'€30,000 payout for 10kmh collision could destroy my livelihood'
A courier driver fears he could face financial ruin after his insurance company paid out nearly €30,000 to another motorist following a 10kmh collision.
Declan Duffy, who has worked as a courier in Portlaoise, Co Laois, for over 30 years, said he was horrified when FBD Insurance informed him about the exorbitant claim against him.
"I couldn't believe it," he said. "When I received the letter I rang FBD Insurance immediately and went ballistic.
"They didn't even give me a chance to defend myself."
Last year, Mr Duffy was out doing deliveries when he hit the wing of another car.
"It was my fault and I have never disputed that," he said.
"However, the damage was extremely minimal to both our vehicles and I expected it to cost €600 max.
"We settled the issue without any quarrel. There was no need to call the guards or even an ambulance."
The Portlaoise local said he didn't think much more about the incident until he received the letter from his insurer last week.
It stated: "Dear policy holder. We write to confirm settlement of the third party claim in the sum of €28,600.
"Please note in addition to the above sum we have also incurred costs/expenses/fees which total €1,256.82 and our final outlay amounted to €29,856.82."
Mr Duffy said that although his insurance company are footing the bill he will still suffer greatly with an increased premium payment.
"I have now lost my no claim bonus. My van insurance is €1,475 per year.
"But now it's going to increase by thousands of euro. "It could actually put me out of work and destroy my livelihood.
"I was so surprised how quickly this case was settled.
"I would love to know what evidence they had to support this person's claim.
"I really feel that this should have been brought before the courts.
"I was never given the chance to tell my side of the story, and I'm sure that if I did this person would receive nothing," he said.