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Small accident,disputing agreed value of 'classic'

I slightly bumped the back of a 27 year old "classic" VW Beetle. The rusty bumper bent as well as the one of the bumper supports. Speaking, later, to the VW owner, it transpires there is lots of damage, including: engine lid, rear valence, fan, whole exhaust system, bumper, bumper supports and the car is not really drivable - inspite of him driving off)

Also, this VW is has an agreed value of £4000 ! I've had a few "classics" and I know a quality car and a rusty heap.

I initially considered paying for a new bumper to be fitted to the VW but now it seems that a re-build is required.

I'm awaiting the owner's VW specialist's assessment of the damage.

The questions I have are:

Who can I call for a second opinion of the damage and the value of the car ?

Of course I could just let my insurers deal with it and I would normally do this but in this case there is something iffy about the VW's value and the alledged amount of damage.

Any advice.

Thanks
s



Comments

Altea Ego    on 15 September 2007

Firstly you have sent an accident report to your insurance company havent you.

Secondly you let your insurance company deal with this. They are used to sniffing out stuff like this. Its not up to you to ask for, demand, or insist on an assessment of the damage, this should all be dealt with by your insurance company. Leave it to them.
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< Ex RF, Ex TVM >

local yokel    on 15 September 2007

Agreed value on a classic Beetle of £4k is not unrealistic, if it's in good condition underneath. You should see the price of split-screen camper vans - £15,000 is very common.

1066    on 15 September 2007

let insurance company deal with it.
the value or condition of the car is not your concern.

MichaelR    on 15 September 2007

the value or condition of the car is not your concern.


It is if he was planning to reimburse the owner out of his pocket to avoid a loss of NCB.

Altea Ego    on 15 September 2007

It is if he was planning to reimburse the owner out of his pocket to
avoid a loss of NCB.


A bad move. its gone beyond that stage. This has trouble written all over it.
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< Ex RF, Ex TVM >

csgmart    on 15 September 2007

I wouldn't always trust insurance companies to do the right thing.

My boss rolled in to the back of someone a few years back. Speed of impact was about 2 or 3 MPH. He got out of his car and spoke to the driver of the car he had hit. She wasn't wearing any shoes (liked to drive with bare feet) - not that this had anything to do with the accident. There was no damage to his car and I believe a very small dent in her boot lid.

He offered to pay for the damage to her car - they swapped details and departed. A few days later he gets a call from a company representing the woman driver - she was claiming for whip lash etc.

My boss's insurance company checked with him as to the details of the accident and he presumed that they would tell the other party where to go. Nope - they were all prepared to settle with the woman's solicitor (ambulance chaser types) for a sum of several thousand pounds.

When my boss heard this he ordered them to stop and he obtained the details of the woman's solicitor so he could explain to them that it was ridiculous that she was claiming for whip lash. When he spoke to them they were "blah blah whip lash - mega claim - think yourself lucky blah blah". He then issued a counter claim against the woman driver and told her solicitor that he was going to demand that she turned up to court to explain her actions. As soon as he said that the solicitor started carping himself - he went all apologetic and said that it would ruin him if he got dragged in front of the courts.

The point of this long winded story is that my boss's insurance company were quite happy to pay a bogus claim without batting an eyelid. At the end of the day this is exactly why ALL our motor insurance policies rise each year.

If you think something is fishy - don't let them get away without pursuing it further.

haroldbishop    on 15 September 2007

Thanks for the replies. As you'll see I'm a newbie and as such, welcome all comments .

I did some research on the agreed value situation with the VW's insurer, MGM. It seems that so long as you send in a photo of your car, they will agree a free owner's valuation without sending an expert to inspect the car.

If a third party assessor ( ie from my insurance company) takes a look at this VW, they may come to a different and much lower value, making the repair a non starter. The thing is, if I'm at fault, I don't want to lose my NCD, which is why I asked to see an estimate of the repair. The VW owner is a bit reluctant to involve insurance companies ( I'm certain he is insured) or let me get a second repair estimate.

The thing is, if I'm at fault, I'm happy to pay out a reasonable sum to get the car back to the pre-accident condition but I'm not happy to pay for a renovation or betterment.

By the way, I bumped into the back of this VW on a roundabout. All clear, no cars on the roundabout and he stopped a bit sharpish whilst fully on the roundabout and I entered the roundabout, looking right and bumped into the VW. So, I'll have to hold my hands up, no doubt.

