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  • FIRST POST
    • Autolycus2000
    • By Autolycus2000 15th Oct 16, 4:38 PM
    • 35Posts
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    Autolycus2000
    Insurance write-off when 3rd party to blame
    • #1
    • 15th Oct 16, 4:38 PM
    Insurance write-off when 3rd party to blame 15th Oct 16 at 4:38 PM
    Hi,

    Would appreciate some guidance on how insurance write-offs work, please, when 3rd party was to blame and is happy to admit that.

    We have a car that is over 10 years old. It's led a hard life and already had quite a few car park scrapes on various panels. Then a few days ago, someone coming towards us in a van took a corner badly and scraped along the driver's side of our car causing damage to the front wing and a bit of damage to the driver's door too.

    The other driver has told me on the phone he knows it was his fault. We agreed I'd find out what it would cost to fix before involving insurers in case he wanted to pay me direct himself rather than either of us having to involve insurers.

    I reckon our car was worth £500 to £1000 before this latest damage. Good condition ones are on eBay for £2,000 and ours was far from mint condition!

    My local garage reckons a proper repair would cost £1,500 and said it is therefore not worth doing as the insurers will want to simply write the car off and give me something like £500 minus my excess (which I think is £300).

    So my question is: will they write the car off even though the other guy is admitting liability? Surely in that instance his insurers are obliged to pay for the repairs, regardless of the cost. Or can the 3rd party's insurers insist on writing it off too? In which case, I presumably would get the same write off value of, let's say, £500 but without an excess deducted?

    And if it does get written off, will they come and take the car away pretty much immediately, thus leaving me with no car until I can find new one to buy?

    My garage has advised the best bet might to see if the other driver will give me the £500 that it would cost to buy a second hand wing and get it resprayed and fitted. That will not look as good as a "proper" £1,500 repair but will be an improvement over how it looks at the moment.

    If it makes any difference, I was planning to sell the car within a couple of months anyway. So maybe there is an angle whereby I let the insurers write it off, then buy it back from them and sell it to We Buy Any Car for £200. That way I might get £500 from the insurance, minus £100 to buy it from them, plus £200 from WBAC. Or is that overly optimistic?

    I do have protected NCD but I'm conscious of the fact that even a non fault claim will undoubtedly lead to some kind of increase in premium next year.

    Any advice appreciated.
Page 1
    • molerat
    • By molerat 15th Oct 16, 4:57 PM
    • 15,015 Posts
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    molerat
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 16, 4:57 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 16, 4:57 PM
    Yes the other insurer can write the car off but you can negotiate a settlement with you keeping the car. Does the car "need" repairing, why does a new wing need respraying ? What is the value of the car realistically and would the other driver be willing to pay that ?
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    • marlot
    • By marlot 15th Oct 16, 5:42 PM
    • 2,818 Posts
    • 1,948 Thanks
    marlot
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 16, 5:42 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 16, 5:42 PM
    ...Surely in that instance his insurers are obliged to pay for the repairs, regardless of the cost...
    Originally posted by Autolycus2000
    No. They are to put you back into your pre-accident condition (finance wise). So if you had a car worth £500 that's all they have to pay.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 16th Oct 16, 5:02 PM
    • 12,026 Posts
    • 10,429 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 5:02 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 5:02 PM
    Liability doesn't affect whether the damage is going to be more than the car is worth or not. It only affects who pays. No insurer is going to pay £5k to repair a £500 car - they'll write it off and give you market value.

    The only time it makes a difference (albeit mild) is when you are claiming directly off the other driver's insurance. Because you have no direct contractual relationship, you can be a bit more flexible in getting quotes, and you may be able to apply a bit more pressure to the market value.
    • Autolycus2000
    • By Autolycus2000 16th Oct 16, 9:19 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Autolycus2000
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:19 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:19 PM
    Thanks for those replies. Makes sense now.

    I'm going to talk to the 3rd party tomorrow and see if he'll go with the idea of paying me £500 to get it fixed with second hand parts.

    If he won't do that I'll offer to meet him half way at £250 (which will cover the parts) and do the work myself.
    • Jamiesmum
    • By Jamiesmum 16th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    • 306 Posts
    • 357 Thanks
    Jamiesmum
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    Just get it written off, if he's at fault you won't lose your excess. A non fault accident shouldn't leave you out of pocket.

    They'll come inspect the car (it's just cosmetic?) and if it's still driveable you can buy it back, they'll write it off and you pay the 10% of it's value, and you can still use it. The car won't be worth much else to anyone but you, though. So I wouldn't bother to sell it or repair it - just drive it until it dies.
    • BeenThroughItAll
    • By BeenThroughItAll 16th Oct 16, 10:08 PM
    • 3,463 Posts
    • 2,772 Thanks
    BeenThroughItAll
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:08 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:08 PM
    Just get it written off, if he's at fault you won't lose your excess. A non fault accident shouldn't leave you out of pocket.

    They'll come inspect the car (it's just cosmetic?) and if it's still driveable you can buy it back, they'll write it off and you pay the 10% of it's value, and you can still use it. The car won't be worth much else to anyone but you, though. So I wouldn't bother to sell it or repair it - just drive it until it dies.
    Originally posted by Jamiesmum
    That's not actually true though, as the insurer paying out isn't under any obligation to offer you the car back at any cost; and if they do, they could charge 10%, 20%, or 99% - it's up to them and their salvage agent to determine its nominal salvage value... There isn't some magic, blanket, 10% salvage cost.
    • Jamiesmum
    • By Jamiesmum 17th Oct 16, 7:35 AM
    • 306 Posts
    • 357 Thanks
    Jamiesmum
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 16, 7:35 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 16, 7:35 AM
    That's not actually true though, as the insurer paying out isn't under any obligation to offer you the car back at any cost; and if they do, they could charge 10%, 20%, or 99% - it's up to them and their salvage agent to determine its nominal salvage value... There isn't some magic, blanket, 10% salvage cost.
    Originally posted by BeenThroughItAll
    The cars I've had written off have been 10% each time. Quoted on my insurers. I've never had a problem unless the car ended up with technical faults (hit head on - engine damage). Cosmetic though have always been easy. But I had to ask them.
    Appreciate different insurers may be have other rules, this is just of my experience.
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 17th Oct 16, 8:30 AM
    • 3,658 Posts
    • 3,031 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 16, 8:30 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 16, 8:30 AM
    You also will be out of pocket for increased future premiums for a non-fault accident. Of course, you should declare it anyway....
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