My son is suffering after £20,000 compensation cheque was lost

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Three years ago my son was injured after being knocked off his bicycle by a car, which had pulled out in front of him. The car driver’s insurer, Esure, accepted liability in July this year, and the long process of his recovery could begin.

As part of the agreement, Esure was supposed to make a compensation payment of more than £20,000 by mid-August. The problem is that the cheque that was sent failed to arrive at the firm of solicitors acting on his behalf, Leigh Day.

We have since been told that the cheque was somehow intercepted, presented to the bank and cashed, obviously not by my son.

Since then, Esure has been conducting a painstakingly slow investigation with the bank to establish what happened. It has refused to reissue the compensation payment until that process has been completed. We have now been waiting more than four months, and my son continues to suffer.

He will have a long-term problem with his injury and needs this money to start the rehabilitation process. No one appears to be doing anything to speed this up.

SM, Bristol

I think it will surprise many readers that insurers are still using cheques to settle large claims such as this – especially a company such as Esure, which claims to be focused on using “industry-beating technology”.

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Large cheques can be cashed by fraudsters who open a bank account using fake ID for that sole purpose.

However, this wasn’t your problem. It has made your case much easier that the cheque was sent to your solicitor.

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I suspect that had you sent the insurer a cheque for its services that was then lost or intercepted, it would be on the phone pretty quickly to demand you pay up.

On that basis, it should have done the same for you.

Happily, a call to Esure has prompted some action and, you guessed it, a new cheque has been sent out, and confirmed as received at Leigh Day.

Esure would only say: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the delay. This matter has now been resolved.”

Leigh Day says it had been doing “all it could” to resolve the matter, and has called for insurers to move away from the use of cheques as a payment method.

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