What happens if I admit fault but dispute the repair costs ?

Thanks





Bill Payer    on 15 September 2007

Couple of points:

The VW's insurers might have agreed valuation, but does that necessarily mean the third parties insurance company have to recognise that valuation?

On the injury, my sister-in-law had the very slightest of bumps when a lorry did little more than touch the side of her car while she was stopped, but it jolted her neck and she's been in constant pain ever since.

Altea Ego    on 15 September 2007

> What happens if I admit fault but dispute the repair costs ?

Basically you cant dispute the repair costs. For example

You crash into me and admit you did it and want to pay. I tell you the damage is £10000. YOu say you dont think its that much and would like a second opnion. I tell you to take a running jump and either a: claim against you insurance, or b: sue you for £10,000.

When you get the court papers served on you for b: then you can dispute the costs and demand to see the justification.

Tell your insurance company, so they can cover a: because if you dont b: might happen to you.






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< Ex RF, Ex TVM >

haroldbishop    on 9 October 2007

Hello csgmart..

Well, surprise, surprise. We now have a whip lash claim put into our insurers via the VW driver's solicitors.

I'm demanding to talk with my insurer's, CIS, as I believe this is a complete con. This will be on top of the £4000 of damage claim.

No wonder the VW abruptly stopped on a quiet roundabout where there was no other traffic to witness the event.

I'm very bothered my insurer's will just pay up for the "whip lash" without challenging the claim.

I may try the counter claim method.

I'm furious

1066    on 9 October 2007

you may be furious but it's up to your insurance company what they do or pay out. they are not at all interested in your opinion. it's just business and they'll pay up if its cheaper then contesting their claim

FotheringtonThomas    on 9 October 2007

(your insurance company) pay up if its cheaper then contesting their claim


This is certainly not (always?) the case. If they think they will win, they will pursue the matter.

jbif    on 9 October 2007

" Well, surprise, surprise. We now have a whip lash claim put into our insurers via the VW driver's solicitors. "

Hello haroldbishop. May i suggest that you escalate this matter further up your insurance company management chain, and make an official complaint if they do not listen to your views.

Garethj    on 9 October 2007

I'm demanding to talk with my insurer's CIS as I believe this is a complete con.


Good luck, I hope you get to the truth.

I may try the counter claim method.


What's that?

Garethj    on 10 October 2007

I may try the counter claim method.


I've just done a bit of searching, and you stated that you're not hurt and there's no damage to your car, so what will you claim against?

Garethj    on 15 September 2007

The only thing I'll add to this is 'rat look' or hoodride' is a very popular look with the VW crowd, so just because it looks like it's got paint that's sat in the Nevada sun for 40 years doesn't mean it's not sound underneath. In fact some restorations roughen up the body but completely restore the chassis and running gear.

Damage sounds fair, with the exception of the fan but it depends how the engine moved when you hit him.

Split screen vans are very high priced compared to Beetles, but a friend sold his 1963 Beetle a few months ago for the thick end of £12k and I know of several that cost more than that to restore. If it's a good one, replacing it won't be cheap.

Won't the insurance assessor go and see the VW? If it's not what it claims to be (undisclosed modifications or wrong value) they'll spot it quick enough and not pay out.

blue_haddock    on 15 September 2007

A mate of mine runs a rat look beetle and as Gareth point out to the average punter it looks a tatty old bug but he's got some pretty rare kit on it (funny headlights that were only produce for 18 months, special tinware on engine, custom handmade exhaust etc etc) All of this mean the value of the bug is pretty high for a 'tatty old beetle'

www.hoodride.com/nucleus/

haroldbishop    on 16 September 2007

I think I'll let my insurers take care of this. The VW is not a split screen model but a standard, common, 1200 cc bug that is in need of a big spend. As I've said, I've been through the classic car ownership and restoration cycle ( Alfas and Lancias) and know the heartache, which is why I'm peeved at a £4000 "agreed" valuation. Now, if it had been an original Fulvia Zagato with rust on every panel, then I'd have got out my cheque book.....

rtj70    on 16 September 2007

Right decision. It might be worth a lot so need to use insurers. It might not but insurers will sort it. But even if settling your insurer needed needed to know anyway.

cheddar    on 16 September 2007

I had a '68 Beetle and based on my experience you might have done as all a favour ;-)


>>but in this case there is something iffy about the VW's value and the alledged amount of damage>>

Inform your insurers of your suspisions, perhaps the police if you think it is a real con.

