To claim on insurance or settle privately?
Hi, just wondered if anyone could advise me. Last wk i was careless on a junction near to where i live and failed to spot a car coming over the brow of the hill till was too late and bumped into me. I have a medium size dent nr the passenger door which a friend is fixing me for £30. However the other car has some scratches nr bumper (quite new car) & a passer by who stopped to comment suggested i pay privately rather than through insurance as i only passed my test last month and be sky high. Been insured since may 11 on provisional till last month when changed it due to passing. He said it might cost about £400 to pay for paintwork. A few days later the other driver rung me to tell me quote he had was £430 & needed cash asap (im single parent, working p/time and thats nearly a months wages to me). Asked to borrow the money to pay him off my parents though they think it might be best going through proper channels & doing it on insurance, or for the other driver to at least get a 2nd quote (which ive rung & asked him to do). Anyone suggest which is best to do, also as a guess how much my insurance would increase?
Oh dear... You would think that this situation is exactly what you pay your "sky high" premiums for. Unfortunately the accident will cause that premium to be increased next year as they will say that you are now a higher risk.
The dilemma you have is that if you deal with the claim through the insurance it won't cost you anything until renewal time, and even then I think it unlikely that the premium will go up by £500 (although it might). Your excess isn't relevant in this case because that is only applied to a claim for repairs to your own car.
The third party also has a vested interest in not reporting the accident for exactly the same reason as you - he may be innocent but they will still use it as an excuse to up his premium if he reports it - and if he doesn't then your insurer won't pay out.
I would suggest that you negotiate. I would exaggerate the cost of my own damage (a new door could easily cost £400) and suggest that he might like to settle for a lower figure. You are in a stronger position and shouldn't be intimidated. Offer him £100 as a starter and see what happens - if all else fails then hand it over to your insurer. Was it really entirely your fault - he may have been going too fast or not paying attention. I would certainly suggest that in any statement to my insurance Co.
You don't say if you exchanged details - It may be that he isn't insured. Either way in your position I wouldn't hand over £450 or anything like it.
First, read your insurance terms & conditions. I think you will find you are supposed to report any incident weather you claim or not.
Second, dealing with such incidents privately usually ends in tears; I think it is better dealt with through the insurance. When your insurance comes-up for renewal you will, I hope, look around, and check prices with other insurers.
After any incident or near miss, it is always useful to put aside thoughts about who was to blame and think about, "what can I do to prevent me being involved in a similar incident in the future".
The reasoning behind this is, you cannot influence how others drive, but you can develop your own driving skills and stay out of trouble.
I don't disagree with wagolynn except that so long as neither side report the accident they have no way of finding out (assuming no one was injured). Once you report it - it will go on your record, even if no claim is made. When you renew - all companies will have access to that record so it will affect the premium.
If you are nervous then you should definately go the insurance route. You won't have to find any cash or deal with the other driver (just forward any communication unanswered to your insurer) and hope it doesn't affect next years premium too much. When it comes to renewal then you should look at all legal means of keeping the cost down. For example adding a parent as a named driver can be beneficial, as can increasing the excess and reducing the mileage to what you actually expect to do.
Wagolynn is right - you need to report it. Apart from "it will end in tears" - which is right - consider specifically:
1. What happens if you pay for the repairs, and thereby admit liability, and the other party later comes forward with a personal injury claim? Your insurers may leave you to defend it.
2. What if the other party decides after all to tell his insurers, even without inflating the claim? (Don't forget he will also be getting advice from his friends relatives and internet forums!). His insurers will advise yours, and at the least they may void your policy.
Welcome to the site sazza18, if you read through the rest of these forum pages, you will read about what can happen when folk "settle outwith insurance being involved"
As already mentioned by the other posters, it would not be advisable to try and go down that road, I hope things work out for you, good luck.
I find it diifficult to believe that if your car has a 'sizeable' dent, the other car only needs £430 of paintwork! I would suspect hidden damage behind the bumper, which will cost a lot more than £430 to put right, and he wiill probably come back at a later date for more money.
Do not pay. Inform your insurer and let them deal with it.
Thankyou smudger and everyone else who has posted with advise - really appreciate it. Sounds like it would be best to go through the insurance route so think i will do that &ring them soon. The other persons not got back with 2nd quote yet but am going to ring him and tell him be best to go through insurance. Its up for renewal end of may anyway so can shop around & like i said i dont have £430 upfront anyway. And yes i will be more careful in the future, i certainly dont want this dilemna again soon! X
If you have'nt rung the insurance Co yet I suggest you wait until you have spoken to the other driver. If he isn't going to make a claim then there is no point in telling them about it.
A long shot I know but nothing ventured...
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