Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

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Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    There have been a few threads recently from people who have suffered accidents where the third party is 100% at fault and the third party insurers have accepted responsibility. There are then questions raised about whether to claim on your own insurance policy or claim directly with the third parties insurers.

    There is no perfect answer about the best way to proceed, as it can depend on so many factors. You have to notify your own insurance company first anyway and you should discuss with them your options. If you have personal injuries to claim for, then it is not really wise to go to the third party insurers for the car damage only, as you will want deal with the whole claim properly using any professional advice you can get. You might have legal cover under your own policy or can use an accident management company to deal with all aspects.

    Firstly, claiming off your own policy

    If you have comprehensive cover, you can claim off your own policy, but you then will normally have to pay an excess and claim this back from the third party insurers. The excess is payable before any repairs are carried out or deducted from any write off settlement. It might take several months, before a third party insurers refunds the excess to you, after you have submitted your request for reimbursement. So if you are short on funds, this might cause you a problem.

    If you have a car which is written off with a smallish value, say less than £3,000 and replacing it would be quite difficult, then you need to be aware of a few things. Firstly you have the excess which might take a few months to get back. Secondly, if you pay your premium monthly, your Insurers are quite likely to reduce the claim settlement, by deducting the remaining premium. So for a car worth £3,000, you might have say £250 excess and say £750 remaining premium deducted, leaving you with £2,000 to buy a replacement car. If you are short on funds you might be unhappy you don't have the money to buy a similar car. Thirdly, if your claim is being dealt with by an accident management company on behalf of your insurers, you can expect your claim to be delayed. They have a habit of drawing out claims and providing credit hire cars, to make money from third party insurers.

    The advantage of using your own insurers, is that you have a contract with them and rights to use the fosicon if you are unhappy. Your Insurers are responsible for the repairs they authorise, so if a car is returned with substandard repairs, you have a right to ask your insurers to pay for additional repair work if necessary. With a third party insurers, it is more difficult to deal with repair issues and you can't use the FOS. If a car is wriiten off, you can go to the FOS to complain about your insurers offer. With a third party insurers, you would have to go to court, as you don't have FOS option.

    Claiming off third party insurers

    If a third party insurers is interested in dealing with your accident claim directly and there is no personal injury involved, then it can be worth it, for some of the reasons mentioned above. They won't deduct an excess, they won't deduct any remaining premium from a write off and they will normally pay you the book value for a write off. You might have to use the insurers authorised repairers, but can ask to use your own local garage, if they agree to any repair quote provided. The difficulty can be where you are not happy with repairs or write off value, as you are not dealing with your own insurers. The option of dealing with a third party insurers is not going to be suitable for everyone, if they are not confident in dealing with such issues or have a car of reasonable value they feel happier having repaired via their own insurers.

    Quite often the third party insurers will arrange a hire car for the period needed and to pay for it. It can be less hassle than a hire car via your own insurers, who will be conscious about the hire cost, as it will need to be claimed back off the third party insurers. It depends on what hire or courtesy car cover your own policy offers, as to pros/cons of claiming on own policy or third party in regard to the accident claim. It can be a problem area, as disputes can arise about hire car costs. If you are asked to sign for a hire car, be careful about what you are signing, as to whether you could be liable for any costs.

    This post is not an exhaustive complete item on these issues and there may be more information which would be helpful to people using the site. I thought it would be useful for a discussion thread, so people can add their experience or thoughts.


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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    This is very helpful. Thank you.

    I have posted a copy of this on the forum front page as well. Please let me know if that is not OK with you.



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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Yes ok.

    I thought it was worth sparking a debate. Perhaps people who claimed directly from third party insurers, can be invited to share their experience. The more information the better really, as i think it can be confusing.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    If I was going through this again, I would claim off my own insurance and chase the refund of the uninsured losses (i.e. excess) from the third party.


    The basis for this recommendation is that I recently followed the advice of my insurer's claims department after being rear-ended at a T-junction and handed it to a claims management company (CMC), and it was a PITA from start to finish. It is just a money-making scheme for a whole bunch of closely-allied companies, and causes all of our insurance premiums to increase.


    The work done was not, in my view, justified. That meant that in addition to costing more to the TP (and earning more money for their pet repair centre), it was off the road for much longer, so that the credit hire vehicle was also earning extra money for the CMC's pet credit hire company. They provided me with a "like-for-like" replacement vehicle, at excessive cost. No option was given for a cheaper vehicle, and it was all very rushed, with little time to consider contracts, etc.


