Police handed the other driver a $200 fine.

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
The two siblings were travelling to Esperance from boarding school in Morawa when the crash happened.
Camera IconThe two siblings were travelling to Esperance from boarding school in Morawa when the crash happened. Credit: Supplied

A mother of three has expressed relief that her insurance company has decided to pursue the international driver that ran a give way sign and totalled her $30,000 car last month.

Marni Devlin, who relocated from Geraldton to Esperance with her family in June, said her two daughters Averlii, 17, and Hayley, 16, were driving home from Morawa College of Agriculture on September 25 when the accident happened.

The female tourist, believed to be from China, was reading a map when she drove through a give way sign along Mogumber Road and hit the Devlin vehicle.

The siblings suffered facial burns from the airbag deployment, strained pelvises from seatbelts, whiplash and shock and had to be taken to hospital for medical treatment.

Police handed the other driver a $200 fine.

Ms Devlin said she had been left “in tears,” at the process of trying to recoup money for the accident, saying she had been hitting “brick walls at every turn.”

The car hire company, Redspot, were denying liability for the accident, because the driver had breached the terms and conditions of renting the car, according to Ms Devlin.

Ms Devlin also said her insurer, HBF, claimed that her daughters were not nominated drivers on her policy, though Ms Devlin insists she called the provider to update her insurance.

In response, Ms Devlin filed an official complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, insisting that HBF listen to the recordings of every phone call between her and a representative between 2016 to present.

Earlier this week, a HBF spokesman said they were complying with the request and helping Ms Devlin pursue the international driver.

“… HBF’s vehicle insurance is underwritten by CGU (part of the IAG insurance group) who manage all claims on HBF car insurance,” the spokesman said.

“I know that this particular case has been raised with IAG / CGU to handle through their formal Internal Dispute Resolution process and that this is currently ongoing.

“In the meantime I can confirm that unfortunately, Ms Devlin’s policy did not provide cover for her daughter. The type of policy Ms Devlin held excludes cover for anyone under the age of 25.

“That said I know that IAG / CGU are taking Ms Devlin’s concerns seriously and reviewing their conversations with her.

“I can also share that they will be contacting the police and the hire car company to help identify the other driver and take the appropriate steps to help recover Ms Devlin’s losses from the accident.”

Hire car company Redspot said they had launched their own investigation.

“Redspot provides accident damage cover to its customers in accordance with the terms of its rental agreement. In circumstances where a customer has not provided accident details, we seek to obtain these details so that we can verify the party at fault and determine liability,” a spokeswoman said.

“In the case you refer to we advise that we have not been provided with the accident details and are making our own investigations into the circumstances of the accident.

Should our investigations reveal that our customer is at fault and they have met relevant contractual obligations we will indemnify our customer for third party losses, such as those suffered by Marni Devlin.

“This may take time to resolve and we understand it can be frustrating.

“We will do our best to expedite the process and to keep Marni Devlin informed of our progress.

“We suggest Marni Devlin lodges a claim with her insurer or if uninsured, provides a letter of demand with supporting information to Redspot.”

Call for better education for foreign drivers, in tomorrow’s print edition of the Geraldton Guardian.

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