Eight car insurance claims myths busted

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For our car insurance customers who need to claim, our opening times and emergency contact numbers are on our claims page. You can also contact us here.

We like to make sure our customers have all the knowledge they need around claiming to help make life a little easier.

There are lots of myths surrounding claiming, and we’re here to disprove eight of them.

Feel free to call us at 0333 220 2033 too.

Car insurance claims myths

“It wasn't my fault, so I won't have to pay my excess.”

We often get lots of questions about excess; it’s usually not something you think about until you need to pay for it.

It’s the amount you pay (or we hold back) in the event of any claim, regardless of who's to blame for the incident.

We’re often asked: “do you pay excess if not your fault”? It depends.

If you don’t claim but a third party does, and we pay out, you don’t have to pay your excess.

Excess is always payable when you make a claim. The only way your excess can be waived is if the third-party insurer admits liability (this is specific to us).

If it's proven the accident was the other person's fault and we recover the full cost from their insurer, the excess is refunded, so you don't lose out. Third-party insurers will repay 50% of your excess.

If you have an incident involving an uninsured driver, we may not be able to recover your excess for you. But don't worry, give us a call on 0333 220 2033 and we can advise you.

“I can claim for all the items that were in my car when it was stolen.”

You can only claim part of goods value if your car gets stolen and your laptop, pram, designer purse and latest smartphone are inside.

Contents cover for cars is very different to home contents cover and varies between insurers so make sure you carefully read your policy documents.

We always recommend that you don’t leave any valuables in your car.

“Will a non-fault accident affect my insurance?”

We base insurance on risk and statistics, and every incident you have is rated at renewal, regardless of fault.

These rating factors constantly change, so we can’t tell you if a certain element will affect your premium. This is why we ask ”have you had any claims or incidents, regardless of fault, within the last three years?”

It’s still classed as an incident even if you haven’t made a claim.

Your No Claims Bonus (NCB) is not affected if you’re not at fault for an incident and we recover all the money back from the third-party insurers. However, you still need to declare this to any future insurers.

“Liability takes no more than 90 days to settle.”

All claims are different and finding out who’s to blame for an incident is not always straightforward. While we want to get liability and the claim settled as soon as possible, it’s not always possible to do this in 90 days.

The 90-day timescale comes from ‘old school’ injury claims and is no longer applicable. When it comes to claims, it’s impossible to pinpoint a deadline - we could be waiting for more evidence to come in or for various other companies to contact us.

So, while the timescale is a grey area, rest assured we will endeavour to make the claims process as quick and smooth as possible.

“I want to claim from the other party's insurance so won’t have to tell my insurer.”

You’re involved in an incident that wasn’t your fault, the third party admits this, and their insurer is offering to deal with your damage and any other losses you may incur.

The reason insurers do this is to keep costs down, which makes good sense and makes it easier for everyone involved.

You must tell your insurance company of any incident involving your car, even if you don’t make a claim.

We need to know everything that goes on with your car so we have all the information should a third party wish to claim against you.

“My No Claims Bonus will only be affected if an incident was my fault.”

The (NCB) has the potential to make your premium cheaper and it’s something a lot of people hold dear.

When involved in an incident, there are many reasons why your NCB could be affected:

  • liability is still ongoing
  • we haven’t made a full recovery from the third-party’s insurer
  • there was a car insurance claim against you, i.e. we hold some fault for the incident
  • we cannot recover our losses from any other party

If your circumstances change after renewal and your NCB has been allowed, call customer services on 0333 220 2000 and one of our agents will be more than happy to recalculate your premium and see if a refund is applicable.

It’s a good idea to protect your NCB – you need to build up four years’ worth to do so. You can learn more about NCBs here.

“I'm not at fault and the third party says they’re not at fault either, so it's 50/50.”

You may have heard of ‘knock for knock’ due to the number of claims that settle 50/50. But while an insurer will know you’re not at fault, there may not be any proof, so it becomes one word against the other.

There are some circumstances where a 50/50 settlement is not always appropriate. Each case can be argued based on precedence set by similar claims that went to court.

It’s not uncommon to settle a claim 70/30 or 90/10; it just depends on what happened and the available evidence.

“Using my insurer’s approved repairer to fix my car will affect its warranty – approved repairers don’t use manufacturer parts and their work is poor.”

This isn’t true – let’s take a look at how our approved repairers work. If you’ve made a claim and your car needs repairs, one of our approved repairers will:

  1. arrange collection of your vehicle if it’s undrivable
  2. send the estimate straight to us
  3. give you a courtesy vehicle while yours is being repaired
  4. use manufacturer parts. (We provide a guarantee for workmanship and parts for as long as you own the vehicle.)
  5. clean your vehicle before it’s returned

Our approved repairers work to Thatcham/manufacturer’s standards, and they’re audited and inspected to make sure their work is of a high standard. As we use manufacturer parts, your vehicle’s warranty won’t be affected.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us - our claims experts will be on hand.

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