New Zealand Law
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If they will not negotiate then you have the option of taking this claim to the Disputes Tribunal where you are able to argue that not all the damage was caused by you. The tribunal referee can rule on whether you should pay all or some and also make an order about payment by instalments. So you should tell the insurance company you want to dispute this in the Dsipites Tribunal and they will have to lodge a claim against you. You dont need a lawyer for this.
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He can lodge a claim with the Tribunal himself. He was not given correct information, and this is mentioned on their website. But he can also wait for the Insurance company to file a claim. Debt collectors do not have any special powers and if they ask him to pay, he can tell them he disputes the account and the insurance company will have to file a claim in the Tribunal. If they challenge this, then he has to contact the insurance company and say they must file in the tribunal. At the tribunal hearing he can give a full explanation of what happened together with any evidence which he has. he can bring a support person to help him.
Dont let the debt collector or the insurance company bully you or Leon. He has the right to make them prove their claim and raise any issues which are important
Be assertive with them. They will know you are serious