Any experts on Car insurance?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Cardinal, Jan 23, 2007.

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  1. My wife was driving our car on friday morning, taking our daughter to work, when a van drove into the back of her.

    The driver was very good and initially so was the insurance company, we are both insured through Norwich Union, a replacement hire car was delivered on Satuarday and a solicitor phoned about the injuries. Both my wife and daughter have whiplash.

    However, today a third party care team member called to arrange to have my car assessed by an engineer and to settle the injury claim.

    he said my car would probably be written off and asked us not to use the solicitors NU had arranged themselves but to make an early settlement.


    My car is a P Reg Rover 600 diesel. The list price is probably next to nothing, despite the fact my car is (or at least was before the accident) in very good condition, reliable and well looked after. If I were going to buy another just as good I would have to pay more than the insurance companies list price/value.

    Why are they now so keen for my wife and daughters injury claim to be settled without legal assistance? Its early days yet, but my daughter has been signed off work and has to wait a month or so for a NHS physio appointment. With that level of whiplash injury I cannot see here returning to her work as a Health Care Asssitant any time soon.

    My wife has whiplash injury as well and is in a great deal of pain. If they accept an early settlement for a minor injury, what happens if in a few months it is still causing them pain/disability?

    Should my insurance broker ASDA deal with Norwich Union on our behalf to get us the best settlement. or does it mean that because the insurance company is the same for both parties they will simply go the cheapest possible route for them?

    I dont see why we should loose out because another driver cant keep his eyes open in the morning.

    Any advice welcome.

  2. Sounds a bit to me like NU are trying to get the cheapest solution for themselves by trying to advise you not to go through the legal assistance route.

    Bit or a conflict of interest for NU with both parties being insured by them. You should at least be trying to recover any out of pocket expenses, loss of earnings and injury compensation for the loss of mobility/being able to participate in your usual activities.

    Do you have legal assistance cover included in your motor insurance policy or any other policy that you have? If you do then get in touch with them and they will be able to provide you with the legal advice and assistance that you require.
  3. Whilst I don't consider myself to be an expert in these matters, there are many that are.
    First of all you should realise that the third party care team is in the job of reducing his companies costs, and that this may not be in your best interests, however if the offer made is fair then it may be better for you in that you will have the money in your pocket now rather than wait months for have to look at the cards you have been dealt here.
    Having said all that, there is plenty of free legal advice out there for you for exactly this scenario.
    First of all, speak to the solicitors that have been provided by your insurers, you are not obliged to follow their advice but you should listen to what they have to say.
    Secondly, pop down to your local CAB..they will have a legal expert who can advise.
    Finally, most solicitors will give you a half hour appointment, why not try a couple close to home.
    Then you can consider all the advice and see if there is any consensus.
    As far as the car is concerned, the principle of insurance is that you must not be in a worse position after the accident than before it. You can negotiate with the company. If all else fails just insist that you want your car back on the road, they will soon raise their offer if they think that they will have to fork out many thousands to put an old car on the road.
  4. Just out of interest the average settlement for whiplash is ITRO £1500.

    Having said that. I had legal assistance cover, I left it all in the hands of my solicitor, never paid a penny. It took 3 years but my settlement was £7000 plus all out of pocket expenses. First offer was £1200.

    If you need any tips then feel free to PM.
  5. FFS do not go for an early settlement: the insurer is pushing, as other posters have said, for the cheapest possible settlement.

    Just so you are aware; the insurer has no care about your medical well being or the restitution of a vehicle as good as the one you were driving. They will tell you otherwise, but it is b0lloxs.

    How do I know? I was a regional director of an insurance broker and my wench is a CEO of an insurance company. They are there to make money for their shareholders. Nothing more, nothing less.

    To reinforce what others stated, go the full legal route and speak to the CAB. As soon as someone says 'lets keep the lawyers out of this' you know that they are trying to shaft you. Check your policy and it should state (varies for every insurer) that your legal bills and medical bills will be met. A word of caution though: your insurer has the right to take up or discard legal proceedings. They also have the accepted practice of giving book value for damaged cars: this is very hard to argue against (can be done in exceptional circumstances).

    Good luck and if they mess you around demand the details of their complaints department. If that fails speak to the insurace Ombudsman (details on the web, and the insurer should give you the details also).

    Sorry if teaching you to suck eggs, but do not throw a single document relating to this case away, and keep records of all conversations, letters, emails, telephone calls, meetings, etc. Cheerio.
  6. As a cautionary note, beware of legal advice from legal bods supplied by your insurance company. They are acting in the interests of the insurance company not you.

    I found this out after having an accident and being offered a 'Driver Improvement Course' with no further action. Insurance company legal bods said "no, carry on and claim from the other driver" (who hit me). It was only by chance I got chatting to a Traffic Sgt who said FFS accept the course otherwise you'll get 2x the points and 5x the fine if it goes to a Magistrate (and you're seen as turning the course down when offered).

    C.A.B. are a very useful resource.

    P.S. the cheeky twots at the (insurance company's) legal bods have just sent me a bill for 3k and are taking me to small claims if I dont pay. This is despite the accident being over 5 years ago - and having legal protection.
  7. So injury wise my wife and daughter should hold off until a reasonable offer is made, insisting on legal assistance and not accepting the first offer.

    But the Third Party Care Team who represent the other driver is quite within its rights to make a poultry offer for my car based on list price that will leave me severely out of pocket. And I will have little option but to accept it.

    Thats outrageous, that car might be an old banger to some, but to me it represents an investment in time, engery and love, not to mention money. It has been well looked after before I had it and better since, I doubt many cars would be so reliable.

    The list price on my car according to Parkers is at best 710 pounds, but a two hour search didnt turn up anything remotely as good for less than 1200 pounds. Glassers, Glacers?? another list price guide used by the trade gives even lower prices.

    Am I stuffed?

  8. Do not take the early settlement, treat the damage to the car and the injuries sustained by the occupants as two different things. While I hate the adverts on TV, its probably worth your while phoning one of the injury claim companies which advertise on there. My mate held out for just over twelve months and got twelve grand for whiplash...helped him put down a deposit on a house.
  9. NO, but it may be a long and hard road to get any more. You are entitled to be put back in the position you were in before the accident but to get there you may have to go to the small claims court. If, as they will, they say that the offer is sufficient to get a suitable replacement, send them copies of adverts for suitable cars with a higher cost. If they offer to source a car for you, take it. If they don't, head for the small claims court including the copies of adverts you have pulled as evidence that the offer is insufficient.

    The law is on your side here, but actually getting satisfaction will be a PITA. Never, never, never accept the first offer, but you will have to get evidence to support your case.