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Churchill Car Insurance - Write off query


Dick Emery
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Churchill have written off my car on a category D. It was collected this morning. The haulage guy said any paperwork would have to be handled by Churchill. I did not even get a receipt for the car! I took name/photos/reg etc though.

 

Anyhow I asked about what happens with regards payments and was told I had another payment due the beginning of September because obviously I am paying behind by DD. I asked about cancellation fees and was told it would be fifty odd quid! She said I could tell them to suspend the insurance (Hold on I have no car it's been written off what's that all about?) and when I get another car to put it on and adjust the amount then. If I don't put a car on it after 28 days suspension it will auto cancel (I bet they still want the fifty odd quid though!). My renewal date is in November I think.

 

On their site it says.

 

"You may also suspend your policy for a period of time if you meet certain criteria. For example, if your vehicle has been written off following an accident and you have not yet purchased a new vehicle. Just call us on 0845 603 3551. You’ll need to continue your monthly payments if you pay by instalments."

 

I am a bit confused about that last bit.

 

EDIT: From Moneysupermarket's myths page.

 

"9) If my car is written off in an accident, I can reclaim the remaining premium

 

If you pay for a year's car insurance, but then crash and the vehicle is written off after two months, you cannot then demand ten month's worth of premium back.

The contract you enter into with an insurer is for an entire year, not month by month. Even if you're paying on a monthly basis, you're just paying what you owe on the entire year's cover, so if you wrote off your vehicle, you would need to continue paying."

 

 

I am guessing this means that because I made a claim and the car was not just sold/scrapped I am still liable for the rest of the years payments???

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Yes you have to pay for the whole year as it is a years contract. It is silly, but if the policy is cancelled for any reason before renewal, Insurers will want to charge a cancellation fee to cover their admin costs.

 

There is no car currently to insure, so you could just suspend the policy just in case you manage to buy a replacement within the period allowed. Atleast this would allow you time to deal with getting a payout from Churchill to obtain a replacement car and saves you immediately cancelling the policy and paying up the remaining premium plus the cancellation admin fee.

 

There is no reason for Churchill to delay paying you the market value of the car, but you need to make sure that the market value is correct. It is worth getting a value from Glass.co.uk or Parkers. Plus I would suggest you get checking Auto Trader and local garage adverts for similar cars, so you help Churchill come to a value. The more you push Churchill and give them information, the more likely it will be that you will gain a reasonable settlement in a timely fashion.

 

Read this guide from the FOS, as it will help you understand write off settlements.

 

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/technical_notes/motor-valuation.html

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks. I will get them to suspend the policy until I have another car. The value offered was generous so I have no complaints there. I am just waiting for them to pay it into my bank account. What I intend to do is get another car and insure it with Churchill up to the renewal date and then look around again. No doubt there will be an admin charge for change of car and I wonder if my premium will be affected by the claim (second claim within 3 years even though it was totally the other drivers fault as the car was parked unattended. But I doubt they will even take that into consideration).

 

What I need to try and avoid is them roping me into another year with a different car.

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Thanks. I will get them to suspend the policy until I have another car. The value offered was generous so I have no complaints there. I am just waiting for them to pay it into my bank account. What I intend to do is get another car and insure it with Churchill up to the renewal date and then look around again. No doubt there will be an admin charge for change of car and I wonder if my premium will be affected by the claim (second claim within 3 years even though it was totally the other drivers fault as the car was parked unattended. But I doubt they will even take that into consideration).

 

What I need to try and avoid is them roping me into another year with a different car.

 

This current claim may be shown as a fault claim on the renewal, if Churchill have not managed to recover their outlay from the third parties Insurers. People do get a bit confused, when the word fault is used. They think that because the other party was totally at fault, that it should not affect their policy. Well it will because you have had an accident so a loading will be applied and a claim may be shown as fault until the third parties insurers have paid out for the claim to your Insurers.

 

Just shop around at renewal, based on the correct information. If the claim is not shown on the renewal as non fault, you may have to chase up with Churchill. You can still go elsewhere for Insurance, but you will have to update new Insurers once Churchill have closed the claim off as non fault.

We could do with some help from you.

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My parents are hassling me to contact Churchills legal department. Basically they are of the opinion that since the third party insurer accepts full liability I should not be liable to pay anymore to Churchill seeing as the payment is (should be) coming from the third party and *NOT* Churchill, even though Churchill are dealing with the claim. They say I should not be put at a financial disadvantage when the accident was not my fault and I tend to agree with them. It seems like an unfair clause.

 

Opinions?

 

EDIT: Just spoke to Churchill again (not the legal department). They say it has definitely been registered as a non-fault claim. Basically they say it is not finalized yet and until then I must continue to make payments. If after it has been finalized and I have not got another car then they can backdate and refund any payments to the date of the incident. So basically if I got another car and went with another insurer I still would still have to pay Churchill until it is finalized. It all sounds very suspect to me and like I am being held to ransom in order that I don't leave them before the renewal date.

 

EDIT2: I have spoken to two legal departments (Legal Protection and Churchill Legal Advice). It looks like I am SOL on this one. If I want to complain I can write to Churchill or the FO but to be honest it doesn't look like it's worth it. I won't say I am happy about it but if it's in the contract T&C's... :p

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Churchill have stated the correct position.

 

You are claiming from Churchill and not directly with the third parties Insurers. You may not have received the same write off from the other Insurers.

We could do with some help from you.

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Churchill have stated the correct position.

 

You are claiming from Churchill and not directly with the third parties Insurers. You may not have received the same write off from the other Insurers.

 

I'll do my homework when it is up for renewal. Thanks.

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Yes it is normal for write offs to be taken away. The government have a general agreement with Insurers that write offs will mostly be scrapped, particularly older cars.

 

If B-I-L's car was not taken away, either the Insurers have made a mistake in not collecting after settlement or they reduced the settlement by the value of the salvage. Your B-I-L should check with the Insurers what the situation is, so they know what to do with the car.

We could do with some help from you.

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