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[UK]Insurance query - write off


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#1 sharpy2k4

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 23:51

Hey all. Looking for some advice as my insurers, Admiral, dont seem to be too helpful or clear in a recent accident.

I have a Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec 2002 hatch on a fully comp insurance.

On Monday morning I had a non fault accident where another party pulled out of a side road into the drivers front side of my car.

Damage to wheel arch, and drivers door. The car is still driveable.

Myself and the other party have exchanged details and its clearly her fault, especially as she told me "I'm sorry I thought I could make it infront of you".

I called the insurance upon getting to work to be informed that they will write my car off due to age. I argued that it is still repairable and age is a bit of a stupid factor, 11 years old, car was valued upon beginning of my insurance at £1200 and it could be repaired for about £600 (I've had quotes but not informed insurers as yet).

My main concern is that Admiral have cancelled my insurance and declared it to DVLA already as written off without consulting me or really advising me they were doing this. I only found out when I was on the phone to them and put into a conference call with the DVLA and Admiral and as such, had to drive back from my friends in Bournemouth, where I was staying for work, to my home to park the car on the drive.

I am under the impression that with it not being my fault, my insurers would just look to contact the other company, accept their liability then being any repair work. Admiral have told me that they have to do it the cheapest way for them....and also offer me trade value of the car post accident. I have done some research and spoken to the Financial Ombudsman who have told me (and its actually on the Admiral site) that it has to be market value (i.e Autotrader or if I was to sell it) and pre accident state.

I have argued today and managed to get a courtesy car as they have said it is written off so I am entitled to one, however originally they didn't want to give me one until I had my car taken away from me.

From here I dont know whats going to happen. I have been told by friends and co-workers that they will take my car away, value it, and then offer me a settlement price, minus my excess and remaining insurance (so about £650 excess and £200 for insurance) leaving me with £150 if they offer me £1000 for the car. I believe I can then buy the car back from them at a scrap price and then decide whether I want to repair it. It probably will be a CAT D so won't need to be tested to be put back on road. I can then claim back the excess and any other costs (car hire etc) through my insurance from the other company. And then I can repair it with those funds or just keep them.

I thought as I am not at fault the other party would be getting it valued and they would be offering me prices not my own insurance who are looking to do it as cheaply as possible.

Also, would I have a case for miss selling insurance as I wanted fully comprehensive to cover my car in all eventualities and they have said due to age they can't. If so, why didn't they advise me that Third Party Fire & Theft would have been the appropriate insurance.

Can any one shed any light on what will happen as they aren't helpful and trying to just take my car away and offer me scrap value. I DO NOT want them to take my car away without it first being evaluated in person, and then having a firm offer of a price. Also, if they do take it away, do I get first rights on buying it back or is their a danger of losing the car while waiting for the claim to go through to another person who may purchase it?

At the moment, it looks like I will lose my car, be out of pocket, have to set up a new insurance (includes a higher premium due to accident and having to pay a deposit on insurance too) and wont have enough money to buy a new car. Where the other party will have her car repaired, pay her excess and then just have a higher insurance premium. I would have been better off to settle this out of insurance IF I knew that it would be wrote off.

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#2 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 13:08

AFAIK, standard procedure with fully comp is for your insurer to pay all costs, then claim them back from the 3rd party's insurer. However, if that's the only damage, you shouldn't need to get your insurer involved at all. I doubt there's more than a couple hundred quid damage from the photo so I wouldn't even bother to claim, especially given your really high excess.

As you're not at fault, they should not be able to increase your premium. Someone hit YOU, not the other way around.

Do not let them take the car if possible. Also, they cannot declare it written off to the DVLA without the V5, unless they've applied for a replacement which I'm fairly sure isn't legal. I presume you haven't sent that off to anyone? Check with the DVLA exactly what's been reported to them about your car as it sounds like they're trying a fast one on you.

As for offers, they can deduct your excess, but not any remaining balance from the policy. They MUST offer you market price for the car, and it must be a price obtainable in your local area. Look around on auto-trader, print off some cars of the same spec/year for your area. These are sufficient evidence.

I've just been through this process as of a month ago. The accident was technically my fault as I rear-ended another (though the brainless bint just slammed her brakes on for no reason). My Vectra had its nose stuffed in and More Then wrote it off, but it was dealt with quickly and efficiently by them; can't fault their service at all. The steps it went through were.

