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Car Accident: Shall I Accept Third Party Offer to Repair the Car

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I had a car accident last week where someone drove at the back of my car while I was stationary at traffic lights and reported the accident to my insurance who called me on Friday offered me repair at their approved user once I paid Excess. They said once they have the other party accept liablity I would receive my Excess back and this would not be marked as FAULT accident on my claim. I asked them to wait until Monday as I wanted to send all the evidence about liablity to my insurance first. (Excess is Only £100 so its not a big deal at all).

 

Then on Saturday I received a phone call from Third Party's insurance who said their client has admitted the liablity and therefore they are willing to repair my car at their approved garages and happy to provide me a courtesy car and if I chose to go ahead I wont even have to pay EXCESS. I said to them I will need to discuss this with my insurance first then give them an answer on Monday. Third party advised me to inform my insurance they have admitted liablity.

 

I need to ask few questions if someone can kindly help:

1) Is this something normal for third party to call and offer repairs and courtesy car as it sounds very fishy?

2) Who should I choose to repair my car i.e. my insurance or third party insurers (EXCESS is not an issue as its only £100)

3) By looking at damage I took quoatation from few local repair garages and it is in Excess of more than 75% of my car's value. In this case will my car be written off? I would prefer my car not to be written off as its a perfect runner and I've always looked after it.

4) Which insurance is least likely to write my car off? Third Party or My insurance?

5) Because It will now be recorded as an accident on my insurance it is likely to affect my future premiums as some insurance companies think once in accident is more than likely to be in another accident regardless of fault or no fault. Can I in this case claim for increase in my car insurance premium from the 3rd party insurance? (I know this sounds very wierd question but I see increase in premium as a direct consequential loss of the accident caused by the 3rd party insured).

 

I am therefore very confused and any help in this matter will be highly appreciated.

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1) Is this something normal for third party to call and offer repairs and courtesy car as it sounds very fishy? - Quite possibly a claims management company acting on behalf of the insured, and quite normal to keep the other side's costs to a minimum. Our firm do the same, especially after a couple of fault claims where the other side then billed thousands for courtesy car and storage costs

2) Who should I choose to repair my car i.e. my insurance or third party insurers (EXCESS is not an issue as its only £100) - you don't need to choose - your insurer will deal with that, but it will normally be their approved repair facility (although if you have a good reason not to use them then you can often insist on your choice of garage, but may lose the courtesy car as a result

3) By looking at damage I took quoatation from few local repair garages and it is in Excess of more than 75% of my car's value. In this case will my car be written off? I would prefer my car not to be written off as its a perfect runner and I've always looked after it. - If the repair value is less than the book price (Glass Guide) then it is usually repaired

4) Which insurance is least likely to write my car off? Third Party or My insurance? It is a third party claim, so the decision is with their side, but as all companies use the same rates then there is no difference

5) Because It will now be recorded as an accident on my insurance it is likely to affect my future premiums as some insurance companies think once in accident is more than likely to be in another accident regardless of fault or no fault. Can I in this case claim for increase in my car insurance premium from the 3rd party insurance? (I know this sounds very wierd question but I see increase in premium as a direct consequential loss of the accident caused by the 3rd party insured). - Unlikely. It is a common question but I have never heard of anybody being successful in getting that back

 

..


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If the third party Insurers are a decent company, then yes it can be a good way to proceed. They have accepted liability for the accident damage.

 

The only problems are

 

1) No contractural rights, because they are not your insurers. If you had a problem, you can't go to the FOS. If the car was not repaired properly and you reached a deadlock, you would have to sue them.

 

2) if their approved garage writes off the car, as the repair is too expensive, you can lose control. The car might be taken miles away from where you live. If you disagreed with the write off, then you might have hassle of getting it inspected by your own insurers to see if they would repair it. It can be more difficult dealing with a third party insurers in regard to a write off value, as you don't have the same contract/FOS protection.

 

There are pros/cons of dealing with own or third party insurers. Sometimes a third party insurers are better dealing with a claim than your own insurers. It depends on who you trust more.

 

To add to the previous response in trying to claim back from the third party a sum related to premium increases. The problem has always been calculating a loss value. Because the loss only occurs at a future renewal and is not a known quantity until you have had definite confirmation in writing from your Insurers, then it is difficult. Any court would want definite proof from your Insurers of the non fault accident premium increase. And then there is the question of what you did to mitigate against loss e.g shop around for alternative insurance. So for a £50 premium increase, where you shopped around and found a policy say £20 cheaper, are you really going to issue a court claim for £30 ?


