Car Insurance Repairs

If your car has been involved in an accident, you should notify Insure Your Motor straight away. We will advise you of the next steps to take and guide you through submitting an insurance claim under your policy, if necessary. Our claims number is 0333 400 7365.

Approved garages

If the vehicle needs repair you will usually be asked to take it to an approved garage to expedite the repair process. These approved garages work in tandem with the insurers to provide a service, which cuts down on administration to increase the cost effectiveness and efficiency of repair. Motor policies usually cover the cost of removal of the vehicle to the nearest repairer if it is immobile.

Authorising repairs

Hire cars are often available for use during the time the vehicle is in the garage to minimise the disruption to the insured. On receiving details of the motor accident the insurance company will contact the garage and the insurers engineer will inspect the damage to the vehicle. He will ensure that the damage is consistent and timely with the details he has of the accident and he will authorise the garage to carry out the necessary repairs.

In the case of a non-approved repairer, it may take longer for the engineer to visit as the garage is not on his normal daily rounds, and a more detailed estimate for repair work may be required prior to authorisation. On completion of the work the insurers will recompense the repairer, less any excess payable by the policyholder, and the vehicle is released back the insured.

If serious injury or damage to property has occurred the insurer may appoint a claims investigator to look into the circumstances of the accident, take statements from witnesses and collect any evidence needed for litigation. If necessary, solicitors will be appointed too act on behalf of the policyholder and insurer. All correspondence between the parties must take place through the insurance company’s nominated representative.

“Total loss” claims

In the event of a total loss, where the vehicle is deemed to be beyond economic repair) the insurer will make the policyholder an offer based on the value of the vehicle at the time of the motor accident. This value is largely determined by the trade publication ‘Glass’s guide’ which takes into account the purchase price, age, mileage, condition and depreciation of the vehicle. The engineers own experience factors in extras such as vehicle modifications.

The final claim payment is then negotiated between the two parties. In the event of premium being payable by instalments, the remaining payments must be met for the claim to be resolved, even in the event of a total loss.

If the parties are unable to agree an acceptable settlement, the Insurance Ombudsman can be asked to arbitrate and provide a decision that is binding on an insurer.

More information about insurance write-offs: What it means; why an insurer writes off a car; write-off categories; settling a total loss claim; disputing a settlement; buying back a written-off car.