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Confused about car insurance claim?? Sheilas Wheels


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Hello would appreciate someonebodys advice or opinion about this.

 

My car is insured with Sheilas Wheels

 

After another driver hit my car I reported the accident to my insurance company.

 

Sheilas Wheels appointed 'Drive Assist' to deal with the claim. To say they haven't handled the claim smoothly is an understatement - however they have told me something I don't think I've ever heard before.

 

Basiclly they need to replace the whole of the back bumper. There is some pre accidental damage already on the bumper - so given that - I need to contribute towards the replacement of the bumper.

 

Can anyone tell me if what they're saying is correct?

 

Many thanks.

NatWest

Data Protection Act Letter - 06/08/2006

Statements rec'd 14/9/2006

Preliminary Letter sent - 27/9/06

LBA - 18/10/06

Claim with Court - 31/10/2006

Got until 14/11/06 to acknowledge.

7/11/06 Received ltr offering full settlement minus

interest + court costs

12/11/06 - Rejection sent

17/11/6006 - Natwest Acknowledged

4/12/06 - Rec'd Natwest Def (Cobbetts)

5/1206 - Rec'd partial offer (Cobbetts)

THE WOOLWICH

Data Protection Act Letter - 06/08/2006

List of charges rec'd - 04/9/2006

Prelimary Letter sent - 06/09/2006

Response - 'fully investigating' - 11/09/2006

Claim with Court - 20/10/06

Acknowledged - 20/10/2006

Defence by 17/11/2006

AQ to be returned - 11/12/2006

Court Date - 14/02/2007

**SETTLED IN FULL**

CAPITAL ONE

**SETTLED IN FULL** 3/11/06

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In a nutshell - yes.

 

The purpose of insurance is to reinstate you to the position you were in prior to the accident. As they can't fit a damaged bumper they will obviously fit a new one so you would in effect be better off as it eliminates the pre exisiting damage.

 

Have they said how much they want you to pay?

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Hi thanks. If I understand this right - by replacing the whole bumper my car will be in a better state than it was prior to the accident? Pity I can't ask them just to replace the portion that was damaged - or even better ask for them to reinstate the pre-accidental damage on the new bumper - lol.

 

The cost in total comes to £858! I was quite surprised by that as I had originally had a quote from the dealer to repair the damage and that came to £238. So either the dealer didn't do such an indepth quote or the garage appointed by the insurance company know it's an insurance job... just speculating.

 

The bumper part of the total cost comes to £196 and they want me to pay £112 of that.

NatWest

Data Protection Act Letter - 06/08/2006

Statements rec'd 14/9/2006

Preliminary Letter sent - 27/9/06

LBA - 18/10/06

Claim with Court - 31/10/2006

Got until 14/11/06 to acknowledge.

7/11/06 Received ltr offering full settlement minus

interest + court costs

12/11/06 - Rejection sent

17/11/6006 - Natwest Acknowledged

4/12/06 - Rec'd Natwest Def (Cobbetts)

5/1206 - Rec'd partial offer (Cobbetts)

THE WOOLWICH

Data Protection Act Letter - 06/08/2006

List of charges rec'd - 04/9/2006

Prelimary Letter sent - 06/09/2006

Response - 'fully investigating' - 11/09/2006

Claim with Court - 20/10/06

Acknowledged - 20/10/2006

Defence by 17/11/2006

AQ to be returned - 11/12/2006

Court Date - 14/02/2007

**SETTLED IN FULL**

CAPITAL ONE

**SETTLED IN FULL** 3/11/06

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Share on other sites
Hello would appreciate someonebodys advice or opinion about this.

 

My car is insured with Sheilas Wheels

 

After another driver hit my car I reported the accident to my insurance company.

 

Sheilas Wheels appointed 'Drive Assist' to deal with the claim. To say they haven't handled the claim smoothly is an understatement - however they have told me something I don't think I've ever heard before.

 

Basiclly they need to replace the whole of the back bumper. There is some pre accidental damage already on the bumper - so given that - I need to contribute towards the replacement of the bumper.

 

Can anyone tell me if what they're saying is correct?

 

Many thanks.

 

It's the betterment argument - again - & in your case I doubt a valid one - you can rightly argue that you want your vehicle restored to it's pre accident condition - that is your right - nor can you be asked to pay extra for what I assume as a non-fault accident - in other words you cannot be expected to be out of pocket for someone else's negligence & the fact that your vehicle will be in slightly better condition than before is just your good luck

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It's the betterment argument - again - & in your case I doubt a valid one - you can rightly argue that you want your vehicle restored to it's pre accident condition - that is your right - nor can you be asked to pay extra for what I assume as a non-fault accident - in other words you cannot be expected to be out of pocket for someone else's negligence & the fact that your vehicle will be in slightly better condition than before is just your good luck

 

Sorry JC but I don't agree.

