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Insurance Claim on accidental damage

GDog

Old-Salt
My dad's funeral today and the day got off to a great start with my partner crunching my dad's car into a hotel car park pillar.

Car cost £7000 in Feb, was valued at about £6100 by a mechanic and one or two other sources.

Damage is to a rear bumper, rear passenger door and wheel arch. Have taken it to one repair shop and he thinks it will need a new door+bumper plus restoration of the arch. Full estimate inbound Monday but a finger in the air guess of £3500-4000 (It's a Lexus).

Car insurance company wanted to call it a total loss and salvage it, I've politely declined.

I will get another quote or two but assuming the above estimate is accurate am wondering how to deal with the insurer.

The repair costs less than the market value so calling it a total loss is a bit of a piss take, although they made this decision over the phone without actually looking at the damage.

I don't care about NCD next year as I don't want to be a car owner in the long term - I will manage with car rentals and public transport normally.

There's an excess of £750 plus £250 if I don't use their repair network. I'm looking to sell it in the next year for as much as I can get for my mother, so would like to avoid it being given insurance categories that make that harder.

It was otherwise in excellent condition with service history etc.

As I don't crash cars that often I'm not very familiar with the MO of insurers and how they try to rip you off, so any advice on the most cost effective way to proceed and how to deal with the insurer that's so far told me the vehicle is a total loss would be appreciated.

I would personally like to get it repaired professionally and promptly and feel that this can be done for less than the cars market value.
 

jmb3296

War Hero
If you are not looking to keep the car and sell it on, does the insurance company’s write off value come close to what you would get for selling it or is there a wide differential
 

GDog

Old-Salt
Two issues really - the car is configured for dealing with a dog and other crap and I really can't be arsed with car shopping for a car I don't want to keep very long.

I want to keep use of the same car, with minimal hassle, but not for more than a year or so.

Another complicating factor is my dad had a fairly valuable private plate on it and right now I cannot be arsed with ******* around with that on top of everything else at the moment.

I just want to get the thing fixed and roadworthy for now, but be in a position to sell it in 9 months or so.
 
Even if you go for the repair isn’t it still recorded as a Cat N write off which would massively reduce any future value?
 

GDog

Old-Salt
Even if you go for the repair isn’t it still recorded as a Cat N write off which would massively reduce any future value?
That's why I'm asking for advice here.

I could also do the repair without involving the insurer, bearing in mind the excess will be £750-1000 anyway.

I realise I'm going to have to cough up something to fix it, but am wondering whether it's best to lean on the insurer and if it's possible to avoid it being categorised as a write off.
 
Car insurance companies must offer you a proper payout for the value of your car or the cost of repairs. Don't accept the first offer given by the insurer over the phone - car insurance companies must offer you a proper payout for the value of your vehicle or the cost of repairs. If you accept an offer for a 'write off', the Insurer will likely sell the vehicle for scrap. After you have an offer you can negotiate with the insurer to buy the 'write off' vehicle for the 'scrap' price. You are then free to have it repaired.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
The insurer will have to factor in the whole cost of the claim when making the decision to write the car off. Do you have replacement car cover on the policy? There is a couple of grand extra on the bill straight away.

Once repaired, it is worth less than it was valued at before the crash.

By all means haggle over their initial offer, but taking the money is probably the best option. They will probably pay it “less salvage”, ie deducting the scrap value and leaving you the legal owner of the wreck anyway.
 

GDog

Old-Salt
Having read around this a bit, can I insist that an insurer pays for repairs if the cost I'm quoted independently is less than the car's market value?

Will the car still be considered a write off if I can make them pay for such repairs?

They're shut for the weekend now so any negotiating on my part will have to start on Monday.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Having read around this a bit, can I insist that an insurer pays for repairs if the cost I'm quoted independently is less than the car's market value?

Will the car still be considered a write off if I can make them pay for such repairs?

They're shut for the weekend now so any negotiating on my part will have to start on Monday.
They are obliged to provide restitution - put you back in the position you were before the claim, as far as it is possible for them to do so. A car is usually written off if the repair bill gets to 50% to 70% of the market value. Market value will be determined by Glass's and other similar guides. The insurers will refer to these, not a local garage. They have to factor in other costs too - the actual cost of managing the claim, inspections, hire cars etc. That is why the threshold is lower than market value, and will apply whether it is your garage or theirs.

Insurers use approved repair shops for a reason. They (in theory at least) get an appropriate standard of repair, and perhaps a small reduction on the rate. They will have a billing and payment system in place to avoid having to deal with one off accounts. However, that rate is still often higher than your mate down the road will do it for, but he may or may not use the same quality of parts, number of coats of paint etc. Insurers do not want to take that risk.

The Ombudsman will hold the insurer liable for the quality of the repairs made to your car on their behalf. In exchange for this, they are likely to support their decision to write the car off rather than pay over the odds for repairs.
 

GDog

Old-Salt
Having received some quotes privately I contacted the insurer to state that I'd want to repair it as said quotes were lower than the car's Market Value.

After a brief conversation with an engineer the insurer then decided that they'd want to repair it themselves rather than write it off

On the plus side it saves an additional excess of £250 and there's a courtesy car, which is the best I could have hoped for really.
 

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