Accident reported
Car collected next day, courtesy car left at the same time.
Car evaluated and written off next day, too expensive to repair.
More Than's assessor phoned me the same day and we discussed price. He agreed with the price I gave him (the higher valuation for the area), and they paid up the full amount minus my £50 excess.
Courtesy car returned to repairer (this is normal procedure. You only get that car whilst being repaired or until written off).

The whole thing, from reporting the accident to getting the cheque, took 10 days. I'd look into changing your insurer once you've sorted this mess out! :p

IF they take the car and write it off, MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR TAX DISC BACK! This has to remain on the car whilst they're evaluating it etc, but you need to get it back before they scrap it. You can then return it to the DVLA for a refund on the remaining full months.

However, to reiterate. Your damage is minimal from what I can see, just minor dents and some scratches. I'd cancel the claim and just get it fixed yourself once you have the cash. Getting insurance companies involved often just ruins your day... :(

#3 AdamLC

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 13:36

From my past experience I can say the following.

As its not your fault your excess should be claimed back from the third party (although this takes time), so don't worry about that.

If I was you I'd wait to see what they offer for your car, say for example £1000.

Then enquire how much you can buy it back for, (probably £500~). Its likely to be a Cat C write off which means it can go back on to the road. It will need a Vehicle Identity Check with the DVLA and then your back on the road. I would personally leave the scratch on the car due to its age and pocket ~£500 :D

#4 +mulligan2k

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 23:54

i had a similar situation a few years back

someone went into the back of me and my insurance sent round a mobile mechanic to appraise the damage and bill to fix
I then got a phone call saying it wasn't viable to fix the car as the fix (£1000) would cost more than the cars value (£800). they then said they'd wrote the car off
I told them i would like to get my own quotes, got one at £500 which the insurance company accepted and released a check to cover

to be honest i don't remember having a particularly long chat with them regarding the write off, i just said i wasn't happy about it and wanted a second opinion

also, even though it was a non-fault claim, i still had to have the accident on my insurance polices for the following 3 years, paying about £150 extra premium each year, meaning I effectively paid for the repair myself!!!

#5 Brian M.

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 17:43

i had a similar situation a few years back

someone went into the back of me and my insurance sent round a mobile mechanic to appraise the damage and bill to fix
I then got a phone call saying it wasn't viable to fix the car as the fix (£1000) would cost more than the cars value (£800). they then said they'd wrote the car off
I told them i would like to get my own quotes, got one at £500 which the insurance company accepted and released a check to cover

to be honest i don't remember having a particularly long chat with them regarding the write off, i just said i wasn't happy about it and wanted a second opinion

also, even though it was a non-fault claim, i still had to have the accident on my insurance polices for the following 3 years, paying about £150 extra premium each year, meaning I effectively paid for the repair myself!!!


Yep, the great insurance rip off. I don't think you should have to declare non-fault claims. The insurance industry says that if you've had a non-fault accident, you're more likely to have a fault accident. So if somebody rams into the back at me at the lights, I'm more likely to cause a crash in the future? Nonsense.

#6 +Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 18:26

OP
I'm sorry to read about what happened, and unfortunately, I don't actually have anything worth adding that would help you directly.
Only wanted to add, They'll also screw you from behind DRY if, like me, you've just lost your job and tell them.
Tripled my premium and effectively priced me off the road.. Then told me it's because I'm more likely to use my car now... (in my case if anything, I'm less likely to use it as 1. it's a V6, and 2. I no longer have anywhere to go in it.)

#7 1ON

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 18:53

I had a very similar incident with Bell (part of the Admiral Group) about 3 years ago - They wrote off the car and I bought it back for only £200. The damage was to the wing which I picked up for almost nothing off eBay and replaced myself, Admiral paid me out £1200 which was the market value of the car at the time and then claimed the money back from the party at fault. The car was recorded CAT C however as I said the only the wing needed replacing! I have been required to put down a non-fault claim however this has had no impact on my insurance.

#8 OP sharpy2k4

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 21:36

Thanks for all the responses.

So heres an update. After a few days of arguing and telling them I wasn't going to have my car scrapped I eventually managed to get them to actually look at the car, albeit via email. They decided it was a CAT C write off and we managed to negotiate from £500 up to £900. I was still aiming for about £1000 but £900 was slap bang between the lowest and highest valuations I could find (mainly my mileage reduced it from £1100 down to £900 on various sites). So managed to get £900, take away the £650 excess for now and was going to be issued with an initial £250. I asked about buying the car back....and they sold it to me for £60. So I got a cheque for £190.

