PDA

View Full Version : My friends car has been written off any tips.


magpienja
3rd Sep 2016, 22:28
Yes it was shunted as it was stopped behind a car at a light controlled pedestrian crossing...pushing it into the car in front.

Her car is around 5 years old and has been written off...I nor its owner know much about this subject...but I am hoping somebody can advise me of any tips I can pass to my friend...ie how not to be out of pocket replacing her car.

She nor her passenger have made any medical claims which I find unusual these days even though she and her passenger visited hospital with neck shoulder pain...she is old school I think and does not like making a fuss even though I think she was in a sort of shock for a few days after the event.

G0ULI
3rd Sep 2016, 23:03
Absolutely no way you will avoid being out of pocket. If you are lucky you might get a settlement that would allow the purchase of a vehicle a couple of years older than the one that was written off. That is just the way insurance companies work.

Avitor
3rd Sep 2016, 23:36
Similar happened to me, a heavy 4x4 lost control on a wet road, smashed into my offside forcing me broadside up a 5 inch curb, along the wet grass and out into the road again.
My insurance company, arguably the best in the business wrote off my car within 3 hours and removed it before nightfall.
I received full purchase price minus 1 year depreciation, and an off the record tip to contact a no win no cost claim firm if I suffered whiplash, I did, very painfully, the claim is nearing completion at this time.
If the lady is smart she will not lose out.
With my insurance payout I acquired a very reasonable replacement.

Sue Vêtements
4th Sep 2016, 00:35
Whatever the insurance company says, tell them no and they'll come back with something better.

I'm not sure how many rounds of this you can go, but it's deffo at least one.

John Hill
4th Sep 2016, 01:31
So the car was stopped and got damaged by another car? Is she making a claim with her own insurance company or the driver of the car that was at fault?

Two instances I have been involved in, in the first a car came through a stop sign and did a lot of damage to my vehicle which included damaging the rear axle which was going to be expensive to replace, the other driver's insurance company wanted to make a deal on a new axle with me paying a portion in consideration of the age of my vehicle (30K miles). I told them to find an axle of the same age and I would be happy but needless to say they settled and paid for the new axle.

Second instance, my wife was driving her car which was not insured (3rd party only) when a bus turned against the lights and severely damaged her car. The bus company, driver and their insurance company tried to shift the blame but we were able to show the situation they claimed was impossible with the phasing of the lights at that corner. The insurance company gave the car a very low value so we played hardball and insisted the car be repaired which must have cost them a fortune.

parabellum
4th Sep 2016, 02:51
Couple of points, was your friends car insured for it's 'market value' or, by arrangement with the insurance company and an increased premium, an 'agreed value'?


Has your friends car been written off as un roadworthy as well as beyond economic repair or just beyond economic repair?


If the car is still roadworthy it may be worth while your friend agreeing to buy the salvage and getting it repaired by a reputable repair shop. If this is a viable option then quickly ensure the insurance company don't cancel the registration.


John Hill was lucky, within the small print of a policy they state that they have the right to decide between write-off and repair. In John's case, with more than one insurance company involved, (but only one subrogating), an internal agreement was probably reached, taking into account lack of blame, claims history etc.


Entering into dispute with an insurance company can be a time consuming and expensive exercise. Very important that when you buy any insurance you study the policy, (or get a broker to do it for you), to make sure you are getting the cover you require. If you engage a broker he/she is duty bound to work for you, his/her employer, but is paid by the insurer, it has ever been thus.


By far and away the greatest cause of disputes with insurance companies is a failure on the part of the customer to properly understand what cover they are buying, going for the cheapest cover is not always wise.

John Hill
4th Sep 2016, 04:10
John Hill was lucky, within the small print of a policy they state that they have the right to decide between write-off and repair. In John's case, with more than one insurance company involved, (but only one subrogating), an internal agreement was probably reached, taking into account lack of blame, claims history etc.

Not exactly true, in the second instance the car was not insured except for third party and the bus company was insured with another company. The insurance company does not have a right to write off or repair when they are dealing with an uninsured party as there is no fine print in any policy, the bus company did the damage and they or their insurer had an obligation to put the damage right. Their choices were repair, replace with an acceptable vehicle or compensate for damage done. The bus company did offer to compensate at their listed value for that model vehicle but that was unacceptable to us.

