Urgent advice following accident please! - Oggie
Our 18 year old daughter had an accident yesterday whereby she crashed into a bollard on a bridge, causing extensive damage to the car which there is little doubt would be written off by the insurance company. No other vehicle was involved but the police were called and one of the occupants of the car was taken to hospital with what is hopefully only minor whiplash.

The car was returned to our local garage on a breakdown lorry.

My fully comprehensive insurance premium was in the region of £725, with my husband and daughter as named drivers. Obviously if we claim on the insurance we will lose at least 2 years of my 4 years? no claims bonus and our premiums will presumably go through the roof given that our daughter was at fault.

So we are now considering the options open to us. We are 99% certain that the insurance company would write off the car and we would estimate that they might offer us in the region of £800 to £1000 at best. Given that the excess for our daughter as an inexperienced driver is £475, the most we could hope to get therefore would be about £500 so we are wondering whether a better option would be to simply scrap the car rather than claim on the insurance.

If we chose this option, are we obliged to tell the insurance company about the accident, given that no other vehicle was involved? Is the police report made available to the insurance company in any way?

Could we simply either keep the insurance open until we bought another car and then change the details, or would the insurance company find out that the car had been scrapped? We are considering not replacing it immediately though so alternatively we could presumably simply cancel the insurance and start afresh if and when we bought a replacement.

We don?t want to do anything illegal but equally we want to take the most cost-effective option.

We would need to bear in mind the possibility of a claim being made by the local authority regarding damage to the bridge, although none was apparent at the time. We will also naturally be checking the situation with regard to the whiplash injury sustained by our daughter?s friend.

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
Urgent advice following accident please! - nick
The only problem might be the whiplash injury. The person with the injury could claim against you in which case I would recommend coming clean now. It depends on the injury and whether they would be likely to claim. Otherwise I'd keep quiet and scrap the car. I believe you are supposed to inform the insurance company but it is highly unlikely they'll ever find out so you'd be daft to volunteer the information if you didn't need to.
Urgent advice following accident please! - Cliff Pope
I bet they would find out, I don't think it's worth risking it. Any future claim you ever make could be put at risk for failure to disclose a material fact. The other factor is never ever trust anyone with whiplash injury, even your best friend.

But surely you have another option - inform the insurance company (in writing) of the accident, but say that you are not making a claim, and are settling any costs privately.
Urgent advice following accident please! - SjB {P}
But surely you have another option - inform the insurance company (in writing) of the accident, but say that you are not making a claim, and are settling any costs privately.


A friend did this when a pheasant smashed part of the fairing on his Honda Blackbird motorcycle.
Come next renewal, his premium was doubled so he called the insurer to ask why?

"Because you had an accident"
"But I didn't make a claim"
"That doesn't matter; you had an accident so we have reassessed your risk"
Urgent advice following accident please! - mfarrow
Come next renewal, his premium was doubled


It's at that point he needs to take his no claims discount and find another insurance company! If you don't tell them, then you may end up regretting it. It's not worth the risk with Police and injured third parties involved.

--------------
Mike Farrow
Urgent advice following accident please! - nick
I agree with not assuming a friend or family member wouldn't claim, but I don't see how the insurance company would find out if no claim is made. Even if you don't claim but tell them, a penny to a pound your premium will increase.
Urgent advice following accident please! - martint123
You have to tell the insurance company about the accident. Another person was injured and they have up to three years where they can make a claim. Have you not seen all the adverts on TV "had an accident in the last three years - get rich quick and easy".
Urgent advice following accident please! - Blue {P}
If the friend hadn't got whiplash I would say keep quiet and settle things yourself, due to the friend having an injury I would say that you must inform the insurance company, it's not worth the risk.

If she decides to sue, which she very easily could, then you could be left seriously out of pocket, also, if a claim is subsequently denied by your insurance company then you will struggle with future insurance on the grounds that you were less than honest on this occasion. It's just not worth the risk and the sleepless nights, like I say, the only way that I would settle without insraunce would be if the friend hadn't been in the car.

