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Study sponsored by Department of Transport looking for people who have been caught drink driving to take part in telephone interview. More details here.

Admiral Insurance Drink and Drugs policy

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Hi DD, I guess the question is (a) Are they required by law to settle the Third Party claims - Answer YES they can't simply walk away and then (b) Can they legally pass these costs onto the driver and or policy holder - Answer YES if they have a clause in their policy that states that then (c) Can they simply pass on any costs they want to - completely unlimited - to the driver/policy holder - I doubt it and (d) if they have a policy to pass on costs are they legally obliged to have acted in good faith to minimise these costs to their customer - I suspect they do otherwise for all of these cases they would/could simply pass the problem straight to a debt collection agency as soon as the conviction happens and wash their hands of it. Why otherwise go through the process in the first place. If they are obliged to minimise these costs then they must comply with all requests for scrutiny and challenge? At what point do they hand this over to a debt collection company? and does that resolve them of any responsibility from that date? Were you dealing with 'Admiral' or a 3rd party? When you take out an Admiral policy over the phone they do not mention this clause. Then they send you 4 documents over e-mail none of which has this clause in it. They rely on you reading through a separate 40 page policy document. Given they are the only insurance company that has this clause then they should include it in those 4 documents and highlight it over the phone as a key difference in their policy. There is a case for hidden misrepresentation here especially as they heavily market multi-vehicle insurance - it is virtually impossible to insure younger drivers full except via Admiral - the reason why is simple - Admiral recover these costs whereas other insurance companies don't so their premiums are higher and unattractive. Admiral need to make this much clearer as I think most parents would not sign up to this clause and would simply tell their offsprings to wait till they are 25! - Time to call this out. And before the trolls turn up its not disimilar to the people who have been flooded recently. Some of them didn't read the 'no floods' clause and are not covered!
Has your son signed an indemnity form with Admiral?
I think they use it as some sort of admission but also say if you sign they'll help reduce the costs. It's a form of blackmail in my opinion.

I took out the policy on the phone. I requested the recording and they couldn't find it.

I totally agree about the paperwork and the responsibility of the policyholder to read all the terms and conditions. They need to clearly point out the major exclusions very clearly. You also need to read part of the Road Traffic Act to understand it fully. It's a ridiculous expectation and I suspect the majority of people do not get past the price and the extras like legal cover and hire car.

Comparison websites don't highlight this significant difference do they? When people look for insurance it is mainly driven by the price.

Also, if you have named drivers on the policy do you run them through all the T&Cs?
I'm not sure legally how they can have accepted them, but Admiral will claim you did.

See if you think there is enough evidence to raise a case with the FOS.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
My main argument has always been that you sign up to unlimited liability should you, or the driver be convicted of drink or drug driving.

It is highly irresponsible to drink/drug drive but what about the drivers using their phone or fiddling with the satnav? They are equally at fault as a drink driver if they have an accident.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
You can look at decisions made by FoS HERE
Use keyword Drink or Alcohol
Business name Admiral Insurance Company

The main theme in the decisions is that the Drink/drug clause is clear and the Policyholders cant claim they weren't aware (I disagree with this)

Here are some examples I have found. Worth searching for more to perhaps find cases involving named drivers.
Case 5 below is more about the reduction in the claim from £24k to less than £11k because on Admiral incompetence.

Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Case 4
Case 5 - probably most relevant
 

CPWP

Member
Thanks DD - Looks like Admiral send out an exhorbitant claim because to start with due to simply agreeing to 3rd party costs and then accept lower number later. Does the FOS send their findings to Admiral or is this simply between the FOS and the individual i.e. if you take the case to the FOS abd the rule here that the claimant reasonable costs was so £10K vs £24K does that effectively mean you must then pay the £10K?
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Signing the indemnity seems to make no difference in the way they settle the claim. In many cases the credit hire costs of a temporary car far outweigh the value of the car damaged in the accident. Plain wrong in my opinion.

Insurers used to get referral fees to pass their customers with non-fault claims to a claims management company. I believe that practice was outlawed but the process just stinks. So if someone hits your car and it's their fault your insurance company will typically do absolutely nothing to help you with the claim. They just pass you to a claims management company who inflate all the costs so they get a nice profit.

The Ombudsman is an 'independent' arbitrator.

Their job is to provide a service to protect the man in the street from unfair practices by financial services companies.
It is up to the consumer to raise a case with the ombudsman.
If the complaint is upheld (in full or part) the decision and direction they give to the Financial Services company is mandatory and binding.
In my sons case it was partially upheld and Admiral had to remove any reference to a claim on my policy. I had to go back to the Ombudsman to chase them up because they hadn't updated the CUE database which holds claims data shared with other insurers.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Just look at the difference in approach by LV= LV case involving alcohol

In this case the consumer was complaining that LV didn't pay out when she put her car in a ditch.
LV said she did damage to the car trying to extract it. There is an exclusion for deliberating causing damage.
Police smelt alcohol on her breath. She refused a breath test.