 

As you rightly say, it is the responsibility of the negligent party to restore the vehicle to it's PRE ACCIDENT CONDITION, nothing more nothing less. As the car was already damaged in some way prior to this accident, the TP insurers would in effect be paying to repair damage for which their insured driver was not responsible.

 

I can't comment on whether the amount they want Don to pay is reasonable without knowing how much damage there was to the bumper before this incident but it does seem to be a rather random figure (57.3%) so it would be interesting to know how this was arrived at.

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Sorry but it's you who's wrong.

 

Whilst I know it's insurance company practice to claim such repairs are betterment & the victim should make a contribution the victim cannot be forced to do so but they do not knowing any better.

 

Also had the accident not happened then the victim would not have had to pay anything nor would they have chosen too

 

Another of their cons is to offer an insured little more than trade value rather than retail when a vehicle is written off. - my argument there is to tell them OK you find them a like for like vehicle in all respects, mileage age, colour, fittings etc ,& I'm sure the victim will settle

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My understanding a few years ago was that if pre-existing damage could not affect the repair necessary for the damage claimed for, then the insurer could not ask for a contribution. So, if a bumper had a pre-existing scratch and was wrecked in an accident, the bumper would have to come off anyway. the pre-existing damage is neither here nor there.

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My understanding a few years ago was that if pre-existing damage could not affect the repair necessary for the damage claimed for, then the insurer could not ask for a contribution. So, if a bumper had a pre-existing scratch and was wrecked in an accident, the bumper would have to come off anyway. the pre-existing damage is neither here nor there.

 

Correct Gyzmo

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I'm still not sure about this and I apologise if I have given the OP an incorrect answer. This may be a learning exercise for me!

 

I have copied this from the esure policy document (esure underwrite sheilas wheels). I've highlighted the relevant part.

 

Exceptions which apply to

sections 2, 3 and 4

What is not covered

Loss or damage caused by wear or tear or depreciation.

Any decrease in the market value of your car following repair covered by your policy.

Any part of a repair or replacement which improves your car beyond its condition before

the loss or damage occurred.

Any mechanical, electrical, electronic, computer or computer software breakdowns,

failures, faults or breakages.

Damage to tyres caused by braking, punctures, cuts or bursts.

Loss or damage to mobile or car telephones or other portable telecommunications,

audio, television, DVD, gaming, navigation or radar detection equipment, not

permanently fitted to your vehicle, or any of their parts.

Deliberate damage caused to your car by anyone insured under your policy.

Loss of use of your car or other indirect or consequential loss.

Loss or damage to any trailer, caravan or disabled motor vehicle, or their contents,

being towed by your car.

Loss or damage to your car if, at the time of the incident, it was being driven or used

without your permission by someone in your family or someone living with you. This

exception does not apply if the person driving is prosecuted for taking the car without

your permission.

 

 

As I see it, esure are entitled to claim the betterment from the OP as the policy document forms part of the contract (unless we want to get into the realms of UTCCR). As this is a non fault accident the betterment should form part of his uninsured loss claim which I accept it would be reasonable for him to include as he wouldn't otherwise have paid to repair the pre accident damage.

 

Like I said, I'm prepared to learn from this so if I can be told otherwise I will take it on board.

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Couple of things here. firstly, the notion of indemnity si really an academic one, and rarely works in practice (new for old, excesses etc). If this bumper (without existing damage) was replaced with a new one then they have received betterment. They have a new bumper in place of one that is x years old. It happens a lot in practice.

 

The wording is there to avoid those claims that are made to try and get several sets of damage repaired under one claim - usually where repairs can be done. An example would be where there are two dents next to each other, one old and one new. The new dent can only be repaired by additional work (to the old one) or not at all. In that case, ther eis betterment in it's normal term. To fix the new dent the repairer would not have had to carry out the additional work where it not for the old one.

 

But in the OP's case the situation is different. The bumper had to be replaced anyway. The insurer is not suffering any loss from doing it. They are not having to repair the scratch AND replace the bumper.

 

in taht case, there is no betterment. I think a better definition would be an insurers detriment to the insured's benefit where that detriment would not have existed otherwise.

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I did say a couple og things and mentioned one. The other escapes me completely. I think it was to do with policy wording and unfair terms. Nay mind

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That's my point JC. The policyholder is initially (I assume) claiming under his own comprehensive policy for his own damage, therefore his own policy conditions apply at this stage. Esure will then look to recover their outlay from the TP insurers and the OP will recover his uninsured losses by whatever method he chooses.

 

Esure are not responsible for the preaccident damage to his car therefore the betterment is within the terms of the contract he has with them. It is up to the OP to then demonstrate to the TP insurers that he would not have had this outlay but for the negligence of their insured driver and then recover it that way.

