For an initial without obligation discussion about how ASM Plus’s services can help contact Paul Sandford, the ASM Plus director, on 0739365482 or 00351 968 898 080 which is linked to Whats App and Telegram.  Alternatively email Paul at paul.sandford@asmadr.co.uk

Dave was a self-employed painter and decorator who despite being a hard worker had a narrow customer base and little business acumen, hence only very modest earnings. Three years ago, he bought himself the most expensive second-hand van he could afford for £4000 which even then was not in very good condition. Subsequently, at a time when the van had depreciated in value and was only worth around £1000 Dave was involved in a road traffic accident. He was adjudged completely blameless by both the police and his motor insurance company. Dave’s insurers estimated that his vehicle would need £2500 worth of repairs hence it being treated as a “write off” and him being offered £1100 “in full and final settlement”.

Dave categorically rejected this offer. He maintained that in reality, he had lost a van that would cost £4000 plus to replace and he should be compensated accordingly. It was pointed out to him that the offer made by his insurance company was legitimate and consistent with his insurance policy. However, he declined to change his mind and continued to press for a pay out of £4000.

Matters were further complicated because of Dave’s misconceived view of his entitlement to compensation. Because of this the driver of the other vehicle involved in his RTA denied liability. Perhaps not unreasonably, Dave did not see that he should claim on his own policy and because he had a separate legal insurance policy, court proceedings were issued in the County Court in which he claimed compensation of £4000. Shortly after these court proceedings were issued, the driver of the other vehicle and his insurers decided to accept liability and offered £1000 in full and final settlement together with a small contribution towards Dave’s legal costs. This offer was also rejected by Dave and matters reached an impasse with him becoming ever more entrenched.

Eventually matters were resolved and Dave was paid £1100 in full and final settlement of his claim by the other driver’s insurance.  However, by that stage the two insurance companies involved and at least one firm of solicitors had expended considerable amounts of time and money. Dave’s insurers had to deal with seemingly endless telephone calls and letters. The solicitors who had been instructed to issue the County Court proceedings did what seemed like only minimal work but in the process of so doing ran up a bill of £2500 plus VAT. Two and half years passed before Dave received any money during which time his earnings reduced quite considerably. As time passed, Dave became even more angry and disillusioned and, although matters did ultimately resolve, channels of communication broke down and all concerned were very chastened by the experience. His insurers put the case down to “experience” and rather nonchalantly shrugged their shoulders.

Inasmuch as Dave had repeatedly declined to accept perfectly good advice given to him by solicitors, his insurance company and informally by two knowledgeable friends, it could be said that he was “to blame”. However, neither of the insurance companies who were involved really got to grips with things. The correct procedures were followed but nonetheless the outcome for all concerned was both costly and highly unsatisfactory.

Dave’s case was tailor made for a facilitated meeting. For a fee of £500 plus VAT all the interested parties could have participated in a promptly convened half-day online facilitated meeting. This would have not only have given Dave the opportunity to openly express his views directly to the other interested parties but for them to clarify their positions. They would also have had the opportunity to demonstrate that they had acted quite properly and that Dave’s valuation of his claim was both economically and legally unrealistic. Without in any way telling Dave and others what to do or how to conduct themselves, an ASM Plus facilitator could very simply have led the discussion, ensuring that all parties had their say and that they will listen to and that the realities of the situation were explained as an early point i.e. before things got out of hand. To this day, Dave bears a grudge and considers he was “sold on the river” even though, in reality he was not.

The true extent of the costs incurred by the two insurance companies involved in Dave’s case were probably never quantified. However, assuming a nominal hourly rate of £50 for each of the insurance companies and the huge amount of work that was undertaken, we suspect that including the solicitors’ charges these costs probably exceeded £10,000 plus VAT. All of this for a case with a realistic value of around £1000.