Claims management companies

#1
Mrs WW's car was reversed into by a tractor trailer riding up over the front of the car.
No injuries but bonnet damaged ( FUBAR), other party accepts blame.
Called SAGA who after a 40 min call taking details want to put this through a firm called Claims fast.
Our cover is fully comp with replacement car , but it would appear that Claim fast want to “ hire” us a car and arrange repairs , no mention of recovering the exess though, I don’t quite understand why they have punted us on to the claims firm as SAGA is the insurer.
Any suggestions / observations ?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#2
Lots of insurers use third party claims handling companies - a subcontractor if you like. The theory is that because they provide these services for a number of insurers they can get economies of scale.

Because yours is a “no-fault” claim, they will effectively sell your claim off to them. No problems for Saga, and the other insurer picks up the bill. The key bit is that by doing so, they (claims fast) effectively act on your behalf rather than the insurer.

In clear cut cases, it works quite well. I used this process when a delivery van drove into the back of my car with no problems at all. I wouldn’t be comfortable using it in a more contested claim, but then neither would many insurers.
 
#4
Have a care, as what you are (potentially) about to enter into for your 'free' car is a credit hire agreement. it is NOT a 'courtesy' car as you might understand the term. That is, they will seek to recover the cost of the hire of your 'courtesy' car from the other party. If the period of hire is for an extended period, the other party's insurers may challenge the claim and you will be liable for the cost of hire.

This I know because I worked for a similar company for a (very) short period: I left because of the almost piratical ethos prevalent that I, as a depot manager, needed to display in chasing down and badgering potential clients to accept our services.

Avoid them as you would a ginger-headed Welsh step-child.
 
#5
One thing to bear in mind is the quality of workmanship. As you are the injured party in the claim and it is your property that they are obliged to repair I would be wary of just letting them take it away and giving the work to the cheapest garage in a railway arch somewhere.
Depending on the age/condition of the car I would insist on at least a main dealer approved bodyshop.
Indeed if you want, you can insist it goes to Rolls Royce for the work.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#6
Indeed if you want, you can insist it goes to Rolls Royce for the work.
No you can’t, unless you are willing to pay for the privilege. The aim is restitution - to put you back in the position you were before the accident. If you want to insist on a particular shop that charges more than they would usually pay for a repair of acceptable quality the difference will come out of your pocket.
 
#7
No you can’t, unless you are willing to pay for the privilege. The aim is restitution - to put you back in the position you were before the accident. If you want to insist on a particular shop that charges more than they would usually pay for a repair of acceptable quality the difference will come out of your pocket.
That's the thing who's definition of "acceptable quality" do you accept. If you are the injured party its your call.
I worked at main dealer level in crash repair for over twenty years and I have been asked to find faults on repairs that have been carried out on cars worth up to £100.000.00 and have never failed. It all boils down to how much of a pain in the arse you are deemed to be by the claims company. When courtesy cars are involved and transporting the car to and from the workshop for remedial work, its often cheaper for them to fold at the first hurdle.

I have also been on the recieving end. The worst case was a new BMW and the customer wasn't happy with the colour match. It was a very new shade of silver and after numerous attempts the sprayer got what we all thought was acceptable. In walks the assessor and agrees that it looks good.
Then he pulls his master stroke and gets a magnetometer gizmo out of his pocket and declares that it has too many layers of paint and the thickness does not meet BMW spec, not surprising after about eight attempts to match the colour.

Had to give the guy a brand new car, as it was a lot cheaper than giving him a hire car and doing a bare metal respray.

This was the largest BM bodyshop in Europe at the time even bigger than any in Germany.
 
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The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#8
Good luck with trying to insist your Ford Kuga goes to RR for repair.

There is a tipping point where client preference isn’t worth arguing over, but that is miles away from stating that you can insist on RR for your repair - unless, of course, you have insured an RR.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
I know where our Local RR dealer goes for bodywork
they also do the repairs for BMW and a few other makes of cars all high end and exclusive
used to do all of our fleet stuff, never had a complaint with their work
 
#10
Good luck with trying to insist your Ford Kuga goes to RR for repair.

There is a tipping point where client preference isn’t worth arguing over, but that is miles away from stating that you can insist on RR for your repair - unless, of course, you have insured an RR.
One of my old bosses took over the running of what in my opinion is the premier bodyshop anywhere.
And it seems that all the prestige dealerships agree. HR Owen get all of their PDI.S and body work done there.
They are franchised to Lamborghini, Ferrarri, Bentley, Rolls, Maserati and many others including some serious classic restoration going on.
I once popped in to see him and it was like the motor show, even I was impressed at the amount of quality motors under one roof. But they still had a load of run of the mill stuff in there, Ok maybe not to many fords or Vauxhalls but a fair amount of VAG stuff and Lexus.
He said that "you got the capacity you have to use it".
These are seriously some of the best craftsmen that I have ever known I even used to work alongside a few. They still get the odd Toyota to sort out though.