    Long story short, the TP insurer did not agree to pay for the excessive sums, so the CMC appointed their pet legal firm (again earning a lot of money at our expense) to issue proceedings in my name against the TP. Luckily, a settlement was agreed 5 days before the court hearing, so neither I nor the poor woman TP were out of pocket directly.


    The CMCs are akin to the private parking companies, and the sooner they get put out of business, the better. My recommendation is to avoid, avoid, avoid!


    Hope this helps someone.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Oddfellow

    Thanks for sharing your experience. One of the problems you highlight is the outsourcing of claims by insurers to claims management companies. For a straightforward accident repair claim, this should not really be necessary, but you might not have much choice. No doubt a CMC would want to get their claws into you for a credit hire car to make money from and there are fees paid between CMC and Insurers. The Insurers are saving money by not employing as many claims handlers, so they will refer most claims on to a CMC.


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Leakie Informative Leakie Informative Leakie Informative



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Thanks UB

    I have just gone through a non fault accident.

    this happened on 30-12-16

    Completed today.

    Cal my broker Octagon.
    Was asked if I wanted to claim or just notify, ( I did not realise I had the option)

    I just left it as a notification
    3rd Jan my brokers contacted me as I had legal cover, to ask if I needed to use them in case of injury(not needed)

    4th Jan I had a call from 3rd party insurers accepting 100% liability.
    inform that some one would inspect the car 10th Jan and sent details via email, offered a replacement car whilst repairs carried out.

    Today had a call from inspector, all done via phone callicon, cr is now category D write off, due to the age of car and the cost for repair.
    I have agreed a settlement figure, less buy back at auction price, Quite surprised how little the price was.
    Payment made via internet banking should receive after 3-5 days.
    The pay out was more than I paid in the first place.

    I am sure I can get the repair done cheaper.
    I intended to keep,the car until it conked out.

    The only thing that I was annoyed about was ambulance chasers had got my details
    they said insurance companies had to pass on by law ( yes right oh)
    these companies are responsable for the insurance premiem hikes IMO.

    over all good experience with total 3rd party claim.

    Leakie




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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Leakie

    Who were third party insurers ?

    Had the third party admitted fault and phoned their insurers to advise of this, hence the quick response to your claim ?

    Most claims are not dealt with this quickly, unless you have an efficient third party driver who phones their insurers and an efficient third party insurers that deals with the claim quickly.


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder Leakie Informative Leakie Informative Leakie Informative



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    The 3rd Party was driving a Mobility car and the broker Mobility Insurers
    When I spoke to the assessor yesterday he did mention More Than,


  9. #9
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    Thanks. Yes i think Mobility use More Than. I think you struck lucky, that the mobility car owner was pro active and spoke to their Insurers asking them to sort your claim out quickly. Hence why you received help within a week of the accident.

    It can be a matter of luck, as to how quickly an accident claim is dealt with. Had the at fault third party not bothered to phone their Insurers, i think your experience would have been different.


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    Basic Account Holder Leakie Informative Leakie Informative Leakie Informative



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Totally agree.
    But I was surprised at how pro active they were in sorting out the claim,

    It was like we are at fault so we will do every thing we canto sort the mater. was offered a replacement car as well whilst repair was happening
    Then the assessor, very helpful easiest claim I have had involvement in.
    As you say Lucky.

    I wish they would not pass on details to the ambulance chasers, both brokers denied they did, but some one did ?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Leakie

    Different subject, but too many hands on your data after accidents and it gets leaked. There have been staff from Insurers and clams management companies who have been caught selling data on. There is now a big data sharing industry, much of which i think is not totally covered by Data Protection Act. At some point it will be a news story that gains attention.


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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    I've got an ongoing claim at the moment going through a third party's insurer. The insurer, Allianz, have been pretty good so far.

    It was a clear non fault accident, but their driver had not reported it to them when I first contacted them. But I've got a decent amount of experience in the field so getting from there to an admission of liability, to a repair authorisation at the garage of my choice (as opposed to their approved repairer) and also a hire car wasn't really too difficult.

    I can image the procedure for someone not used to the processes, jargon etc can be daunting, hence the temptation to allow a claims management company to enter the fray. Personally I would rather go through my own insurer than furthering the business interests of a CMC. In my opinion, for all the talk of fraud and increased premiums etc, I think the CMCs are the real problem with the industry.


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder Aitken Brotherston Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Just to clear up a few points.
    When you make a claim your claim is against the other party NOT his/her insurer.
    You are almost certainly required to report the incident to your insurer - it will be in your terms and conditions.
    Accident management companies might well be of assistance but remember they are commercil organisations and their objective it to make money and it will probably be from you.