If your vehicle has little value and you could personally afford to withstand a total loss it may be better to have third party insurance only.

zed3
4th Sep 2016, 08:26
Be very careful about signing away any chance of a medical claim as any sign of damage could appear much later. My wife was rammed from behind by a drunk driver whilst halted at traffic lights in the Netherlands where we lived then. The signs of medical damage appeared later, after the claim had been processed and we couldn't do anything about it. Further, she was diagnosed with a tumor 25 years later which was about that many years old. A successful eight hour operation solved that one but I still think it was a result of the car accident.

gruntie
4th Sep 2016, 08:33
The insurer, whether yours or theirs, will try and minimise the claim and offer a minimal value, seemingly a 'trade price' which is only available to those in the trade, funnily enough.
On two occasions (once my own, and later advising a friend) I have obtained a written valuation from a Sales Manager of a Main Dealer advising value and cost of replacement. (In my own case they had actually supplied the vehicle, a year or so before).
In both cases the insurer meekly shut up and accepted the dealer's valuation.

Flyingmac
4th Sep 2016, 08:47
My friends car has been written off any tips.


Here's my suggestion.


My friend's car has been written off. Any tips?

Blues&twos
4th Sep 2016, 09:36
We've had two cars written off over the years, one was caused by a steering component failure leading to an excursion up an embanknent, one was being hit from behind.

In both cases the insurance companies (UK) offered good settlement values immediately, which surprised me. We were able to replace the cars with equivalent vehicles. Maybe we were lucky, I don't know if the situation has changed since then.

parabellum
4th Sep 2016, 10:15
You weren't lucky Blues&Twos, you bought the right policy.


The insurance companies do have the right of write off or repair, they also have the choice of exercising their discretion, that will depend on claims history for one, this can have considerable influence if you have many accident/claim free years, also any other circumstances they agree to consider. Insurance is an industry, not a profession and they never 'give in meekly'! :}

John Hill
4th Sep 2016, 10:24
The insurance companies do have the right of write off or repair..

But only if the vehicle was insured with them, if the vehicle is not insured with them and the damage was caused by a client of theirs' all the fine print in the policy means nothing.

parabellum
4th Sep 2016, 10:41
John, I think you maybe missing the point. If the 'other' insurance company is liable for their clients indiscretion they will abide by the Ts & Cs of either yours or the their policy, according to any industry agreements. No insurer is required to do anymore than either replace with an item of equal value or make appropriate financial restitution, (which could involve loss of use etc. if in the policy), anything outside of that is at their discretion and will depend on the circumstances I have already mentioned..

John Hill
4th Sep 2016, 10:55
I think there is a point that you are missing and that is the insurance company has no detailed agreement with the owner of the damaged/destroyed vehicle and in that case they must make restitution according to agreement between them and the owner which is not the same as acting according to their 'discretion'. An insurance policy is an agreement between two parties so if the damaged vehicle is not insured any policy (with anyone else) means nothing.

Pontius Navigator
4th Sep 2016, 10:58
When it comes to market-value replacement get the Insurance company to prove that such a suitable car, at that price, exists. The car must then be accessible. No good the vehicle being in Cornwall if you live in Scotland. Will they pay travel and subsistence for you to collect the car?

In my son in law's case the car was a Ford Puma. These are pretty scarce and he got the award increased as there was no such car locally.

UniFoxOs
4th Sep 2016, 10:58
If your vehicle has little value and you could personally afford to withstand a total loss it may be better to have third party insurance only.

Except that the difference is often minimal (£10 the last quote I got) and sometimes TPO is dearer than Fully Comp.

Shack37
4th Sep 2016, 11:00
My friends car has been written off any tips.


Here's my suggestion.
My friend's car has been written off. Any tips?



Shouldn´t this be in the jokes thread?

onetrack
4th Sep 2016, 11:34
The key word in any insurance policy is "Indemnify". The long-standing definition of the word, "indemnify", within an insurance policy is that the insured will suffer no loss, nor any gain, from a claimed insurance event.

The essence of that definition in practical terms - as explained to me by my insurance broker many years ago - is that you will end up, no better off, nor any worse off, financially or asset-wise, after the insurance event.

