I’ve just sent this letter to Direct Line:
Direct Line Insurance
3 Edridge Road
Wednesday June 5th 2007
RE: BMW Z3 Registration P192 PLR
Dear Sir, it is with regret that I must complain about the actions of Direct Line Insurance and its employees over the theft of my car, one BMW Z3 (P192 PLR). I have spoken to the financial ombudsman and they have requested I make this complaint to you in writing, giving you a period of 8 weeks to resolve the issue.
My car was stolen last summer from the Hillcroft Garage in Langstone, Newport. I notified Direct Line immediately and spoke to a Sarah from your claims department. She and I both agreed that the theft of the car was the fault of the garage, and thus their insurance company (Royal Sun Alliance) would be liable. She requested information from me, including a photo copy of my estranged wife’s driving licence.
I notified the wife by phone of Direct Line’s request. Rather than give me the information however, she took the insurance forms from my house when I was in work, and contacted Direct Line to remove me from the policy.
When I telephoned Sarah a few days later with the information she requested, she stopped me dead and explained she could not speak to me due to data protection.
At this stage Direct Line did not have the insurance details for the garage, nor did they have a crime number from the police. As they would not speak to me, I could not give it to them.
The car was then recovered some weeks later, and Royal Sun Alliance paid for the repairs to the car as it required a new engine.
It was then I discovered from my solicitor that my soon to be ex wife had claimed on my car, after it had been recovered and received over GBP6,000.
Sarah phoned me around December asking me to turn over the car to her, and wanted to know why I hadn’t informed Direct Line of its recovery. I explained that I did phone them, but she wouldn’t speak to me, and Direct Line never returned my calls.
I phoned again in January and spoke to Ray Harper and then Chloe O’Driscol, explaining my situation. She said she would investigate and get back to me. Naturally, she never did. I phoned again in May and once again requested to know what was going on. Chloe apologised for not doing anything, and said that if I sent my V5 in to her to prove the car was mine she would see about getting the marker removed.
I did this, but rather than get the marker removed Chloe said she was keeping the V5 and they were still insistent that they had acted properly, and wanted the car.
Chloe claimed that the policy holder (Mrs Jamieson – now my ex-wife) was entitled to have her own insurance company pay out on the car, even though the garage was clearly liable. It seems that Direct Line did not think there was anything suspicious about a person claiming on their own insurance for a theft that was not their fault, after barring Direct Line from speaking to the legal owner of the car!!!
If your car is stolen and someone else is liable, you don’t claim on your own policy… unless you have something to hide, such as the car isn’t yours.
I was tricked into sending the V5. Chloe said I would receive a letter explaining Direct Line’s decision. I never did.
I have to date not received any correspondence by post from Direct Line pertaining to my car.
Obviously I am extremely angry about the whole situation, as not only was my car stolen but the insurance money for it was also stolen, and I am the victim of crime twice.
Direct Line negligently paid out the wrong person, AFTER the car had been recovered without ever contacting the liable party’s insurance company or speaking to the police to get a crime number. Had they done either of these things they would have known the car had been recovered. Had they spoken to the owner of the car they would have known the car had been recovered.
I have since bought another car as obviously I required one for work, costing me over GBP200 per month. I am now repaying 2 cars and have been since September. I am of course still paying the loan on the Z3, and have over GBP6,000 to pay; hence I will not be handing over the car to Direct Line to cover their mistake. They paid the money to Mrs Jamieson, she was not the owner of the car, and they can get the money back from her.
As previously mentioned I am the victim of crime in that my car was stolen, with the Hillcroft garage admitting liability. I am not going to be made a victim again by Direct Line.
I would like this matter resolved within 8 weeks of the date of this letter, which is Wednesday August 1st. If the matter is not resolved the information will be passed on the financial ombudsman for them to deal with.
What I demand from Direct Line is the following:
- The return of my V5
- The marker removed from my car so that I can sell it
- Financial remuneration for the depreciation of the car since it has been off the road, GBP1,000
- Financial remuneration for the amount I have repaid in the loan on the car since it has been off the road, GBP190 per month and counting…
- Financial remuneration for storage of the Z3, GBP50 per week since December 2006 and counting…
- A written apology from Direct Line
Please reply to this letter on or before August 1st 2007. If the reply does not meet with my satisfaction a complaint will be made to financial ombudsman.