Oh and I am not trying to pick an argument but I think that in law that if you are the injured party, so as long as you are legally on the road and are covered third party, the onus is on the liable party to compensate for your loss.

Does'nt matter if it was a blown bentley or a robin reliant that you insured, your insurance has nothing to do with it.
 
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The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#11
I have no doubt they are good. However, they are a body shop working on lots of cars as an outsourced service provider. They are not RR. I very much doubt that they are applying RR standards and prices to the odd Toyota, but they are no doubt using their capacity to full effect by doing standard work alongside their prestige stuff.

The honest truth is what I said earlier - your choice extends as far as the reasonable cost of repair for the vehicle in question. If you want to send it to a very expensive shop, beyond what is fair and usual, you should expect to end up bearing the difference.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
One of my old bosses took over the running of what in my opinion is the premier bodyshop anywhere.
And it seems that all the prestige dealerships agree. HR Owen get all of their PDI.S and body work done there.
They are franchised to Lamborghini, Ferrarri, Bentley, Rolls, Maserati and many others including some serious classic restoration going on.
I once popped in to see him and it was like the motor show, even I was impressed at the amount of quality motors under one roof. But they still had a load of run of the mill stuff in there, Ok maybe not to many fords or Vauxhalls but a fair amount of VAG stuff and Lexus.
He said that "you got the capacity you have to use it".
These are seriously some of the best craftsmen that I have ever known I even used to work alongside few and the still get the odd Toyota to sort out.
Very few main dealers have their own bodyshops now, its so specialised and costly, not like the old days where it was lots of tin bashing and touchins

The Place I mentioned earlier does all the warranty work for several main dealers, when I scratched my new car, they quoted the same price as one of those scratch away places that comes to you !
I would much rather it was done inside away from dust and dirt
dropped it off one evening collected it the next
they were working on some very early rally cars when I last visited, the bodywork was all bare metal and far better than when the cars first rolled off the production line
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Jack Barclays ( one of the oldest premier RR dealers) has its bodyshop near Southfields tube station, they cover a wide range of car repairs their
I called in when passing just to examine the engines on the display stands
works of art
 
#14
My car was damaged over a year ago in a Tesco car park. Liability admitted and handed off to a claims management company. Repairs (expensive) carried out at a local coachworks to a very good standard but the claim still isn't settled as the other party's insurer won't pay the associated car hire cost.

It is scheduled for county court in the summer and on the face of it, I am personally suing the other party for the full amount of the claim. My legal representation is provided by the claims management company subsidiary law firm and as long as I cooperate fully with their loss recovery efforts I am covered against any personal loss thanks to a modest insurance premium I paid at the outset.

My no claims bonus is not affected as there was no claim against my insurance but it didn't stop my insurer increasing my renewal quote enormously. Threat of going elsewhere miraculously got back to the last renewal price which I am happy with
 
#15
Very few main dealers have their own bodyshops now, its so specialised and costly, not like the old days where it was lots of tin bashing and touchins

The Place I mentioned earlier does all the warranty work for several main dealers, when I scratched my new car, they quoted the same price as one of those scratch away places that comes to you !
I would much rather it was done inside away from dust and dirt
dropped it off one evening collected it the next
they were working on some very early rally cars when I last visited, the bodywork was all bare metal and far better than when the cars first rolled off the production line
I am unfortunately old enough to be from the old school, it was a worthwhile trade to learn when I was an eighteen year old.
But on the plus side I got half reasonably competent at some of the old processes.
Ask most young guys in the trade today what a weight is, or talk about lead fill and their eyes glaze over.
I remember one old boy trying to explain to me how they used to use Vaseline and a paintbrush instead of masking tape (it hadn't been invented in its modern form yet) I am not that old, he was just ancient, we used to call him fossil.
Lovely old boy and I can't remember his real name, OH MAYBE I AM KNOCKING ON A BIT, SHIT.
 
#16
My car was damaged over a year ago in a Tesco car park. Liability admitted and handed off to a claims management company. Repairs (expensive) carried out at a local coachworks to a very good standard but the claim still isn't settled as the other party's insurer won't pay the associated car hire cost.

It is scheduled for county court in the summer and on the face of it, I am personally suing the other party for the full amount of the claim. My legal representation is provided by the claims management company subsidiary law firm and as long as I cooperate fully with their loss recovery efforts I am covered against any personal loss thanks to a modest insurance premium I paid at the outset.

