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I was in a car accident that wasn't my fault - so why won't my insurer give me my excess back?

I had an accident in October, I was not at fault. It has been shambolic from the start. I saw in one of your columns an article about Tort law, which I thought also applied to me. My car was a write off and I was unable to drive it home. Late the next day, I received a hire car. 12 days later I felt pressured into agreeing £2400 for the car. After agreeing, I was then informed the next day that my insurer would issue a cheque for £2000 because the £400 was my excess. If I wanted that, I would have to get it myself from the other insurer because I did not buy the Saga legal cover. They then took back the hire car. That left me with no money to buy another car (the cheque did not arrive for 14 days). I'm 80 years old with breathing problems due to cancer and it's not easy to look for cars on the bus. I'm financially worse off through no fault of mine and I hate to think of my renewal price. Do you think I could benefit from Tort law, like getting a hire car for a short period?

Asked on 28 November 2017 by Frank Renner

Answered by Tim Kelly
It appears you have been poorly treated and misinformed by your insurer. If you're the "injured party", which you are, then you have been subject to a "tort feasor". You have the right to claim any out of pocket expense or uninsured loss from the at fault party/insurer. Contact your insurer and ask them if liability has been accepted by the at fault insurer. If so, why can they not claim your excess back? They should be able to. If not, contact a solicitor, they will be able to claim it back for you. You could contact the at fault insurer directly and claim it, they will usually send it to you as a cheque. If you have already had a "credit hire vehicle" via your insurer, you are not entitled to another. They should have provided up to which point your received settlement, and generally three to four days after. You can claim for any out of pocket expense by way of taxis/bus fare etc as an uninsured loss. In relation to the value of your car, you can dispute the value at any point, even now, and ask to review it.
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