I was involved in an accident where the other party admitted fault - should I go through my insurer or theirs?

Our car was hit from behind whilst waiting to turn at a junction. The other motorist was profusely apologetic and accepted liability. Our bumper was squashed and pushed out of shape, parking sensors squished and there is quite a smell of diesel (though no leak underneath apparent). So we agreed it would have to go through the insurance. I called our insurer to make a claim (Admiral). I confirmed that it wasn't my fault and they said we have two options: go through their accident management firm (hire car of a similar type to ours), no excess to pay and No Claims Bonus not affected. Option two is to go through our insurer, in which case I'd have to pay our £300 excess so I took the former option. I've now had a call from the other party's insurer (Hastings Direct) saying they have accepted liability and if I let them mend the car they will give us an "incentive" of £220 and that it would mean my future premiums would not be affected. Please, could you give me an idea who to believe and what is best to do? If I carry on through Admiral, will our premium be hiked up next year?

Asked on 21 October 2019 by Karl Stapleton

Answered by Tim Kelly
Irrespective of what you do, your premium will go up next year even though it was not your fault. Your insurer will see you as being an increased risk. If you go through your own insurer, as Hastings has already admitted liability, then your insurer should waive your excess. Should things go wrong, you have rights of redress in approaching the Financial Ombudsman Service when dealing with your own insurer. You do not have this when dealing directly with the at-fault insurer, i.e. Hastings. If dealing with an Accident Management company, you can complain through the Legal Ombudsman or the FOS if the accident management company is regulated via the FCA. However, you are entering into a Credit Hire agreement with them, which comes with its own pros and cons which you should look into.
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