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Hasting Insurance CRAZY Total Loss Valuation!!

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only 5 months ago I purchased my BMW 4 series Gran coupe from a dealers

 

last week a drunk driver decided to plough into my my parked car at 2am!

I believe the drunk driver was uninsured (shock)!

 

The damage was bad

I assumed it would be a write off and probable a Cat S,

 

however for some reason Hastings has decided to write off my car and categorise it under Cat B and told me I could not buy my car back!

I was utterly annoyed as the car I had bought was my dream car with really hard specs to find.

 

Nevertheless I waited to hear back for my valuation, after 5 days I was shocked to receive a valuation of £12,745!

With a £700 deduction of my excess (which okay is fair enough) and then a £700 deduction for the remaining cost of my insurance thus leaving me with just over £11k!!

The value of my car is in excess of £18k given its specs,

 

I had immediately declined the valuation and had given my reasons why and asked for a re evaluation.

My basis was that you could find the same car for around £16k however to find a white car with red leather for that car is a lot harder to find and so a lot more expensive,

 

will they take this into consideration?

As from what I have read online the insurance company have to reimburse me enough to be able to replace my vehicle like for like which I cannot do with £16k and would need £18k let alone the £12.7k they had quoted me. 
 

please could someone advise me on the likelihood of me attaining the £18k valuation and what could I do if they only budge £1k or so?

 

thanks in advance   

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You should be able to claim the replacement value of the vehicle. He certainly shouldn't accept their first figure but you should go about acquiring evidence in support of your own assessment. This means that you must scour the dealers, the websites – et cetera as well as trying to get a separate independent valuation from somebody who knew your car before it was damaged – and presumably taken away.

Is there a chance that at the value that you are seeking, it might not be treated as a write off?

One of the problems here is that there is large discrepancy between their valuation and your own assessment. This will make it much more likely that they will want to stick their heels in.

Simply challenging them on their assessment without providing a good find evidence is unlikely to be successful. Start acquiring the evidence now. Don't forget that you are dealing with Hastings which has a pretty lousy reputation on these things.

I suggest that any letter you write is posted up here for us to comment on before you actually send it off.

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If it was purchased only 4 months ago, that must be a guide to the current market value, with only a minor adjustment made.

 

A BMW dealer should be able to provide a market valuation or details of similar cars for sale.

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@BankFodder

Thank you so much for your advice,

I had started collating evidence to support my claim,

I have paid for a valuation from Parker’s which is a lot closer my valuation

have also found many auto trader advertisements for similar cars at a similar prices to my valuation.

Just waiting on their response

 

not sure on how many times I can decline their offer?

Can they force me to accept?

As I am in no rush for the payment. 

 

@unclebulgaria67

 

Sorry I wasn’t clear in my first message,

I meant to say I had bought it second hand from a private dealer not BMW themselves. 

 

 

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No they can't force you to accept. However, you may end up having to threaten and then to bring legal action in order to force them to pay out the money that you think the car is worth.

Anyway, you have already challenged their valuation so wait and see what they come back with – and in the meantime keep on accumulating the evidence. There is no reason for you to accept the first or second or even the third evaluation.

It is certainly very helpful to you that you are in no rush a payment. Most of these insurance companies imagine that their customers need the money urgently to buy a replacement vehicle – and they are normally right. If you are not in a hurry for payment, then this certainly puts you into a far more powerful position. You will be able to play the game on more equal terms.

If you eventually can't agree on the amount of money to be paid, then you could consider going to the ombudsman or else suing the company.

The only problem is that you would be sueing them for more than the £10,000 small claims limit and this would put you at risk of costs if you lost the case. Hastings will be well aware of this and if you start issuing court papers against them, they are likely to refer to your risk of costs very often in order to discourage/intimidate you into capitulating.

I'm trying to figure out if there might be a way that you can simply sue for the balance between their estimate the value and your own estimate of value. This would bring a potential claim well within the small claims limit and this would give you a good psychological advantage.

Let's see what Hastings say

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Sadly Hastings are still playing this game with valuations, most insurers these days will go straight in at retail, it saves the customer dispute, the staff time lost etc etc.  

 

Sounds like you are doing the right thing, you've challenged, are getting evidence to prove otherwise. 

 

Look at the FOS website, It'll give a guide of how underwriters should value a total loss, it'll also help you manage your expectations of what is considered for the market value of a vehicle (such as not relying too heavily on adverts on the basis they will have a mark up included). 

 

You can accept an interim payment, this does not mean you accept the final offer. you can challenge this as many times as you like, but realistically if your not getting what you want after the second challenge it should be time to move it on to the next stage. 

 

Don't get too bogged down in the detail of the next stages,  when it comes to that the board can guide you. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for this information. Might you be able to post a link to the relevant page on the FOS website

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Thanks guys, however from what I’ve read on reviews about the FOS, it doesn’t seem promising, apparently they go along with what the insurance say on most cases as they are not an actual government body, but we shall see. 
 

Does anyone have any experience of dealing with the FOS? 

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There's no doubt that the FOS are limp wristed and extremely conservative and far too cosy with industry when making the decisions. However, it is only one avenue of complaints. You don't have to accept their decision. You can go on to take court action if you want.