    To be clear - Please note I am not a lawyer - just an ordinary "OIK" who wonn't let the them grind me down. The following is from my personal experience.

    I have delt with traffic accidents myself a few times. The most important thing to do is record everything from the moment the accident happens onwards. Time, date, location, 3rd party name, address, vehicle make, model, colour and registration mark. Record what happened with as many pictures as will show the aftermath and the location.
    Report the incident to your insurer stressing that "THIS IS NOT A CLAIM". Take copies of any documentation you send. If you report via the telephone try to record the call (you can get good recording aps for your smartphone) - follow it up with a confirming e-mail or letter.
    1 Get 2 or 3 estimates for the repair of your car. Use repariers you trust if you can. You are NOT obliged to use their repairer - remember they might be pressured to cut costs in your repair which might result in low quality work.
    If you need a car - hire one but keep to a car of equivalent standard. You will be required to keep expenses reasonable - if you don't and end up in court you might be accused of "milking" the claim and have it reduced. If you can do without hiring a car do so as you will have to fund it until you claim and that will demonstrate your committment to keeping the costs down.
    2 Write to the third party and tell them you intend to claim from them. Include what you intend to claim (money) but explain that it might rise if/when other "heads of claim" become clear.

    You might have to communicate with their insurance company or even solicitor. That's ok and if you keep rocords of EVERTHING and are being reasonable you have little to fear. Once the initial flurry of activity is over, which you would be faced with even if you claimed through your insurer or a Claim Company, the activity will die down.

    Be persistent and consistent, you are already being fair - they will try to wear you down with delays and objections. Remember that the job of a "loss adjuster" is to save the ompany money which means reduce your claim.

    If things are going on too long then give them a deadline for agreement/payment before you issue a claim in the county courticon. If they continue to prevaricate - do it.

    One word of warning. If your "claim" goes past your insurance renewal date, be careful that your insurance company does not attempt to reduce your No Claims Discount on the basis that you have made a claim - you know - the claim you made when you stressed "This is not a claim". I personaly think that this is fraud - demanding money (higher premium) on the basis of a falsehood (you made a claim when you didn't).
    The did this to me and I was a day away from reporting the fraud to the prosecution authorities when they capitulated. The Ombusdman was on no use at all - they supported the insurance companies in their fraud.

    Sorry it's a bit long winded - I hope it helps someone. Please excuse any typosicon.

    Remenber I am NOT a lawyer so this is NOT legal advice - if in doubt consult a solicitor but choose carefully and be clear about what you want them to do.


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    My experience: Keep cmc out of the picture, even if they promise to replace your car with a solid gold rolls Royce.
    Look at what insurance company is third party insured with and google for reviews, also check on CAGicon about horror stories.

    If third party insurance seems decent start proceedings with them.
    However, make a firm condition that you will use the garage of your choice for repairs.
    As long as you don't go to a garage asking 3 times the cost of the car they should accept the quote.

    If the other party is insured with One Call, go to your own insurance, they are the most useless bunch of all in my experience.

    If personal injury is involved, get a solicitor on a no win no fee basis, plenty of them everywhere (of course check their reviews and the credentials of the person assigned to your claim before signing anything).
    As a rule, your local solicitor with a physical office would be a better option than the internet ambulance chaser, but to be honest, 15 years ago i used a firm recommended by a cold caller and they were brilliant, so just luck might help.

    And always remember that they have to put you in the same position you were before the accident, unless you suffered unrepairable damage (to car and people) in which case they will have to compensate you accordingly.

    Bit of a moan now:
    2 non fault accidents with my wife at the wheels and me not in the car.
    No money claimed from anyone but insurance notified, just in case.

    Renewal for my motorbike I mentioned the two accidents highlighting that I was not the driver and my wife is not a second driver on the motorbike insurance.
    Premium doubled!

    Apparently I am more at risk because my wife got hit by some idiots.
    Thanks! (not)


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder Aitken Brotherston Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Dear king12345
    You have just described what I am quite satisfied is fraud.
    I suspect they reduced your NCD.

    No Claims Discount is now a standard part of motor insuranceicon so they really cannot claim it is discretionary. You have not claimed so how do they justify a reduction in NCD?

    Thus they have increased your premium on the basis of a false statement – that you made a claim. That seems like fraud to me and that, the last time I looked, was a criminal offence.

    Even if they just say that you now are a greater risk, on what basis? That your wife was hit by one or two idiots in a vehicle that is not the subject of the insurance?


    Even if it were that vehicle, what is different from when you insured last time?
    – the idiots were still there, they just hadn't quite got round to hitting you yet and there is no statistical justification for assumig they will again.


