Can you clarify whether the 'guaranteed hire car' included with my insurance is likely to cause accident management problems?

I have used Churchill for many years now, and my original policy had a 'courtesy car' included in the cost, but in recent years the term seemed to disappear from their paperwork. Upon enquiring, I was told that the courtesy car was no longer included for new customers, but that as an existing customer I would continue to have the benefit on my policy. When my renewal documents started offering a 'Guaranteed Hire Car' (GHC), I asked what the difference is, and was told that the courtesy car applies only for no-fault claims (and one representative told me that courtesy cars were not guaranteed to be available anyway) - whereas the GHC cover provides a car for up to 14 days regardless of fault.

I had never been aware of this limitation of the courtesy car, but with that knowledge I felt obliged to add the GHC at £22 for the year, rather than face the prospect of being without transport in the event of a fault claim. What is now concerning me is whether I might end up paying for the dubious privilege of being handed straight over to some extortionate accident management company, which could still attempt to reclaim its costs (and then some) from another party in the event of a no-fault claim on my policy. I would hope there's no chance I could still be liable for costs if the other party's insurer were to refuse to pay, seeing as I have already paid an explicit premium for the cover? Can you offer any clarification or reassurance on the matter?

Asked on 30 July 2011 by CT, Nottingham

Answered by Honest John
Too right. You used to get a bodyshop courtesy car. Now you might get a credit hire car that you might end up personally liable for.
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