer and approached FIDReC for help.
At mediation, Jason explained that as it was late at night and he felt unwell, he went home to rest. He planned to see the doctor the next day. He also explained that he had started freelancing with a delivery company because his wife lost her job. His family needed the money, and he was unaware that he needed to notify his insurer.
The insurer’s representative explained that the insured driver must ensure the car does not suffer from further damage after a motor accident. The representative also explained that the insurance policy was a private car insurance. However, Jason had used his car for “hire or reward”. Even so, the representative empathised with Jason’s financial situation. The representative offered to negotiate with the third-party claimants on Jason’s behalf.
Jason rejected the offer and referred the case for adjudication. At adjudication, the Adjudicator found that Jason had breached the insurance policy conditions. The insurer was entitled to reject the claims and repudiate the insurance policy. Jason’s claim was dismissed.
Key Learning Points
- Call your insurer’s 24-hour hotline for help or advice after an accident. If you are injured or unwell, call the relevant authorities for assistance.
- Read the Motor Claims Framework for what to do in the event of a motor accident.
- A private car insurance policy covers use of the car for social, domestic and pleasure purposes. It you wish to use the car for other purposes, like carrying goods or passengers for payment, you should declare these to your insurer.
- The Policy Schedule or Certificate of Insurance contains information on the amount and scope of cover. Do check that the details are correct after receiving the policy documents. Notify your insurer immediately to correct any errors.
- Update your insurer as soon as possible if there is any change of circumstances, e.g., change in the driver’s profile, or change in the use of the car. It is safer to assume that all information is material to the insurer to avoid disputes later.
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