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Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

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Meatyfool
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Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176879

Postby Meatyfool » October 29th, 2018, 12:19 pm

Hi,

I'll try to keep my sob story to Comfort Café (on a later date).

As a paid up member of the stupid brigade, I burnt down 2.5 sheds and one corner of our greenhouse in the summer, along with a number of trees/bushes belonging to the property behind ours.

Insurance has paid out and accepted to take the hit for the losses of the neighbour too.

On returning home from holiday, I find that the neighbour's insurers have sent their quote for reimbursement direct to me rather than to my insurer (they had the claim reference). I thought this odd until I noticed the covering letter referred to my negligence.

I am now catastrophising about being sued for something or other. Trying not to, but I've been here before, got the T-shirt.

The practical legal question is this: we have legal cover on our home insurance. My memory is a little vague at times like this, I seem to recall from previous posts here that insurance companies try to duck their responsibilities with regard to this (sorry, that is vague).

What does this legal cover actually provide, in general times? I know I could look up the schedule, but no certainty that will make things clearer!

If I was to be become a defendant to some litigation, would such a policy provide for legal fees? I presume it wouldn't cover damages if I lost?

Note: I am certain I wouldn't get legal aid, and I do have capital which I had hoped to spend on care for my learning disabled eldest son, rather than lose it to legal costs.

Thanks in advance,

Meatyfool..

Slarti
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176882

Postby Slarti » October 29th, 2018, 12:23 pm

I'd just forward the letter directly to my insurer, keeping a copy for my records, and let them deal with it.

That is what the insurance is for.

Slarti

Meatyfool
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176895

Postby Meatyfool » October 29th, 2018, 1:33 pm

Slarti wrote:I'd just forward the letter directly to my insurer, keeping a copy for my records, and let them deal with it.
Slarti


Indeed, that is what we will do. It is the fact that they knew to send it direct to my insurer but didn't and dropped the word "negligence" into the covering letter as well that is bothering me - hence the question regarding what "legal protection" is supposed to provide.

Meatyfool..

chas49
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176897

Postby chas49 » October 29th, 2018, 1:45 pm

Absolutely do not respond in any way at all but send to your insurer. If you respond to the other party, your insurer may take the view that you have prejudiced any action they would take on your behalf.

You do also need to look at your policy booklet to see if an incident like this is covered (regardless of negligence). I've just looked at mine (provided through esure) and, at first glance, I don't think I am covered for causing damage to someone else's property (whether it's accidental or negligent or otherwise). However, that is only one policy example and it's entirely possible you have cover.

I'm mindful of your other thread in Comfort cafe, so don't take any action precipitately. Come back and ask more questions here if you have them.

(edit: just for future readers, my policy actually says

Personal liability and your liability as occupier of your home
What is covered?
a) Personal liability
We will pay You or any member of Your Household up to the Policy limit shown in Your Schedule for all
compensation and legal costs, You become personally legally liable to pay as a result of accidents that are
not connected with You owning or occupying Your Home.
These accidents must result in:
• accidental death, bodily injury to, or illness of, any person (but not any member of Your Household or
Your employees); or
• loss of, or damage to property.
This is for all claims made against You or any member of Your Household as a result of any one incident.

b) Your liability as occupier of your home
We will pay You or any member of Your Household up to the Policy limit shown in Your Schedule for
compensation and legal costs, You become legally liable to pay for accidents happening in and around
Your Home as a result of being the occupier of Your Home.
These accidents must result in:
• accidental death, bodily injury, or illness to any person (but not any member of Your Household or Your
employees); or
• loss of, or damage to property.
This is for all claims made against You or any member of Your Household as a result of any one incident


so I do have cover for accidents "not connected" with owning/occupying my home, as well as those connected with that ownership/occupation

stewamax
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176923

Postby stewamax » October 29th, 2018, 4:05 pm

Remember also that if Mr Plod takes the view that the damage was intentional (i.e. arson, as opposed to stupidity), any fine you got would not be be covered by insurance since penalties for criminal acts are not insurable risks

chas49
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176925

Postby chas49 » October 29th, 2018, 4:10 pm

stewamax wrote:Remember also that if Mr Plod takes the view that the damage was intentional (i.e. arson, as opposed to stupidity), any fine you got would not be be covered by insurance since penalties for criminal acts are not insurable risks


