Car Insurance claim

Someone hit my car.The person who hit my car is a delivery driver for a supermarket. When I rang my insurance, they told me it will be a no fault claims and ask if I wanted to pursue the third party insurer, which I agreed to. Then they put me in touch with this other company to carry on with claim. I didn’t take out car hire excess with my insurer but the company handling my claim offered me a courtesy car. They said that I wouldn’t have to pay as they will claim it back from the third party insurer. Now I’m afraid that I might be on the hook for this courtesy car. In the paperwork sent to me, it said that if the insurer doesn’t pay out, car hire fee would be wiped out as contingent liability. Any advice here? Am I just worrying for nothing? 

Comments

  • Yes.             
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,135
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    Sorry answer: yes, your writing about nothing.

    Long answer: the fact that you are personally liable for the charges is essentially a legal fiction which allows the car hire company to recover them from the third party insurer. You can claim for expenses that you have incurred as a result of the other drivers carelessness (like a hire car while yours is off the road), but only expenses that you have actually incurred. If the hire company gave you a car for free out of the goodness of their hearts there would be no costs for you to claim - the third party insurer would not have to reimburse you for something that you got for nothing. 

    A simple way of doing it would be for you to hire a car yourself, pay the fee up front, then claim the cost back from the third party insurer. However not many people could afford to pay for potentially several weeks car hire up front, with no certainty as to when or even if they would get their money back from the third party.

    So instead the credit hire company offers you a deal. You hire a car from them, they present you with a bill for the car, you claim the number on the bill from the third party insurer, but you only actually have to pay the bill if and when the insurer hands over the cash.

    In practice they also do most of the work of claiming the cost from the third party insurer on your behalf, but you might have to assist at some point eg by providing evidence of why you needed the car. Only if you refused to assist them at this point would you end up having to put your hand in your own pocket.
  • Aretnap said:
    Sorry answer: yes, your writing about nothing.

    Long answer: the fact that you are personally liable for the charges is essentially a legal fiction which allows the car hire company to recover them from the third party insurer. You can claim for expenses that you have incurred as a result of the other drivers carelessness (like a hire car while yours is off the road), but only expenses that you have actually incurred. If the hire company gave you a car for free out of the goodness of their hearts there would be no costs for you to claim - the third party insurer would not have to reimburse you for something that you got for nothing. 

    A simple way of doing it would be for you to hire a car yourself, pay the fee up front, then claim the cost back from the third party insurer. However not many people could afford to pay for potentially several weeks car hire up front, with no certainty as to when or even if they would get their money back from the third party.

    So instead the credit hire company offers you a deal. You hire a car from them, they present you with a bill for the car, you claim the number on the bill from the third party insurer, but you only actually have to pay the bill if and when the insurer hands over the cash.

    In practice they also do most of the work of claiming the cost from the third party insurer on your behalf, but you might have to assist at some point eg by providing evidence of why you needed the car. Only if you refused to assist them at this point would you end up having to put your hand in your own pocket.
    Thank you for the in depth answer. 
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,614
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    They haven't offered you a courtesy car at all. They have offered to credit hire a car on your behalf and to recover that cost from the 3rd party. Personally I wouldn't touch a credit hire vehicle with a bargepole. Check out the excess on the contract, you will likely find it is something like £1k and includes things like windscreen repairs.

    The risk of being landed with the cost of the rental are low provided you fully co-operate with the claims management company. The risk is more in the excess etc.

    Then again I wouldn't use a 3rd party claims management company either.

    Assuming you are using your insurers approved repairer, what does your policy say about the provision of a courtesy car whilst in for repair? Should the repairer be providing one for you?

    Alternatively you could go directly to the 3rd party and claim via their insurance. In some ways you have more rights around the repair, in other ways you have less in that you cannot complain to the insurance ombudsman.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,029
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    400ixl said:
    Assuming you are using your insurers approved repairer, what does your policy say about the provision of a courtesy car whilst in for repair? Should the repairer be providing one for you?

    Alternatively you could go directly to the 3rd party and claim via their insurance. In some ways you have more rights around the repair, in other ways you have less in that you cannot complain to the insurance ombudsman.
    Its likely that its also credit repairs, based on the OP's description of the conversation, as more commonly the likes of Admiral shift the whole claim across to the accident management companies rather than deal with repairs in house and credit hire. All part of their "won't impact your policy, no excess to pay" sales pitch. 
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