Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - MA-S

Is it me, or is this widely known amongst us, the UK consumer?

I have a fully comprehensive policy with Admiral. If you do, did you know that if you have an accident to the car where it has previously been repaired, that Admiral can choose to pay you cash rather than fix the vehicle? I've just found this out ... do any of you have any suggestions or ideas please, I just want the car fixed, not cash! Here is a little background:

I have searched Admiral's policy and it does not disclose that it can or may want to settle with cash when there is an accident to the vehicle in the same place as a prior repair. I would not have expected this at all, surely, given a lot of us drive second-hand cars, many of which may have been repaired at some point, we should know about this? This is material right? In the same way as I'd like to know how a claim is treated if I am hit by a stolen car.

I mean, come on, how many cars out there have not had an accident at some point? You may be driving a car that's had an accident and if you need to claim at some point from Admiral, you should know that you may not have the cover you think you have.

Most of us know that there are exclusions for certain things that won't be covered, for which there is a limit or there are terms explaining how certain events might be dealt with (such as damage caused by a stolen car). But did you know or appreciate that this is how Admiral treats claims relating to damage to previously repaired areas?

Has anyone else come across this please? And what did you do?

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - RobJP

I'm not sure it matters.

If there is an area of prior damage that has then been further damaged, and due to the potential for metal fatigue, the workshop are not happy with the repair going ahead, then surely that is a GOOD thing.

We wouldn't be talking minor damage here, but major creasing that has previously been repaired, but the new damage is causing that repair to now be structurally suspect.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - MA-S

Thanks - I should add to my earlier message that the damage is a knock rather than a full-on rear-end crunch.

The issue really is that Admiral is trying to dodge repairing the knock because of the prior accident. I am having to take this to the Financial Ombudsman to see what they think.

I have just cancelled my policies with Admiral following this. It's the only thing they understand.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - glidermania

Admiral, not surprised. They are the ryanair of car insurance, everyone says how good they are until they claim.

I used to have a multi car policy for 3 cars with them. They actually phoned me up and tried to get me to buy additional cover for when my car was off the road! I asked if they were kidding? No, they said. Do you know the disruption being without a car causes?

I dumped them and went to DL.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - Stanb Sevento

Its a strange thing buying car insurance, you dont see exactly what you are buying till you have paid for it. After being caught out with clauses in the past I now buy insurance early, a week or two before renewal date so I can read policy before it starts and can be canceled at no cost.

One policy where I said my car was garaged at home did not insure the car at all if it was at my home address but not in the garage. So taking the car out of the garage and going back to lock the garage left the car uninsured !!!

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - RobJP

Its a strange thing buying car insurance, you dont see exactly what you are buying till you have paid for it. After being caught out with clauses in the past I now buy insurance early, a week or two before renewal date so I can read policy before it starts and can be canceled at no cost.

One policy where I said my car was garaged at home did not insure the car at all if it was at my home address but not in the garage. So taking the car out of the garage and going back to lock the garage left the car uninsured !!!

I think you'd find such a clause would be ruled illegal, if it ever came to a claim in such an instance.

It's designed to catch people who declare they park their car in the garage, but have the garage so full of clutter that they could barely fit a matchbox in there.

Although we have a very large garage, the only car in it at present isn't ours, but a Morris Minor belonging to a friend who is moving house. Our cars are all declared as parked on our yard.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - daveyjp

All car insurance companies I use have full policy documentation to view on their website before purchase.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - madf

All car insurance companies I use have full policy documentation to view on their website before purchase.

+1

And they usually ask you to tick a box saying you have read it BEFORE allwoing you to proceed to buy insurance.

If the OP has such a policy, he's wasting his time..

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - MA-S

Yes, boring as it may sound, I read the policy. What I can tell you is that nowhere in Admiral's policy document does it state that they can or may pay you cash, rather than repair the damage if the part of the vehicle under question has had prior repair work done.

Most cars on the road will have had an accident at some point. So if you have a second hand car that is comprehensively insured, and if you insure with Admiral then be aware.

As an update, this is going to the Financial Ombudsman for resolution. In my mind this is miss-selling and something that will apply to every single Admiral customer. If this is Admiral's policy then they can specifically ask the question when we buy the insurance on the same way they ask whether we have any points or where we are going to park the car overnight.

That should kill their sales overnight.

Edited by MA-S on 13/06/2017 at 22:04

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - RobJP

Agreed - if it doesn't mention it in the policy document, then tell them to comply with the legally binding contract that was in place.

I can kind-of see their viewpoint. Far too easy for unscrupulous people to get areas repaired using cheap 'copy' or even second-hand parts (but claim for OEM parts, in connivance with a dodgy repair garage). But if they want to avoid this, then it needs to be in the policy and contract documents.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - RT

Agreed - if it doesn't mention it in the policy document, then tell them to comply with the legally binding contract that was in place.