In the event of the insurance company not coming good with adequate financial recompense for the written-off vehicle - the insured is fully entitled to request the company supply a replacement vehicle, in identical condition, with identical kms/mileage, and delivered to the owners possession at no cost to the owner, apart from payment of the insurance excess amount.

VP959
4th Sep 2016, 12:05
2 years ago I had a near-identical accident. The 3 year old car I was driving was stationary, waiting for a 4 x 4 in front to turn right, when I was rear-ended at speed by a dozy driver who wasn't looking ahead (she admitted to looking for something that was rattling in her handbag on the passenger seat).

My car was a write off and the insurers first offered me the lowest market price of the car. I negotiated with them and produced every example of a similar age and model of car for sale I could find in AutoTrader and sent them the advert references. I also sent them the local main dealer prices for sourcing a replacement car of the same model and mileage as mine.

After about a week the insurers increased their offer to around the average of the prices of the cars for sale I sent them. I ended up losing around £3k overall, as I couldn't buy a car locally for anything like their offer, I'd have had to travel up to Newcastle to get one at the price they reckoned was fair.

This is pretty normal, I believe. It's the first time I've ever had a car written off and I was bloody annoyed at the fact that I was going to lose out a lot through no fault of mine. I'd assumed that insurance meant insurance, and that it would mean I'd not lose out if there was an accident. I now know better.

As an addendum, it is worth making a direct claim to the owner/driver of the car that caused the accident for all the uninsured loss elements. In my case I had around £1100 of stuff in the car that was written off with it, over and above the £200 of cover that my insurer stretched to for stuff inside the car. I produced photos and receipts for all the damaged stuff and made a direct claim to the driver of the car that caused the accident, making it clear this was my uninsured loss and that I wanted recompense.

After a couple of weeks my insurers took over the uninsured loss claim and I got another cheque from the other drivers insurers to cover the stuff not covered by the limit on my own insurance. This is all a bit bizarre, as although the other drivers insurers paid out for everything, and my insurers didn't pay out at all, the terms of the original payout were based on my comprehensive cover, hence the £200 limit on stuff in the car.

Effluent Man
4th Sep 2016, 13:15
Many years ago I sold the lady who worked for the finance company I used to do HP for my car sales business an immaculate 129,000 mile Cortina. A fortnight later her husband was driving to work when an oncoming car slid on ice and totalled it.

The assessor came out and promptly offered a figure almost double what she had paid me for the car. We couldn't work out why but subsequently realised that it had a five digit speedo and he had assumed the mileage to be 29k.

magpienja
4th Sep 2016, 15:35
Thanks for all the info...hopefully my friend will be read all of these posts.

I would imagine she will find it all very useful.

I just can't get my head around why an unblamworthy driver should be out of pocket by thousands.

Gertrude the Wombat
4th Sep 2016, 16:32
Put the full claim to the driver at blame, the one who drove into them from behind. If no immediate payment arrives sue using Money Claim Online. How the driver at fault wants to deal with their own insurance company is their problem, as is any shortfall - the victim has no relationship with the perp's insurance company, and doesn't have to deal with them, and doesn't have to accept their judgement of anything.

VP959
4th Sep 2016, 16:49
Put the full claim to the driver at blame, the one who drove into them from behind. If no immediate payment arrives sue using Money Claim Online. How the driver at fault wants to deal with their own insurance company is their problem, as is any shortfall - the victim has no relationship with the perp's insurance company, and doesn't have to deal with them, and doesn't have to accept their judgement of anything.

Gets my vote. Ultimately this is what I did when I was told (by my insurer) that my claim (being paid by the insurer of the car that hit mine) was restricted to the terms of my own comprehensive policy.

The first win was that I got a hire car that was "equivalent" to my own car, paid for, and provided by, the other drivers insurer directly. My insurers would only give me the smallest hire car available and I argued that it wouldn't take the loads I needed to carry every day. They only mentioned that I could try and get a hire car from the other drivers insurer AFTER I'd complained to them that the small hire car just wasn't adequate.

The second win was claiming for the bike rack and stuff in the car that was damaged (a whole load of water disinfection equipment) that exceeded my insurer's £200 contents cover, but I only thought to do this AFTER my claim had been settled by my own insurer (who claimed it all back off the other company, anyway).