Rather then just say they won't pay out because of DD offence they said it was a contributing factor to her over-revving the engine and damaging it.

No Drink/Drug driving exclusion clause in the LV policy.

I do all my insurance with LV now, motor, household, pet.

Worth checking if other insurers have the same exclusion as Admiral. I haven't looked recently and I think only Zurich may have had it but withdrew it for policies sold through brokers. Or direct sold, I can't remember.

Anyway I think this exclusion is still very rare and not as the Ombudsman has said that it is common. If rare then it needs to be made clearer and specifically called out to the consumer before they purchase.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
You can look at decisions made by FoS HERE
Use keyword Drink or Alcohol
Business name Admiral Insurance Company

The main theme in the decisions is that the Drink/drug clause is clear and the Policyholders cant claim they weren't aware (I disagree with this)

Here are some examples I have found. Worth searching for more to perhaps find cases involving named drivers.
Case 5 below is more about the reduction in the claim from £24k to less than £11k because on Admiral incompetence.

Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

Case 4
Case 5 - probably most relevant
Made a mistake with the first three links and can't edit them.

This one is interesting. Signing the indemnity is possibly a good idea because Admiral are committing to minimise the costs.
This case clearly highlights how useless they are Case 6
 

CPWP

Member
DD in terms of process - did you complain only with Admiral in the first instance and then took it to the FOS when Admiral did not uphold your issues or did you apply to the FOS early on and inform Admiral of that i.e. the two things going on in tandem? Presumably any complaint to the FOS needs to be long and detailed covering all of the issues, costs etc
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
You have to exhaust the complaints process with Admiral first to try to resolve it with them.

Start the challenges with the team handling their claim against you. I'm sure there's lots of questions and challenges and demands for detailed breakdown of cost and requests for report. Give them a chance to make further mistakes and complain to them.
Then when you've exhausted that avenue raise an official complaint with their complaints team. Make it as detailed as you can but focus on areas where there is a legitimate issue. It might split into two complaints, 1 for policy and another for the claim.
They have to reply, usually within 8 weeks.

If you are not happy with their response then you can raise a case with the FoS.
Sounds like you are on the ball so I would document the complaint yourself rather then let the FoS do it for you.
I don't think you can complain about anything you haven't raised with Admiral already.
The other FoS cases will give you some idea of what to expect and what their response might be.

I would do some research to see if other companies have the same clause. You can trawl through the policy documents on the various websites and check.
FoS think it's common. I don't believe it is because I've looked in the past, plus all the people on this thread have had the issue only with the Admiral Group of companies including Admiral, Bell, Diamond and Elephant. They also own Confused.com comparison site.
The more you can do the better and include the links to those documents in your complaint to Admiral and the FoS.
Also trawl the FoS case history to see if there are complaints raised against other Insurers so you can reinforce the rarity aspect

It will be a massive challenge to get the FoS to backtrack on this but highlighting this is very rare and not the norm is something that would help your case and others. This doesn't appear to have been done before and you need to try something different.
The expectation that people thoroughly read the policy T&Cs is nonsense.

It looks like the FoS will look favourably on inflated, unchallenged claims especially if your son signed the indemnity. If he hasn't there is evidence that Admiral don't treat it any differently anyway.
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Esure ad Co-Op have an alcohol clause.
Lloyds Bank and LV don't

Maybe not as rare these days but it's clearly not all insurers

Many insurers don't send you the policy document until you bought the policy it seems. Difficult to check some insurers.
 

CPWP

Member
Thanks DD - I think everyone on this thread (other than the trolls) appreciate the resilience you have shown in this area and the information and advice you have shared. I will share my journey accordingly and will actively campaign to make people to ask themselves this question "Do you think your son and/or daughter is 100% unlikely ti fall foul of this clause" - If your answer is NO do not under any circustances use Admiral or related companies insurance, If you answer is YES then fine but if you are wring prepare for bankruptcy!
 

CPWP

Member
Hi DD, During the process were you contacted by the solicitors defending the claim on behalf of Admiral or only by Admiral once the claims were all settled?
 

Depressed Dad

Well-known member
Hi DD, During the process were you contacted by the solicitors defending the claim on behalf of Admiral or only by Admiral once the claims were all settled?
No solicitors involved. Just Admiral staff after the claims were settled.

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