Car Insurance claim

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DJD200, 13 Apr 2015.

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  1. DJD200

    DJD200 Member

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    Hi all

    In January I was hit from behind while waiting/giving way at a roundabout. To cut a long story short, my car has been deemed beyond economical repair. The bumper is damaged, and the panel behind is also damaged. Otherwise the car is roadworthy, and not dangerous. I also have a personal injury claim ongoing due to having been diagnosed with whiplash.

    My insurance company is saying it is their policy to take the car for a payment, also they will only proceed with the claim if I accept this offer, and they only have verbal acceptance of liability from the third party (I have had nothing of the sort in writing and it doesn't look like I will get such). This leaves me at risk of losing my no claims and my premiums going up if the third party insurance decides not to accept full liability. I don't appear to have any other option, I feel I am being backed into a corner, therefore I'm wondering on the best course of action, do I:

    1) accept the payment and let the car go (I'm told this will not affect my PI claim in any way but it will obviously be very time consuming and involving for me to have to look for another car and sort insurance, etc.,

    2) challenge the policy by taking the car to my local garage and getting a written quote (also maybe a pre-MOT to see if it would be worth keeping at all) to possible prove it would be cheaper for me to keep the car,

    3) tell the insurance company to forget the claim and keep the car (if the policy cannot be challenged and if I even still would have that option now its been written off so to speak)

    I know the obvious answer is take the money and run, but not knowing how much time I would be allowed to decide, I don't see why I should have to rush going through the process of buying another car and risking buying a bad car. IF the solicitors say I can claim it back, I could take a couple of days off unpaid. I intend to ask them that tomorrow.

    Would appreciate any advice from those in the know.

    DJ
     
  2. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    You don't have to take the first offer your insurance company makes to you. If you don't agree, tell them and ask them to reconsider their offer.

    The worst that could happen should be that they will say no. No reputable insurance firm will get the hump and make a worse offer than their original.

    Don't forget that insurance companies are not your friend, they are not on your side, their sole aim in life is to dish out max profits to their shareholders by minimising the amount they pay out in claims whilst maximising the amount they can get away with charging in premiums (hence they do not offer loyalty discounts, instead relying on your inertia to allow yourself to be ripped off).
     
  3. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I have experience of quite a few motor insurance claims.

    I can't recall one in which the Insurers would accept an instruction to 'forget the claim' once a claim form has been received. The calculation of no-claims-bonus appears to be triggered on receipt of the claim. I'd be interested to know if any insurers would allow a claim to be abandoned without impacting the calcultation of N-C-B.

    It is true that insurers generally prefer to write-off vehicles for a nominal value rather than bear the cost of extensive repairs by approved repairers with all the liabilities for future safety or reliability that might follow. They are unlikely to consider a repair costing 60% of the market value. This is why there is such a vigourous trade in 'written-off' vehicles which are repaired at low cost by small businesses with lower overheads who can sell them on as 'Cat C' or 'Cat D' repairs. It is legal for an owner to buy back their own written-off car from the Insurers after a 'Cat C' or 'Cat D' repair. (Categories A & B are deemed unsafe for use on the roads, even after repair).

    This doesn't answer all of your queries but I hope it helps. Other forums may be able to give more specific advice on motor vehicles.

    I agree. I have successfully negotiated a settlement price upwards, sometimes in more than one round of negotiation (though some solid evidence of the actual market value in your locality might be necessary).
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2015
  4. DJD200

    DJD200 Member

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    My thanks to you so far. My insurance company has said about them dropping the claim to the third party insurer if I don't continue.

    My point is not about the figure/offer but whether or not I can challenge their policy of not giving me an option whether to keep the car. I'm guessing it is a Cat C or D.

    DJ
     
  5. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    I had a similar experience a few years ago and although I can't remember the details I do know that was able to buy the car off the insurance company very cheaply and run it for a while until I got a replacement, I was even able to trade it in when buying another.
     
  6. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Member

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    Quite right. Some time ago my partner's insurance company deemed her car as "beyond economic repair" but she refused to accept that. She insisted on getting a quote from a body shop other than the insurance company's "preferred repairer." They agreed and the quote came in cheap enough for the repair to be agreed.
     
  7. snail

    snail Established Member

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    You can try challenging it but most insurance policies will have a condition saying that the car becomes their property if it cannot be economically repaired. If you disagree with their calculations of the value of the car then complain and ask to escalate to the Financial Ombudsman if you think it's worth it.
     
  8. DJD200

    DJD200 Member

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    I've already spoken to the ombudsman and unfortunately they weren't too helpful. They left me wondering if I should find out if I would have right to appeal if I agreed to go through with it and liability was not accepted by the third party insurer.

    I asked my insurance company about buying it back and they said that is not an option. It was their approved garage that initially said it looked like I could take a payment and keep the car.

