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Old 18th August 2019, 22:21   #1
rab60bit
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Default Advice please

Sad to report I've had an RTA today - blind sided at circa 65mph by a Focus from the middle lane who appeared to have panicked when all three lanes suddenly slowed; he also cannoned into a Civic but no-one hurt and damage to the other vehicles is relatively light.
I was able to continue my journey. Both N/S doors are probably unrepairable (but still open/close almost normally) and the N/S cill just dented in a couple of places but not severely distorted, slight scuff to the N/S/R leading wheel arch - lucky it was a glancing blow!
I'm guessing it's all (reasonably) repairable but presuming the insurers will try to write it off as an uneconomical repair.
My question is how do I handle the insurance company if they respond as I think they will. Going off other similar instances reported on here I mustn't let them recover the vehicle to their repairers so do I insist on an assessor visit ASAP? Must I tell them I don't accept it is a write-off?
Anything else because I have to report it first thing Monday.
Oh, anyone in the NW got a couple of good Mk2 doors in LEF/Tempest/Xpower grey
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Old 18th August 2019, 22:37   #2
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Assuming you have the opportunity, insist that the vehicle is inspected, and NEVER permit anybody to take the vehicle anywhere, all ownership paperwork should be made available, but not to be handed over to insurance agent. If the vehicle is written off, be careful under what category as this may render it non insureable.
Some companies will insist that the recoverable loss in the event of a future claim with this vehicle will only equate to your buy-back value.
Only effect repairs after the assessor has seen the vehicle and have plenty of photos available just in case the case turns nasty.
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Old 18th August 2019, 22:46   #3
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You are talking about a £3000+ claim there, so it's a write off.

However you need to speak to the third parties insurer direct and ask about a cash in lieu of repairs settlement.

Looks like Lynne Mumford has a car in disappointing grey that is breaking by the look of this.......LINK

See what you need that bolts on, get your prices, and start collecting the bits to put it right yourself I'd say

Brian
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Old 28th August 2019, 10:17   #4
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Default Things have moved on...

So after a 'phone message from Copart Chester yesterday I make a couple of calls myself this morning.
Copart tell me they want to arrange to collect the car. I innocently ask why "are you going to repair it"
..."no, we are a slvage company and we have been asked to collect it"
There followed a bit more feinting and weaving to draw them onto the uppercut "but all I've done is to report the accident and details to my insurers"
..."oh, someone has got the wrong end of the stick then"

The second call was to my insurers to tell them I'd been contacted by Copart. The decision was that any repair would be uneconomical (another way of saying we really can't be bothered with this old banger).
Following a recount (my version) of the history of calls/messages etc. the handler (very nice lady) explained a cheque for £800 (they had sent an advisory e-mail which I opened/read but then when I tried to refer to it 24 hours later had expired, replaced with a note to "contact our Customer Service Dept." - how high handed is that!) was sent to me, had I received it?
I explained that all I had done was report the accident/details having stated that under no circumstances would I accept the car being written off. I was told that the 'claim' (a no fault claim) was still open.
Part of the story is that the third party has accepted full liability and that his insurers had asked me if they can repair the vehicle, provide courtesy car etc. etc. all at no cost to myself; they also stated they didn't need the 'photographic evidence (this might change once I get back to them).
I was requested to provide (my own) 'photographs which I was asked to my own insurance repairers had based their report on - no physical inspection etc. "we don't send out engineers sir") - just so they could write it off!!

So, the next step/'phone call - how do I approach the third parties' insurance company; I want it repaired (or get a fair contribution towards having the repair carried out on my own behalf). What arguements can I use to get the established write-off figure (aforesaid £800) increased.
Can I ask them to obtain a similar spec./mileage R75 as a replacement (I suppose that would involve some sort of indemnity against any further claim by me on them should the replacementvehicle develope some fault etc.?)
What else can I say, any advice gratefully accepted before I start the attrition?
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Old 28th August 2019, 10:27   #5
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you have said "Part of the story is that the third party has accepted full liability and that his insurers had asked me if they can repair the vehicle, provide courtesy car etc. etc. all at no cost to myself; they also stated they didn't need the 'photographic evidence (this might change once I get back to them)."


If they have asked if they can repair the vehicle can you accept that offer? I would say on condition they do not then go on to change their mind and write it off.

can you get quotes, not estimates for repair?
Can you trace replacements for damaged parts yourself and are you able to fit them.
If you cant get correct colour what is the cost of re-spraying

glad you are ok and best of luck

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Old 28th August 2019, 10:49   #6
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There's only one thing you can do: give them a hand at determining the current replacement value for your car. As repairs will outweigh the replacement value of the car, it is going to be a write off in the end. You have to find the most expensive cars for sale, similar to yours (specs, body condition, mileage), add their price to a list and ask the insurer to fix the replacement price at the average price of these cars. Send them the list as proof.

Obviously your own insurer isn't willing to make any expenses as they don't even want to send a surveyor for physical inspection. Maybe cut them off and communicate directly with the third party's insurer and kindly force them to send someone for inspection. Tell them it's a joke to think it's possible to determine value on the basis of photos: one cannot see the difference between a cleaned up pile of junk and a decent car from distance.

Don't trust your own insurer, it's very unlikely they'll question anything the third party's insurer asserts.



Edit:
If your car underwent any (big) repairs, tell them to take that into account as well.

