Donate SIGN UP

Car Insurance Claim; Crash due to black ice; High excess on low value car - How to proceed next?

Avatar Image
Shredder11 | 22:16 Wed 29th Dec 2010 | Insurance
27 Answers
I had a bad crash due to black ice this month, where I ploughed through a stone wall and badly damaged my car (nobody else involved other than the owner of the wall). Prior to the crash it was in very good condition and would have easily last for many more years. However the insurance company will only see it is an N reg, then value it low and write it off. My excess is £500 voluntary + £150 compulsory and the only reason I put a claim in, is because I was worried what would happen if I did not, due to the Police being called to the scene and also the owners of the wall being called as well.

Nine days ago when I rang the claim in, they told me an engineer of theirs would be visiting the car to evaluate it etc, and then I would be informed of the decision and the value of the car. I got quite a shock when I used the site to do a test insurance quote, and the value of the car was automatically calculated and it said £250!!! Now prior to the crash I could have sold it on Ebay for example, for £800 to £1000 easily. So when my insurers call me back, can I get them to up their offer by mentioning the value of items on the car that have recently been added? If this car was being broken down and sold as parts, it would fetch quite a bit; new tyres, discs, pads, exhaust, heavy duty £80 battery only 2mths old etc.

So in summary, how should I play it and can I realistically ask for more money if they offer a disgusting price? Also how long do they give you to pay your excess, or can it added onto your next years premium? I have a protected no claims bonus by the way.

Thanks for any advice!


1 to 20 of 27rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by Shredder11. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
try to find the same car and see how much you would have to pay for it,
With regards to your excess, you will have to pay it as soon as they ask for it. They wont let you add it to next years premium.
Also, if your car is a N-reg, I'd doubt you'd get nearly £1000 for it on ebay....unless you drive something posh like a Jag.
If the parts are new, then perhaps you should strip it yourself and sell the parts on. If it ends up being a write off then surely you can dipose of it as you wish....
Question Author
The car is a Peugeot 306 2.0 XSi 3dr and was top of the range along with the GTi. Yes believe it or not they still go for good money, infact there is a smashed up write off on Ebay now for £310 and who knows what it will finish at. Also there are a few more on there at £875 on a 1998 plate, but a crap colour and five door so less attractive and lower priced.
-- answer removed --
With regards the excess; if the car is written off and you are offered a sum of money (for the car), then the applicable excess will be deducted from the amount paid to you.

e.g if your car is valued by the insurance company at £500 and you have an applicable excess of £200, then you will receive £300 in settlement of the claim.
Many people find themselves in your situation, where their excess is around the same value as the car. They fall into this trap as their car ages (and becomes worth less) – but they are still paying for comprehensive cover.

Even in your situation, let’s assume that you car is worth £800 – you have an excess of £650, so whatever you are paying for comprehensive insurance (above the amount for third party, fire & theft), is buying you £150 of cover. In such a situation it is hardly worth opting for comprehensive cover.

However, many insurance companies will only allow protected no claims on comprehensive policies – so if this is important to you, either shop around, or accept that you are paying well over the odds for your insurance.
Unless you can show to your insurance company that the car is worth well over £650 – you will be wasting your time.

On the plus side, let’s say that your insurance company values the car at £250 and your excess is £650 – they will not be expecting you to pay them £400, even if the wall you destroyed costs £1,000’s to repair.
Hi Shredder, a couple of years ago someone reversed into my car which is a year older than yours and cracked the front bumper. After the insurance had looked at it they said they would right it off because the cost of the repair would be more than the car was worth. Even the garage they got to check it said it was wrong as he hadn't seen a car of that age in such good condition for a long time but the insurance companies will only go on the year of the car whatever the condition of it. Even now 2 years on it has only just got 40,000 on the clock and is still in great condition. I ended up fixing the car myself for a few quid. What got me was the fact that someone had hit my car and I would be the one who lost out if I had let the insurance deal with it as there is no way I could buy another one with what they wanted to pay me and I am fully comp with protected no claims just like you. As Hymie says the only way I could get protected no claims was to go fully comp and it was more expensive to go third party too. They get you all ways.
you can usually get them to give you the wreck back, they'll offer you £250 or a lower figure plus te wreck, then you can fix it upi yourself or sell he parts yourself. They will only offer market value. Individual reasons why it's worth more won't cut any ice.
-- answer removed --
The insurance company I worked for wouldn't accept a valuation based on ebay only from autotrader or other such sources.
Question Author
Thanks for all your advice so far I really DO appreciate it. I hope Hymie is right about the insurer, because that would take a lot of worry and pressure from me.

Regards asking the insurer for the wreck back, would this mean I then had to pay to have it moved to the scrapyard prior to stripping bits like the new battery for myself? Mind you the cost of buying it from them, might negate the benefits of what the parts I wanted were worth, i.e. might cost same to just buy them again. many things going around my head right now! People with money do not know they are born, and what normal people have to go through on a daily basis.

Regarding 3rd party/fire/theft, I have asked my insurer for this in the past and was told they do not even do it.

Another point EDDIES1 raised about the value of older cars, is one that has bothered me for a year or two. The last time I replaced the full exhaust system (minus the manifold bit) I was extremely fortunate, because my friend knew of a backstreet garage run my a Peugeot Master Specialist acredited female mechanic. Normally a genuine 306 exhaust with the chrome tail bit, would cost approx £600 fitted, but she did it for less than £250 of which £15 was for labour!! Anyway I no longer can contact her and I was dreading having a new exhaust that cost more than the car was worth.

