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Can an insurer combine damage repair costs from two separate accidents to write off a car?

My father was involved in a collision, causing damage to the nearside rear of his 2016 Ford Fiesta. The third party accepted responsibility and we contacted my father's insurer to inform them. We confirmed that the other party was liable, and provided dash cam footage and photos of the damage. The car was already awaiting repairs for damages done in another incident (at fault) on the front bumper/wing of the vehicle and his insurer has said we'll get it assessed at the same place as it's being repaired. As it's quite badly dented the body shell itself, as well as the rear wing of the car, I'm worried it'll be a write-off. Reading online, I'm seeing a lot to suggest we should've gone directly to the third party's insurance. But my father didn't get the insurance details in the panic, only the guy's name, reg and number. Should we have it assessed at the Trust Ford garage as arranged by his insurance or cancel this and take another route? Also, does the damage to the front, which hadn't yet been repaired, have any bearing on the potential settlement from the other insurer if it is deemed a write-off?

Asked on 27 March 2018 by Gavin

Answered by Tim Kelly
Each claim stands alone, the insurer cannot combine the two to make the vehicle a total loss. Therefore, your father has a different set of entitlements under Tort law than what he does claiming under the contract with his insurer. His entitlements are here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/insurance/coles-v-hetherton-w.../

It's highly unlikely based on the age of the vehicle that it would be a total loss, so insist that it be repaired. As long as the repair costs are less than the market value, you are entitled to insist on this. If the vehicle was a total loss from the first incident, he technically would have no claim on the second incident. If the vehicle was a total loss on the second incident, and they reduced the value as a result of the previous damage from the first incident, he would still be entitled to the full cost of repair, plus VAT, from the first claim.
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