Insure rescue

Coincidently my mother-in-law (aged 80) and I are both insured with Saga/Acromas (fully comprehensive) and recently had our cars damaged in separate incidents by other drivers. In my case my 1999 MX-5 was repaired and returned to me, the cost being born by the other driver's insurance company, including my excess. In my mother-in-law's case, her car (a 10 year old Corsa worth £800) was deemed a write off (£1,500 for the parts plus labour), and she has been offered £750 minus £250 excess minus 22% leaving her with £350 (equivalent to her annual premium) minus the car. We have had the car repaired for £850 and have been told by her insurers to recover the money from the other driver who hit her from behind. Is it her responsibility to recover the remainder of the money from the other driver's insurance company? Where is the fairness in this and what do we pay insurance companies for?

Asked on 10 October 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
Yes. Count yourself lucky that you got back to your insurer in time and it did not write the car off. Yes, you have to claim for your losses directly from the other driver and possibly take action using the small claims track at the county court against him. Yes, the way insurers treat claims like this is reprehensible. But we are legally obliged to have insurance. The FSA covers this to some extent, but insurers still get away with appalling treatment of their policyholders. I receive more complaints about insurance than anything else these days.
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