That's generally true, but I don't think it applies to the OP as his insurer has already paid out for the damage to his own property.

jfgw
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176933

Postby jfgw » October 29th, 2018, 4:56 pm

Slarti wrote:I'd just forward the letter directly to my insurer, keeping a copy for my records, and let them deal with it.

That is what the insurance is for.

Slarti


You will probably find that it is a condition of your insurance that you forward any such correspondence, unanswered, directly to your insurer.

Julian F. G. W.

patrickmacqueen
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176934

Postby patrickmacqueen » October 29th, 2018, 5:12 pm

Not all insurance policies are the same, but here's what mine says:

a. Your liability as owner or occupier of the home
We will cover you against any claim for damages which you, as owner or occupier, may legally have to pay for an accident in or about the home which causes bodily injury or physical damage to property and happens during the period of insurance, provided that the claim is not excluded under this section or the general exclusions.
b. Your personal liability
If your contents are insured under Section 2 of this policy we will cover you against any claim for damages which you may legally have to pay for an accident which causes bodily injury or physical damage to property and happens during the period of insurance, provided that the claim is not excluded under this section or the general exclusions.


I can't see any wording here or elsewhere in the policy that excludes liability for negligence, and that is what I would expect - insurance is much less useful if it excludes negligence on the part of the policyholder.

You also say that your insurers have already accepted liability for your neighbour's losses as well as your own, so I really wouldn't worry.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#176937

Postby UncleEbenezer » October 29th, 2018, 5:37 pm

I believe most home insurance policies do cover personal liability to third-parties, not only at home (as you were) but even when out and about. So if you accidentally walk into someone and get sued, you claim on your insurance.

It's something I check carefully, to make sure my home insurance covers me when out on a bike. No additional premium required for that: the insurance risk there is too small to separate out.

IANAL. This is not legal advice.

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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#177016

Postby Clitheroekid » October 30th, 2018, 1:58 am

Meatyfool wrote:On returning home from holiday, I find that the neighbour's insurers have sent their quote for reimbursement direct to me rather than to my insurer (they had the claim reference). I thought this odd until I noticed the covering letter referred to my negligence.

I am now catastrophising about being sued for something or other. Trying not to, but I've been here before, got the T-shirt.

Stop worrying. The fact that your insurers have already paid out means that you're fully covered. The whole point of insurance is to provide you with an indemnity against the consequences of your negligence.

Think about it. If you hadn't been negligent the neighbour would have had no claim against you, so there would have been no need for insurance.

The practical legal question is this: we have legal cover on our home insurance. My memory is a little vague at times like this, I seem to recall from previous posts here that insurance companies try to duck their responsibilities with regard to this (sorry, that is vague).

Again, stop worrying. In the unlikely event that there were any legal costs arising out of this claim they would be paid by your insurers under their indemnity against public liability - in other words it's just another expense to be paid by them under the existing claim.

Legal expenses cover is an entirely separate section of your policy, and relates either to claims against you for which you aren't insured or claims that you want to make against a third party.

As has been said, just forward the letter to your insurers and they will reply to it. Don't even bother to acknowledge receipt.

Meatyfool
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Re: Help. About to be sued? Can't cope

#177150

Postby Meatyfool » October 30th, 2018, 2:25 pm

Many thanks one and all.

Got home from work and my wife had been told by our insurers it was a standard letter.

Just wish my brain wasn't wired to go fizz pop at the drop of a hat.

Meatyfool..


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