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New online service could help drivers report accidents READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-online-service-could-help-drivers-report-accidents
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 FOS 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.