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Disputing an insurance write off value

Discussion in 'General Cars' started by Robotmannick, 8 Feb 2017.

  1. Robotmannick

    Robotmannick

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    Morning all,

    My car was involved in a collision last November. My car was parked and unoccupied and a van drove into it. The guy stopped at the scene, admitted liability etc - all credit to him.

    I contacted my insurance company and they forwarded me to a claims management company. I've had no other contact with my insurance company. The claims management company have been...let's just say poor at representing me.

    My claims management company arranged an independent valuation and the repair value was about 40% of the value of the vehicle. They said the parts would take 3 months to obtain which meant that, in the eyes of the other guy's insurance company, it was unviable to repair (because of the hire car cost that they were paying for). All this kind of happened in the background without any input from me. I received a cheque for 100% of the valuation of the vehicle, however this was (as it always is!) lower than I was expecting.

    I obtained a copy of the independent valuation. This took place without the valuer actually visiting the vehicle. It specifically stated that there were no extras fitted to the vehicle which was incorrect. I contacted the claims management company who were unhelpful, basically saying that they don't value the vehicle so there's nothing they could do about it and because I'd received a cheque, they were no longer dealing with the case. They also took my hire car back.

    I contacted the valuation company who were really helpful. They asked for receipts for the extras - some (most of them) they said did not increase the value of the car - reversing camera, heated front windscreen and the like - surprising but fair enough. However, there were some things that did increase the value. They were using Glass's guide for this. He issued an updated valuation (about a grand's difference) and sent it to my claims management company. My claims management company failed to send this on to the third party as they considered the case closed so I got a copy of the report and forwarded it myself to the third party insurance company. They are now saying that they won't increase the offer as the original valuation was correct.

    So where do I stand legally? What options do I have? They dispute the independent valuation but coincidentally agree precisely with the original one. What if they were to offer just £1 and claim that's all it's worth? Where is the line drawn of what I have to accept and what can I challenge? How do I challenge it? I can't contact the financial ombudsman as this only applies to my own insurance company, not a third party.

    Also, as everyone agrees that the car is repairable for only 40% of it's value, I'd like to get the cat D write-off and get it repaired. They've quoted a value which is a good 25% above the Glass' valuation for this type of salvage. Do I have any rights there or is that just a commercial negotiation and they can sell it back to me (or not) at any price they wish?

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Nick
     
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  3. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    Claims management companies only act in their own interests to see how much hire charges they can screw out of the other side! If your own insurers appointed the C M Co. I'd go back to them telling them their agents have failed to properly represent you and you will claim against your own policy for the balance. How much do you consider you're out of pocket by? I used to work in insurance and the industry has lost it's morality. Insurers now use companies who's objectives are to agree total loss settlements at 10% ( or so ) below guide figure. They never go out to see wrecks , it's all done by phone and imaging. I know this because a friend worked for such a company until he could stand it no more,
     
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  4. Robotmannick

    Robotmannick

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    Thanks Dave,

    How much am I down? Depends how you look at it...To replace a like for like vehicle about £3k. That would be £2k if they increase the value to the new valuation.

    I also have a load of additional extras such as insurance for the alloy wheels and paint, a service package etc...All in all, that was about another £2k I spent but I can longer use. I think the chances of getting anything back for that is pretty much zero though.

    FWIW. I think you're right about the claims management company too.

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  5. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Do you have legal cover , many do , get them involved .
     
  6. Robotmannick

    Robotmannick

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    Unfortunately not. And from reading the small print, I'm not sure this would have helped because the legal cover is provided through the accident management company anyway!
     
  7. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    If you had comprehensive cover your insurers could have paid you and recovered it from the other party's insurers. But they pass you on to an accident management company because they get a "referral fee " ( aka a backhander) for doing so. Your best bet is to complain in strongest terms high up in your insurers that their "agents" have mishandled your claim. You'll be lucky to recover anything for your add-on policies as that's not covered under your policy but a good solicitor might argue a case. Good luck.
     
  8. Robotmannick

    Robotmannick

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    Thanks all, I really appreciate your comments.

    So are there no avenues (other than small claims court) for getting the third party's insurance company to up their payment? What if they offer a ridiculously small payment? Am I forced to bend over and accept it?

    Nick
     
  9. Dork Lard

    Dork Lard

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    I could help you out here with some very valuable information from someone who has worked extensively with recovery, repair, salvage, insurance & claims management for more than 20yrs.

    But a few things in your post worry me.

    1. Have you banked/cashed that cheque?

    2. Glass's don't value salvage.
     
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  11. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    If you're disputing the pre-accident value you'll need to come up with proof such as adverts for similar cars, but remember they're not usually the price it sells for . What kind of car do you have ? Might help to suggest how to value it. Looks like the claims management company have put their own interests first. Have you spoken to your insurers yet?
     