    If I took it to my local garage and got a written quote for repairs, and not full replacement of bumper, would they accept this? Even if this was less than the excess could it mean closing the case with no risk to my NCB. I could at least still keep the car and have the repairs done in my own time.

    Thanks

    DJ
     
  9. pdq

    pdq Member

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    An insurance repair has to be to 'as new' standard using - I think - oem parts. For older cars this is why it's often beyond economic repair for an insurance job, whereas arranging it yourself with a local bodyshop using pattern parts can be much cheaper but unacceptable to the insurance co.
     
  10. snail

    snail Established Member

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    The ombudsman will only get formally involved after the insurer has dealt with the claim and you have exhausted their complaints process.

    There is some general advice on their website:
    http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/technical_notes/motor-valuation.html#16
    Case 66-03 here may be similar to your situation?
    http://www.financial-ombudsman.org....an-news/66/66-vehicle_valuation_disputes.html

    As for your no claim discount, just reporting the accident will make a higher premium possible. Even if they let you repair the car yourself and keep your discount they could charge more because you have had an accident. Going to another insurer may not help you either because you would have to tell them about the damage, or risk making your policy void by not mentioning it.
     
  11. DJD200

    DJD200 Member

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    But was it in their terms and conditions that they have to take the car after being deemed beyond economical repair. If it was she must have disputed it?

    Thanks

    DJ
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Well I've now been offered around the amount I bought the car for. Which could sound fair enough, not including the time and hassle its would take to find, test, buy and insure a replacement.

    Option 1) The offer includes an amount of over £300, salvage deduction (why am I being expected to pay this?) Could I also try and find the name of the salvage company and try and buy it back from them, for what my boss reckons would be this figure?

    Option 2) My boss has suggested I try this: call my insurance company and tell them I don't wish to proceed with the claim. I just don't know if I have any right to do this.

    There is more to this, such as the disgraceful customer service I have been subjected to, but I can only think that the two options might be my only hope of keeping a roadworthy car and avoiding the (in my view) unnessecary hassle of having to find a replacement.

    Thanks

    DJ
     
  12. Feathers44

    Feathers44 Member

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    When I ran mine into the side of someone turning across me in February at a level crossing (so forum relevance is maintained!) my insurance company offered me a price for it in lieu of fixing it (13yrs was too old to be economic).

    Associated with that, however, was the offer of selling it back to me for 20% of the payout and continuing to insure it etc. I could have repaired it locally within that budget but what they didn't tell me is that if I did that, I'd apparently also need to re-register it, re-MOT it and jump through a few other hoops to get it off the write-off list.

    Needless to say, none of that would be free.

    Fortunately, I'd already taken the money and run before I found out any of that.
     
  13. DJD200

    DJD200 Member

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    I have experienced this before, and consider it excellent customer service. It would appear that my company, in writing their policy, is saying in advance we don't care about our customers. One to remember when looking for future renewals.

    What I'm trying to find out is if I can challenge or get round this policy. It has mentioned somewhere else thata claim can be changed to "for information only" and ended, but I'm not sure how far down the line this could be attempted or whether it has to be honoured.
     
  14. snail

    snail Established Member

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    Yes, that's mentioned in the first link I posted above:
    The same paragraph of the FOS advice explains what should happen with salvage. I think (giving them the benefit of the doubt), what they mean is that you get their offer + the £300 they will receive from the salvage company. It's an accounting trick that will make their claims settlements look slightly lower at the end of the year.
     
  15. Feathers44

    Feathers44 Member

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    I actually did that the month before (not a good winter for me) but I went in on that basis from the first call so don't know how late you can leave it.
     
  16. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    If you sell it to the insurance company and then buy it back, please don't forget that Vehicle Excise Duty has now got much more involved, hence difficult. Loads of horror stories in the financial problems pages of newspapers of cars getting crushed etc just because the paperwork wasn't in sufficient order for the nitpickers who rule our lives, even with the best of intentions on the car owner's part. DVLA taking a leaf out of TOCs book?
     
  17. DJD200

    DJD200 Member

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    "Since 7 April 2003 all category A, B and C vehicles notified to DVLA must pass a Vehicle Identity Check before they can be returned to the road. This is to confirm that the vehicle is the original registered one and not stolen – its roadworthiness or repairs are not looked at. (See The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2002.)"

    I've read this too, £40 and take it to a DVLA testing centre. Sounds simple but if that's all it takes...

    UPDATE: I've got the solicitors' engineer coming to look at the car tomorrow, and a letter drafted to the insurance company. I've been told by my local garage it wouldn't take much to fix, so hopefully the engineer will look at it tomorrow and say I can repair it. I realise it will probably affect my premium next time, though I will be honest when it comes to phoning around come renewal time.

    I've also been told the engineer will not want to take the bumper off so this could be a positive.
     
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