If my insurance won't cover the repairs on my car - can I still keep it?

My car was badly keyed and will need a complete respray but the car is only worth just over £3000 and repairs are £1800 so likely insurer will not do it. If they say no and offer me a settlement, can I ask to keep the car? If yes, then will they allow me to still be insured with them on that car?

Asked on 18 May 2017 by Louise Clarke

Answered by Tim Kelly
Your contract of insurance will advise you are indemnified "up to" the market value. If the repair cost are £1800 on your £3000 car, or even £2999 on your £3000 car, you can insist on it being repaired, or a cash settlement at the cost of repair. This is called a cash in lieu of repair settlement. This should be for the full amount including VAT. Do not let them tell you any different. Don't agree to deal with the claim on a "constructive total loss" basis. This is where the repair cost are less than the market value of your car, but should the claim be dealt with on a total loss basis, the insurer would obtain a "sum" of money when they dispose of your car. They may advise you that they will deduct this "salvage value" from your settlement. You will end up with less money doing this. The car is already your car, then cannot sell it back to you. You are in control of what happens to your car, not the insurer, no matter what they say. As long as the repair cost do not exceed the market value, yes your insurance will continue to run.
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