Crash driver ran up £95k hire bill

A train guard ran up car hire bills of more than £95,000 after his £8,000 Mercedes was written off in an accident, a court has heard

Three appeal judges ruled in favour of the insurance firm
Three appeal judges ruled in favour of the insurance firm

Sameer Umerji, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, entered into a credit hire agreement with a car rental firm which ran for around 18 months, judges were told.

Detail has emerged in a written ruling by the Court of Appeal - after Mr Umerji and insurers became embroiled in litigation.

One appeal judge, Lord Justice Underhill, said the car hire sum was "remarkable" given the value of the Mercedes.

A judge in Manchester County Court had ordered an insurance firm to pay most of the £95,000 after Mr Umerji took legal action, said the appeal court ruling.

Zurich Insurance, which had asked why Mr Umerji had not bought a replacement car, then appealed.

And three appeal judges made a ruling in the firm's favour after a hearing in London.

Appeal judges concluded that it would have been "reasonable" for Mr Umerji to have bought a replacement car within six months of the accident.

They said the amount Zurich had to pay should be cut accordingly - although they did not give a new figure.

Lord Justice Underhill said there was a "plethora" of cases about the recoverability of credit hire charges following car accidents.