Suppose Alice was involved in a car accident, the other party admitted full responsibility and the facts supported such an interpretation. She would like to claim the value of the car from the other party, who was fully insured and is claiming the value of their car against their insurance policy. She does not wish to involve her own insurance company. She consulted the Citizens Advice webpage about small claims that suggested sending a ‘Letter before claim’.

Is this the correct procedure for this situation? To whom should she send the ‘Letter before claim’? The simplest answer would be an email to both the other party and the customer service email of the insurance company, but perhaps this is not the correct way. For reference, the insurance companies Contact Us > Make a Claim page only provides a telephone number and appears aimed at the policy holder not the injured party.

1 Answer 1


Strictly speaking, the other driver is the person responsible and the person whom you would sue if there was a lawsuit. Their insurance company's relationship is strictly between the other driver and the insurance company and you have no involvement in that relationship.

Because this is not a lawsuit, there is no direct harm to you in providing spurious notice to the other party's insurance company, which also might prevent the insurance company from denying the "at fault" driver's claim on the grounds that it didn't receive timely notice of a potential claim (possibly reducing the at fault driver's ability to pay you a settlement).

On the other hand, one reason that the at fault driver might want to reach a quick and favorable settlement with you is to avoid letting their insurance company discover that they had an accident because if they make a claim, that will probably increase their future car insurance premium. So, you might want to consider making first contact only with the at fault driver.

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