Fortis Insurance, the insurer of the Land Rover involved in the Selby rail crash, has yet to admit liability for the £40m accident, despite the driver being charged. Fortis said claims relating to the March disaster were still being processed.
But claims director Alan Sendall has already confirmed that the insurer will pay out for claims relating to the injured and deceased. He expected the bill to run into “tens of millions”.
“We're keen for these claims to be handled compassionately and resolved quickly for those involved, who'll be going through a difficult period at this time,” he said.
Gary Hart, the driver of the vehicle, has been charged with causing the deaths of ten people by dangerous driving. Hart, a builder from Strubby, Lincolnshire, was released on police bail to appear before Selby magistrates on May 17.
He had plunged 150ft down an embankment from the M62 after his vehicle, which was towing a trailer carrying a Renault, missed a motorway barrier. He got out and called police on his mobile phone but, 40 seconds into the call, he saw the 4.45am Newcastle to London express hit the Land Rover.
The train remained upright after hitting the vehicle but then collided with an oncoming coal train. Among the dead were the two drivers of the coal train, the express driver and two other GNER staff. A total of 76 people were taken to hospital.
An official report into the train crash described it as “wholly exceptional” and said that the rail industry could not have done anything to prevent it. Hart's insurance policy provides unlimited liability for third-party claims and the case has already been touted as the most expensive in motor insurance history by industry experts.