Car stolen- How much can i claim - Mac 74
Hi

Just had my rover 214i (8 valve) stolen. M' reg (95). 76K on the clock and in very good condition. What should i claim assuming i don't get it back?

Mark
Car stolen- How much can i claim - DavidHM
Briefly - and I'm hoping nothing I say offends you this time...

The function of insurance is to put you in the position you would have been had the insured event not happened, i.e., your car hadn't been stolen. Of course, you will have to deduct your excess from this. Depending on what your excess is, you might find that the insurance payout is less than the amount your premium will go up by over the next few years.

I know you've just bought the car and it wasn't in perfect condition (needing at least a couple of belts changed) but the insurance value will be calculated on a slightly different basis.

The price you paid for the car should be a good starting point though. If you got a good bargain, you should be able to get back more than you paid, because there is case law that says that it is not fair for the insurers to expect you to get as good a bargain next time.

Allowing for a bit of haggling, you would probably be looking at £1250 for this car from a dealer - although there's nothing to stop you spending it on something completely different. When you filled out your insurance form you will have agreed a value with the insurer - if you set this low to reduce your premium, it won't have reduced your premium by much and you'll have a very difficult time getting them to pay out more than that.

In practice, the insurer will make an offer based on your claim and I'm not sure that you'll actually have to give your own assessment of the value. There is nothing at all stopping you from saying that you feel the condition, blahblahblah, of the car, is not reflected in their offer and you would therefore suggest a value of (whatever). Realistically, £1250 would give you plenty of choice and the ability to find an equivalent car in a reasonable time - but if they offer more than this, don't let that hold you back.

Incidentally, in this month's TopGear magazine, they negotiated for a 214 SEi on an M with a similar mileage in Wrong Car, Right Car, down to £1750 or so. That seems way over the money to me (though the spec is much better than on your car) but you could use that as evidence.
Car stolen- How much can i claim - SpamCan61 {P}
Surely the insurance company will tell you how much they are willing to give you; rather than you naming a price? That's certainly what has happened to me on the two occasions I've written cars off; Direct Line actually gave me a bit more than I thought the car was worth on both occasions.
Car stolen- How much can i claim - Mac 74
Thanks for all that David and boy do you have a good memory.

I did my insurance over the phone with direct line and although i mentioned the price i paid, £570, there is nothing in the policy document about it. As i've spent near enough £500 getting the car right, i'd be disappointed to get anything less than £1000, so your estimation is good news to me.

Thanks again

Mark
Car stolen- How much can i claim - Ian (Cape Town)
Mac,
If you have invoices for work done, that could assist.
As David says, you have to be put back in the position you were before.
Also, and this is not impugning your character, be 100% honest.
Too many people try it on with the "new CD player, tog bag in the boot with all my gym gear and graphite squash racket, camera, my collection of Elvis Presley CD's, leather jacket, RayBan sunglasses were in the car". This gives the insurers the 'right hump'...
Car stolen- How much can i claim - SpamCan61 {P}
Judging by my previous experiences Direct Line line are one of the better companies when it comes to stumping up the cash. Their standard policies seem to be on a 'market value' basis not 'agreed value'; which only seems to be used for classic cars these days. IIRC the small print in direct line's T&C s states that if the car is written off it is their property and they'll give you what they like; whether this would stand up as a fair clause in court I don't know.

The money I got for my two accidents was pretty close to what I thought the cars would've fetched in a private sale assuming they were average milage / good nick. In actual fact both cars were above average milage and tatty; so as per my previous posting I think I did well out of it.

Car stolen- How much can i claim - Nsar
David HM - in your post you say this >>If you got a good bargain, you should be able to get back more than you paid, because there is case law that says that it is not fair for the insurers to expect you to get as good a bargain next time.<< and then later on you make the point that the policy is based on what you agree with the insurer is the value of the car. Which will take precedence in the event of a claim? I ask because the value on my policy is what I paid for the car but I feel I got a pretty good bargain, so I'm worried that I would miss out. Would the pay-out be affected by say a drop in value caused by a new model being launched after you had bought what was then the latest style but by the time you've made a claim it's an "old" one?
Grateful for any thoughts
Car stolen- How much can i claim - DavidHM
This is not gospel by any means (particularly the first part), but...

1. If you feel it would cost more than you paid for your car to replace it with an equivalent one (as it is now, with its depreciation and so on) then your value is too low. Probably you could squeeze more out of them but from what I've heard they tend to look at the agreed value as a maximum as a starting point.

You would probably need to show why you felt that the initial value was too low. If you hold the insurance policy for a year or more, the car will almost invariably depreciate so most of the time, even if you do get a good bargain, it's unlikely to be an issue.

2. The amount paid out will be on a like-for-like, not a new-for-old basis, unless specified, so any drop in value would definitely be taken into account. This applies whether it's caused by a new model or just normal depreciation.
Car stolen- How much can i claim - SpamCan61 {P}
As previously stated Direct Line do not use 'agreed vlaue' in their policies; they use 'market value' which their web site defines as follows ...
Market Value means the replacement value of a vehicle that is the same make and model, similar age and condition to your vehicle as determined by reference to standard trade guides. If your car was purchased at a lower price than would be found in the UK, the market value will be reduced accordingly.

I'm not sure excactly what they mean by 'replacement value'; but this sounds pretty much like the 'private sale' value they gave me.
Car stolen- How much can i claim - Gen
With smaller claims (as this would classify) insurers would usually (at least in my experience) give a good offer to get it settled quickly.

They just want to get it finished with, and want to leave you with the feeling they treated you well, and so you will stay with them.

This assumes they want you as a customer. And that you haven't put non-spec alloys on, big air vents on the bonnet, skirts etc etc.

Feel able to ask them to reconsider their first offer in a well written letter with evidence. After all, they are plucking a figure out of the air and know it.

My dad got 800 for a car not worth 400 once (direct line too funnily enough)- they just want to get rid of the claim asap and deal with the two written off audi a8's with an accountant claiming whiplash.

So, write to them if it is low and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Let us know!
Car stolen- How much can i claim - mmm-five
SpamCan61 said,

"IIRC the small print in direct line's T&C s states that if the car is written off it is their property and they'll give you what they like; whether this would stand up as a fair clause in court I don't know."

Until you actually agree a value and get the cash it will not become their property.

They often offer well below what you expect because some mugs simply take the first offer. You have to negotiate - sometimes they will not raise their offer, sometimes they will. If you can prove the value of your car (via engineers reports before the claim, and/or adverts for similar vehicles) you should be able to increase the pay-out.

It will still be classed as written off, but this is only their estimation that it is worth less than the cost of repair.

However if you think you can repair it cheaply (by doing the work yourself and hence negating the labour cost) then you can offer to buy the car back after your claim has been settled.

 

Value my car