Notifying Insurance.

Hi all,

Last week my daughter, a new driver, unfortunately, damaged her car. Was overtaking another vehicle on a dual carriageway well within the speed limit. He pulled into her lane. She swerved to avoid him and scraped along the metal barrier. Thankfully, she righted the car and didn't hit any other cars. After looking at the damage, I assumed it would be too expensive to get it fixed privately. So, we reported the incident online to the police. I then told her insurers but also explained the 3rd party drove off, and there was no prospect of finding him. Anyway, I've since been to a body shop, and it will be cheaper to get it fixed than I thought. The insurers have already said that even without their engineer's report, they will probably write the car off as it's only worth 3-4k. My concern is that even if we don't claim through her insurance, they'll put her premium up because I've informed them. Just wondered if anyone had any experience of this sort of incident.  

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,300
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    She'd need to inform insurers about the incident anyway, the relevant question isn't merely about actual claims.
  • user1977 said:
    She'd need to inform insurers about the incident anyway, the relevant question isn't merely about actual claims.
    I know, but I worry that the notification alone will increase her premium. I had a similar problem a few years back. I got tapped gently by another car from behind. No damage but because he was hit by the car behind him, there was a note on the system of my insurers which they tried to use to justify the increase in premium. Of course, I disputed it, and supposedly, it was removed.   Just not sure how these things work to be honest.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,265
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    Yes it likely will increase her premium next year.  But she can take a payout from the insurance and fix herself (aka take it to a shop) and probably not pay as much as what the insurance co pays her.  Their write off doesn't mean it's unroadworthy, just that it's cheaper for them to write off than repair through their system.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,136
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    The question she will be asked when she renewed is "have you had any accidents or claims in the last X years" and obviously she will have to answer "yes" to this whether she makes a claim or not. (Some people "forget" to mention minor accidents that they didn't claim for, however the police are involved and her current insurers have it on record, so it would be silly to pretend that this one didn't happen).

    Declaring it as an accident without a claim will likely have less of an impact on her premium than declaring it as a fault claim. (It will be treated as a fault claim if there is no third party to claim the costs from, even though she wasn't to blame for it).

    However, if she hit the barrier there is a fair chance that the highways agency will try to claim the cost of repairing the barrier from her insurer. She might argue that she isn't liable as the other driver was to blame, but with no sign of the other driver and no evidence of exactly what happened other than her word for it, her insurer might end up paying out to the highways agency anyway. If this happens there'll be a fault claim on her record regardless of what she does about her own car, and she would have nothing to lose by claiming for her own damage as well.

    Personally, if you think you can get it fixed for well under the write off value, I'd ask the insurer if they could write it off but let me retain the salvage. They'd send a cheque for it's value, less the scrap value, which you could spend on getting it fixed, and have money left over to put towards next year's premium.
  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,388
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    I'd be interested to know whether any of the the comments are based on any internal/professional knowledge of how insurance companies work or personal observations and experience.

    My premium went up 90+% this year. My only contact with the insurance company had been to inform them that someone reversed into me in a car park. I did this because although I'd paid to repair the cracked light fitting myself, I wanted them to be aware in case the other driver tried to claim. I had his details and photos to prove his car had lots of old dents under the dust and grime. 😁

    I tried hard to get an explanation from the company for the exorbitant increase but just got platitudes about all premiums, costs, inflation etc rising. They just wouldn't/couldn't address why my premium was up by so much when others were experiencing more like 40 - 50% rises at the time. ☹️

    Sorry to hijack thread OP. I'm sure your daughter's premium will rise but hopefully less than mine. 😊
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,647
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    I tried hard to get an explanation from the company for the exorbitant increase but just got platitudes about all premiums, costs, inflation etc rising.
    Call centre staff are not trained to know about the mechanics of pricing and influences.   If they were, they would not be call centre workers (often on rolling short term contracts or working for another company supplying call centre services).

    My premium went up 90+% this year. My only contact with the insurance company had been to inform them that someone reversed into me in a car park. I did this because although I'd paid to repair the cracked light fitting myself, I wanted them to be aware in case the other driver tried to claim. I had his details and photos to prove his car had lots of old dents under the dust and grime. 😁
    Some insurers will increase the premium for a no cost claim like yours.  Some will not.      
    Some will have a totting up multiplier.  i.e. if you have a previous claim and then get another they can shove the premium up.

    When you obtained quotes elsewhere, were they in the same ballpark as the renewal?   if not, then its quite possible that you have fallen outside their commercial target market (not to be mixed up with the FCA's target market definition) and that you are not really the type of person/vehicle that they want.





    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • maman said:
    I'd be interested to know whether any of the the comments are based on any internal/professional knowledge of how insurance companies work or personal observations and experience.

    My premium went up 90+% this year. My only contact with the insurance company had been to inform them that someone reversed into me in a car park. I did this because although I'd paid to repair the cracked light fitting myself, I wanted them to be aware in case the other driver tried to claim. I had his details and photos to prove his car had lots of old dents under the dust and grime. 😁

    I tried hard to get an explanation from the company for the exorbitant increase but just got platitudes about all premiums, costs, inflation etc rising. They just wouldn't/couldn't address why my premium was up by so much when others were experiencing more like 40 - 50% rises at the time. ☹️

    Sorry to hijack thread OP. I'm sure your daughter's premium will rise but hopefully less than mine. 😊
    On average everyone's premiums have gone up over 50%, in practice that means some have seen higher increases and some lower. 

    Whoever you are dealing with a call centre agent isn't given access to pricing information; they'd never have the data sitting behind the pricing decisions and so its pointless to give them any data as it'd just lead down rabbit holes that ultimately end in the same position of "this is the price, take it or leave it". Same as a shop assistant won't know why Bosch washing machines went up 15% this year but AEG went up 17%. 

    If they work for some form of intermediary then the company themselves may not even know the reason for pricing changes as these are done by the insurer/underwriter not the intermediary

    Comments based on 20 years in insurance - though recent years aren't mass market consumer insurance
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