If you are able to accept an interim payment then that would reduce your problem to a manageable sum – meaning less than the £10,000 small claims limit. In that case I would have very little hesitation in urging you to sue them – if you have good evidence as to your evaluation


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Sure I have seen some FOS cases where a vehicle waa purchased within 6 months where the market value was seen as being price paid for a car, less any normal reduction in value.  I.e.. Taking into account standard depreciation, additional mileage. 

 

If the price paid for the car was more than dealer book price shown in Glass. Co.uk or Parkers, then you need to flesh out the reasons for this. E.g low mileage for age of car, extras fitted.

 

If the car was fitted with extras from new, where these advised to Insurers when the policy was purchased ?


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Hi all following a request for a re-evaluation below is the outcome email: 

 

As I have not been able to make contact with you today regarding the valuation of your vehicle I have detailed my report for you to review and reply back to your claims handler.

 

As you may be aware we use the motor trade guides and follow the Financial Ombudsman Service stance on achieving values for vehicle so it may also be worth looking at the FOS website as it explains the process in full and we follow that as best practise.

 

To decide whether an insurer's valuation is reasonable, we compare it with prices in specialist on-line motor trade guides called Parkers , Glass’s, CAP. We’ll generally look to see if the insurer’s valuation is in line with what the guides say. We might also use engineers' reports to help us decide whether the insurer's valuation is reasonable. These can give useful information about the condition of the vehicle. We don't usually find adverts helpful to judge a vehicle's value, because the selling price usually turns out to be lower. But they may be if the car’s a classic or rare model.’

 

The FOS would use an average of the guides to be seen to be fair as they consider the guides to be independent and the values are derived from the subject matter experts.

 

It may also be worthwhile for you to look at the FOS website which would explain their view on achieving a fair value.

 

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

 

Upon review I am in a position to offer an increase on the value of £15850 which is based on the highest of the most consistent guide values with no further increase available.

 

Please see attachment.

 

If you feel that you can now accept the value offered then please let me know and I will get the file back to our claims team to consider raising payment or contact xxx directly please.

 

———————————-

 

 I called and spoke to the guy,

what he told me was that he got a valuation from Parker’s glasses and CAP, and 2/3 was a valuation of 13.5 and one of them was 15.8k. He said the FOS usually would want us to give and average of the 3 but in your case I have given the highest outcome.

 

He then said if I dispute the next stage is that it will go to the FOS who may even end up giving me the average of the 3 valuation and will be lower, not sure if that was a scare tactic or not.

 

He then told me that when I did my insurance I declared that my annual mileage would be 1k which I assumed it would be at the time, he then said that in fact I had don me 3k, as he said he did a hpi check and checked that I bought the car in July and there was a MOT done the month before and it said 55k on the clock and now your mileage is 57.5k

I told him I had to do unexpected runs ect,

 

he then told me I should have informed my insurance as it would usually result in a increase in my premium, I told him I didn’t know that and he responded with I will have to let your case handler know.

 

Part of me thinks he had that conversation with me just to scare me and distract me into accepting a price ASAP as if I have done something so wrong, which I put my hand up I should’ve declared it but didn’t know I would have to.

 

Nonetheless the new offer is over 3k more than the original which just goes to show they try mugging you off at first instance.

 I had asked him to show me proof of the 3 valuations to which he sent me an email, which tbh wasn’t exactly as he said, it was more like 2 valuations at 15.5 and one at 13.5 the one that was at 13.5 had no details about what car was actually valued (suspicious). 

 

I had asked him for more time to decide.  What do you guys think should I accept or risk it to the next stage 

 

Your responses are always appreciated :) 

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Can find no issue in what has been said to you. Hastings would be correct to revise your premium using more realistic mileage.

 

Suggest you accept new amount, unless you have evidence to support a higher cost of replacing the car and are willing to argue for a few months longer.


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I think you have put yourself in a difficult position as a result of your mileage declaration. I'm sorry to say but 1000 miles per year is a pretty unrealistic expectation for almost anybody unless they are dealing with a collector's car which spends most of its life in a garage and simply being brought out for special occasions.

The discrepancy between your declared mileage and your actual mileage is huge. According to you you've been using the car for five months and already you have clocked up 3000 miles. This means you would be looking at 7000 or 8000 miles in a year which amounts to a completely different proposition in terms of an insurance risk.

Of course, the mileage discrepancy has no bearing on this particular accident because your car was parked and presumably if you really were only doing 1000 miles per year, your car will be parked even more often – but still, such a huge difference doesn't help you and gives the insurer an extra bit of leverage against you which you didn't need. I expect that there are lots of people who deliberately underestimate their annual mileage in order to get a lower premium and although you might want to tell us that your 1000 mile estimate was made completely in good faith, – to any observer, it doesn't look very good.

The £3000 increase is pretty substantial and you might be able to get more but as @unclebulgaria67 has already pointed out, it may add a considerable time to the delay before any payout – unless you are able to get an interim payment.

My own view is that the insurer would not be entitled to withhold or delay any payment that they had already assessed as being reasonable and certainly it would be unfair of them to hold it back on condition that you don't quibble for anything more – but even asserting that over the insurer will take a lot of time and I'm afraid Hastings don't seem to have a great reputation for the way they treat their customers when push comes to shove. But it is a business after all and as I've said often, they don't make their money by paying out. They make their money by not paying out

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