The trick I missed was not claiming the difference between what my insurers offered as the value of my written off car and the true value to me when I tried to buy a replacement locally. This cost me around £3k, which still annoys me even now, 2 years later.

UniFoxOs
4th Sep 2016, 17:03
We couldn't work out why but subsequently realised that it had a five digit speedo and he had assumed the mileage to be 29k.

I used to buy 3 year old ex company cars and run them for two years or so, this was the cheapest way of doing a lot of miles in a previous life. I would take them from, say, 70K miles up to 150K miles in two to three years. I managed to get one burnt out in an accident soon after buying it, and the fire blackened the inside of the (6-figure odometer) speedo. Amazingly I received an offer from the insurance company of £400 more than I'd paid for it as the assessor couldn't see the mileage. I wasn't slow in accepting.

Loose rivets
4th Sep 2016, 23:50
Perhaps 25 years ago I read that we were the only European country that retained the offending driver's liability. It was their debt, not the insurers, they just covered their client. So, they remained responsible over and above the settlement figure.

Is this still true, because I can't see why a driver should be able to damage your property and just shrug it off. "Just claim orf yer insurance mate. It's going to be tit-for-tat, anyway."

Hearing that made my blood boil though I hasten to add it wasn't me involved.

I've purchased 3 years of Asset insurance along with the extended warranty. Of course, it remains to be seen how good such cover is. As I've posted, my new-to-me BMW was nearly written off by an old guy coming out of a side turning. All less than 30mph but his front would have smeared the entire length of my car if I'd not gunned out of the way.

The main agent cover for a used demonstrator BMW 428 was 500 quid to cover 34k (down to an unknown figure.) A 2014 mint 640 was £760. (more than my comprehensive insurance with a reputable company) That's a chunk of change, but that Gran Coupe was over 72k with the upgrades, so I imagine the write-off ratio would be very high as it would be near impossible to get it back to spec.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I think the reason I find this edit thing so annoying is that one tries to lay a post out intelligently and this unwanted crappola tacked on makes it look like . . . erm, it's been edited.
:suspect:

VP959
5th Sep 2016, 09:19
I think that the "problem" is that in an accident where you are not at fault, the insurance companies seem to have an agreement that means that you will only get the same recompense as if the accident had been your fault.

As far as I can gather (and this is based solely on one write-off accident in over 40 years) what I was offered initially was exactly what my own policy covered (it was fully comprehensive, which doesn't mean what it implies). I believe that in an accident where another driver is wholly to blame, then they are still liable for all your loss.

The insurers claim that by having your own insurer handle the claim with the other driver on your behalf, they are making things easier for you, as you only need to deal with a single claims contact. In fact, what they are doing is limiting the amount paid out, which is mutually beneficial to all the insurers involved, so the "personal claims assistant" BS is just that, BS; it's just a way to stop you claiming the full value of your loss.

My experience is that when you challenge this they don't resist too much, just enough to see how determined you are to push to get all your loss back. My guess is that the majority of people just accept the convenience of having a single point of contact for the claim, put up with the rubbish hire car provided and a cheque that leaves them substantially out of pocket.

It would be nice to know the definitive position, as I had assumed that the driver at fault was fully liable for any loss, and that their insurers should cover them within the terms of their policy. Anything outside their policy terms would become a personal liability, I'd assume, although I have a feeling that the law in the UK means that all third party loss claims have to be covered by every insurer.

Gertrude the Wombat
5th Sep 2016, 23:14
The insurers claim that by having your own insurer handle the claim with the other driver on your behalf, they are making things easier for you, as you only need to deal with a single claims contact.
?? - but if someone drives into me I've got a "single claims contact", the driver at fault.


I get my car fixed and send them the bill.


If they don't pay I sue.


If they want to claim on their insurance that's up to them, it's none of my business. Similarly it's none of my business if their insurance doesn't pay the full amount.


OK, so it's not quite that simple, because there is the requirement to write to my insurance company at the start of the process, to say "as required by the policy I hereby inform you that I have been involved in an accident, which wasn't my fault, and in respect of which I do not expect to make a claim", and to write to them later and say "all sorted, I confirm I will not be making a claim". So I do end up out of pocket to the tune of two stamps.

