Car insurance claim scenarios

Car claim examples: who's right, who's wrong and when to make a claim 

Our claims scenarios should give you a better understanding of how the claims process works. If you think you need to make a claim, our guide to making a car insurance claim has everything you need to know, including helpful checklists and who to call.

Elliot was waiting at a side road intending to turn left onto a major road. He stopped at the line, and looked to his right. Having not seen anything approaching, he looked left, and began to pull out. 

As he began to straighten up, he was hit in the rear by Carla, who was coming along the major road. 

Elliot believed that Carla must have been speeding, as she had not been in sight when he began to pull out. He didn’t believe that he should be considered liable for the accident. In his mind, the accident only occurred because Carla was speeding. He believed the fact that he was hit in the rear proved that Carla was to blame.

Elliot hadn’t seen Carla before the collision, which meant that he couldn’t reasonably say that she was doing anything wrong. His assumption that she was speeding was down to the fact that, to his mind, she wasn’t in sight when he pulled out. 

The fact that his damage was to the rear of the car may have been relevant had the collision taken place some way down the road, but he’d confirmed to his insurance company that the collision had happened almost immediately after he had pulled out. 

This suggested that the collision occurred because Elliot had moved into Carla's path, leaving Carla unable to stop in time.

Carla may well have been speeding, which is a motoring offence, and would need to be proven to the authorities, but this didn’t remove Elliot’s duty to ensure that it's safe to emerge from a minor road onto a major one. 

Without evidence to suggest that Carla had been doing anything other than driving along the major road, it was considered that the underlying factor which caused the incident was the fact that Elliot didn’t make the proper checks before pulling out. Had he done so, he likely would have seen Carla approaching, and stayed where he was. 

Elliot was found to be 100% at fault for the collision.

John was driving along a main road through an unmarked crossroads.  Chris was coming from the opposite direction, but turning right, cutting the corner. As Chris turned, he hit the front driver’s side of John’s car.

Chris told his insurance company that he was going straight on, from the junction to John’s right. He said John had pulled out into his path, as he was proceeding, and he wasn’t able to stop in time.

Because the crossroad junction was unmarked, priority belonged to whichever car had entered first, if both drivers were going straight across. As the turning party however, Chris had a duty to ensure the oncoming path was clear before turning, but he denied he had turned at all, making out that John had failed to give way to him.

John was not to blame for the accident, and knew he needed to prove this.

John was able to speak to a passer-by who saw what happened and agreed to act as a witness. John took his contact details, and passed this to his insurance company, who were able to obtain a statement.

John also spoke to a local business that had CCTV footage that had captured the accident. Because he contacted them right away, they were able to save the footage. They also gave John their contact details so his insurance company could contact them and ask to review the footage. 

John had also taken photos of both cars before they had been moved, which showed Chris car was too close to the opposite junction to have been travelling straight across from John’s right. 

All of this enabled Johns insurance company to prove that Chris was to blame for the accident. Without the evidence, John may have been found partly, if not fully, at fault simply because Chris had told a different story.

Molly was driving in the left hand lane of a two lane road. She was in the correct lane for where she wanted to go, and had no reason to change lanes.

Jordan was in the right hand lane alongside Molly, and also in the correct lane for her intended route. 

Jordan, without indicating, changed lanes and clipped Molly’s car hitting the front driver’s side, with her rear passenger side.  

At the scene, Jordan apologised to Molly, and offered to settle the claim privately, without involving the insurance companies. Molly accepted this, and both drivers exchanged details, and went home. 

Neither driver reported the accident to their insurance company until sometime later, when the repairs proved to be more expensive that Molly had anticipated so she claimed from her insurance policy. 

When her insurance company approached Jordan’s insurers about the claim, they were told that Jordan was now saying that it was Molly who had changed lanes, and blaming her for the collision.

Molly’s insurance company asked her if she had any evidence to support her version of events. Molly said that as Jordan had accepted the blame at the time of the accident, she hadn’t felt it necessary to speak with witnesses, and the only photos  taken were of the damaged vehicles after they'd been moved off the road. She had no dashcam, but she did note there was a CCTV camera monitoring the stretch of road where the collision took place. 

Her insurance company made enquiries with the local council who operated the camera, but were told that the footage was only retained for 30 days. As the accident hadn’t been reported to Molly’s insurers right away, it had already been deleted by the time they became aware of the incident. 

The insurers reviewed the location of the accident, but as both drivers had been in the correct lane for where they said they were going, it was determined that neither driver had any reason to change lanes. 

They also looked at the damage to both vehicles, but were only able to determine that one car must have changed lanes; they were not able to determine which had done so because the damage could have occurred in the same manner, regardless who had been the one to change lanes. 

Without evidence, the cause of the accident was one word against the other, and so both parties were found partially liable for the accident.

David was in the car park of his local supermarket. As he began to reverse from his parking space at the centre of the aisle, his vehicle was suddenly struck on the rear passenger side bumper by Ruth, who was travelling through the aisle. The front passenger wing of Ruth’s vehicle was also damaged. 

Ruth apologised at the scene and they exchanged insurance details. When David reported the incident to his insurer, he explained he felt Ruth could not have been paying attention or else she would have seen him reversing out of his space.  David’s insurer explained that they were being held liable by Ruth’s insurer due to the fact that as the reversing party, the greater duty of care rested with them. This meant they would have to accept liability because Ruth had the right of way.


We review each claim and investigate liability disputes on an individual basis. This means resolution times can vary.