Also make sure you insurers dont settle without informing you first.

Did you photograph the damage? How badly was you car damaged?

Simon    on 16 September 2007

I had never heard of this 'hoodride' thingy before and basically it means that your vehicle is an old classic with its old faded/rusty paint, but the improvements are all in terms of engine, speed, suspension etc. The idea is that you don't touch the bodywork, it is suppossed to look like mess. It sounds totally barmy to me...

bazza    on 16 September 2007

My advice: Listen to Altea Ego.....let the insurance company sort it out, that is what you pay them for. Far simpler!
Baz

local yokel    on 16 September 2007

The agreed value of the vehicle isn't really relevant though, unless you think the vehicle was worth less before the accident than the cost of the proposed repairs. By the sounds of things it's of the order of £1,000 repairs, which would be well within a realistic value for the Beetle.

haroldbishop    on 16 September 2007

The agree value is a nonesense. The insured just tells the insurance company what they tink the value is and sends a photo of the car. Its a "free" agreed value. Surely, the value is what the car would fetch at an auction.

stuartl    on 18 September 2007

I totally agree Simon. The reason that our insurance premiums go up every year is because for some reason insurers go along with this sort of clap-trap, presumably as it is cheaper to pay out and whack up the premiums rather than do the decent thing and investigate fraudsters who drive round in old wrecks almost willing someone to shunt them (as in the case of the op) then fund the rest of the car's work or most likely provide beer money or pay a chunk off the student loan.

haroldbishop    on 16 September 2007

No damage to my car - Citroen Saxo.

I don't think there is any con going on here, just a easy way of greatly improving an old heap at my and my insurer's expense.


local yokel    on 16 September 2007

>Surely, the value is what the car would fetch at an auction.

No, it's the price that would need to be paid to buy a vehicle of equivalent condition/age from a dealer.

Garethj    on 17 September 2007

But unless you've been underneath it. checked out the heater channels, floorpans, frame head, seen any rare parts on it etc how do you know its value?

For high cost 'split screen' I was talking about vans, not Beetles. But as I said, a mate of mine got nearly £12k at auction for his fairly standard 1200 Beetle.

haroldbishop    on 17 September 2007

Well, I'll invest my Northern Rock savings in Beetles ! On second thoughts, perhaps not. A quick trawl through Ebay has turned up many old Beetles, mostly for less than a grand. £12k for standard Beetle - you're having a laugh

Garethj    on 17 September 2007

A quick trawl through Ebay has turned up many old Beetles mostly for less than a grand.


Sorry to repeat myself here, but condition is everything with an old car and you don't know the condition (neither do I!). That's why you can buy a rusty anything for not much money, but a good one for a lot more.
£12k for standard Beetle - you're having a laugh


Mate sold it through Coys I think, earlier this year.

haroldbishop    on 17 September 2007

I'm not sure this is right. I bought a new Saab 93 in the spring and paid for Gap Insurance to cover me, in the event of a total loss, for the difference between the insurance pay out and the EXTRA amount I would need to pay to buy the "equivalent/age" model from a dealer ! Are you saying I don't need this Gap Insurance ?

Also, why should insurance companies pay out for the dealers profits/margins. It puts up our premiums.

Jamesh266    on 17 September 2007

Gap insurance is normally used when the car is bought on finance, to cover the gap in value between what the car is worth and what you owe the finance company. At the start of the finance agreement, the car will generally be losing value faster than you are paying off the finance - gap insurance ensures you can afford to repay the finance company in the event of the car being written off.

Blue {P}    on 17 September 2007

Gap insurance is normally used when the car is bought on finance to cover the
gap in value between what the car is worth and what you owe the finance


When I sold cars we used to sell Invoice Gap to our cash customers as this does exactly what it says on the tin, refunds them up to the invoice price of the car, in fact we sold invoice gap to most of our finance customers too as it would often provide them with a bigger payout than just covering their negative equity.

Blue

csgmart    on 17 September 2007

I don't think there is any con going on here just a easy way of
greatly improving an old heap at my and my insurer's expense.