Metro man
6th Sep 2016, 02:38
Don't forget the no claims discount, remember its not a no BLAME discount. Some companies offer to protect this in a no fault accident.

Some may cancel a policy after paying out meaning you are out of pocket for any remaining months you have paid for.

Who actually checks the fine print on a policy ?

VP959
6th Sep 2016, 07:47
?? - but if someone drives into me I've got a "single claims contact", the driver at fault.


I get my car fixed and send them the bill.


If they don't pay I sue.


If they want to claim on their insurance that's up to them, it's none of my business. Similarly it's none of my business if their insurance doesn't pay the full amount.


OK, so it's not quite that simple, because there is the requirement to write to my insurance company at the start of the process, to say "as required by the policy I hereby inform you that I have been involved in an accident, which wasn't my fault, and in respect of which I do not expect to make a claim", and to write to them later and say "all sorted, I confirm I will not be making a claim". So I do end up out of pocket to the tune of two stamps.
In practice that's not at all how it worked for me. The instant I informed my insurer that I had been involved in an accident, one where the police had stated categorically that I was not to blame, and where there was video evidence that my car was stopped when hit from behind at speed, my insurer took over the claims handling service, without being asked to by me. I just assumed it was a way of saving me hassle at that time.

I had zero contact with the at-fault driver's insurer initially; my insurer insisted that they would handle all of the claim details and they provided the "single point of contact" for the claim. The first time I had contact with the at-fault drivers insurer was when I complained that the small hire car (a Toyota Aygo, believe it or not) was too small for my needs. My insurer first told me that if I wanted a bigger hire car I'd have to pay the difference. I argued, and they then (reluctantly) told me that I could try and get a hire car from the at-fault driver's insurer (which is exactly what I thought they were doing!).

I called the other drivers insurer and they immediately accepted that they had to provide me with a hire car that was "equivalent in size and specification to my own car". They passed me to a hire car firm who delivered a hire car to my house the same day, and whose service was excellent (it was Enterprise, if anyone wants a recommendation for a hire company with good service).

The rest of the claim was handled by my insurer and it was my insurer that sent an assessor to look at my car and who made the initial derisory offer for it. It was my insurer I negotiated with, and still didn't get a very good deal, but I realise now that I should probably have adopted the same tactic as with the hire car, and ignored my own insurer and dealt directly with the at-fault drivers insurer.

When it came to the limit of the value of the damaged contents of the car, plus the bike rack, again it was my insurer who imposed the £200 limit, saying that was in my policy. When I argued that I wasn't claiming on my policy at all, as the other driver's insurer had accepted the claim in full, I was advised to claim the difference from the other driver, which I did (her insurer paid up with just proof of the value of the damaged stuff).

So, the moral of this tale seems to be to try and circumvent the claims handling service that your own insurer might offer. On the two occasions when I did this I got a far better deal; the mistake I made was not doing it for the main claim.

Metro man
6th Sep 2016, 07:55
Remember the insurers do this day in day out and know all the tricks. It would be all too easy to mess up a claim if you made a simple statement or admission, better to let your insurer deal with it.

G-CPTN
6th Sep 2016, 08:47
In practice that's not at all how it worked for me. The instant I informed my insurer that I had been involved in an accident, one where the police had stated categorically that I was not to blame, and where there was video evidence that my car was stopped when hit from behind at speed, my insurer took over the claims handling service, without being asked to by me. I just assumed it was a way of saving me hassle at that time.

I had zero contact with the at-fault driver's insurer initially; my insurer insisted that they would handle all of the claim details and they provided the "single point of contact" for the claim. The first time I had contact with the at-fault drivers insurer was when I complained that the small hire car (a Toyota Aygo, believe it or not) was too small for my needs. My insurer first told me that if I wanted a bigger hire car I'd have to pay the difference. I argued, and they then (reluctantly) told me that I could try and get a hire car from the at-fault driver's insurer (which is exactly what I thought they were doing!).

I called the other drivers insurer and they immediately accepted that they had to provide me with a hire car that was "equivalent in size and specification to my own car". They passed me to a hire car firm who delivered a hire car to my house the same day, and whose service was excellent (it was Enterprise, if anyone wants a recommendation for a hire company with good service).