  12. As the insurance company passed you on to an inept company, they have the responsibility to review their actions. The company should have informed you of their valuation first, and discussed it with you. By just sending you a cheque for what they think it's worth, implies arrogance, and ineptitude, and to then close the case and refuse to re-open it suggests even worse. But they make their money by saving the insurance company time and effort, so they are working for the insurance company not you.

    The heated screen would have been factory fitted, and so would increase the value of the car, although not by much, but as they make the car more saleable, they can't just be dismissed. You might get a refund on the service package as it's no longer required. Have you checked the availability of the required parts.

    You may be able to take your insurance company to ombudsman on the basis of their negligence in employing a substandard company.
     
  13. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    The claims management co. makes their money by screwing the other party's insurers for the biggest hire claim possible . They are interested in how much they get for your car. Plus they'll make money by selling your details to solicitors to make spurious injury claims. Everyone makes money out of you except you!
     
  14. Robotmannick

    Robotmannick

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    1. No I haven't cashed the cheque.
    2. Ok, I wasn't aware of that - perhaps I've misinterpreted what was said. The independent valuation company told me that they were using Glass's guide to provide the valuation and then immediately afterwards he said that the industry standard salvage value for this type of vehicle as a cat D write-off would be 23% of the pre-accident value. I assumed that this was Glass's, but guess that was a poor assumption!

    I've looked at adverts and they're all about £3-4k more than the valuation I've been given. But I'm not sure how relevant they are anyway - as you say, cars rarely sell for those values and in any case, the valuation I've been given is from an independent inspection company. I believe that the revised valuation that they've now provided is accurate, just that the third party's insurance company disagrees with it. What's the point of an independent valuation if it carries no standing with the insurance company and they are free to disregard it?


    The claims management company said all along that I'd agreed with the third party's insurance company to the valuation and that my car could be written off, so that's why they didn't need to speak to me about the valuation... I didn't even speak to them, so this was untrue. I'm not sure if it was my claims management company who has made this up or whether it was the third party's insurance company.

    I agree that the heated screen and parking pack etc should make a car worth more, but according to Glass's guide, that's not the case.

    Yes, I've checked the availability of parts - all are available from the main dealer and the vehicle can be repaired within 2 weeks. My accident management company chose to take the vehicle elsewhere and they claimed they were unable to get parts for 3 months. Had they taken it to the main dealer in the first place, I'd have got my car back quickly, the third party's insurance would have paid less than half the write-off cost and saved as much again in car hire fees. In fact, the only people to have lost out would have been my accident management company...
     
  15. An insurance valuation relates to the value of the car, and the cost of replacing it, and they very likely only checked Glasses valuation, rather than even going to look at it. Any reference to a Cat D value, is only relevant if you are looking to purchase the write off from your insurance company, and has no relevance to what you are offered.

    I'm with Admiral, and they were pretty hopeless when my car got smashed up, but at the end of the day, they rang me to make an offer to write off the car, but they wanted a 3 way call with the DVLA or someone, to make sure that I didn't have any undeclared speeding convictions or the like, but I got pretty much the glass's price.

    The insurance valuation is agreed between you and your insurance company, (although possibly with the claims company in this case) but has nothing whatsoever to do with the other insurance company, as they aren't insuring your car. As the claims management company is dealing with the matter, it was their decision to call in the valuers, but it's their responsibility to then discuss that valuation with you, no one else.

    What's the point in your insurers appointing a claims management company, if they then devolve responsibility to other companies, and have no control over the claim.

    Dare I wonder if the claims management company is getting the difference in what the cars worth, and what you've got paid for it. Do you know the other parties insurance company by any chance.

    You can write a recorded letter to the claims management company stating your concerns over their handling, and do a CC to your insurance company, or you can do it the other way round, as I still feel that they are the ultimate bearer of responsibility, as it is your insurance company that you have your contract with.
     
  16. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    Agreed. Complain to your insurers. Say you now want to make a claim for the market value of your car and you'll give credit for the payment received from the other side. See how they wriggle out of that. You can complain to the Ombudsman if your insurers don't fulfil their contractual obligations.
    Have you seen Glass's Guide for your car ?
     
  17. Dork Lard

    Dork Lard

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    Some things still don't make sense to me.

    You say that your claims management company arranged an independant valuation & that the repair value was about 40% of the value of the vehicle, yet you also state that the valuer never actually visited the vehicle.

    So who has inspected the damage to the vehicle to be able to state what repairs are required?

    Where is the car now & have you agreed or committed to accepting any settlement?
     
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