Minor accident - preempting difficulties - advice appreciated
I was parked up opposite a shop yesterday afternoon and as I came out of the shop I saw an elderly lady had driven into the back of my car. She stopped and we went to inspect the damage.
It was a bright day and so I could see a couple of scratches but thought the light shining on the car was creating the illusion of dents. We exchanged details anyway even though I thought a couple of scratches would be easy enough to fix.
Viewing the car in a different light there are definitely some dents so I took it to a body shop repair place today who have quoted me £180 to repair.
We have contacted the lady who is being quite funny about the situation insisting there was only a scratch. She doesn't want to go through her insurance as insists she is too ill for this so we have agreed to contact her again on Tuesday for her decision (she is going away tomorrow until then)
I guess I would appreciate some advice on what I can do to limit the exposure for myself? I took pictures of my car after the accident and the quote has been given only a day later (written quote)
I understand if she refuses to speak to us further or provide a solution my insurance company can contact hers to take care of it for more but are there any more steps I need to take to ensure I am protected against having to fund this myself or affect my no claims?
Welcome to the site Siani, it all depends on how much excess you carry on your insurance really? You could through the insurance routine, and that will increase your next premium!We all know this is wrong, but that's the way the insurance companies work, as far as they are concerned, you have been involved in a accident, even though you are the innocent party?Of course if the other party refuses to pay for your damage, and you contact your insurance company, the first thing they will say is....why didn't you report this earlier? So it's a catch 22 for you I'm afraid, good luck.
Siani, the only one who is going to bother about you - is you. So, this old lady drives into the back of your car whilst it is parked, therefore she is at fault - no argument. If she is now refusing to discuss the matter, I would take that as a deliberately obstructive attitude, and simply turn the screw. Forget the "too ill to deal with it" stance - if she is that ill she should not be driving anyhow. Tell her you are putting the matter with your insurers, that you have no obligation to help her to avoid her insurers being involved, and to expect your insurers to contact her soon. And advise your insurers immediately.
If they ask about any delay, well, you were being sympathetic to an old lady who has since tried to take advantage of your good nature.
Definitely agree. You were considerate and not wanting to take advantage - some people would have been after a complete respray at least. It has not been appreciated - she is in the wrong on all counts in my view.
Snowball is quite correct except... Going through insurance is likely to cost far more than the £180 for the repair. If she simply refuses to reply to your insurer's letters, they will not pursue such a trivial claim and you won't get anything because it's less than your excess.
My advice is to talk to her again and see if you can agree a settlement - starting from being £180 out of pocket, anything you can get from her is a bonus. You could try threatening her with a claim through the small claims court.
Whilst you may be correct, Santa, it is against my principles to allow a person guilty of causing damage to simply walk away in defiance. From the description of the incident the 'old lady' is 100% in the wrong, since the OPs car did not in any way contribute towards the incident. I would involve my insurers and challenge them that, for me, it is a no-fault claim. Overall, I would expect that the final cost to the OP could be forced below that of paying out the quoted £180 repair cost. With that in mind, I would NOT let that woman get away with it, and Santa's last sentence points the way to go.
You and I always disagree over this Snowball - I tend towards the pragmatic, and while £180 is far from trivial to me, I would not want to lose any sleep over it. Keeping a pristine driving record (so far as the insurance companies know) is more important than that to me. In fact, with my general policy of keeping cars until they are scrap, I quite probably wouldn't repair it at all.
Santa, not agreeing with each other has no relevance of right or wrong approach - all people are different - if you wish to run a car into the ground and/or leave any cosmetic damage in place and let off the perpetrator, then that is your absolute right. But that course does not suit me, and possibly not the OP; and I would go so far as to say probably not the attitude of the majority of motorists.
In recent times, the greatest fear by innocent parties has been that of an increase in premium due to this notional concept of 'increased risk'. Whilst certain driving incidents might subsequently have an added risk factor, this is by no means set in stone.
An insurance policy is a legal agreement which applies to both the insurer and the insured. In the OP's case, their car, being an inanimate object, is incapable of changing the risk factor and, the OP not being physically involved in the collision (unattended parked car), there is also no increased risk factor here; neither is there any legitimate percentage of blame against the OP. Thus, if their insurer applied one to the premium, the insurer would be guilty of fraud. This is challengeable via the Ombudsman, and insurers are not exempt from the law. They simply get away with it because most of the driving public see them as untouchable, and are afraid/reluctant to 'step into the ring'.
I am not easily fobbed off if I know that I am being treated unfairly. I do not have funds to chase such a insurer through the courts but, being retired, I do have the time to push the matter into the public domain and create as much embarrassment as possible. Bad news travels fast, and insurers do not like bad publicity - particularly if their accuser is correct on all counts and cannot be silenced.
In the vernacular of Dad's Army: "They don't like it up 'em, Sir!"
Snowball, if the insurer loads your premium on renewal he is not remotely guilty of fraud. He is simply offering you a new contract on new terms, which you can either accept or reject.
Since it does not affect your existing contract, I suspect the Ombudsman would not be interested, and there is nothing to challenge in court.