My no claims bonus is not affected as there was no claim against my insurance but it didn't stop my insurer increasing my renewal quote enormously. Threat of going elsewhere miraculously got back to the last renewal price which I am happy with
If you get a decent brief from the company you will win.
The other party is entirely to blame and you should not be out of pocket by a single penny.
If they are messing you about, remember to put in the claim for the time and inconvenience that it has cost you.
Depending on your annual income I would suggest a figure of about 30 quid an hour, phone calls, letters, emails the lot. Your representative and the other sides will be doing the same.
I don,t like the "as long as I co operate fully" thing in your post though.
You paid a premium for legal representation. But if you start going down the road of effectively suing your own solicitor you are opening a whole world of shit.

A little deviation from automotive insurance, but a tale worth telling.
I come from a very affluent area in London and one weekend a mate of mines mum got hit by a white van man on the zebra crossing outside her house.
I was naturally concerned and asked how she was, He told me that she was "Absolutly fine, but a bit shaken up".
Now a bit of background.
This guy is absolutely minted.
I mean really minted.
To give you an idea his personal number plate is worth about three times more than his car, and he replaces his Bentley or Aston every year or so.
Fast forward about a year or so later, I read in the paper that she received over 2.5 mill in compensation.
I think it may have been more, but my point is never underestimate the power of a good lawyer.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#17
I am sorry, but again a bit of an over simplification. The principle underlying this is that a claimant should always act “as if they were a prudent uninsured”. In other words, during the handling of any claim, spend money as if it were your own.

If the insured party makes the case that you have increased the claim bill beyond the amount necessary to right the wrong, they don’t have to pay that element. In fact, if the increase is deemed to be fraudulent all sorts of remedies kick in.

Without knowing the details of the case, it is impossible to say whether the insurer in this case is right or wrong.

Some of these claim agents are happy to let bills rack up significantly, because they can make money from their slice of the costs incurred.

The “cooperate fully” is also typical. If you follow their advice and procedures everything gets covered because it falls within scope of their insurance. If you want to go daft and start pushing silly points or admitting liability for things that you shouldn’t you are on your own.

The Ombudsman will always find in favour of the consumer, but they do apply a certain degree of common sense.
 
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#18
I spoke to the "management" company , told that as they do not have an authorized repairer up here I am to provide 2 estimates , that's fine but the hire car is issued only when my vehicle is in for repairs, and that will be after an assessor has inspected it . How long does this sort of thing take ? , ballpark figure as Mrs WW is having to slum it in the works pick up ( :D )
 
#19
Liability admitted and handed off to a claims management company. Repairs (expensive) carried out at a local coachworks to a very good standard but the claim still isn't settled as the other party's insurer won't pay the associated car hire cost.

It is scheduled for county court in the summer............
The other side might fold before then. They often do. What happens in between is a waiting game and some horse trading while the claim manager for the other bloke's insurer makes some costly professional misjudgments and costs his employer loads of money by refusing to settle claims when he had the chance, and in so doing, exposing his employer, policyholders and shareholders to more cost than they might otherwise have had to pay.

Although it's not always the insurance company's fault.
A lad pulled out of a petrol station forecourt once and crashed into the BMW I had at the time. I used Direct Accident Management in Ormskirk, and I had no hassles with any of the claim. I drove the car home, but only because it was a cold damp night, but it was a bit far gone to remain in use, due to lack of offside front lights, difficulty opening the drivers door and bonnet etc, so I had a 'courtesy' car. It was a 3 month old volvo S40.

The lad who caused the crash was driving his mother's car, and admitted on the phone to her insurer that he'd had a crash. But he delayed giving the insurer specific details for 3 months, so in the meantime, I was driving an almost new car around. The hire bill was about 7k, which is utterly ridiculous, but his insurer could have settled a lot sooner if the driver had played ball.

Once they had all the info, his insurance co admitted liability and paid out on the BMW but they disputed the car hire bill, so the accident management company issued proceedings in my name against him. They put in an initial defence, but then just settled rather than piss about running up expensive solicitors bills.

There was an interesting case a few years ago (2011) about hiring expensive cars after an accident. Villa striker 'entitled to Aston'

Football star Darren Bent was entitled to hire an Aston Martin at a cost of more than £600 a day after his car was damaged in a crash, judges have ruled.
Insurers argued the Aston Villa and England striker should have found a cheaper option after the crash in 2007.
But three appeal judges concluded the 27-year-old was entitled to recover the cost of hiring the Aston Martin DB9 at a daily rate of £573.28 plus VAT.
Bent hired the car for about three months after the crash in south London.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
A few years back I was hit by a bloke messing with his phone
new wing and some other stuff needed plus paint
7 to 10 day to repair it
I dont have hire car on my insurance, keeps my cost down
I asked the bodyshop if they had a deal for a cheap hire car, they got me some horrible Korean thing I had never heard off 10 quid a day
result
total invoice for car hire £120 all in
 

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