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Car hit us from behind today, insurance company want us to pay excess!

(51 Posts)
musicposy Tue 15-Oct-13 21:05:12

This August when we renewed our car insurance we put my 17 yo DD on it and because of that the excess went up to £400 (not to mention the huge increase in cost and the fact that lots of people wouldn't insure us).

Anyway today I had both girls in the car, was waiting at the front of a roundabout, about to pull out when there is a massive bang and we are thrown forward. Just when we are recovering wondering what happened another second bang as the bloke drives into us again, I've no idea how.

Eventually I pulled the car over and got out, the other car was driven by an elderly man who didn't seem to have any clear idea what had happened. He didn't say anything, just got the insurance details from the boot of the car. His car was pretty crumpled at the front but damage to our back bumper is surprisingly minimal, though I am concerned that there may be damage we can't see.

All three of us had dreadful neck pain, I bruised my arm badly and wrenched it somehow, and DD2 could not stop sobbing for about half an hour, she was hysterical. After he drove off I phoned the police because honestly he didn't seem compus mentus enough to be driving and I wanted it recorded that he hit me twice and I felt he was unsafe to drive home and might well injure someone else on the way. We phoned GP as DD2 and I were still in considerable pain an hour later, GP sent us all to A and E. They said it will be fine but we will be in pain for a few days. They were talking about a neck collar for DD2 but decided not necessary in the end.

Anyway, I phoned the insurance, reported it and they said did we want the car looked at. I said yes because I want to make sure there is no unseen damage for one thing.

Garage phoned us and said insurance company have told them we have to pay £400 excess. I said no way and they said we might have to wait weeks or more whilst they decide who is at fault.

WTAF!!! I am sat stationary at a roundabout and someone slams into the back of me, my child is now a sobbing wreck who is too terrified to go in the car and they say I have to pay??? The insurance company did ask did I feel I was at fault at all and I said NO, I was just sat there waiting to pull out and this bloke came from nowhere.

Surely this can't be right? I've had the most awful day and now I'm told I have to fork out £400 on top or risk driving a possibly dangerous car. Please does someone know what to advise?

ConfusedandDazed24 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:16:01

Sorry to say but IME you always have to pay your excess upfront, if the claim is non fault you can normally claim it back. It's in case something happens which makes it a fault claim (ie other driver not insured, insurance invalid etc). Sorry you've had such a bad day though, hope you're all ok.

almondfinger Tue 15-Oct-13 21:30:18

Why are you not claiming on his insurance? He hit you, his insurer should pay.

Collaborate Tue 15-Oct-13 21:30:59

Until the other driver's insurance company admit liability and agree to pay it sounds right to me.

musicposy Tue 15-Oct-13 21:37:08

OK, thanks. Not quite sure where I will find £400 but it does make me feel better that this is standard and not just the insurance company pulling a fast one. I'm kicking myself for putting DD on the insurance really, it's cost us a bomb and so far she's driven twice along our quiet cul-de-sac at 10 miles per hour. She's having lessons but taking an age to pick it up.

I've never had anything like this, so I'm not very well versed in it. The only other claim I've ever had was when someone drove into our car in a car park and we weren't even in it. I don't think we paid upfront then but I think the other driver was very honest and phoned immediately and told the insurance it was her fault (hard to argue otherwise if no one is in the other car, I suppose!).

I feel scared to drive the car now because it really frightened me how someone can just crash into you from nowhere. I've never been in any kind of accident and I guess I always prided myself that because I drive safely, I would be safe, if that makes sense.

Is there any way he can argue it was me? I cannot see how but all sorts of scenarios are playing out in my mind. I really wish I had stopped some witnesses now or at least taken the registration of a passing car. But the trouble is, you're in shock with something like that and you don't think straight. sad

everythinghippie29 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:39:17

It is standard that you would have to pay. Sounds like he would be round at fault, so you would claim the excess back along with any damages and (from the sounds of your post, personal injury claims).

