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This is a post lifted from a UK forum. It was posted by a long standing member from the community and regards a friend of his and his experience at the hands of the insurance company, Hastings Direct.

Though the company does not operate here in Ireland, it is still a cautionary tale and one worth noting when dealing with these kinds of tactics.


Original Poster: "A chap I know had a horrific, near-fatal accident in March and has received nothing but contemtuous treatment from Hastings. Here follows a little rant from him that he has said we can freely cut and past into any mtoring based forums we use, as his dealing with them are done. These are not my words, but those of a very poorly treated customer."

Hastings Direct

Having finally decided to settle and put this whole sorry episode behind me, I feel I am now fully justified in telling everyone who is interested, just how contemptuously Hastings Direct have recently treated me, I am not suggesting Hastings Direct treat all of their customers like this, however, I find it a bit hard to imagine they just thought this up for my case alone.

Allow me to explain.

I was involved in a RTA in March 2011, where I lost control of my bike, at low speed, while approaching temporary lights, resulting in me being thrown into the oncoming traffic and impacting a Luton van and sustaining a list of horrific impact injuries. At this point in time the suspected cause of the accident was road surface contamination.

Unfortunately, I had insured through Hastings Direct.

First, I arrive home after 8 weeks in hospital (5 of which in a coma) to letters from Hastings Direct threatening legal action for my not responding, despite the fact that they had been informed I was in a critical, comatose condition and could be for some time!

But of course, Hastings Direct will only deal with the policy holder, so what information they had been given, was apparently discarded or ignored.

Once the police had closed their investigation and released the bike, Hastings Direct, then authorised a third party to remove my bike from the police storage facility - without my consent - obviously authorising this third party to treat my bike with total disregard, by 'slamming' it down side first, causing yet more damage and transporting it across Scotland, laid on it's side consolidating the destruction.

Please bear in mind at this point, I have still not lodged a claim with Hastings Direct and as such the bike is still mine!

Why didn't I raise a claim? You may ask, well, the answer is simple, after speaking to the attendant police officers and having them describe 'cosmetic damage' and realising that I had my luggage system on board, I decided I wanted to view the bike for myself and have the opportunity to remove my luggage system and it's contents (fortunately for Hastings Direct , the contents amount to a set of waterproofs, a luggage net and a small tool kit - hardly worth mentioning, however, they were still my property).

I then receive a letter from Hastings Direct, stating they have assessed the bike as a write-off, containing an insulting offer of settlement and requesting that I send them my V5, MoT etc.

Important note here – I still haven't raised a claim!

So, I duly wrote them a letter expressing my concerns and the fact that, I had a luggage system that was not insured and I would like to view the bike myself BEFORE raising a claim.

This was totally ignored by Hastings Direct, who responded by saying that if I did not respond within 21 days they would consider the matter closed.

Then, Hastings Direct took it upon themselves to make my decisions for me. By selling my bike!

So I wrote a letter of complaint to Hastings Direct about my treatment thus far and I also informed them that all correspondence would be via the Royal Mail, that way I would have to pay their grossly inflated 0845 call charges (and I had a note of all correspondence from them).

I then received a letter from Hastings Direct stating that ... "In some cases apologies no matter how sincere are not enough and the only meaningful gift they have to offer me is financial"

Then they follow that up with yet another derisory offer.

At this point sheer desperation leads me to write a lengthy email to them and at the same time bring a solicitor in to aid me. She also expressed her outrage at they way Hastings Direct have treated me and my case so far.

Hastings Direct in coming to form a meaningful financial offer, send me photographs of the bike, after it had been stood out in a yard for at least two months, and then the third party had attempted to reduce it to iron filings and ask me to justify the damage and condition?!

Oh, and of course Hastings Direct made no mention of the luggage system that they had taken and sold without consent.

I then discover from my solicitor, that the 'meaningful gift' is actually the market value of the bike (which I believed was the risk I had paid them to take in the first place, via the policy) minus a host of arbitrary deductions, which turned out to be little more than the original derisory offer made to me, after the bike was illegally sold.

Also Hastings Direct asked me to justify the stolen luggage.

Bearing in mind, I have still not lodged a claim, can you now see where my abject disgust comes from, having to deal with insurers who act with seemingly "criminal" abandon, as well as having to recover from near fatal injuries.

So after a bit of to and fro, between Hastings Direct and my solicitor, Hastings Direct finally up the Meaningful Financial Gift and offer me the market value of the bike and a little bit more for the luggage, which they quite rightly stated wasn't insured, which was why I never raised a claim in the first place, however, they deducted their excess and a few arbitrary deductions and we get back to the basic market value of the bike – Now what I can't understand here is, how can they deduct excess when I still even to this very day, have not raised a claim! – we were seeking return of the vehicle or suitable compensation, obviously Hastings Direct retain 'excess' from compensation payouts as well.

Ultimately I was advised to settle for this insult as to take it to court, would end up costing more than I would stand to gain by winning the case.

So even when Hastings Direct acted in my opinion illegally and would lose in court, they could still win, how bizarre!

Well, this is all behind me now, so why did I write this? Well in my email to Hastings Direct, I promised that I would write a narrative of the shameful and contemptuous way Hastings Direct have treated me and publish it as widely as possible, so here I am keeping to my word.

Oh and just as a final footnote, to add to injury and insult, Hastings Direct blatantly lied to me! I received a closing letter from one of their complaints operatives, stating that Hastings Direct and the third party both offered to have the luggage system and rack removed and returned to me.They never did and still haven't.

As I was in a severe state of disability, I was trying to work out a way to get across Scotland and remove this kit for myself, so I would have jumped at this opportunity, had it been offered.

Clearly from this you can see I will never even consider Hastings Direct again but I leave you, the reader, to come to your own conclusions. The saddest aspect of this is that in a few weeks this narrative will be all but forgotten but Hastings Direct will, most likely, still be putting profits over customer service and treating cases like this with utter contempt.



Please feel free to cut and paste this into any motoring based forums or chat rooms, to give people a little bit of information, so they can make a more informed choice before renewing any insurance.
 

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Just one of the guys
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I would have given serious consideration of filing a complaiint with the local police for a stolen motorcycle.
 

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Sounds to me like they went to college in the US, studying finance or management.

I have a similar story I will post later...
 

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DougW wrote:
I would have given serious consideration of filing a complaiint with the local police for a stolen motorcycle.
While reading the story, this is exactlly what I was think!
 

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The problem is that insurance companies have big legal staff's with deep pockets.And when they make a desigion they like to fight for it even if it's wrong they do it on principle.
wilf
 

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If you have the ownership papers and have never filed with the company for a claim then the bike is still yours.

The police can go and get the bike back for you, the insurance company stole the bike and sold it illegally, and the new owner has purchased a stolen motorcycle. The new owner would have to file their own police claim against the insurance company for their own recompension.
 

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Here in Calif. (and I'm sure other states) we have a Department of Insurance. Any complaints of Insurance company misdealings will be looked at and dealt with fairly. The minute the Farmers Insurance company was notified of my claim by the Dept. of Insurance they sent me a check in full for the claim they had previously denied several times! :thumbsup:
 
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