Car Decision Reference 2023-0071

Case OutcomePartially upheld
Subject MatterCar
Date27 March 2023
Finantial SectorInsurance
Conducts Complained OfRejection of claim,Claim handling delays or issues, Dissatisfaction with customer service , Failure to process instructions
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Conduct(s) complained of:
Rejection of claim
Claim handling delays or issues
Dissatisfaction with customer service
Failure to process instructions
Partially upheld
This complaint relates to a motor insurance policy. The Complainant is represented by his
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant says that on 18th November 2020 he was involved in an incident while
driving, which resulted in a collision with a third party’s wall. An Garda Síochána appear to
have attended the scene of the incident, although it is unclear from the submissions whether
they were specifically called to the scene, or came upon the incident.
Sometime after the incident it appears that the property owner contacted the Provider
which rang the Complainant on 18th January 2021. The Complainant says that the Provider
asserts that during this phone call of 18th January 2021, the Complainant admitted liability
for the damage to the wall.
The Complainant’s son obtained a recording of the call dated 18th January 2021 from the
Provider and in his email to the Provider dated 12th April 2021 he submits that at the time
of this conversation his elderly father, who is in his eighties, had difficulty in understanding
the content of the phone call:
It is clear from the phone call of 18 January that your representative on the call is
fully aware from the start and throughout, that she is speaking to someone who has
serious difficulty understanding what is being discussed. The amount of repetition
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and calls for clarity indicate that it could not but be so. On no fewer than ten clear
occasions my father told your representative that he could not hear or understand
what was being said.
He frequently asked her to repeat what she had said. Her statements were often met
with long silences that were not broken until she spoke again”
In correspondence with the Provider, the Complainant’s son expresses his concern with the
Provider’s treatment of the Complainant:
In short, [the Provider has] seriously mistreated an old man I do not believe they
would have treated a middle-aged customer in this fashion … your treatment of my
father an [8x]-year old man, has been contemptuous and, unless you have reason to
say otherwise, amounts to abuse of the elderly”.
The Complainant’s son also states that, during the course of the call, the Complainant denied
liability for the damage caused during the incident:
he [the Complainant] clearly states on numerous occasions in the call that he does
not accept responsibility for any damage arising. He literally states at 12 mins 20 secs
that “there was no damage done”.”
The Complainant’s son says that although the Provider states that it wrote to the
Complainant on 19th January 2021, the Complainant never received any correspondence
from the Provider in or around that date.
The Complainant says that on 10th March 2021, the Provider wrote stating:
[t]he claim has now been closed and we have payments totalling €9,311.13 … you
have accepted that you are fully liable for the incident which gave rise to the claim.
Your No Claims Discount has been affected as a result of this incident”.
The Complainant’s son states that when he listened to a recording of the phone call of 18th
January 2021 between the Provider and the Complainant, there was:
no reference made to any negative consequences for my father, until the very end
and then in passing. The words “no claims bonus” are unmentioned … [r]ather, after
14 minutes of trying to listen to a cold-call from a stranger, my hard of hearing father
was told “you won’t lose all your discount – you’ll only lose part of it”.
The Complainant’s son submits that this sentence at the end of a long and very detailed
conversation was all the Complainant was told of the financial consequences for him “of
something he neither agreed nor consented to”.

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