If you don't get any movement soon and you have his insurance details, give them a call and that would hopefully speed things along. If you want your insurance company to service/repair the car though you should expect to pay the excess as they can't confirm that they can claim any costs back and that he is fully insured and admitting liability until the other driver has reported it.

everythinghippie29 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:40:00

Forgot to add, hope you and your dcs feel better soon. smile

musicposy Tue 15-Oct-13 21:46:26

I got his details and have given it to the insurance company.

That makes sense about the excess though, thank you. Does anyone know, if I wait to have the car done (still not sure where to find £400), can I get a mechanic I know just to check the car is safe or will that invalidate anything from the insurance point of view? That would cost me something but not nearly £400 and I'd accept I wouldn't be able to get that back.

I hadn't really thought about personal injury. Generally I hate the ambulance chasing culture. But my neck hurts so much I cannot tell you, and if I move quickly I see stars. But A and E seemed happy to let us go.

musicposy Tue 15-Oct-13 21:47:00

Thank you everythinghippie smile

kd73 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:47:02

It's standard for you to have to find your excess, irrespective of liability, sorry.

However, I hit another (stationary)car recently and my insurers have offered to repair both vehicles involved, is this option available to you?

everythinghippie29 Tue 15-Oct-13 22:58:23

I used to work in insurance claims, generally I would say speak to your insurance company about when the £400 would be due and any payment management. smile

As for getting a mechanic to look it over, you could have them do a check over but any interference from a '3rd party' by anyone not authorised by your insurer might cause issues. Again, each insurance company works differently so give yours a call and see if they are happy for you to do it.

It sounds like a very cut and dried none fault claim though so you shouldnt have to wait too long.

GenericNWMum Tue 15-Oct-13 23:03:56

Sorry, haven't read the thread, but google "accident management companies" if you want to avoid paying your excess - you can usually find one who will repair your vehicle on credit then seek to recover payment from the at fault insurer. Bringing an accident t management company into it normally speeds up insurer responses too - they're expensive!

musicposy Tue 15-Oct-13 23:35:06

Wow, *GenericNWMum" that sounds like a really good idea. Have googled and read and it sounds really worth looking doing.

Are there any downsides? Does it matter that I've already reported the claim?

CointreauVersial Tue 15-Oct-13 23:51:58

I used a local accident repair place after I heard them advertising on local radio that they pay your excess (well worth it in my case, because I had hit a wall, so I would have been liable to pay the excess whatever).

There's no catch, but obviously they need to check the repair is worth their while, because they have to build in the cost somehow. The insurance company tried to make me use their own people, but legally you can use who you want. The repair was done to a high standard, no money left my hands and I was very happy, and I even had use of a courtesy car (maybe not a shiny new one but who cares?).

I was reversed into in a car park last year - I was stationary and not at fault. My poor car had its front wing all buggered.

I informed my insurance company; they sorted absolutely everything - all I had to do was turn up at the accident repair centre and the courtesy car was waiting there for me (which, spookily, was exactly the same car as mine, even down to the colour shock)

They pursued the claim against the other party - at no point did I have to part with even one groat. It took a couple of weeks for the blame to be put officially on the other party, but I faced next to no disruption or inconvenience - or loss of no-claims.

I was very impressed.

smile < impressed

musicposy Wed 16-Oct-13 00:13:11

See,TalcAndTurnips that's the sort of thing you need to know before you take out the policy! Unfortunately if your insurer is not so good as that you tend to find out once it's too late.

It's only a bog standard fully comp from Aviva, musicposy - I'd never had to make a claim before that and didn't really know what to expect.

I do hope you manage to get it sorted very soon. I too would be very shocked at having to pay up front for something that was not my fault - I had no idea some companies operated in that way.

IamtheZombie Wed 16-Oct-13 00:40:57

Some insurers are very good though.

In the great flood of 2007, Zombie drowned her 10 month old car. Given the number of claims that were flooding all insurers at that time it did take a bit to sort out but her car was given a new engine and a few other bits and bobs.

She had use of a courtesy car throughout. She was able to collect her car the day before she needed to drive down to Southampton for a cruise she had booked months earlier. She picked the car up and drove 3 miles to her SIL's house and had a coffee with BIL. She was there 45 minutes max. When she went to leave, she found a car embedded in the car's offside read quarter!!

