Girlfriend being taken for a ride by other party in car incident, advice please!!
A week ago, my girlfriend's parked car rolled less than a car length into another parked vehicle on a slight hill. There was zero visible damage to her car, and a minute scratch on the front skidplate of the other vehicle (A high-end SUV). We exchanged insurance details etc. and thought little would come of it.
She has since been contacted by a garage where this SUV has apparently been taken for an assessment. The garage employee said that the damage to the part is repairable, but
"the customer insists that it is replaced, and not repaired". Also the owners have complained that there is a whistling coming from the engine, and internal repairs are required to rectify this. They have been provided a rental car (range rover) by the garage while their car is in.
We are completely satisfied that there is no chance her small car could have caused damage to this extent from such a slow speed rolling contact with the other car. When she parked her car she couldn't see their reg plate she was that close, and the inclination of the hill is slight. Her handbrake obviously wasn't set high enough, and regrettably she didn't park in gear.
She admits liability, and is prepared to pay perhaps £100-£200 for a repair of the damage, but the owners of the other vehicle are making a hyper-inflated claim of the damage caused, and that they want their extortionate hire car paying for, the damaged part replacing, and some internal engine work too.
Her insurance excess is £500 and she definitely didn't cause £500's worth of damage, the other party are taking advantage of the situation massively.
What can we do?!! Please give your advice!
I think, the safest, and most trouble free way of dealing with this is to put it through the insurers. I think she should be able to arrange with her insurers to be advised of the cost of the damage to make a choice about paying it herself. The only other way I can think of would be to pay for an engineer’s report on the damage to the other vehicle but the other party will also have his engineers report done. Now, if it turns out to be a reasonable claim there will be two reports, car hire, and the damage to pay for.
Welcome to the site barnabybleach, if you have a read through these forums you will find many experiences where "settling outwith insurance" has ended up in tears. As already mentioned, the best thing to do is leave it up to your insurance company to deal with it. I hope things work OK for you.
You'll probably find that the £500 excess only applies to damage to her car, not to the 3rd party's.
Originally Posted by barnabybleach
Thanks very much folks, looks like we're going through insurance and her insurance is fighting the claim, will have to see what results.
Did any independent witnesses see what happened?
Another example of why we should take photographs.
If it was me, I would be inclined to refuse to negotiate with them. It seems to be quite unreasonable to insist that a new part is used to replace the bumper or trim or whatever it is, and also unreasonable for them to charge a hire car to your girlfriend. So therefore I would refuse to pay unreasonable claims.
Before phone camera,allways had a disposable camera in the glovebox