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Thanks to both Sidewinder and UncleBulgaria for usefull advice. I will take this forward with my own insurance as they are more likely to look out for my interest. As you said UncleBulgaria if insurance goes up I will definitely be doing some shop around before buying a new insurance as we all do. I will try get a quoatation with and without mentioning accident for the quoatation and try to work out the price difference and see if its worth going to court.

Either way I will mention it to my insurance when it comes to settling this claim hopefully with repair or worse come scenario write off that I intend to pass any increase in insurance premium to 3rd Party as it is direct consequential loss of this accident.

Quick question at this stage though: How does courtesy car works out? I have been assured courtesy car by third party but I have standard Courtesy Car NOT Guaranteed Car Hire with my insurance. Will I still get courtesy Car if I proceed with my insurance? Car is desperately needed for commuting to work and moving family from one place to other. Also if I do get courtesy car will it be something similar to car I drive (my car is luxury edition with everything being automatic etc)

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Basically, under your policy, you only get a courtesy car, if the garage repairing your car has one available. Other than that, you just hire a car and claim cost back from third parties insurers. The third party insurers have offered to pay for one anyway and liability is not disputed, so third party insurers should reimburse you fairly quickly.

 

What you will find with the garage courtesy car is that it is a basic small car. If you want a better car similar to your current car, then you would need to hire one at your own expense and claim it back from third party insurers. The third party insurers would only have ever provided a standard car, just so you can travel around. So be careful, not going too over the top, if you don't need to, as the third party insurers might kick up a fuss if too expensive.


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Do you mean I need to inform third party and get their consent before hiring car and about which car I can hire? Small car isn't good due to family needs

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Do you mean I need to inform third party and get their consent before hiring car and about which car I can hire? Small car isn't good due to family needs

 

No. But as you would be paying for it and claiming back from the third party, you need to justify it. It must be similar to the car which in a garage being repaired.

 

You could phone the third party insurers to let them know you will be claiming off your own insurers policy and mention that you need a hire car for the period you will be without one. Perhaps they have a discount arrangement with a hire company and it will make claiming back cost easier.


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I've proceeded via my own insurance route as I believe they are more likely to look after my interests rather than third party insurers. I informed them about third party admitting liability and they have happily suggested they would arrange for approved Repairer and Rent a Car company to contact me for Courtesy Car. They also said I won't be paying to Rent A Car company as they will bill third party insurance directly.

Will update on next steps for now massive thanks to all who helped

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Guys a big problem please help me with this. I've just spoken to Rent a Car company appointed by my insurers and they are only Offering me a 1.6 litre Hatchback car while my car is 2.0 litre Saloon Car. I did mention to insurance this morning I want like to like Courtesy Car due to family needs which includes little children and someone with disability and 1.6 litre Hatchback is by no means a substitute as boot space, engine size and passenger capacity is too small compared to my need BUT they are saying that's all they can authorize due to age of my vehicle.

Any help who and how to escalate this matter to? Getting really stressed

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Guys a big problem please help me with this. I've just spoken to Rent a Car company appointed by my insurers and they are only Offering me a 1.6 litre Hatchback car while my car is 2.0 litre Saloon Car. I did mention to insurance this morning I want like to like Courtesy Car due to family needs which includes little children and someone with disability and 1.6 litre Hatchback is by no means a substitute as boot space, engine size and passenger capacity is too small compared to my need BUT they are saying that's all they can authorize due to age of my vehicle.

Any help who and how to escalate this matter to? Getting really stressed

 

Rent a car will be working within authorisation limits by your Insurers, so if you want something more then you need your Insurers to authorise with Rent a car. Get on the phone to your insurers to explain the situation. It is not the engine size, but the size if car for your needs.


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I tried they won't budge quoting due to age of my car it falls in a lower class hence I've been offered 1.6 litre hatchback. I've raised this as a complaint with complaints department who will be contacting me in 24hours. Or alternatively I've been advised to contact third party insurers directly to see if they can sort out Courtesy Car. But if not resolved size of Courtesy vehicle will be causing serious issues and will impact mobility specially of my family which includes people with disabilities with reduced mobility and little children.

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I tried they won't budge quoting due to age of my car it falls in a lower class hence I've been offered 1.6 litre hatchback. I've raised this as a complaint with complaints department who will be contacting me in 24hours. Or alternatively I've been advised to contact third party insurers directly to see if they can sort out Courtesy Car. But if not resolved size of Courtesy vehicle will be causing serious issues and will impact mobility specially of my family which includes people with disabilities with reduced mobility and little children.

 

Check your policy. It may only provide for a basic hire car, rather than a specific size / capacity. Some policies only cover for a basic hire car (and some of those then offer "enhanced courtesy car cover" at an additional premium!)