The rest of the claim was handled by my insurer and it was my insurer that sent an assessor to look at my car and who made the initial derisory offer for it. It was my insurer I negotiated with, and still didn't get a very good deal, but I realise now that I should probably have adopted the same tactic as with the hire car, and ignored my own insurer and dealt directly with the at-fault drivers insurer.

When it came to the limit of the value of the damaged contents of the car, plus the bike rack, again it was my insurer who imposed the £200 limit, saying that was in my policy. When I argued that I wasn't claiming on my policy at all, as the other driver's insurer had accepted the claim in full, I was advised to claim the difference from the other driver, which I did (her insurer paid up with just proof of the value of the damaged stuff).

So, the moral of this tale seems to be to try and circumvent the claims handling service that your own insurer might offer. On the two occasions when I did this I got a far better deal; the mistake I made was not doing it for the main claim.
The difficulties experienced arose because the insurer was operating what is called 'knock for knock' whereby insurers deal with their own insured vehicle damage and loss:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knock-for-knock_agreement

It can be difficult to obviate this arrangement and to reach a 'fair' settlement for the injured party.

VP959
6th Sep 2016, 09:41
Thanks for that, I'd thought that the "knock for knock" principle only applied where blame was shared, not where one party was not to blame at all.

Given that information, then if involved in a very clear "no fault" accident my advice would be to do as Gertrude suggested above, and refuse to accept your own insurer handling any element of the claim on your behalf.

I've no doubt that there would be a fair bit of additional work, in dealing with the other insurer, their claims assessor etc, but the outcome should be that you have no loss, unlike my case where I sustained a significant loss due to the lower than needed recompense for me to buy a replacement car.

evansb
6th Sep 2016, 12:15
50 percent of all "whiplash" claims in the U.K. are bogus. i.e. fake.

Oh that hurts!..

onetrack
6th Sep 2016, 15:14
In the perfect world, your insurer should cover you completely for all your losses, then extract the full amount from the "at-fault" driver or his insurer.
In the real world, insurance companies keep premiums low by avoiding or minimising payouts, and by working hand-in-glove with other insurance companies to keep payouts low.
If you are hit, and it is not your fault, the best thing to do is to say nothing more than, "you'll be hearing from my lawyer" - and proceed with a letter from a lawyer to the "at-fault" driver, and his/her insurance company, as soon as you have tallied your total losses.

RedhillPhil
6th Sep 2016, 19:13
If your car has been struck by another vehicle and the insurer has declared it to be "beyond economic repair" sue the owner of the said vehicle for the value of a like-for-like replacement of your vehicle. Insurers will often try and offer the "trade in" value of a vehicle, not it's replacement value. The principle in such a claim is that you have been caused no losses.

yellowtriumph
7th Sep 2016, 00:04
My wife's mini was hit by a Land Rover that went through a red light. Spoke to the local BMW dealership and they suggested we might like to try a claims handling company. So we did. Loan hire car (mini) arrived at our house the next day and was ours for the length of the claim (6 weeks) At no cost to us. Wife's mini was inspected by the claims handlers inspector and declared a write off. The inspector suggested a replacement value - as per the replacement value on the day of the accident - just below Glasses guide price. We demurred and said we wanted the top Glasses guide price. Then we were offered top Glasses guide price so nothing to complain about. Claims handler 'handled' it all, no excess taken off as we were dealing with the other parties insurance company - not my wife's. Handler dealt with uninsured losses like the full tank of petrol and air bag damage to my wife's coat. Some chasing up required as the process neared a conclusion, so dragged on a bit. The loan car was ours until we agreed the right off value. Kindertons, if anyone wants to google.

parabellum
7th Sep 2016, 02:33
evansb - The car becomes the property of the insurance company as soon as you register a claim, by 'phone, email or paper. If the insurance company have written off your car you can offer to buy the salvage, they love this as it saves them the bother of disposing of the wreck. If the car is still quite new then the wrecker may have to buy it from the insurance company as it has considerable spares value.

Metro man
7th Sep 2016, 03:07
Some insurers will replace a new car which gets written off within the first year with another new car, which is a policy condition well worth having as the depreciation curve is very steep within the first twelve months and paying out book value would leave you thousands short of the replacement cost.