Insurance advice - Sigma
Whilst stationary I was backed into by a white van. My rear quarter panel has been dented and requires replacement costing approximately £1200. The car in question is an immaculate L-reg Saab 900 SE classic, with a large sentimental attachment.
The driver of the white van initially was very abusive but after calming down a little asked if I would be reasonable enough to settle the claim without going through insurance as he had just made a large claim on his own insurance and is a new driver. I agreed; he gave me his name, address and reg. number, but has since failed to respond to my calls. I have a witness to the event.
I am now concerned about the following:
a. would you advise going through the insurance
b. if the car is written off what would be the implications for me buying it back and repairing it myself
c. how would it affect my future insurance premiums
Insurance advice - Dynamic Dave
moved across from Technical Matters.
Insurance advice - sean
Hello Sigma.

1. Are you sure the details given are correct? If not, inform the police and tell them you can't contact the other driver with the details he gave you.

2. Always good practice to inform your insurers even if there is no claim. write on your letter "for information only".

3. part of the process of writing it off is to agree a price with your insurer. This can include you keeping the salvage. No need to MoT, have it inspected or anything other than you would do if undamaged. Can HPI assess the repair afterwards, if you want, and they'll put it on "Condition Inspected" register, but as it stays on the "Condition Alert" register anyway, no real point.

4. As long as your insurance doesn't pay out, ie you have no claim, your NCB is unaffected.

5. You may need a solicitor if it gets messy. A stiff letter to the culprit may start the ball rolling without.

Keep in touch. Good luck mate.
Insurance advice - IanT
(a) "Settling the claim without going through insurance" is great if you can trust the other party. Otherwise you are facing a long bitter struggle to get him to pay up. There are many instances of initial agreements being forgotten when the bills arrive.

You already have reasons to distrust him, so put the matter in the hands of your insurance company now.

With help of your witness, you may be lucky enough to get the other party's insurance company (if he's got one) to foot the entire bill. In which case you would not lose your NCB. But if there are any arguments about liability and your insurance company incurs any costs in settling the claim, you will lose your NCB (or part of it, depending on your policy) even if you can prove you are not to blame. "No Claim" not "No Blame".

(b) You could, but would you still be so sentimentally attached if it was no longer in "immaculate" condition?

(c) You will have to declare the incident when getting quotations in the future, whether or not it goes through insurance. If you stick with your present insurer, you shouldn't have any problems, apart from your NCB. If you shop around, it's possible some other insurers might be picky and load the premium.

Insurance advice - Phoenicks
I would certainly go through the insurance. If you have a witness and it is verified as not your fault what have you got to lose? thats what you pay it for.

1. You will have to pay your excess which your insurance company will claim back on your behalf from his company (if case is won)if it is repaired. If its written off they may just take your excess from the overall cheque back but you should get that back in time. they call it uninsured losses.

2. If he hasnt responded you really have no choice. Why have all the stress when you can let your company and the legal assistance peeps deal with it all. If it is written off they will just send you a cheque and will have nothing more to do with the guy.

3. re: point b. not too sure but it will need a full structural engineers report to verify its worthiness. Might not be worth the grief to be fair.

4. re: point c: If non fault it will be recorded as such. Sometimes with insurance you may not have a claim but an incident. In these instances your insurance can still be affected even though you havent made a claim. This may seem unfair but why should someone who is rich enough to pay all their own claims out of their own pocket but be a pretty poor driver get an advantage over a poorer, but better driver. This is because companies look at the chances of future crashes.

I would definitely claim. Do you really want the hassle of getting costs back (if at all) by the small claims court or suchlike?

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