If they offer this at an additional premium expect them to say "Basic courtesy car only, you had the option to pay more for enhanced courtesy car cover & chose not to".

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I will try get a quoatation with and without mentioning accident for the quoatation and try to work out the price difference and see if its worth going to court.

 

Is there any risk to the OP doing this (might it look like an attempt at fraud?)

If there is, would the risk be any less by asking the question of a broker rather than "DIY through websites"?

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Is there any risk to the OP doing this (might it look like an attempt at fraud?)

If there is, would the risk be any less by asking the question of a broker rather than "DIY through websites"?

 

Yes there is a risk in doing this. These comparison sites report such activity to Insurers and it could cause problems. It is supposed to be anti fraud measure, but could catch those looking to see how much a non fault accident claim affects them.

 

Well spotted !


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Check your policy. It may only provide for a basic hire car, rather than a specific size / capacity. Some policies only cover for a basic hire car (and some of those then offer "enhanced courtesy car cover" at an

additional premium!)

If they offer this at an additional premium expect them to day "badic courtesy car only, you had the option to pay more for enhanced courtesy car cover & chose not to".

 

 

Hi BazzaS I believe this might be the case but how is a 1.6 Litre Hatchback equivalent to a 2.0 litre Saloon car?

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Many Thanks I have since checked it with my insurance and they said they do not raise premium for non fault accidents however there might be some insurance who might do so. I would definitely check with Brokers instead of comparison websites to be sure even though I've been assured my premium wont be bumped up

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Give the other party's insurer a call, explain the situation and ask if they can get you a bigger car.

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According to my insurers I can pursue Courtesy Car with third party insurance however since that will be arranged by third party therefore third party will have to provide me with insurance cover on Courtesy Car.

I have therefore raised this as a formal complaint with my insurers as I am not happy at all with this kind of service in regards to my Courtesy Car arrangements and I've been advised I would be contacted in next 48 hours regarding this.

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Hi BazzaS I believe this might be the case but how is a 1.6 Litre Hatchback equivalent to a 2.0 litre Saloon car?

 

It isn't equivalent, but they aren't saying that a basic courtesy car is equivalent!!

They are saying "you get a (non-equivalent) courtesy car unless you pay extra"

 

So, for example:

http://www.aviva.co.uk/car-insurance/benefits/

Under "Enhanced courtesy car upgrade"

 

Or, http://ask.co-opinsurance.co.uk/help/car_insurance/court_car

"Our Co-op Car Insurance policy entitles you to a courtesy car (typically a 1 litre vehicle) whilst your vehicle is being repaired by a Co-op Insurance appointed repairer after suffering insured damage.

 

.............

 

you can buy our Enhanced Courtesy Car cover that will provide a vehicle similar in engine size to your own (up to 1.8 litre) if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered or written-off.

 

So, you can insist on an equivalent courtesy car from the 3rd party insurers, press your insurers for an equivalent (asking them to persue the other party's insurers for the difference, or ask your insurers if you can pay the difference and get the larger car through them & recover the difference from the 3rd party's insurer later .....)

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It isn't equivalent, but they aren't saying that a basic courtesy car is equivalent!!

They are saying "you get a (non-equivalent) courtesy car unless you pay extra"

 

So, for example:

http://www.aviva.co.uk/car-insurance/benefits/

Under "Enhanced courtesy car upgrade"

 

Or, http://ask.co-opinsurance.co.uk/help/car_insurance/court_car

"Our Co-op Car Insurance policy entitles you to a courtesy car (typically a 1 litre vehicle) whilst your vehicle is being repaired by a Co-op Insurance appointed repairer after suffering insured damage.

 

.............

 

you can buy our Enhanced Courtesy Car cover that will provide a vehicle similar in engine size to your own (up to 1.8 litre) if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered or written-off.

 

So, you can insist on an equivalent courtesy car from the 3rd party insurers, press your insurers for an equivalent (asking them to persue the other party's insurers for the difference, or ask your insurers if you can pay the difference and get the larger car through them & recover the difference from the 3rd party's insurer later .....)

 

Excellent BazzaS!! Tomorrow I will contact third party insurers and ask them to sort out similar Courtesy Car (Saloon for Saloon) and see if that works IF NOT then when my insurers complaint department gets in touch I will ask them either to provide me with similar car or ask them about the option of claiming the difference back from third party.

