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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:56 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The land of Lea & Perrins
We had a crash last Tuesday. The accident was not our fault and the other party involved has admitted full liability - we've had confirmation from her insurers to back this up.

There is a strong possibility that our car will be a write-off, and this is the first time that either myself or my girlfriend have dealt with insurance companies in this way. I know that (if the car is a write off) the insurance company will start out with a lowball offer in the hope that we'll accept it in our desperation to get a replacement. I also know not to accept their initial offer! I just need a bit of help and advice on how to deal with the insurance company from then on.

It would cost us between £3,200 and £3,500 to replace our car like-for-like (ie. same model, similar mileage, similar condition). I'm more than happy to provide the insurance company with dozens of examples if they need them.

I just wondered whether anybody could offer any nuggets of wisdom!

Thanks :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Is it a write-off due to structural damage or just because the repair cost will be higher than the value of the car?

Bring those examples of advertised similar cars, along with all bills and paperwork (MOT certificates etc) regarding your car. The more complete your service history, the better. If you can prove that the car was always properly maintained, you can aim for the price on the high end of the spectrum rather than the average market price.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Raging_Bulls wrote:
Is it a write-off due to structural damage or just because the repair cost will be higher than the value of the car?

Bring those examples of advertised similar cars, along with all bills and paperwork (MOT certificates etc) regarding your car. The more complete your service history, the better. If you can prove that the car was always properly maintained, you can aim for the price on the high end of the spectrum rather than the average market price.


If it's a write off, it's because the repair cost will be more than 70% of the value of the car.

I've got all the service history for the car and I'm more than happy to give the printer in my office a good workout and print out loads of examples of similar cars too :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:58 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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couple of things...
never accept the first offer as its always low .second ..always take into account the added cost it brings to your insurance,,,change of car,new policy,new forms(they charge for that too...)....costs incurred while getting said replacement car as its a pricey process if some travelling is needed.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:12 pm 
retrobike rider
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gibbleking wrote:
couple of things...
never accept the first offer as its always low .second ..always take into account the added cost it brings to your insurance,,,change of car,new policy,new forms(they charge for that too...)....costs incurred while getting said replacement car as its a pricey process if some travelling is needed.


+1 for this.
if you can figure all that out and get an approximate figure in your head, it'll make it easier for you to argue/persuade/negotiate to get what you want.

certainly helps when buying a car (which i did recently) and negotiated down to the price i wanted/budgeted for.

same principle would apply here i'd imagine.....insurance companies dont exist to do you a favour.
good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:43 pm 
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never had a car written off but two experiences may help

1) our VW Polo was rear ended when stationary, liability was never an issue, but given the car had full service history at VW dealer etc I was concerned even when properly repaired the car was inherently less valuable as the stigma if came to resell, I wanted repaired at proper VW garage which was almost double the garage found by their insurance company, which I was not happy with. They wanted to argue but I said that in this case they should pay the hire cost of a vehicle while it was all sorted out, ie not in their interest to continue arguing, they quickly came round to the fact that they would pay more in hire costs than the difference being argued about - £500. All got sorted but not after initial stress.

2) involving far more money, in excess of £15,000, but we made a claim against a surveyor where they accepted liability and left to a loss adjuster to agree amount of loss as was being paid by their insurance company. This is where it got very messy. They offered several grand below a sensible number and when challenged about this, the position was basically yes, my position was not unreasonable but to get it I would need to go to court. The costs of doing this would be vastly in excess of the amount being argued but I ran the risk if I rejected their low ball offer that on the chance the court said their offer was reasonable then I would be paying my and their costs which would be more than the claim, ie their tactic was to make me take a big risk albeit at good odds or take a lower settlement. In the end I held my nerve and their offer improved but not without its stress.

Given your loss as said by you for vehicle is £3,200-3,500 plus costs of hire while sorted out etc claim should be less than £5,000 then any claim if not settled would probably be small claims court. Your insurance company should also be able to advise you and some policies include cover for legal fees where disputed. Worth checking, also the Citizens Advice Bureau could also give advice if their offer is unreasonable. Not sure what the position is if settlement is before or after a replacement car is purchased, obviously if you need the settlement before buying a replacement then they should be covering hire costs, again your insurance company should be able to help as a number of policies will cover a replacement car the cost of which your insurance company should recover from theirs.

Hope this helps, but if their offer is not acceptable then should look for proper advice from your insurers, CAB etc


Last edited by daugs on Wed May 08, 2013 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
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Location: New Forest, UK
One last thought - if your car is old, and the £3000 or so is largely for replacing cosmetic stuff (those plastic bumpers cost a fortune new) then one other option is to take the money and also buy the car back from them.

Somebody made an awful mess of an old Audi I had, crushing a rear NS door skin and ripping off the rear bumper and light. It was a write off but a door and bumper for £150 from a scrapyard, plus a cheap repaint of the affected area (only light scratches to the rear quarter panel) turned it all in for under £500. The write off payment was £1500 and I got the car for £200 off the insurer. Result: same car (slightly more battered) and £800 in my pocket.
This only works if you have an old car, the damage is cosmetic and you intend the next buyer to be the scrap man.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Location: The land of Lea & Perrins
Thanks for the advice so far :D

We've got a hire car at the moment, which is being provided to us as part of our insurance. The cost for the hire car is being met by our insurer and then they are claiming it back from the other party. Basically, we're not paying anything for the hire car for the duration that we have it (with the exception of fuel).

The damage to our car doesn't actually look all that bad. However, being as the cost of the repair is apparently so high, I'd hedge a guess that there is some underlying damage to the chassis - the front offside wing was crumpled and pushed back into the drivers door, which was pushed backwards. As a result, the drivers door will barely open enough to allow someone to get in/out.

I hadn't actually thought about things such as the costs incurred by changing over insurance/travelling to get the replacement etc. - I'll have to factor these in if/when the time comes to negotiate a settlement with the insurers. Hopefully we'll hear something back in the next day or two so I might be back on here asking for more help!!

Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
The wife had a run in with a log lorry today, and our S Max now sports a two door and rear wing bash. It was up for sale, that has screwed that as we will now need to repair it again first.

Commiserations!


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Location: Stow on the Wold, Glos
Hmmmm we had our first experence of a written off car last year sadly still bitter :(

We purchased a Renault Laguna about 13 months prior to accident for 4k , This was a decent price and book price for Parkers. The wife hit a deer and the car went off to the insurance approved repair centre and a courtesy car was issued.

Now came the first annoyance .... We were rung within about 24 hours to tell us the car had been written off and we had to hand back the courtesy car straight away or start paying for it. Basically if the car was being repaired by them we keep it but once written off they have no interest ... Boom :roll:

So now no car and no courtesy car :twisted:

Then the first phone call from Insurance ..... "We can offer you 1.7k " :shock:

For weeks we fought without a car to get more even explaining that for them to look in the Autotrader as the cheapest like for like was 3.1k (which didnt have all the options or same mileage)

Eventually gave up and settled at 2.3k after going to manager to manager and eventually given a firm "THATS YOUR LOT"

Couldnt believe it and still dont ... Ended up going from a Renault Laguna super tourer initiale in mint condition to a Ford Fusion which we still had to put more money in.

And of course our premium went up


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