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Should 'No Fault' Write Off Go Down as a Claim?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 16 Apr 2017 |
 
Insurance Write Off Car Accident

Q.

My car has been written off as a total loss after a motorway accident. I was not driving the car a friend was under his own insurance policy. The accident was caused by a 3rd party who admitted this to police and is to be charged accordingly.

Due to the circumstances the recovery of costs for the vehicle are being recovered as part of a civil claim. I had informed my own insurance company of this and when trying to change the policy to another vehicle was told that I would have to start a fresh policy and that I would have a claim against it. I pointed out that I was not making a claim but had informed them for information only. I was then told that because the car was a total loss that this was regarded as a claim against the vehicle. Surely this cannot be right ?

(P.D, 23 April 2009)

A.

This must be a very frustrating situation for you, but it is in fact correct. I do not know all the facts surrounding this matter but certainly if your car was written off, the insurance company would want to make a claim.

Insurance Policies

When you take out car insurance the insurers always want to know your personal history such as your driving habits, whether you’ve made claims before and whether you have points on your licence: They also need to weigh up the risk to the car, such as where you park it, how many miles you cover in a year, as well as the type of car it is. This is because in determining the amount of your premium, the insurers assess the risks not only of the driver but also the value/repair costs/replacement value of the car.

Fault

If you had been driving and had an accident which was your fault, they would be paying out for any damage that you caused to cars, and injury to people that your driving caused (whether or not that driving was careless or dangerous.) It follows therefore that if a third party causes damage to your car, whether or not you were driving, that car was subject to a policy of insurance.

3rd Party Fault

In this instance, because of someone else, your car is no longer repairable or if it is repairable, the cost outweighs the value and as such it is deemed a ‘total loss’ or ‘write off.’ The insurers have an interest in this vehicle, as it was the subject of a policy of insurance underwritten by them.

Bear in mind that you weren’t driving, so it’s not a slur on you. You are also assisted by the fact that the third party has been (or is going to be) charged with an offence that suggests that his or her driving was below standard in any event.

Your insurers may want to join themselves as a party to the civil claim in order to recover the costs from the third party’s insurers, and I presume that in order to do that their policy requires you to have ‘made a claim’. This is why during the telephone conversation they had with you, they were ‘regarding’ the information you gave them as though you were in fact making a claim.

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[Add a Comment]
maggot - Your Question:
I had just turn't into my road with one car in front of me. Then I was just passing a white van when the driver opened his van door, l got out my car is the damage, l ask the person did he not.look in his side mirror, he said no, but when l said we needed to exchange details he was not happy. I phoned the police to report the accident also l took photos and gotnthe distance measured between van and my car, what do you think the outcome, will be. !!!!

Our Response:
Sorry, we cannot give our opinion on who is to blame for an incident when we don't have all the facts/both parties' versions of events. If any readers would like to give their post here, that's fine.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:57 AM
I had just turn't into my road with one car in front of me. Then I was just passing a white van when the driver opened his van door, l got out my car is the damage, l ask the person did he not.look in his side mirror, he said no, but when l said we needed to exchange details he was not happy. I phoned the police to report the accident also l took photos and gotnthe distance measured between van and my car, what do you think the outcome, will be. !!!!
maggot - 16-Apr-17 @ 9:34 PM
My car was parked outside my house, a car traveling down our road collided with a van that pulled out without indicating.The car bounced off the van and crashed into mine. My car has been written off as a cat C by an assessor for a "non fault claims company". I notified my insurer but told them i was not claiming through them. Who is at fault in this kind of situation ? Do i need to inform my insurers that my car has been written off even though it can and will be repaired ? how should i move forward with this once it it all settled and my vehicle is repaired ? Is the anything i need to do legally ?
mike - 26-Nov-15 @ 11:57 AM
Someone drove into back of my car whilst I was parked not left details just damage to car - I am fully comprehensive can I claim on insurance even though I no idea who done it
Chri - 30-Jul-15 @ 8:20 AM
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