I can kind-of see their viewpoint. Far too easy for unscrupulous people to get areas repaired using cheap 'copy' or even second-hand parts (but claim for OEM parts, in connivance with a dodgy repair garage). But if they want to avoid this, then it needs to be in the policy and contract documents.

Depending on the age ofthe car, some insurers insist on the right to use secondhand parts - so what's the insurers' position if the same part(s) are damaged in a further accident?

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - Ethan Edwards

What's the problem with cash? You get some quotes. Agree a value with the Insurer and get it fixed.

What's your problem with that?

Insurance exists to put you in a position you were in before the accident. Nothing more.

Another similar company (has a dog for a logo) puts it very succinctly.

Section B Damage to your car What is covered

If your car is damaged, we have the option to:

l pay to repair the damage or repair the damage ourselves;

l replace what is lost or damaged, if this is more cost-effective than repairing it; or

l settle your claim by sending you a cheque or by bank transfer.

These are industry standard terms. I suggest you re read your policy documents.

Edited by Ethan Edwards on 14/06/2017 at 01:07

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - MA-S

I have no problem with reading the docs at all and abiding by them. But, the language is vague on a very specific situation which could be true of most second hand cars (most second hand cars have probably had something done to them). The point is this: because of a prior repair, they do not want to repair it. I need to know that when I take out the insurance, in the same way that, say, I have to be explicit with the insurer about the way in which I may use the car (social vs. business).

This issue around prior accident-reapir work should be cystal clear in the terms, whether it is industry-standard or company-specific. It cannot be too hard to say this in plin English.

If the policy language was explicit on this point then there would be no need for debate. But it is not and as a reasonable consumer, I would not expect this to be a term of my insurance unless specifically mentioned. The reason why it is so vague, I would imagine, is because the insurance companies would be disclosing this unscrupulous practice and everyone would be mighty annoyed.

The insurance companies should however look at this as a marketing opportunity and actually charge a premium for such cover.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - RT

I thought the law had been changed to outlaw dependence on failure to disclose material matters and forced insurers to ask specific questions about all issues THEY regard as material.

In other words, if they don't ask then it's not material to them - or have I misunderstood?

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - MA-S

Thank you for your message - I am not sure, it may well be the case. I am going to find out shortly via the Financial Ombudsman.

These companies shouldn't need the law though to tell them what is fair and what is not: they are commercial businesses and they ought to see transparency as a competitive advantage rather than obfuscation as a cost-control mechanism.

Some policy wording is now dumbed down (ie it's very clear that you're not covered for certain things) but it should not be some language, it should be all. I feel relatively comfortable around these documents but I would imagine that they may be impenetrable for others.

In my mind, they should ask: "has the car been in an accident" and then ought to flag how they might choose to deal with a claim where there has been prior repair work. They ask me if I have ever had a claim / if I have points / where I park the car / how I will use the car. So it seems fair, that they should disclose to us too, in more clear detail.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - 520i

By "give you cash instead of repair the car", do you mean they're writing the vehicle off? Surely if a car is damaged and an insurer or their agents deem it to be beyond safe economical repair, that's what they'll do? Indeed, are they not legally bound to attach the appropriate Category marker to the vehicle? If a car is to be repaired on the other hand, they'll surely want the work doing at an insurance approved workshop. The last thing an insurer wants to be doing is covering a car with an unspecified quality of repair work having been carried out. I'm baffled as to why they would "give you cash", and then continue to insure a potentially unroadworthy vehicle?

Edited by 520i on 17/06/2017 at 11:03

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - Wackyracer

they'll surely want the work doing at an insurance approved workshop. The last thing an insurer wants to be doing is covering a car with an unspecified quality of repair work having been carried out.

I have friends who own bodyshops and other friends that are panel beaters who have worked in several body repair shops. I have also had cars repaired by 'insurance approved' bodyshops and all of us would agree that 'insurance approved repairer' and 'quality' do not go together.

Insurance approved repairer means only one thing........... Cheap!

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - MA-S

Thanks for your message ... the car is totally drivable. The accident was reversing into a lamp-post so it's basically just a dented bumper and slight indentation to the rear quarter panel (and the boot got chipped).

Again, the real issue here is just Admiral thinks that they can pay cash rather than fix it because that part of the car has previously been repaired. That would be fine, IF, they made that clear in their terms of business. Why would you choose to insure with a company that can do that without explicitly saying so? If this is normal practice, when you are buying a second-hand car, you really really would need to know about every accident the car has had prior to you taking ownership. Otherwise, like me right now, you may end up in this situation.

Material insurance exclusion - check your policy!! - Andrew-T

..... (most second hand cars have probably had something done to them). .....

As I understand the word 'most', you are suggesting that well over half the used cars on the market have been 'fixed' in some way. I seriously doubt that, unless you are talking about cars more than (say) 5 years old - and even then I am still dubious.

 

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