Blue
Urgent advice following accident please! - nick
Yes, the injury is the worry in this case. Complications from something like whiplash can develop later so maybe reporting it is the option to give you best sleep at night. In the absence of any injuries, I certainly wouldn't report it. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.
Urgent advice following accident please! - bell boy
my whiplash injury still gets me every now and then if i could wind the clock back 16/17 years i would have sued my own brothers insurance i certainly would if it happened again to me even if it was the wife thats what the insurance is for
i would take the insurance hit on the chin and tell them
Urgent advice following accident please! - Hamsafar
If you tell the insurance company, you may as well claim, as they will increase premiums as though you had, citing that those who have accidents are an increased risk.

Also, the person with whiplash, may claim, especially if encouraged by others to make a couple of grand out of it.

If it was me, the other person with whiplash would be the deciding factor. If they do claim, you may as well get your money's worth too.



Urgent advice following accident please! - Dalglish
No other vehicle was involved but the police were called and one of the occupants of the car was taken to
hospital with what is hopefully only minor whiplash.

>>

brings to mind richard hammond's accident. (health and safety executive will be out next checking whether the bollard was placed correctly, or whether you daughter was not paying regard to health and safety of her passenger).

as martin123 has said: injury = tell your insurance company.

also, be prepared for possibility of your daughter to receive a summons for careless driving or similar charge.

if this incident involves possibility of legal action by the police or the injured passenger, you may wish to consider asking the moderators to lock the thread.

Urgent advice following accident please! - Hamsafar
Actually, I seem to recall, that under the NHS chargeback scheme, you may get a charge for ambulance callout and A&E treatment sent to you with a letter saying you should forward it to your insurer, can anyone else elaborate on this?
Urgent advice following accident please! - Dalglish
under the NHS chargeback scheme

>>

The Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 and its regulations1 enables a
hospital or trust which provides NHS treatment for a victim of a road accident to
reclaim its costs from a compensator who pays damages to the person injured.

Urgent advice following accident please! - Westpig
i concur with the above about coming clean and informing the insurance company...... there's nothing to stop you telling them and then asking for advice about whether or not it is worth claiming i.e. would they load your policy if you didn't claim.

don't forget if you change insurers in the next 3 - 5 years, you'd have to inform them as well & they might think differently.

for your own peace of mind i.e. not doing something underhand or dodgy it's got to be easier.

a few years back someone hit my car when it was parked unattended in a car park at work. The little chap who washed the work cars spotted it and stopped the lady before she drove off.... i claimed and her insurer paid the lot...... 8 months later on my m/c renewal i renewed it on autopilot and did not tell them about the car accident claim... mainly because in my mind i didn't consider it down to me so i'd forgotten about it........ the m/c insurer cancelled the policy 3 months into it, because i'd failed to inform them fully of the facts, despite the fact i'd been with them for nearly 3 years.... and they were nothing to do with my car insurer.

Urgent advice following accident please! - Oggie
Thanks everyone for your very helpful (though somewhat depressing!) comments so far. The friend with the possible whiplash was discharged from A&E pretty quickly and is happily pain free today - but I take on board the dire warnings about the potential for claims in the future (even though all my gut instincts tell me that knowing the family involved, this wouldn't happen).

On balance I think we will definitely have to come squeaky clean in order to sleep at nights - at least we'll have clear consciences, albeit unfortunately at great expense!
Urgent advice following accident please! - Altea Ego
There really is no balance about it. Someone was injured, something not belong to you was hit (bollard) police were called, ambulances and casualty were involved. All in all too much happening to even think about not reporting it.

Bear in mind, even if the insurance comany dont have to pay out a bean to anyone (because no ones makes a financial claim) there is an accident reported, the risk has gone up and the premium will increase.

On another thread, I was fully expcting to get a claim from the air ambulance/ambulance service/ local PCT casualty/firebriagde for my crash. NOt seen a sniff of it some 10 months later.


------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Urgent advice following accident please! - rtj70
Be prepared if police involved and because someone taken to hospital that the police may want to look into this further. Your daughter might also be asked to give a statement under caution at the station. Not sure if it makes a difference that the injured party was a passenger in the vehicle.