She had taken the insurance claim folder with her so she went back into the house and rang them. They arranged for her car to be collected immediately, for a one way courtesy car to Southampton and a one way courtesy car back home at the end of the cruise.

The car was a write off. She was off with SIL & BIL on another cruise to celebrate BIL's 60th. The replacement car was sorted by e-mail from the ship and was ready to pick up 4 days after Zombie got home.

She never had to pay a penny of any excess in either claim.

CointreauVersial Wed 16-Oct-13 12:50:21

It all depends if your claim is disputed.

If the other party's insurance company picks up the repair bill straight away then there is no excess for you to pay. If your insurance company are paying (which often happens to get you back on the road asap), then you pay an excess, but if it later turns out to be not your fault it can be recovered from the other party and you get it refunded later. It can take a few months though.

SirChenjin Wed 16-Oct-13 12:53:45

I had to pay my excess up front when I was rear ended by a car and a van who shunted into the back of the car.

It took me 18 months to get that money back as the car and the van both contested liability. 18 FUCKING MONTHS. I was bloody livid, esp. as I know where the van driver lives and still see her flying about the place like a lunatic.

I'm OK now though <and breathe>

musicposy Wed 16-Oct-13 13:22:43

Ooh SirChenjin I feel your fury!! This bloke should not have been on the road in the first place. He clearly could not see properly and had no idea what he'd even done. Whilst I had sympathy that he was clearly bewildered (and I will be old one day), I'd like to know why the system insures him and allows him on the road. It's putting people's lives at risk (and his own, quite frankly).

How the heck can these people contest liability?

SirChenjin Wed 16-Oct-13 15:13:41

To be fair, I suppose it's not the person who contests liability but the insurance companies who will not pay a single penny out unless they absolutely have to. I also think they are quite happy to drag things out as unresolved cases means they can increase your premiums during that time (and seem very slow to reduce them once the case is resolved..)

<cynical>

musicposy Wed 16-Oct-13 21:29:06

^agree

<cynical too> grin

Sparklysilversequins Wed 16-Oct-13 21:33:05

Don't claim on YOUR insurance. Contact HIS insurance company YOURSELF. As long as he accepts liability it will be dealt with entirely by them, not your insurance company so there will be no excess to pay.

I have done this when in exactly the same situation.

SirChenjin Wed 16-Oct-13 21:40:05

Eh? Really? Bloody hell, I wished I'd know this on previous occasions. Will insurance companies really deal with the other party directly??

Sparklysilversequins Wed 16-Oct-13 21:45:12

They did with us. It was a high profile company as well but can't remember which one. You ring them, tell them, give details of their client who is accepting liability, they send out forms to him. I have to say though I had a lovely, cooperative man who crashed into my parked car and could not have been sorrier so I think he bent over backwards to get everything back to them quickly. I feel bad really because I was so upset when it happened that I didn't even ask if he was ok, he was all shaky sad.

eurochick Wed 16-Oct-13 21:58:16

My car was hit whilst parked when I was a student. I only had 3rd party/fire/theft cover, so had to claim from the other side's insurer. I had no money so had to wait for the other side's insurer to pay up. They took ages and I had to get quite stroppy with them, but they did eventually pay up - and the repair was done at my choice of garage.

SirChenjin Thu 17-Oct-13 11:56:40

That's good to know Sparkly (although hopefully I won't need to...but my car seems to be a magnet for bad drivers sad)

zipzap Thu 17-Oct-13 12:28:22

Somebody drove into dh in a car park and admitted liability - we claimed directly from the other guy's insurance. They used an accident management company - which was fine apart from the fact that it took a while for the car to get repaired as the garage were busy so we had a courtesy car. Again fine - until they finally did the repairs, finished a couple of days earlier than they thought - and then expected us to pick up the car at very short notice, that day. When I asked if I could pick it up on the day we were originally supposed to, as we'd arranged our plans around the dates we'd been given, they said it was fine except we'd have to pay the outrageous car hire charges and for storage at the garage shockangry

If they had done the work when they said they could originally there wouldn't have been a problem - they were the ones that kept changing estimates of dates around. And weren't prepared to be flexible when they changed them yet again. I wasn't asking to have the car for extra weeks, it would have been about 36 hours. But no - so we had to forfeit our trip as they were going to charge us £100's for those extra few hours. At least we were able to make that change - if we had been away, and they had left a message for us, we would have been liable even though we would have known nothing about it and thought we were ok because we would have gone based on their earlier estimates of when the car would be ready.