They refused to give me a courtesy car at first but managed to get one by stating that THEY declared it off the road to the DVLA and as I had no say in it they effectively stopped me driving. After explaining it would cost them x amount in travel fares they'd have to reimburse me they agreed and got a brand new Citroen DS3 (which I gave back yesterday).

I had been told by them in order for them to reinsure it I would need to get it MOT'd (which I found ridiculous at the time as it was cosmetic damage) but we agreed that I would cover the costs apart from any derived from the accident. They agreed this and also Albany Insurance (their legal team) said they would be able to claim this from the other party and also the costs of the VIC test.

So thats why I bought the car back as they said they would claim back any costs to get it back on the road

It failed MOT due to track rod failure, suspension damage and some other bits on the crash hit side and then a tyre which I'm covering. I contact them both to get an address to send the invoice to and they both turned around and outright refused. Stating that ive been paid for my car so the case is effectively closed bar the excess and that I can't get that money back. Even though they both acknowledged it has been agreed onfile and the calls are recorded.

I ended up calling financial ombudsman who are in the initial stages of writing a complaint so I'm just waiting now to go from there.

Funny how they said it would cost too much to repair and now its going to cost them more in the long run.

And about insurance premium rises, ive now had 3 non fault accidents (2 junction pull outs and one hit from behind) and each one affects my quotes by about £100-£150 each. Ridiculous eh!

Also the Financial Ombudsman stated that if this complaint fails i have a case for insurance miss-selling and many other people with "old cars" could be affected also.

#9 +Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 21:47

Yup, sounds like they just wanted to hurdle you and hope you'd simply give up. Glad you fought back. I also would like to wish you luck and hope you can get back that agreed sum of money too. Tis about time they stopped bleeding honest motorists dry.

#10 Dan~

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 22:40

If there going to be like that then remember to mention about your whiplash ;)

Where abouts did this happen as I live in Fareham, so I can avoid them

#11 OP sharpy2k4

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 00:04

I was going to claim whiplash but seeing as I was going at about 10mph it seems pretty stupid. Wish I did file for it now though!

And I was actually in Bournemouth when it happened (at Uni there) but the other two accidents were in Segensworth both times hah.

#12 Dan~

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:34

Oh Segensworth is horrible, worst bit is the roundabout. I'm in the right hand lane as if im going to fareham (from park gate) and people come into the right hand lane then slip into the left hand lane quickly to go to whiteley because they can't be bothered to wait in the left hand lane!

That's an accident waiting to happen, every bleeding morning I see it and always use my horn grrr.

#13 OP sharpy2k4

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:40

Yeah i've had a few mates who have been hit. I had mine at the Shell garage round about. Coming from the Whitely cut through, towards the Holiday Inn in traffic. I decided to go into the new 2nd lane to go right round the round about and head down to Titchfield, and someone waved a lady out of the Holiday Inn Car Park...she took that as it was fine to go completly, pulled right out straight into the face of my car. Then she decided to just sit there and didn't know what to do and everyone else just drove off, even the guy who waved her out.

Least the standard of driving is still better there than in Bournemouth. They're ridiculously bad and wreckless here!

#14 jamieakers

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:53

Why oh why did you let it get to this point? It's YOUR car. Having an insurance policy doesn't make it the property of the insurance company. They have no right to write-off your car unless it is structurally unsafe to be driven. I was involved in an accident and the first thing my insurer wanted was the V5 - I told them where to stick it as it is MY car. I ensured the car was recovered to my private property and explained to them that either they pay up on my policy as the policy terms state, or if they attempt to recover the vehicle from my property I will treat it as theft as I am the legal owner and trespass onto my land. The insurance company paid out 24 hours later the full value of the vehicle less the excess. Contrary to what they said you do NOT need to get it MOT'd - you only need to get it VIC tested at a DVLA testing station. Costs £50 and takes about half hour, they simply check the obvious roadworthiness of the vehicle and check the VIN numbers tally around the car. They don't do a full MOT, they simply check it's obviously roadworthy.

Given you weren't at fault in my opinion you've been far too patient with them. For the ridiculous price of insurance premiums in the UK I fully expect my insurer to do all the legwork should an accident happen, and when mine didn't I held them to every word of the policy they agreed with me. They didn't like it but at the end of the day it's my right and it's what I'm paying them to do.

As for drivers in Bournemouth - yes you are right. There seems to be half and half between those that have just passed their test and those that should have surrendered their licenses years ago. You're either being tail-gated or stuck behind grandma on her way to the shops (the "been in third gear for thirty years brigade" as my father refers to them).

#15 AStaley

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:05

Will Albany Insurance be claiming you excess back from the third party as well?



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