Er, that's dishonesty which is pretty well much what a con is. No?

csgmart    on 17 September 2007

Also if your insurer pays out then ALL our premiums rise again next year - which is what I said in my much earlier post.

If the claim is genuine then that's what insurance is there for, but I get really hacked off when I hear stories like this and it sounds like someone is trying to get more than they deserve from this unfortunate event. Make sure you tell your insurance co of your concerns.

haroldbishop    on 17 September 2007

I will but I have my doubts that they will be bothered.

Gromit {P}    on 17 September 2007

I will but I have my doubts that they will be bothered.


You could be pleasantly surprised - my current insurer has a reputation for chasing iffy claims like a terrier after a bone, which proved very useful when they took up a claim on my behalf earlier this year.

Insurance companies don't like being scammed either - it hurts them in the pocket just as much as it does you and me.

Bromptonaut    on 18 September 2007

With respect the damage and the overall value are completely separate. If you think you're being subject to a fiddle based on the damage you did then you need to jump up and down on your insurer. The repairing grage is however quite entitled to make a profit on the deal - how else will he stay in business?

Agreed value is fairly common for classics and would only be in play in the event of a total loss. Even if the car were were less than the repair cost the owner may be entitled to have it returned to as was condition rather than left to take his chances finding a replacement.

stuartl    on 18 September 2007

This type of 'legalised' theft incenses me.

See my earlier post

Lud    on 9 October 2007

We all have our pet hates and I have to say that this sort of snivelling opportunism, often accompanied by unpleasant behaviour, is one of mine.

False claims of whiplash injury are begging for the furious victim to get an old Range Rover, mount some lengths of railway line securely to the front and stalk the perpetrator until an opportunity arises to show him or her what real whiplash is like...

haroldbishop    on 9 October 2007

um, yes. I could see how this could be effective ! Personally, I would just like my insurers to challenge the claim but I now realise its war out there - I've just Googled Whiplash Claim !

Gromit {P}    on 9 October 2007

FWIW, many insurers have wised up to bogus whiplash and back injury claims. Unless the claimant can produce indisputable proof from a medical expert that they have an injury, they stand to get nothing.

Unfortunately, that means the burden of proof has become so high that genuine back injury claims are being rejected too - but we have the scammers to thank for that as well!

Falkirk Bairn    on 9 October 2007

6 yrs ago I had a rear end bump and got whiplash. Worst point are the drivers behind all claimed "it was not me honest" - however the actual driver who caused the bump only owned up before the court appointment.

If the"Classic VW" owner keeps up their demands for damage and whiplash - they may be refused by your insurer and challenging them to take matters to court - that is when the nerves can get the better of them and they just fade away - the repairs demands become reasonable and the sore neck gets better overnight.

At a former employer we had an excellent "sick pay scheme" - full pay 3mths, 85% for next 3 mths.............just before 6mths a letter went out with some veiled hints. The "Lourdes Letter" as it was known brought them back in their droves - 2 weeks before their Company Medical they managed to crawl back to work.

I am sure the lawyers @ all Insurers have their equivalent of the "Lourdes Letter" ready to send when someone is deemed to be "over egging the pudding" with their claim.

Armitage Shanks {p}    on 11 October 2007

Having read this thru, but being a bit dim, you are going to lose your NCB if your insurer pays out anything on the accident, whether it is £250 or £4K. I agree that the whiplash is another issue and nothing to do with agreed value but any pay out of any amount is going to affect your NCB.

haroldbishop    on 15 October 2007

Correct. Nothing I can do about the NCD. Its just I feel something is iffy. The claim through the lawyers is now just under £10,000 plus excess and other expenses. Strangely, no claim for a damage to the Beetle ? (yet). The reason I'm now following this is that its seems remarkably easy to make "whiplash type" claims and I wonder just how many insurers just settle as thats the cheapest option. It appears to be quite a lucrative little industry keeping many law firms going. Interestingly, my insurers seem to have got the bit between their teeth in this case, so, we'll see.

csgmart    on 15 October 2007

Interestingly my insurers seem to have got the bit between their teeth in this case so we'll see.


Good on 'em.

I think people who 'try it on' should be made to go to prison if they are proved to be lying - I can imagine the claims for whiplash suddenly dry up overnight if such a law were passed.

I can only hope we get a Goverment who brings in some sensible motoring laws instead of just trying to increase the cost of motoring and giving nothing back in return.

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