In this case I'd definitely contact the other insurers, especially given how worried you were about how fit he was to drive. Is it also worth talking to the police again on 101 now you are feeling a bit less shaky and see what they say about the driver and if they can do anything.

greenfolder Thu 17-Oct-13 20:43:11

Go direct to the other insurers. I work for v large insurer and third parties that come direct get the same service as comp cover- approved repairer, courtesy car 5 year guarantee on repair.

greenfolder Thu 17-Oct-13 20:45:49

Go direct to the other insurers. I work for v large insurer and third parties that come direct get the same service as comp cover- approved repairer, courtesy car 5 year guarantee on repair.

jerryfudd Thu 17-Oct-13 20:52:54

Please try the other insurers direct first before turning to an accident management company - if you use such a company just remember that you will be entering into a form of credit with them - they will repair your car on credit, loan you a credit hire car etc and claim marked up prices from the other insurer however ultimately you will be responsible for the debt so if for any reason the other side don't pay up then they are perfectly entitled to seek recovery from you should they choose to

SirChenjin Fri 18-Oct-13 08:53:49

So if I'm fully comp and someone drives into me I can just go straight to the other party's insurers and settle it that way?

jerryfudd Fri 18-Oct-13 09:16:11

Yes - you can give them the opportunity (works out cheaper for them than if faced with Bill if you use credit companies). There is no legal requirement for you to utilise your own insurance (even if fully comp) hence why these accident management companies exist. You are however under a duty to mitigate your loss so if using these companies bear it in mind ie don't agree to putting your car in storage if you have room on your drive, don't hire a range rover vogue if you have a ka yourself etc

SirChenjin Fri 18-Oct-13 09:20:36

Thanks - I honestly didn't know this, I though an accident management company was only for people who were injured confused. In 20-odd years of driving I've had 5 accidents and none of them my fault (all witnessed). I've just contacted my insurers and let them deal with it, which has taken ages and raised my premiums.

jerryfudd Fri 18-Oct-13 09:31:04

They make so much from sticking you in a credit hire vehicle whlist they string out the repairs to your car that most will take on non-injury claims.

SirChenjin Fri 18-Oct-13 11:26:56

Thanks - will give it a go (when the inevitable happens and someone doesn't see my big white car...)

CointreauVersial Fri 18-Oct-13 18:10:53

SirChenjin, if the accident isn't your fault it does not affect your premiums, because your insurance company is able to claim back everything from the other party.

It sounds perfect, claiming from the other person's insurance, but how often do people just admit liability? I have only had one case where the other party went "oh, my fault", normally they try to claim it was down to me for some spurious reason (even the idiot who drove into me head-on last year while on his phone, and only admitted liability when the police prosecuted him. Wanker).

You can also contact dvla and report someone who shouldn't be driving and they will be contacted

It's for relatives /friends of people who are elderly and starting to fail

AuntyEntropy Fri 18-Oct-13 18:41:21

Unfortunately quite a lot of the "victims" of apparently straightforward rear-ending incidents are in fact fraudsters nowadays. Whilst I can't read the mind of the OP's insurers, (and other ones on this thread who were similarly crap for an incident of this type) this may be why they're being less than helpful, which sucks for the people in the OP's situation. Good luck for a speedy resolution OP.

zipzap Sat 19-Oct-13 00:01:11

Cointreau - it unfortunately does affect your premiums.

The insurance companies are very weasly with their wording. Whilst it does not affect the percentage discount that you get, they conveniently say that statistically if you have been in an accident - even though it is nothing to do with you and completely not your fault, you are more likely to be involved in another accident.

