Write-off wreck puts her on the bus

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The Independent Online
DOROTHEA SANDALL says she is fed up with the inconvenience that has resulted from a motor accident that was not her fault. Her car has been written off, she says, and she has had to travel by public transport.

Mrs Sandall said she bought the car on 31 August and insured it, through a broker, with Halifax Insurance (a company that is not connected with the Halifax Building Society). Just two weeks later, while stationary in a line of traffic, her car was run into from behind.

'The force of the impact pushed me into the vehicle in front,' she said.

She promptly submitted a claim form to Halifax. She also had an extra feature on her policy - uninsured loss recovery.

Uninsured loss recovery enables a firm to act for you to try to recover charges such as hire charges that you cannot claim from your own insurers.

Mrs Sandall wanted to hire a car while the claim was being settled. But it was not certain whether the other driver was insured. The uninsured loss recovery firm advised her that if he was not there could be a problem reclaiming the hire charges.

In the circumstances she decided to hire for only one week at a cost of pounds 95. Since then, she has struggled along on public transport.

Meanwhile, she is concerned about the time taken by Halifax to deal with her claim.

'I have had to pay for a hire car for a week when I could not manage without a car. I have had to walk to work and use public transport for other journeys. I have not been able to visit my elderly mother, or my daughter who is about to have a baby. I have had to borrow money to buy a new car,' she said.

We spoke to Halifax last Wednesday. On Thursday the company made Mrs Sandall an offer to settle her claim.

A spokesman for Halifax said: 'There was a delay, which was unfortunate and regretted by Halifax. The offer to her was ready to go.'

Paul Coppin, a solicitor, said: 'If you have an accident and the other party is not insured, then you can direct your claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau. However, they subtract pounds 175 from whatever they pay out. If your claim is below that amount, then they will not pay anything.'