WizPip: How can I get my insurance company to 1) agree that the front wheel was damaged in the accident and cough up the £1,130 for the wheel and brakes (which overheated because of the damage to the hub), 2) therefore refund my local garage for the 'warranty' repairs which I believe to be accident damage and 3) convince the insurance company that my story is the only story and thus win my case (and give me my £220 excess back)? Thanks in advance!
1) Obtain an independent motor engineers report at your cost, which shows that the accident damage was most likely to be the problem. I think AA/RAC can arrange or there may be other engineers locally that can provide a report. Check with the Insurers first, whether they will accept an independent report, before you pay for this.
2) Depends on info found out after 1) above. The garage may use this to pursue, if they can or want to.
3) You won't convince your Insurers, unless you have a court decision in your favour. No independent witnesses and no CCTV or other evidence to really help The only way you have of getting a 100% decision is to go to court. You would have to speak to your Insurers about the consequences of doing this. If you have any legal expenses Insurance on your Car Insurance, will they help ? Ask them.
Consequences could be of going to court, is that you have to pay the defendants costs and your Insurers will not rebate these to you. If the court comes to a worse outcome money wise, the Insurers may refuse to help you if they had not sanctioned the court action. So speak to your Insurers first and if you are not being given a reasonable explanation, ask to speak to a manager.