Non fault accident - should I claim or go through third party?

Was in my first ever car accident last week - someone went into the back of us on the motorway. Feeling very naive in the world of insurance, having never made a claim on any policy before, motoring or otherwise, but have been trying to educate myself. Can anyone with more experience give me any further insight? Talking to either insurance company, I'm very aware that I'm not getting any objective information! I'm with Admiral and the third party is Darwin. Admiral are offering to sort through their approved garage network, and if I do that we get a courtesy car. But I will lose my NCB, at least for the time being until they accrue their costs back, and I have to pay my £350 excess. My policy is up for renewal end of June. Darwin have admitted liability of their customer, are offering to sort everything inc courtesy car at no cost to me, and without making a claim I keep my NCB and no excess. Obviously by doing this, they can keep their costs down by not having to deal with Admiral, so are gaining there and that is their motivation. What other things do I need to consider here that I haven't already? Has anyone gone through Darwin as third party capture and had any positive/negative experiences?


  • rigolith
    rigolith Forumite Posts: 2,409
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    The main difference is that if you go with Darwin and there is a problem, you can't complain to the FOS. However, you can threaten to just go back to your insurance company and make a claim if they aren't being helpful. As you say, it's in their interests to make you happy.

    The main risk is if you aren't happy with the repair, or if they write the car off and don't offer a realistic amount for it.

    Personally I'd go with Darwin. Be careful to mention that you have a non fault accident on your record when renewing your insurance, and claim the increase off Darwin too.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,299
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    The net position will ultimately be the same, your NCD would be reinstated once the claim is settled and your excess can be recovered from the third party insurer but there can be an attraction to jumping straight to that rather than being out of pocket of the excess for a month or so etc.

    There wont be many differences from just using your insurers or theirs however there is more differences if you use an accident management company or a solicitor under your Legal Expenses cover. For example:

    Temp replacement car:
    • Own Insurers - small car provided by the garage if available
    • TP Insurers - guaranteed a car, will try to get you to take the smallest appropriate vehicle
    • Accident Management - guaranteed a like for like car

    Loss of earnings:
    • Own Insurers - wont be interested at all
    • TP Insurers - will consider the claim if you bring it up
    • Solicitors - should ask you if you have any to claim
    As mentioned above, FOS rights dont exist if not claiming off your own insurance. Whilst there is some merit in saying you can threaten to go via your own insurers the reality isnt as straight forward if you've already commenced repairs etc.
  • oscarward
    oscarward Forumite Posts: 870
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Car Insurance Carver!
    I had a small bump last year, completely other driver fault. Went initially through TP insurer but even though they accepted liability were  a nightmare to deal with. ‘You are 130 in the queue’ or ‘we are not accepting calls from 3rd party claimants please email’ (which was never answered). After months when I finally got them to answer the phone they passed me off to 3rd party repairer who when I managed to get hold of them told me they only dealt with fleet or lease cars.  Ended up going back to my own insurer who arranged a like for like hire car and repairs within a few days. No excess due or loss of NCD.  Sometimes paying a little more gets better service when you need it. The 3rd party insurers were AXA and mine LV. Nuff said
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