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I'm confused - sounds like we're all agreeing whilst still maintaining original viewpoints (not that I'm spoiling for a fight! :D ).

 

The TP would have to pay in this case because there is no betterment in replacing the bumper. It had to be replaced anyway. The OPs insurer cannot ask for contribution becaue they have not had to incur additional expense in the repair. As it is a legitimate cost, the TP cannot refuse to indemnify. Is that what we're all saying?

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That's my point JC. The policyholder is initially (I assume) claiming under his own comprehensive policy for his own damage, therefore his own policy conditions apply at this stage. Esure will then look to recover their outlay from the TP insurers and the OP will recover his uninsured losses by whatever method he chooses.

 

Esure are not responsible for the preaccident damage to his car therefore the betterment is within the terms of the contract he has with them. It is up to the OP to then demonstrate to the TP insurers that he would not have had this outlay but for the negligence of their insured driver and then recover it that way.

 

 

Whilst I know that insurers will claim they can they are wrong except in the case where the OP is claiming on his own insurance for their own fault accident but NOT a non fault accident caused by a 3rd party

 

In the case of the latter the claimant can & should claim payment in full as will his own insurer from the 3rd party insurer if they are meeting the initial bill

 

An innocent party to an accident cannot be required to pay anything & anyway they might not have sufficient funds to meet the betterment costs. What would happen then because it does happen sometimes that policy holders cannot meet the extra costs of betterment - they do without until they can - I don't think so - an innocent driver being without what might be their only means of getting to work - sorry no way & any 3rd party insurer who tried that on would find their bill rocketing - not only in legal costs but also in supplying a hire car to the victim

 

An innocent party can be expected to be returned to their position pre accident without suffering any financial loss

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I'm determined to get to understand this.

 

The OP is claiming initially under his own policy, therefore within the terms of the contract agreed with his insurers the betterment is payable at the time of the repair being completed. He should then go on to recover this from the TPI as he wouldn't have had the outlay but for the negligence of their insured driver.

 

I don't see how blame affects the terms and conditions of his own policy which clearly states that they will not improve on the pre accident condition of the vehicle.

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NO! NO! NO! NO! Your wrong

 

It would be up to their insurer to reclaim any losses not him - as this is NOT an uninsured loss

 

Betterment only applies if the insured is claiming for damage that was their own fault - not anothers - after all their insurer can recover, in full, from the other 3rd party insurer

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But if the OP is claiming under his own policy then it is the terms and conditions of that policy that apply and within those terms there is agreement to betterment where applicable.

 

Let's assume that esure for some reason are unable to recover their outlay. They have then paid to restore the car to better condition than pre accident which is outside the terms of the contract with the insured.

 

Betterment is by definition an uninsured loss.

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What can I say. Even if they are paying out they can ONLY enforce their betterment term if the accident is the policy holders fault.

 

I don't care what the policy claims the innocent victim CANNOT be required to pay ANYTHING. It's a principal tenet of Common Law

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But in agreeing to the policy conditions the policyholder accepts the betterment clause so regardless of blame it still applies.

 

If, for example this had been a hit whilst parked and no TP details left, the betterment clause would apply as there was pre accident damage that neither the insured or the insurer could recover. The policy clause doesn't include any statement about liability.

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I'm sorry what don't you understand.

 

The innocent policyholder would only be liable if they are responsible for the accident & subsequent damage & obviously the insurance company has to have a 3rd party from which they can recover their payment in full - so hit & runs don't count though sometimes thay do

 

The OP owes absolutely no such obligation to the at fault 3rd party or their insurer. The OP can demand full payment from them & doesn't even have to go through their own insurer when doing so

 

However many do because the have fully comp & often it's quicker - but not always

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What I don't understand JC is why you are so adamant that you are correct without being able to adequately support your opinion.

 

The OP is claiming, presumably for the sake of expediency, under his own policy. That policy has a betterment clause which the insurers are choosing to apply. The OP agreed to this clause when taking the policy and so it forms part of the contract between him and the insurers.

 

Liability is irrelevant to this part of the contract. esure are repairing his car under the terms of the agreement that they have with him. They may seek to recover their outlay from the TPI or settle as non fault under a knock for knock agreement but this doesn't alter the fact that the pre accident damage is uninsured under the terms of the policy.

 

The OP would need to demonstrate that he would not otherwise have paid to repair to the pre accident damage to recover the uninsured part of the claim.

 

In a previous post you stated that "an innocent party cannot be required to pay anything" (post 16 I believe) so next time I get my car damaged in a car park and have no TP details, based on this assertion I'm not required to pay my £300 excess because I'm the innocent party.

 

Please don't bother telling me that policy excess is different. It is still a condition of the policy and is enforceable. Perhaps you would like to go to the bodyshop with the OP, tell them he isn't paying the bill and see how long it takes for him to get his car back.

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