Author Topic: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?  (Read 420 times)

TopDown

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Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« on: January 14, 2021, 12:42:55 PM »
My son has had his car written off. Opened up like a tin of sardines by a tractor with a post hole attachment on the back. Fortunately no injuries but how should he respond to the first insurance settlement offer? At the bottom is a ‘Tick if you accept’ box. Insurer is Admiral.

sparky Paul

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 01:46:10 PM »
It depends upon the offer. Don't forget that any reassessment can reduce the offer, if they think they made a mistake.

If you are not happy with the offer, open a dialogue with the insurer. Have a look at comparable vehicles that are for sale locally and print them out, pull together any evidence of servicing, recent work done to the car, etc., and show the insurer.

At the end of the day, the point of insurance is to be put back in the position you were in before the accident. You have an even stronger moral case to put to the insurer if the accident was not your fault.

The only car I claimed as a total loss was stolen, and my insurer at the time (General Accident) made a very fair first offer indeed, and I accepted it.

MartinJG

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 02:41:16 PM »

My previous Mk1 Jazz was a write off thanks to a rear end stationery shunt from a two ton Aston Martin. The insurance assessor telephoned to make an offer and I politely suggested I thought it was a bit low, especially as a section of exhaust had been replaced at a cost of £100 and was almost brand new. As an act of kindness he increased the offer accordingly. I had the car for one year and ended up breaking even. Although it was not a large figure, I consider myself lucky to be dealing with a civil individual on that occasion. However, althought the rear end caved like an egg, the engine had little over 60,000 miles on the clock so barely run in by Honda standards. I feel sure it will have risen from the dead along with a few other bits to carry on faithful service. Worth bearing in mind :)

Westy36

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 04:03:28 PM »
Sorry to hear of the accident, nasty business.

I would agree 100% with SparkyPauls post and advice. However I have never heard of them reducing the offer once made though.

It's worth noting that car values are very firm in the market at the moment. The trade market has changed and PX supply reduced and fleets are buying less. All of this means used car prices as robust. I would definitely push for a higher settlement.

Out of interest what car is it (yr/make/model/mileage/condition) and what have they offered? (dont feel remotely obliged to give this info, but it would be interesting to find out with a view to helping)


sparky Paul

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 05:21:12 PM »
I have never heard of them reducing the offer once made though.

I would think it would be very rare for them to retreat from the original offer, but technically possible if new information came to light as to the pre-accident condition, once you have declined. I probably shouldn't have mentioned it, and you should be safe to reject the first offer.

Of course, if you feel the offer is too low, you should definitely challenge it.

TopDown

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 06:28:55 PM »
2012 Vauxhall Zafira VVT petrol, 80k. Very good condition. We would say that of course - but it's the family car so 'no expense spared' to keep it safe and reliable for his wife and two young sons - our grandchildren. Just passed it's MOT with no advisories - again. Full service beforehand including aircon re-gas and cam belt change. Also had new battery and exhaust earlier in 2020.

They were extremely lucky as the post hole borer pierced the car just below the drivers mirror and ripped an ever widening gap right through to the taillight, where the rent was almost a foot deep top to bottom. Fortunately it didn't penetrate the inner skin in the passenger area but did almost sever (and distorted) the central door post and ripped out the door shut and mechanism on the rear pillar.  :o

First offer is £2200 but to put themselves back in the same position local forecourt cars are between £3.5k and £4.25k.

Rory

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 10:06:16 PM »
Couple of years ago daughter's Golf Twist - a 'limited edition' model that VW sold loads of in 2010/11 - was written (not her fault) and LV= looked at the cheapest in Autotrader.  There were 35 for sale priced between £4995 and £6995 so quite a lot of identical cars and a fairly tight price range.

So LV= offered £4995.   However that car was 200 miles away and apparently they're only supposed to look up to (I think) 50 miles.  Also the picture of the car had £5995 in the screen and I reckon it had been deliberatly mis-priced to appear cheapest.

LV immediately increased to £5495 and then absolutely wouldn't budge.  She'd had the car from new and it had not long had cambelt & water pump, brakes all round and tyres (Cross Climate's) all round.   For balance, her's had done 70K miles and many of the dearer cars for sale were in 30's of K.  However they don't seem to take notice of anything about the car's condition, history etc (the mileage wasn't even discussed).   

I still feel we got £250-£500 short and wasn't thrilled with how the whole thing was done. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 10:08:37 PM by Rory »

123Drive!

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2021, 12:33:59 AM »
Go to autotrader/Gumtree/Facebook market place and find three similar cars with higher price. Then present this to the insurance company. Normal they will give you a few hundreds more. But if you really think you are not happy then you can go to Ombudsman.

The used car market is quite high at the moment so do some searching.

TopDown

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2021, 03:01:15 PM »
An update. Things have moved on with the offer quickly being increased - twice - to a point where my son is happy to stop. There's still the Excess to sort out but it feels like he's getting there, so thanks for all the help.

sparky Paul

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2021, 03:16:56 PM »
Good news, glad it's working out for him - especially as it wasn't his fault.

These cheeky first offers really are a bit of sharp practice. I wonder how many times claimants accept, thinking that's it?

Westy36

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2021, 12:23:44 PM »
An update. Things have moved on with the offer quickly being increased - twice - to a point where my son is happy to stop. There's still the Excess to sort out but it feels like he's getting there, so thanks for all the help.

That's brilliant news. After that horrible crash, it's good to get a positive result and thanks for the update.  :D

I had an insurance claim for a total loss. Our Pug 308 was written off by a deer in Thetfor Forest on 01.01.2020. What a way to start the year right? Anyway, we were insureed with CIS (Coop). Their first offer was more than I had paid for the car, and was bang on retail money in Autrotrader at the time. They did a bank transfer with a few days and dealt with the claim in a very professional way.

Still miffed that my Pug 308 had 3/4 tank of Shell diesel when it was taken away on a Copart lorry.  :( typical

TopDown

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2021, 10:13:15 AM »
Further update:

Son now being called to settle by the Insurers but hasn't. His response each time is 'Still trying to find an equivalent replacement for the money, within allowable travelling distance - there's nothing'.

As a result the offer has been upped three more times since my last update and is now exactly DOUBLE their opening gambit!

Westy36

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2021, 10:52:46 AM »
As a result the offer has been upped three more times since my last update and is now exactly DOUBLE their opening gambit!
Blimey! So they are now offering £4400. That's good money for 12 Zaffy. Good result.  :D

FYI Autotrader has the facility to search by body type. You can search for all MPV to broaden the options if the Zafira is thin on the ground at the moment.

TopDown

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2021, 11:22:51 AM »
We wish  :D

No, no. My mistake earlier. They started at £1400, which was immediately rejected. Funnily enough several days ago he received a cheque for that amount. I guess the insurers were hoping he'd bank it and they'd take that as acceptance of the first offer?

Westy36

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Re: Insurance write off. How to respond to first offer?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2021, 12:02:34 PM »
Ah, ok. Sorry, in your post 14/1 you put "First offer is £2200".

£2800 is their offer then. That is a big incease from £1400. £2800 is a bit thin for a 12 plate Zaffy, but not miles out according to Autotrader. 

If I were in your shoes, I would ask to escalate to a claims manager. Raise your concerns about the 100% increase in settlement value and how they feel that fits with Treating Customer Fairly? Find 3 Zaffy adds, email the screenshot to the manager and suggest they settle on market value. Settlement should not be a poker game and a process of smoke and mirrors! They just need to stick to the policy wording as written in your contract.

HTH  :D

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