As a result they stick your premium up. So (to keep it simple!) if your premium was £1000 before but you had a full no claims discount so you only paid £100 before the accident, the next time you have to renew you still have to declare the accident and even though they paid nothing out, you find that your premium has gone up by £100 to cover inflation etc and £400 to cover your increased risk. You still pay the same percentage of that sum - which means that you pay £150 instead of the £110 that you would have done if you hadn't had the accident... sadangry

PolterGoose Sat 19-Oct-13 12:21:52

I've used HelpHire twice for no fault of mine 'accidents' and they were brilliant.

I couldn't use them for a third 'accident' because the other driver retracted his liability, thankfully I had an excellent witness who supported my account.

For future reference, if anyone has an accident that results in injury the police should be called. It is always worth getting details of witnesses too.

PolterGoose Sat 19-Oct-13 12:22:30

And also take photos at the scene, of as many angles as possible, these helped me prove that I was not at fault.

tinyturtletim Sun 20-Oct-13 15:48:05

Hold on, he drove off? Did you get his phone number and address? I would definitely make sure that you get an incident number off the police if they didn't give you one already.

Above posters are right that you can go straight to his insurance company.

How are you all feeling now? If any of you have any time off work as a result I would consider a personal injury claim to cover your loss of earnings..

MidniteScribbler Sun 20-Oct-13 21:17:52

Zipzap, I've had two not at fault accidents in the last couple of years, and claimed through my insurance both times. I have had no loss of my rating 1 and my premiums have not increased outside of the normal rises. If your insurance company is doing that when you are not at fault, then you should be shopping around.

peggyundercrackers Fri 25-Oct-13 12:25:25

zipzap your talking bollocks. I have had 2 claims because other people have drove into me, my insurance company know about it but both claims were made directly to other insurers - I didnt go through mine, my premiums have not went up and i have not lost any of my discounts.

zipzap Fri 25-Oct-13 13:36:07

Peggy and midnight - I glad that you haven't been affected. However, we have been so it's worth pointing this out as it may affect others.

Even if you use their insurer to deal with everything then you still have to declare it when you need to renew your insurance. The first time I didn't, was talking on the phone as there was a problem online (unrelated to this issue) and when I mentioned it I passing the lady explained that if I didn't declare it that would be considered fraud and if I had had an accident then my insurance would be declared void. It was an honest mistake when I didn't tell them initially as I thought you just had to declare when you had claimed off your own insurance. I think there's a five year period you have to do this for, it shouldn't affect beyond then.

I always research my insurance renewal to get the best deal - and always check the difference in the price for both non-fault accident and no accident scenarios. It's always more - at least for the few at the top that give the best price. I don't compare the entire list - maybe the ones that are loads more expensive don't differ but I'm not going to get those anyway.

I'd love to know who you insure with where there isn't a price difference! grin

And Peggy - just because you haven't had to pay more doesn't mean that everybody else who has had a different experience is 'talking bollocks'!
hmm. Also if you read my post you'll see that I didn't lose my discount (the percentage that they take off if you've had no accidents in x years) - but that because the premium increased as we were deemed higher risk, we still ended up paying more - because if you have a higher starting figure then a fixed percentage of it is going to be higher.

saintmerryweather Fri 25-Oct-13 14:35:33

insurance companies shouldnt be loading your premium if you have a non fault claim. if its not settled when you come to renew you may lose some of your ncd but you should get it back (and refunded premium) when the claim is settled in your favour.

even insurers realise that a non fault claim means that you did nothing to contribute to it - why would they penalise you for that?

PolterGoose Fri 25-Oct-13 14:56:47

AGuardian article here supporting what zipzap says, there are lots of stories of increased premiums after a no-fault claim on Money Saving Expert. It's really not uncommon and I assume it's based on some formula that says if you've been hit once you're more likely to be hit again.

zipzap Fri 25-Oct-13 16:32:15

Poultergoose - you're right, I was told that they are mot penalising you by not taking away your no claims discount even though you have made a claim - albeit from another insurance company. But that once you have made one claim statistically you are more likely to make another claim (even if it was completely not your fault) which means you are deemed to be a riskier customer and thus your premium went up to reflect this.

And thanks for the supporting evidence thanks

zipzap Fri 25-Oct-13 16:36:26

Oh and saint - I completely agree with you and think what you say is perfectly logical. Insurance companies on the other hand will use any excuse to extract more cash from us!

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