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  • FIRST POST
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 14th Mar 17, 8:15 AM
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    red_imps_2003
    Pay excess when 3rd party admits liability?
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:15 AM
    Pay excess when 3rd party admits liability? 14th Mar 17 at 8:15 AM
    Just a brief query, as not all details are clear to me at the moment. My wife has comprehensive cover for car insurance. Yesterday she had a low-speed collision with a driver who pulled out of a junction without looking. As far as I am aware he admitted culpability at the scene, a policeman attended, nobody was seriously injured etc. My wife rang her insurance to report the incident and to sort recovery of her vehicle for repair at an approved bodyshop. It all seems fairly straightforward.

    Her insurer then indicated that my wife will have to pay the £250 excess on her policy. This is our first accident so I am unclear how this works. I thought you only pay the excess if the accident is your own fault or if the party at fault does not admit liability, does not have insurance, or flees the scene. My wife said something about being told to 'recover' the cost of the excess through another channel as we opted out of legal cover on the policy, but she was too shaken to follow the conversation particularly clearly. She will be seeking clarification later today so I may have more info then.

    My basic question is assuming the other party has insurance cover and admits liability, is it normal for the 'innocent' party to pay the excess described in their own policy?
Page 1
    • Crazy Jamie
    • By Crazy Jamie 14th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    • 2,129 Posts
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    Crazy Jamie
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    My experience is on the litigation side of things, so I can't say how often it happens across the board, but it is common in litigation to see claims for the excess even in cases where liability has been admitted. It doesn't surprise me at all that your insurance company is requesting payment of the excess. The reality is that an admission of liability at the scene does not always translate into one when the third party insurer looks into things in more detail and/or the other driver has had time to reflect on matters. Even where such an admission is forthcoming, it can take some time to agree the losses and for appropriate damages to be paid. On that basis I expect that requiring payment of the excess with the chance of recovering it later is fairly standard. On a side note, though, whilst you don't have legal cover your insurance company will be seeking to recover other losses (costs of repairs, recovery etc) from the other side, and will have to do so in your wife's name as a subrogated claim, and the claim for the excess can and should be included in that.
    "MIND IF I USE YOUR PHONE? IF WORD GETS OUT THAT
    I'M MISSING FIVE HUNDRED GIRLS WILL KILL THEMSELVES."
    • huckster
    • By huckster 14th Mar 17, 8:38 AM
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    huckster
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:38 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:38 AM
    Excess is under own policy claim and has to be paid unless the third party insurers say they will pay this, as their driver was 100% at fault. The repair garage will want this amount, if the Insurers are paying the garage less the excess deducted.

    Many third parties admit fault after accident and then on speaking to their Insurers or family/friends, change their minds. You will have to see what happens. What seems straightforward does not turn out that way.
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 14th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    • 144 Posts
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    red_imps_2003
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    Understood. Thank you, huckster. I will maybe think more carefully about increasing any voluntary excess on my own policy (or, indeed, my wife's) in future if that is the case. I had understood that voluntarily increasing the excess was a way of showing your insurer that you are confident of never likely being considered 'at fault' in any accident you may be involved in (kind of 'betting' that you won't cause any accidents, if you like). This seems not to be the case.

    I will see what happens re: this fellow fessing up. There was a witness and possible CCTV but I guess it wouldn't be worth pursuing for the sake of £250.
    • huckster
    • By huckster 14th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
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    huckster
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
    Remember that the other driver might also not report the accident to their Insurers or delay in doing so. This will cause a delay in the third party Insurers dealing with any claim for your excess.

    Worse, the third party might not be insured correctly or have a problem e.g undeclared points on licence.

    If you take a higher voluntary excess, you are taking on this risk and dealing with the issues. If you have legal cover under the policy to assist with uninsured loss recover for excess etc, then you can use that.
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 14th Mar 17, 10:42 AM
    • 144 Posts
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    red_imps_2003
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:42 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:42 AM
    Just by way of an update. My wife's insurer says we pay the excess up front but can reclaim it subsequently because the other driver admitted liability. His insurer has contacted my wife to offer to pay the cost of repairs at the bodyshop because their client admitted being at fault. For context, the other car was an Enterprise (the vehicle rental company) fleet car being driven by an employee.


    Now we are unsure how best to proceed. My wife's insurer indicated this is fairly common practice and would effectively mean they close our claim and the third party's insurer picks it up. It would keep things simple and mean we are not out of pocket from the outset but we have a number of concerns. My understanding is that this only covers the cost of the initial repair and my concern is what if further issues come to light later? My wife has symptoms of mild whiplash and is seeing a GP this afternoon. Although it looks unlikely, what if this leads to long-term health issues (unlikely, given the low speed of impact, but niggling nonetheless)? Also our insurer has paid for recovery of our vehicle but it is currently with the recovery agent because the insurer didn't designate their preferred bodyshop. Are there potential issues there?


    On the flipside, if we stay with our current insurer we risk perhaps not recovering our excess after all. It seems a fairly safe bet but are the 3rd party's insurers able to change their stance (withdraw liability) if we complicate things for them?


    These things are never simple, even when they appear to be on the face of it. Gah!
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 14th Mar 17, 11:08 AM
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    red_imps_2003
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:08 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:08 AM
    Thanks, huckster. I didn't see your response before submitting my update. I can certainly see the insurers' point of view. We didn't take up the option of legal aid as part of our policy, which is why I am a little concerned about likelihood of recovering the excess if we stick with our insurer rather than allow the third party's insurer to pay the initial repairs up front. To be fair, it looks as though it will be fairly straightforward but I understand (anecdotally) that insurers will look for any ways to avoid paying up (which I can also understand).
    • huckster
    • By huckster 14th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
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    huckster
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
    Suggest you let your Insurers deal with it, given car was recovered at their cost. Plus you have potential for a personal injury claim. It will make it easier.