When I had an accident on a roundabout about 4-5 years ago (involving my car and theirs), because I called an ambulance and the police, and the injured party was taken off on a stretcher because of pain to her lower back: (1) got breathalised, (2) gave a brief statement, (3) a few days later asked to come into station to give a statement under caution, (4) weeks/months later police decide to proceed with possibly careless driving etc. (5) after I had chased them for months as to what had been going on and find the original officer retired, was offered a driver improvement course instead of being taken to court. And I still to this day know I was not to blame but the outcome at least was not a prosecution.
Urgent advice following accident please! - Micky
">are we obliged to tell the insurance company about the accident<"

The answer is in your policy documentation.
Urgent advice following accident please! - Oggie
We've just reported the accident to Norwich Union - they have said that if we don't claim, then given that there was no other vehicle involved, they wouldn't put up the premium. This seems a bit too good to be true - we were assuming that the premium would go up irrespective of whether we claimed or not, because they would regard our daughter as an increased risk following the accident.. Does anyone have any experience of this?
Urgent advice following accident please! - Micky
Contemporaneous notes of the 'phone conversation would be useful for future reference.

"Have you or any other driver been involved in an accident in the last 3 years?"
Urgent advice following accident please! - Dalglish
We've just reported the accident to Norwich Union - ... Does anyone have any experience of this?

>>

yes, they will record it as an incident/accident but will not record it as a claim and generally will not penalise you. if you have more incidents/accidents, then they may start to load your premiums.

Urgent advice following accident please! - nick
>> We've just reported the accident to Norwich Union -
... Does anyone have any experience of this?
>>
yes, they will record it as an incident/accident but will not
record it as a claim and generally will not penalise you.

And there are fairies at the bottom of my garden. Report back when you get your next renewal and we'll see.
Urgent advice following accident please! - Westpig
Nick,

Tad cynical?

Mind you, last month i tried to ring around for cheaper quotes on the house insurance and gave up after 3... when they refused to insure me..... because i have an outstanding claim ongoing........

the only outstanding element (of a previous claim a year ago for a damaged water pipe) is the fact i have yet to spend the voucher for new carpets....... because with all the disruption i thought i'd get other work done at the same time.
Urgent advice following accident please! - slowdown avenue
my belief is that, you keep your no claims discount, but your now a higher risk, so i bet you pay more next year.
Urgent advice following accident please! - Collos25
I do not think you will pay for the police ,council clearing up ,repainting the bollard ,hospital etc they all jump on the insurance bandwagon and the whiplash could be many tousands of pounds .That is what insurance is for unless I am missing something.
Urgent advice following accident please! - nick62
my belief is that, you keep your no claims discount,
but your now a higher risk, so i bet you pay
more next year.


I think you've hit the nail on the head here.

Your "no claims discount" will probably remain intact, but that DOES NOT mean that your premium will not be loaded / increased because of the accident. So you still get (say) a 50% discount on your premium, but the price you will ultimately pay will be more.

A certain insurance company guarantees to protect your no claims discount for life, but that does not stop them from loading your premium if you become an increased risk.
Urgent advice following accident please! - Cliff Pope
So they win both ways. When you try to protest that an accident wasn't your fault, they smile sweetly and remind you its no claim, not no blame.
But when you try to use that the other way round, they say its not , no claim, its no blame.
Urgent advice following accident please! - LHM

..... which is, unfortunately, the insurance companies' raison d'être..!
Urgent advice following accident please! - Gromit {P}
Oggie: We've just reported the accident to Norwich Union - they have said that if we don't claim, then given that there was no other vehicle involved, they wouldn't put up the premium. This seems a bit too good to be true ...

It certainly doesn't seem in keeping with the usual insurer's instruction to leave them handle any situation where there may be a claim on a comprehensive policy.

If you have a letter from Norwich Union to that effect, great. If you were told that over the phone, note the name of the person who told you - and as close to the exact words as you can remember - straight away and write to NU asking for confirmation in writing.

Were the underwriter to miss the fact that no claim was made when reassessing your premium for 2007, you'd be in a much better position to argue your case if you have a written commitment from NU.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car