    Look up "regression to the mean" - No change in the risk. They're just money grabbing.

    4 words spring to mind – “see you in court”. But remember I'm not a lawyer so this is not legal advice, I'm just an ordinary “oik” who refuses to let them get away with their ****.

    It might be wiser to make a claim against the other party even if it is for a very small amount because then you get irrefutable recognition of who was at fault. Messy but that's insurance for you.



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    To play devil's advocate - you say the idiots were there when he insured last time - how do the insurers know that?

    Taking a step back, the motorbike is likely to be driven in the same areas as the car which was involved in the accidents, therefore subject to the some increased risk from said idiots.

    Simple fact of the matter is that with a renewal quote you don't have to take it, and can shop around for a cheaper price. Where's the fraud there?


    [ P.s. The claim I referred to above is now sorted. Car returned, fixed from the garage of my choice, and had a hire car all paid for by the third party insurer (hire company even dropped me off at the garage to get my own car after I returned theirs!). Incidentally, the hire car cost the third party insurer around £21/day. Credit hire would have slammed them for around £60-80/day for the vehicle I was given. ]


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder Aitken Brotherston Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Hello Supervillain.
    The point about the "idiots" is that they are non-specific idiots, they are everwhere and I doubt it was the same idiot both times. The general level of "idiocy" would not be measurably changed by two incidents even if they are close together in time and/or location so the risk level would not measurably increase. Two idiot incidents together with the same victim is almost certainly a statistical abberation, hence the applicabiity of "regression to the mean".

    Of course if it was in a very small hamlet and both incidents were the same village idiot that would change the risk factor but in that case I would expect plod to take the idiot off the road.

    You are right about looking about and getting a reasonabe quote from another insurer. That would change the actual fraud into attempted fraud, which is every bit as criminal. BTW it is exactly what I did.


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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    The level of idiocy doesn't change, it's highlighted by the reporting of the incidents - the original policy being under-estimated.

    There's still no fraud. What you describe in the post isn't fraud. Not fraud by false representation, not fraud by failing to disclose, nor is it fraud by abuse of position.

    If it was, then anyone selling anything and then putting up the price is in the firing line.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aitken Brotherston View Post
    Dear king12345
    You have just described what I am quite satisfied is fraud.

    I suspect they reduced your NCD.
    No Claims Discount is now a standard part of motor insuranceicon so they really cannot claim it is discretionary. You have not claimed so how do they justify a reduction in NCD?
    Thus they have increased your premium on the basis of a false statement – that you made a claim. That seems like fraud to me and that, the last time I looked, was a criminal offence.
    Even if they just say that you now are a greater risk, on what basis? That your wife was hit by one or two idiots in a vehicle that is not the subject of the insurance? Even if it were that vehicle, what is different from when you insured last time? – the idiots were still there, they just hadn't quite got round to hitting you yet and there is no statistical justification for assumig they will again. Look up "regression to the mean" - No change in the risk. They're just money grabbing.

    4 words spring to mind – “see you in court”. But remember I'm not a lawyer so this is not legal advice, I'm just an ordinary “oik” who refuses to let them get away with their ****.

    It might be wiser to make a claim against the other party even if it is for a very small amount because then you get irrefutable recognition of who was at fault. Messy but that's insurance for you.
    They didn't change my NCD, still there where it was.
    It's just that they are considering 2 irrelevant notifications because they can.
    Eventually I shopped around as I always do, but I couldn't find a better price.
    All other insurance companies believed the 2 non fault accidents in which I wasn't involved, to be relevant in assessing my risk and premium.
    Unfortunately the insurance industry is a wild jungle.
    They have no rules on what is relevant and what is not.
    Imo a non fault accident is not relevant and the premium shouldn't increase, but it does (for 5 years).
    Same for speeding offences: They're completely wiped out from your dvla records after 4 years but the insurance company will charge you more for 5 years.
    Why???
    Because they can, remember, there's no regulations on how they assess the risk.
    One of the reasons I never moved out of London is the fear of losing the ability to run a car because of extortionate insurance premiums.
    What would I do in the country side if I can't afford to insure a car???


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    If the original policy is under estimated and that is the reason for the doubling of the premium then all policies in that geography would double as the result of 2 idiot instances.
    Assuming a normal population density (numbers not IQ), not realistic I'm afraid.

    The false representation by the insurance company is "Mr King12345 You made a claim so your NCD is reduced so we will double your premium". The falshood is perpetrated because King12345 did not make a claim. If you claimed for an accident that did not happen, you would be guilty of fraud or attempted fraud if you were caught. You would be prosecuted as should the Insurance Company.



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