Apologies if this is the wrong 'stack' for this question, I did consider law, but a quick search of stacks showed insurance questions being asked here.
I had car insurance, I was hit, they party had car insurance (with the same insurer).
We rang ours, got a claim number, they told us to use theirs as it was their fault.
The repairs were done but the car was un-drivable - long dispute because they claim it was wear and tear and lack of service rather then the accident (but there was never a proper investigation into the issue on hand - lots of specific, not relevant to the question).
When I try to ring my insurance, they won't deal with it saying its now handled by the complaints team, and always put me through to them, and if I argue I want to speak to my insurance and make a claim, they say I can't and have to talk to the ombudsman. (Now we have a final notice etc).
So at this point, we take it to the ombudsman, after much more time wasted with them not repling (the insurance), the insurers claim:
"have stated that you don’t meet the requirement of an eligible complainant because the manner in which they’ve dealt with the claim hasn’t been done so against your own policy."
The ombudsman informs me that this is valid - you can't complain about something that isn't your policy (which makes sense, I can't register a complaint about, for example, the way my next door neighbours insurance paid out when their washing machine flooded their house for example).
I've already told the ombudsman that I've tried to deal with them as my insurers but they wouldn't let me start a claim - but what is the limitations of the Ombudsman? Is there any other help available? Does not that I'm making a claim on their insurance not make me some sort of temporary customer of theirs and protected by law?
Who regulates and controls 3rd party insurers at this point?
In future, should I always refuse to go through the 3rd party insurance and always claim on my own if this is a valid loophole?