A bus reversed into my sister's car - should she claim through her own insurance?

A school bus reversed into my sister's car while she was dropping off her grandchildren at school. She sounded her horn before the collision but the driver then drove off. While still in a state of shock, she phoned the bus company to say what had happened. Her mechanic says there's no structural damage but that there's the remains of the bus company logo in her paintwork. When she called her insurer, she was reminded of her £300 excess, advised that her no claims discount would stay intact, but told that her premium would go up. What should she do next? She hasn't returned the forms to them yet and doesn't know if the bus company will deny liability.

Asked on 25 September 2017 by Martin Dennis

Answered by Tim Kelly
Firstly, does she have a witness? The bus driver is unlikely to even know he has hit your sister's car. It is imperative you always take photos at the scene. Contact the bus company directly and ask for their insurance details, advising that she finds them wholly liable for the damage. She is giving them the opportunity to resolve the situation. Next, go to more than one bodyshop, not a mechanic, and ask them to evidence what is needed to repair the car correctly. Create a pro forma to establish the value of your loss. You then have an idea what it will cost.

Is the vehicle mobile? If not, advise the bus company you need an alternative vehicle. If they cannot arrange this, you will have no other alternative than to use a claims management company. As a last alternative, use your insurer. But advise them that, should the premium increase, she will wish for them to claim back the cost of this increase for the next five years from the at fault party.
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