I am on the lookout for a new car now and one thing I have noticed, is that the same car with the same reg plate on the forecourt or website can go for more on Ebay; a couple of hundred more! I'd like another Peugeot 306 like I had but the next generation model has air conditioning, which are prone to going wrong and being expensive. Are there any tips to help avoid a car with duff air con?

I'll report back what happens with my insurer etc, so that it might help others in a similar unfortunate situation as myself. In the meantime though, more advice is very
By your comment that you hope I am right, I presume you are specifically referring to my third post – in that should your policy excess exceed that value of the vehicle, you do not pay your insurer this difference.

I can assure you that this position is correct – otherwise you would be paying for insurance cover that benefits the insurer only. Even so, the insurer is gaining because your excess exceeds the value of the vehicle – in effect you are paying for (comprehensive) cover for nothing. Although you should take note of others comments in relation to your excess exceeding the value of the vehicle.
To assist with your understanding of how an insurance policy excess works – I have given examples of where the vehicle is written off; and worth more than the excess and where it is worth less.
In both cases the insured is not paying out any money directly.

Where you are normally required to pay your excess, is where your car is repaired due to an accident that was your fault (or the other party cannot be traced). In my experience, the way insurance companies ensure that you pay the excess - is to pay the garage for the repair, less the excess. You are then required to pay the garage this excess sum, to have the car released to you. So an insurance policy excess is normally not paid to the insurance company.
Question Author
The other thing I need to find out about is the garage storage charges and who will end up paying them. The garage in question is one that Green Flag (whom my insurers use too) instructed to come out to me. The first lorry did not have the means to remove it, so along came a second and after some huffing and puffing, the car was transported back to the local garage. The garage owner was present at the scene and told me to tell my insurance company, that he charges £120 per day for storage and that this info will speed up the insurance company and get things moving. He also said in his experience, insurance companies pay these costs. My insurers did not seem that bothered by this, although I was only speaking to the initial call centre person logging the claim and taking details.

I spoke with my father and he said he once had a van that was transported some distance for nine months, while the claim was dealt with. It eventually turned up on his drive one day and the storage costs etc were all met by his insurers. My dad does tend to be rather dramatic sometimes and tries to look big or a hero, so I have to take what he tells me with a pinch of salt.

Only time will tell if I did the right thing by putting in a claim. Of course if I knew in advance what things I was liable to pay for or not, I would then know the cheapest option; to claim or not claim and then dispose of the car myself and sell bits etc.
From the information you have given to date, I would think that there is little difference between claiming and not claiming. Although not claiming would have given you greater control over the fate of the car.
Since you have no claims protection– your insurance costs will not increase due to making a claim, but regardless, you would have had to notify your insurance provider of the accident (whether you intended to claim or not).

I suspect at the end of the day your insurance company will say that the car is beyond economic repair and since your policy excess is equal to or greater than the value of the car, treat the whole thing as a wash – as Judge Judy would say.

So at the time of the accident, (other than possible damage to the wall and vehicle transport costs), the cost to your insurance company was zero. But now they are racking up storage costs at over £100 per day. I really cannot understand why insurance companies cannot get their act together to minimise such charges – which add to the cost of everyone’s insurance.

As to whether the insurance company will let you buy the car is up to them – but bear in mind you will have to somehow transport it out of storage. Although it might have new battery/exhaust/tyres – how much are these really worth second hand? Normally I believe what happens is that the storage garage is given a scrappage value for the car – which is deducted from the storage costs payable by your insurance.

If at the time of the accident – you knew what you will know in 3 months time, you might have decided to arrange transport of the car back to your home (at your own expense), and then decided whether to make a claim or not. That way, as a minimum you would have the car for the price of the transport.

But look on the bright side, you could have been seriously injured – or injured someone else in the smash.
People do tend to exaggerate the value of their car Shredder. I think you have too. Most insurers use Glasses Guide (or used to) which gives standard 'A', 'B' and 'C' condition values for all makes and models of car. If yours is considered in Class B condition then the guide obviously quotes it's value at £250. At the end of the day, it's just an N reg whatever.

My Dad has an N reg Astra and he paid £500 for that a long time ago. I have a 1984 Mk2 Golf which is immaculate. It's always been serviced every 2-3000 miles and I always keep everything as new as possible. Many people admire the car whenever I'm out and about. I'm due to have the car resprayed soon when it will look like new.
I could say the car will be worth a lot of money after the respray. However, being honest and realistic, if I had an accident it's just a 1984 Golf in Class B condition so it would probably be valued at £250.
-- answer removed --
Whenever I criticise the insurance industry (on this site), others whom I suspect have a vested interest in the industry, pipe-up telling all that the UK insurance industry is basically a philanthropic enterprise.

Now would be a good time for those people to explain the benefits (to the insured not the insurer) of no claims protection payments.
Question Author
I once had an accident on ice underneath snow in a Ford Escort 1.3L, and this was at creeping down the road at walking speed (kid you not). I VERY gently braked at the bottom prior to doing a sharp right, and instead carried on into the front of a terraced house. There was not a scratch on the house, but the car was off the road due to a damaged sub-frame and the axle being knocked off, amongst other things. On that occasion I decided not to claim and paid £600 to have the car repaired; this took six months at a local garage. I expect if I had claimed the insurers would have written it off, being a six year old car. The cost of my premium being higher for a few years is what stopped me claiming on the Escort. However it is the garage storage bill for the Peugeot that has made me claim this time.

@ Andyvon

I understand what you are saying and yes that would make my car virtually worthless, although if I were to have sold it prior to the crash, I would have sold it for a few hundred and certainly more than £250! But yes, the insurers would not share this view.

1 to 20 of 27rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Do you know the answer?

Car Insurance Claim; Crash due to black ice; High excess on low value car - How to proceed next?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.