    You will recover the excess as the third party has admitted to fault and agreed to deal with your claim. With hire car companies like Enterprise, they will self insure up to a certain amount, as they will have there own network of repair garages. It is likely Enterprise would pay you the excess upon receipt of a receipt. If you did go forward with an injury claim, then this is where Enterprises Insurers would get involved.

    The main problem with a third party arranged repair, is where you are unhappy with the quality of repair. Trying to get additional work done can be pain. Your Insurers are responsible for quality of repairs under contract and you have more comeback.
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 14th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
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    red_imps_2003
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    Thank you for your guidance, huckster. It is very helpful.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 14th Mar 17, 3:58 PM
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    teddysmum
    I didn't need to use my insurers , in a similar case. The other party's insurers contacted me and we dealt direct. ( Just needed to inform mine about the incident)
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 14th Mar 17, 5:23 PM
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    red_imps_2003
    Thank you. This is what the 3rd party's insurer's are offering (although we did use our own insurer for the recovery of the vehicle from the roadside). I am just a bit anxious we would be 'cutting ourselves adrift' if we go directly with the 3rd party's insurer for repairs, as our own have said they will close the case, so what happens if the whiplash symptoms my wife is suffering with today turn out to be more serious/long term or we subsequently find the vehicle damage extends beyond the cosmetic bodyshop repair? At the same time we are aware it is far less hassle just to have the 3rd party pay the current repair costs directly and we wouldn't have to faff about reclaiming our excess.
    • huckster
    • By huckster 14th Mar 17, 6:16 PM
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    huckster
    For a very simple claim, with a decent third party Insurers, then getting the third party insurers to deal with the repair and basic things like a hire car if needed, is a good way to go.

    But if the third party is a company like Enterprise hire cars, you might end up dealing with their own repair centres, rather than Insurers. You might struggle to use a garage of your own choice. If the repair is not satisfactory or work has been missed, you will have more hassle.

    Thers is also the personal injury issue.
    • Jlo31
    • By Jlo31 15th Mar 17, 9:04 AM
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    Jlo31
    Hi,

    Who is the insurer?

    Sometimes going through the third party is easier as they bend over backwards to make you happy and often you can choose your own repairer. They will usually supply you a suitable hire car to. Also, with regards injury you can put in a separate claim through a solicitor.

    As said previously, the alternative is to go through your own insurance and let them refund your excess when they have recovered their money from third party.

    One thing to avoid is when your insurance company put you through to an accident Managment company such as Albany assistance and others.. This is when they will try and sign you up in a 'credit hire car' which is charged at high rates!

    Hope this helps.
    • Jlo31
    • By Jlo31 15th Mar 17, 9:06 AM
    • 40 Posts
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    Jlo31
    For a very simple claim, with a decent third party Insurers, then getting the third party insurers to deal with the repair and basic things like a hire car if needed, is a good way to go.

    But if the third party is a company like Enterprise hire cars, you might end up dealing with their own repair centres, rather than Insurers. You might struggle to use a garage of your own choice. If the repair is not satisfactory or work has been missed, you will have more hassle.

    Thers is also the personal injury issue.
    Originally posted by huckster
    Good post.

    The only thing I would add is avoid accident Managment companies and credit car hire if possible.
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 15th Mar 17, 2:40 PM
    • 144 Posts
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    red_imps_2003
    Thank you for the feedback, all of you. It has been very helpful. My wife's policy is with Sheila's Wheels. I think it was 'Assured' that phoned her on behalf of the 3rd party but not certain (it's in a notebook at my desk, which I'm away from at the moment). Will confirm in a couple of hours.

    Edit: Yes, it was 'Assured' who phoned on behalf of 3rd party offering to cover cost of bodyshop repair to her car.
    Last edited by red_imps_2003; 15-03-2017 at 4:22 PM.
    • Jlo31
    • By Jlo31 17th Mar 17, 10:28 AM
    • 40 Posts
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    Jlo31
    How are you getting on with the claim? Hope its progressing smoothly for you.
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 17th Mar 17, 1:27 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    red_imps_2003
    How are you getting on with the claim? Hope its progressing smoothly for you.
    Originally posted by Jlo31
    We have decided to go with the third party's insurer to [hopefully] keep things simple. The car is now at the bodyshop, who have sent their estimate to the insurer. My wife is sufficiently recovered from the minor injuries sustained not to be too concerned about longer-term health and there were no financial losses in the short term.

    I will, of course, provide an update here if anything comes back to bite us so as to inform/warn others who may come across this thread in the future.

    Thanks to all who have contributed for your information and guidance, which I appreciate very much.
    • Jlo31
    • By Jlo31 17th Mar 17, 1:41 PM
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    Jlo31
    Brilliant. Glad it's going smoothly so far.

    Out of interest are enterprise dealing with it directly (self insuring) or are you dealing directly with their insurance Company?

    It makes no odds either way... I was just curious as to how hire car companies deal with third party claims.

    Cheers

    James
    • red_imps_2003
    • By red_imps_2003 17th Mar 17, 3:54 PM
    • 144 Posts
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    red_imps_2003
    We are dealing with their insurance company. I forget the name (it's been my wife doing all the communicating).
    • Jlo31
    • By Jlo31 17th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Jlo31
    Thanks for the update.
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