I dont think my insurers will be paying for anything more than a 1.6 litre hatchback because when I spoke to them today they said courtesy cars are provided by Enterprise Rent a Car and they give out vehicle based on the probablity of recovering the money back from third party insurers and giving me more than this car will be a risk to them. Seems like an agreement between my insurers and Enterprise Rent a Car where they invest money based on probablity of recovering it?

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Do you realise the hire car your Insurer are proposing is a "Credit Hire Vehicle"

 

The other Insurers (Direct Line) offered to provide you with a like for like hire car at their cost and their risk.

 

Are the credit hire company your Insurers have transferred you too (They will be paying your Insurer a commission payment of circa £350) aware that Direct Line offered you a hire car before you were put onto the Credit Hire company? It can make it difficult for the CH company to recover their costs from DL as DL will say their outlay would have been less if you had mitigated your losses by using their proposed hire car (Which costs many times less than the Credit Hire companies vehicle).

 

Are you aware your own Insurer (Assuming your claiming from your own Insurance policy and paying your excess) are likely to deduct any remaining instalments from your Insurance premium (Assuming you did not pay in one payment up front) from the write off value of your car (Assuming your car is written off). Although they should allow you to cover your replacement vehicle in the policy.

 

If you claim for the write off directly from Direct Line, they will not make a deduction for your remaining instalments

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Do you realise the hire car your Insurer are proposing is a "Credit Hire Vehicle"

 

The other Insurers (Direct Line) offered to provide you with a like for like hire car at their cost and their risk.

 

Are the credit hire company your Insurers have transferred you too (They will be paying your Insurer a commission payment of circa £350) aware that Direct Line offered you a hire car before you were put onto the Credit Hire company? It can make it difficult for the CH company to recover their costs from DL as DL will say their outlay would have been less if you had mitigated your losses by using their proposed hire car (Which costs many times less than the Credit Hire companies vehicle).

 

Are you aware your own Insurer (Assuming your claiming from your own Insurance policy and paying your excess) are likely to deduct any remaining instalments from your Insurance premium (Assuming you did not pay in one payment up front) from the write off value of your car (Assuming your car is written off). Although they should allow you to cover your replacement vehicle in the policy.

 

If you claim for the write off directly from Direct Line, they will not make a deduction for your remaining instalments

Excellent points never thought of fact that my insurers might be earning commissions from Courtesy Car company. My only reason to deal with my own insurance company was that I thought they are more likely to guard my interests than third party i.e things like getting car repaired to standard and in case of write off giving me proper value for my car. If I agree to deal directly with third party I won't stand a chance to argue back for things such as quality of workmanship and car value in case it's a write off.

Not sure if people will agree with my point that it's better to deal through your insurance rather than third party but any suggestions and specially personal experiences in similar situations are welcome

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Which is why I was asking you on the other forum who you are insured with.

 

If you had disclosed this we can give you an informed opinion on how good your own Insurer are likely to be.

 

I can tell you that Direct Line are pretty good when dealing with third parties as it's in their interest to control the claim as they can keep the costs reasonable eg by cutting out the Credit Hire company.

 

A lot of Insurers see handling a third party well (Such as your situation) a good way of winning long term customers by showing them how good they are

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Had a phone call from the Car Hire Company informing me that having spoken to my insurance, my insurance company has now approved a like to like car as the 1.6 litre hatchback initially provided was not suitable to my needs. The person who could've made this decision was not in the office all day yesterday hence all the troubles however now they are providing me a 2.0 litre Saloon car. At least takes the stress off which I had thinking how to fit my family in the little hatchback.

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I've had a little update. My insurers called me on Friday and told me that they are calling for my car's valuation. I was surprised at first as why they want to do valuation on my car but during the course of the call insurers informed me that since the repair bill on my car will be £2000 they have decided to write my car off as CAT C. To make the issue worse they only offered me £1000 as car's value.

I was furious as firstly I wanted them to repair the car instead as my car has been properly looked after but then understanding most insurers would write the car off I was furious at the £1000 offer.

I asked them what is their valuation based on? Their reply was "Fair Market Value" based on age and mileage of the vehicle.

I argued that my car has 4 New Tyres, recent service and is a luxury edition and I could've sold it for far over then £1500 (a fact) but they kept insisting its a Fair Market Value not the value the value it could've been sold as the value I believe my car would've been sold is my opinion not Fair Market Value. I asked if they have engineer's report and insurance agent said engineer's report is only for accessing damage and they dont have it as the insurance agent was responsible for valuation rather than valuation being based on engineer's report.

So at that stage I said I would look for similar cars and send them details how much they sell for but he insurance agent still said some cars sell for more some for less we are offering Fair Market Value.

I know they are offering me less than the car is actually worth what are my options at this stage?

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