My mum's insurers have written her car off without her agreeing to do so - what can we do?

My 73-year-old mother's car was hit by an SUV that went through a red light. The driver admitted fault and said she was not concentrating (messing with her sat nav as she was lost). There was a witness who came forward straight away and said he had seen what happened. My mum informed her insurance, who have just sent her a cheque and written off her perfectly good car. Obviously the car is old, but it's in great condition. The cheque was for £600. At no point has she agreed to it being written off. Where does she stand? We know someone who can repair the headlight, bumper and wing for £500. Can she send the cheque back and get the work done, plus a hire car, by claiming directly from the other driver's insurance? My mother has been so stressed and worried about this.

Asked on 28 August 2018 by lou watt

Answered by Tim Kelly
Hopefully you will find this of assistance: www.honestjohn.co.uk/insurance/advice/how-to-claim...m

Your mother's entitlement in law is here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/insurance/coles-v-hetherton-w...u

However, without knowing what your mother's car is, I cannot say whether the insurer is being fair or not. Can your mother replace her vehicle in the open market as a direct replacement for the sum offered? If not, they are not being fair. Your mother's insurer cannot act in conflict to her lawful entitlement mentioned in Coles V Hetherton, as this would breach the FCA regulations under Icobs 8.3.3 (www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/ICOBS/8/3.html). As such, you can dispute the market value had the other party made a higher offer. I would personally always check the market value and dispute the value if there is a discrepancy. Ask how much the insurer have evidenced the repair cost at. If it's more than the market value, then unfortunately it is a total loss. Alternatively, cancel the claim and claim directly from the at-fault insurer. Get the car repaired for less than the market value and then send them the invoice.
Similar questions
How is a write off valuation arrived at and how can it be challenged?
Someone reversed into my car from a car park space as I was driving along and crashed into the side of my car. My insurance company have said it is a write off and that my finance company won’t accept...
On what basis does an insurance company calculate the payout figure of a write-off? If it decides to write off my badly accident-damaged car but I think the figure is too low, what are my options?
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car