Last edited by timon; 28th August 2019 at 11:00..
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Old 28th August 2019, 15:13   #7
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I would disagree with some of the above. It is possible to derive a reasonably good estimate of the cost of repairing a car from a single photograph of the damaged side. Just as Brian has done without the benefit of a photograph.

With a 15+ year old car, a simple description of the damage would be sufficient to determine whether repairing it will be viable. It would be irresponsible of an insurer to send out an engineer to inspect the car in such circumstances and indulgent of the owner to try to insist that this occurs - all it would do is lead to unnecessary increased premiums for all.

I doubt that the other party's insurers would have offered to repair this car. I suspect they would have been in touch (possibly left a message) offering a hire car and to follow-up action.

Insurers aim to keep costs of processing claims down by running very tight timebound processes. I for one do not think it is underhand that the settlement offer is overridden by another action asking the claimant to call customer services after 24 hours.

Finally, a claimant cannot insist that his/her car is repaired if repair would be uneconomic. The most sensible course of action for an owner would be to contact the other party's insurers, inform them that you wish to retain the car, and present a solid case for a higher settlement than their offer.

Personally, I have made three no-fault claims on my and wife's behalf over the past 15 years and have found insurer decisions and assessments to be spot on. Remember - they do this day-in day-out and are usually pretty good at it!
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Old 28th August 2019, 15:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mss View Post
I would disagree with some of the above. It is possible to derive a reasonably good estimate of the cost of repairing a car from a single photograph of the damaged side. Just as Brian has done without the benefit of a photograph.



With a 15+ year old car, a simple description of the damage would be sufficient to determine whether repairing it will be viable. It would be irresponsible of an insurer to send out an engineer to inspect the car in such circumstances and indulgent of the owner to try to insist that this occurs - all it would do is lead to unnecessary increased premiums for all.


I doubt that the other party's insurers would have offered to repair this car. I suspect they would have been in touch (possibly left a message) offering a hire car and to follow-up action.


Insurers aim to keep costs of processing claims down by running very tight timebound processes. I for one do not think it is underhand that the settlement offer is overridden by another action asking the claimant to call customer services after 24 hours.


Finally, a claimant cannot insist that his/her car is repaired if repair would be uneconomic. The most sensible course of action for an owner would be to contact the other party's insurers, inform them that you wish to retain the car, and present a solid case for a higher settlement than their offer.


Personally, I have made three no-fault claims on my and wife's behalf over the past 15 years and have found insurer decisions and assessments to be spot on. Remember - they do this day-in day-out and are usually pretty good at it!
I must admit I forgot the average cost for a physical inspection in the UK. Here in Holland the cost for a photos based report is 45 EUR versus 90 EUR for one that derives from a phyiscal inspection. I worked for insurances for years and we'd use photos in those cases where the damages were relatively small and there was no suspicion of exaggeration.

Photos may give a reasonable overall impression of the car and its damages but can also be very deceptive. I remember indemnifiying amounts of 30 000 Euros as well as 500 EUR in damages for equal cars (old BMWs) that were both considered a total loss. The first was heavily invested into, while the latter was just a means of transport. Photos don't succeed well in making the distinction (unless maybe you add photos of all the invoices the first owner presented).

Photos also miss details. Consider a rear ended car, what you see is a folded bumper but you miss the exhaust that took a hit and is bent in 10 places, as well as the broken brackets behind the bumper and who knows what more. These are things that are even missed on physical inspection and often lead to extra costs in the form of a supplementary report. In Germany, they're kind of smart and just add an extra percentage to the indemnity to cover unexpected costs.

UK insurers shouldn't be so reluctant and be happy they're not in Germany where the average price for an inspection is a whopping 1 000 EUR.

Last edited by timon; 28th August 2019 at 15:59..
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Old 28th August 2019, 16:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timon View Post
I must admit I forgot the average cost for a physical inspection in the UK. Here in Holland the cost for a photos based report is 45 EUR versus 90 EUR for one that derives from a phyiscal inspection. I worked for insurances for years and we'd use photos in those cases where the damages were relatively small and there was no suspicion of exaggeration.

Photos may give a reasonable overall impression of the car and its damages but can also be very deceptive. I remember indemnifiying amounts of 30 000 Euros as well as 500 EUR in damages for equal cars (old BMWs) that were both considered a total loss. The first was heavily invested into, while the latter was just a means of transport. Photos don't succeed well in making the distinction (unless maybe you add photos of all the invoices the first owner presented).

Photos also miss details. Consider a rear ended car, what you see is a folded bumper but you miss the exhaust that took a hit and is bent in 10 places, as well as the broken brackets behind the bumper and who knows what more. These are things that are even missed on physical inspection and often lead to extra costs in the form of a supplementary report. In Germany, they're kind of smart and just add an extra percentage to the indemnity to cover unexpected costs.

UK insurers shouldn't be so reluctant and be happy they're not in Germany where the average price for an inspection is a whopping 1 000 EUR.
The simple fact is that in the UK, unless a car is insured on the basis of an agreed value due to some declared special characteristics, it is deemed to be of normal market value and the insurance premiums and contracts are based on this underlying assumption.

Here, a physical inspection and report could cost anything from £100 to £200. This is a lot when most premiums are as low as £100 to £400 PA. We also have relatively high rates of fraudulent claims for whiplash etc. I believe, but would be happy to be corrected, that the situation in Germany is quite different.

With cars that are as old as ours and insured on normal policies, it does not take much in the way of analysis or investigation to determine that repairs will not be economically viable. For more expensive and newer cars, the situation is quite different and engineers would normally inspect the car.
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