The fraud trial against Hastings Insurance Services Limited that was to be heard tomorrow, 21 October 2020, in Fleetwood, Lancashire has been adjourned for a second time.
The matter of White v Hastings Insurance Services Limited was originally listed for 24 March 2020 and it was expected to be heard at Blackpool County Court, but an application made on behalf of Hastings, citing fears over COVID-19 resulted in the hearing being postponed for nearly seven months. Today, just hours before the trial was to begin, solicitors for Hastings requested a second adjournment.
Last week the company's solicitor wrote to the Clerk of the Court seeking permission for their witness to give evidence remotely or an adjournment, over COVID-19 fears. The judge denied the defendant's request.
Days later, the parties recorded a consent order that was reluctantly sanctioned by the court, adjourning the trial until early 2021.
Hastings is involved in a row with one of its clients over the insurance company's failure to settle a vehicle claim as agreed. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 311492), Hastings proposed a payout to its insured on a rear-end accident in July 2018 that was clearly the fault of the other driver.
After WireNews published an article that offended the company's management and was read by several of Hastings' employees, Hastings retaliated by 'voiding' the insurance policy from before the accident without giving a reason. Subsequently, an unsustainable excuse was offered by Hastings' management for the policy cancellation.
In 2008, the Financial Conduct Authority fined Hastings £735,000 in respect of breaches of Principle 6 of the FSA's Principles for Businesses, because of wholesale cancellations of customer policies.