Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Hamsafar
Around 5 weeks ago, I was in a small carpark, when a van reversed out of a space and rammed me across the back wheel.
The damage was minor and confined to the bumper edge and wheel's paint. I exchanged name, reg no. and address. It was a private carpark to which the public has access.

As it was the third party's fault, I decided I would claim through the insurance.
My insurance is with swiftcover, who do all communications through email.
The car was booked in with their approved repairer as they say you have to pay £50 more excess if you use your own repairer and also, they won't pay more than £23 per hour labour and all sorts of other things.
I could already sense that things were a bit amateurish at this stage.
I went to the approved repairer, and was also given a hire car from enterprise car hire.
I expected the repair to take 3-5 days as it is as minor as you can have. After two weeks I paid the garage a surprise visit and they looked all worried and said that my car just had to be painted then it would be ready. I said well, that's all it needed two weeks ago, he promised it would be ready in 2 days time. When the two days were over, I rang them and asked what time I should pick it up and they said 5pm, so I dropped the hire car off at 4pm and then had a phone call to say the paint wasn't dry as the oven was broken, what rubbish I thought, and arrived 15 minutes later to find they had done nothing to the car for two weeks, other than do a few minutes of sanding of a small area of bumper, and painted the wheel matt battleship grey with runs in the clearcoat and sprinkled it with dust. I took the car away without paying £200 excess.

In the morning I contacted the insurance company who immediately sided with the garage saying that's why the premiums are so low, as we only pay a low rate for the repairs! I said that I wanted it taking to another VBRA garage and they said I could, but no garage would accept the amount they would be willing to pay.

I have booked the car in to a known garage who will charge £140+VAT to repaint the rear bumper (off the car - unlike the other place) and the wheels will probably need to be refurbished by a specialist.

In the meantime it appears the third party is an uninsured immigrant and when I reported it to the Police, they weren't interested as it was over a month ago.

It seems disgraceful that insurance companies can get away with these cheap repairs. I'm going to complain to the Office of Fair Trading, and I doubt taking the third party to court myself will result in anything except being shot or stabbed.
It just goes to show, being uninsured and uncooperative is the way to go.
Any advice welcome, and also a warning to others who may not have time to think when making a claim and end up with these terrible repairs that seem to be the norm these days.
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Ross_D
I think this is a classic case of not reading the small print on the policy before you buy! People always go for the cheapest insurance quote they get, but to a certain extent you get what you pay for in this industry.
I'm not having a go here Ashok, I do it, I expect most people do it, but from now on I will be checking the small print on any future policies much more carefully; thanks for the heads up!
Saying that, if the policy makes no mention of a minimum hourly rate, you could be onto something with your complaint. Good luck, let us know how it goes.
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Aprilia
A friend of mine used to run a large bodyshop and did most of the local accident repairs. He was approved by 21 insurance co's. Unforunately (for a variety of reasons - not just business reasons) he went bankrupt and had to close up. He told me that insurance co's really put the squeeze on repairers and its difficult to do a 'proper' job. The technicians may be good, but its all about how quickly they can do the job - so things are rushed and not done properly. He had harsh things to say about some of the 'tied' repairers (i.e. where the insurance co comes and takes your car away to their 'own' repairers which can be 50 miles away) - the quality of the repair can be very poor indeed.
As I understand matters, you can take your car to the repairer of your choice - although you may lose some of the 'extras' like a hire car.
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Dalglish
.. As it was the third party's fault, I decided I would claim through the insurance. ..

>>
eh?
i must live in a topsy turvy world then !
third party's fault = you claim from the third party.

Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Westpig
another area you can fall foul of... and i did.... is the courtesy car

i did not know there are three options:

1, no courtesy car
2, courtesy car IF and WHEN one is available (provided by garage doing the repair)
3, courtesy car MUST be provided (provided by garage doing the repair, if they haven't got on, then they have to hire you one)

when you ring up to insure your car and ask for the courtesy car option, you don't know that if you really need it, there might not be one available and you might be waiting 2-3 weeks, by which time your car is repaired anyway.

the other problem is 'legal protection'........ sounds like a good idea until you get a complicated problem and you recieve a three line letter stating 'after careful consideration of all the facts, we no longer think this claim is viable' and that's that........ you have no comeback, because their client is the insurance company,not you... wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Hamsafar
Thanks for the responses, usually it is someone else's fault, and my legal protection gets the cost of the hire car, repairs and excess and out of pocket expenses from the 3rd party's insurer, this time, the third party is not insured, and my insurer is not so keen. Not only that, the hire car charges the insurance co. paid for two weeks while my car was sat in the repairer's warehouse was £161+VAT yet the repair I have organised at an excellent bodyshop will take 30 hours and cost £140+VAT. so the insurers aren't saving anything by using their own repairer, in fact it's causing considerable inconvenience, and costing more.

It is true what people say about the quality of cover varying, and these people weren't really any cheaper.
I hear a new kitemark system came out for repairs last week, so people should insist on this in the future.
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Micky
">Not only that, the hire car charges the insurance co. paid for two weeks while my car was sat in the repairer's warehouse was £161+VAT yet the repair I have organised at an excellent bodyshop will take 30 hours and cost £140+VAT.<"

Keep the hire car until the repair is completed to your satisfaction.
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Bill Payer
Not only that, the hire car
charges the insurance co. paid for two weeks while my car
was sat in the repairer's warehouse was £161+VAT yet the repair
I have organised at an excellent bodyshop will take 30 hours
and cost £140+VAT. so the insurers aren't saving anything by using
their own repairer, in fact it's causing considerable inconvenience, and costing
more.

That really is the height of absurdity.
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - audiaudi
Sorry to hear about your woes. This is why I don't always go to the cheapest, but buy insurance from a well known brand. The bigger brands may be a little dearer, but not always, but their servie delivery is normally A!
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - aahbarnes
I have organised at an excellent bodyshop will take 30 hours
and cost £140+VAT.


Not a chance will you get 30 hours labour for 140 quid.

Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Lud
Er... don't suppose they charge full labour rates for watching paint dry...
Insurance Claim & Repair Difficulties - Hamsafar
I meant, they will have the car for 30 contiguous hours, not be working on it for 30.
Here is a pic of the two week's work....

www.flickr.com/photos/13666355@N00/?saved=1

The wheel looks OK on the pic, but not in real life.
 

Value my car