Posted by: Rich Cumbers | August 5, 2009

My Car Insurance Claim

Back in November 2008 I had a crash, with my little Ford KA being written off. Basically someone T-Boned me on a mini roundabout, when I had right of way. 2 ambulances, a fire engine and a police car were all in attendance (even though both myself and the other driver were all were able to get out without any problems). Still it was nice to see the emergency services reacting so quickly! I exchanged details with the other driver, and we tentatively agreed that I was not at fault. I wish not to name his insurance company, but to give an indication the quotes that they tend to give me for my KA were usually £800+. Knowing the premiums that this company charged I felt confident that the claim would be dealt with swiftly, what a stupid thought that was.

My insurance company arranged a very quick removal of my car, the details of the crash were logged, and I was very pleased with the service. My level of insurance was such that a temporary hire car was a risk, if the other party did not admit liability for the crash then I would have to foot the bill, if they did admit liability I was free to claim on their insurance for a hire car. I declined this option deeming the risk too great. Instead Su’s parents stepped in with a kind offer of their second car till Christmas. I cannot tell you how grateful I was for this gesture!

After a few days I contacted my insurance company, who assured me that they would contact the other party’s insurance company and then the fun would begin. 1 month later we were still waiting to hear from the other party’s insurance company. In fact we waited a very very long time. Whilst we were waiting we received the money for my car (as it was written off) minus the excess as the other party had yet to admit liability.

Many phone calls and weeks later…. In June I received a letter informing me that we were going to take matters to the courts, as the other insurance company had not responded. I was incredulous, 6 months had gone by and still two insurance companies had not managed to talk to each other, and I can only take it on the word of my company that it was the others fault. I dutifully filled out the forms, and roughly 2 weeks later we received a letter and a cheque for my excess. The other company had finally got in touch, and agreed that the crash was not my fault! It was such a shame that it took this long (nearly 7 months) and the threat of court to get this resolved.

One last thing, whilst waiting for the other insurance company to get in touch I had to renew my car insurance. As the crash was still against me, having paid out for the excess I was looking at a premium without a No Claims Bonus, which after some searching around we decided was ok (we were fairly confident that we would get our NCB and excess back). The renewal was with the same company that I was with when I had my crash, and yet once I was told that the crash was not my fault, I had to call them to ask for this year’s premium to be adjusted in accordance with regaining my NCB! Surely they should have a system where they contact me!

Anyways this post was all about having a cathartic release as it has been more stressful then I imagined.

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Responses

  1. I can totally understand the need for you to have a bit of a brain-dump, and am glad you finally got this all cleared up.

    I absolutely despise car insurance. My wife Sarah was hit by another driver at a junction. He claimed that she had run the lights, was speeding, and was generally in the wrong. He also faked neck pains, so the fire crews cut the roof off his 1 year old Ford Focus to lift him out safely. We still suspect he was on his mobile phone, but couldn’t prove it. In the end the police interviewed both drivers and came to the conclusion that he was to blame and sent him on a driving improvement course for wasting everyone’s time.

    More recently, I got swiped by a lorry on a roundabout, and the driver again argued as to who’s fault it was. His boss took the same stance and said (and I quote) “If you’re that certain it’s not your fault, then just put a claim in against me!” – so I did. Months went by, and my insurance company were useless at chasing things up so I took it all in to my own hands and got my excess back in less than a week (it had been 4 months since the accident, and 3 since the other insurance company had agreed to settle the claim).
    I wish I’d never got my insurance company involved but because of the dispute I had little choice. They certainly didn’t live up to their name – I dealt with it far more SWIFTly than their insurance COVER did.

    Either way, we’re stuck with stupidly high premiums and bad drivers on the road. Until trains and buses get more accessible and affordable for the longer distances we’ll just have to cough up and put up with it.

  2. Wow, my comment is nearly as long as your blog. Sorry about that!

  3. Hi MarkP

    I am having the same problem a car reversed into my side and the same company arent dealing with it SWIFTly.

    How did you go about taking it into your own hands??

    First time I have had to deal with a claim and I am verging towards being a broken man.

    Regards

    Thomas

  4. Hi MarkP,

    how did you pursue you claim offline, my claim isn’t being dealt with SWIFTly by the same company and I would like to take the issue with both hands.

    Regards

    Thomas

  5. Thomas,

    Each time I have had to deal with insurance companies I have usually had to resort to shouting and refusing to listen to what they have to say. Once I think I nearly made the guy cry before he passed me on to his manager, and progress was made. I don’t like it, but being rational and polite doesn’t seem to get you anywhere.

    If the claim is being settled by the other driver’s insurance then call up Swift and ask for the name of the company that the 3rd party is insured with and any reference numbers they have. If they refuse to tell you, tell them it’s your right to know as it’s your excess that is now long overdue and you want to deal with it yourself.

    If they still refuse, then call up the DVLA and give them the other drivers details – they should be able to tell you who he’s insured with.

    If you have the time (and I wish I did) then contact the financial ombudsman and express your concerns over your insurers abiilities to deal with the claim.

    Good luck!

  6. im the opposite. I hit someone in the snowy weather, and it was my fault. Ive notified my insurance company that there will be a claim, but the other drivers insurance company still havent heard of mine. Its a joke really, it would take 5 minutes to sort out.


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