After an accident ! Know your rights !!!!
Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy before you drive it again. For example, check that the lights still work, there is no dangerous bodywork that may injure other road users and there are no leaking fluids.
Choosing your repairer
Remember it is your vehicle and you can choose who repairs it. Many insurers have networks of their ‘’approved’’ repairers, they may try and convince you to have your car repaired where they choose remember this is for their convenience not yours. Don’t be unduly influenced by insurers suggestions of delays and extra costs if you don’t do what they say. You are entitled to consider the benefits of dealing with the repairer of your choice. Remember you are not obliged to have your car repaired at an insurance company nominated repairer.
Don’t be bullied
The association of British insurers, The Financial Services Authority and the Office of Fair Trading agree that the choice is yours. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Third party claim – When the accident was not your fault If the damage to your car was not your fault and was caused by an identifiable third party you will be able to claim directly from the third party insurer. Make sure you get the third parties name and address, contact details, vehicle registration details etc. Get the third party insurers agreement before starting repairs. The repairer of your choice can usually help with this type of claim and can assist before repairs are started and will get authority on your behalf from the third party insurer to start repairs.
Accident management and Insurers will often take accident details by phone instead of requiring a written claim form. Remember you will need details of the time and circumstances leading to the accident, make sure you get the third party’s name and address including phone number, vehicle registration and insurance company details. Estimates Only one estimate is required, Your chosen repairer will provide an estimate identifying the method of repair and the cost of labour, parts and materials. Only if the insurance engineer and repairer cannot agree the repair estimate should an additional estimate be requested.
If you are a VAT registered motorist you will need to pay the repairer the full value of the Vat due on the repair invoice.
If your policy promises a courtesy car whilst yours is being repaired it may stipulate this will only happen if you use the insurers chosen repairer. Very often your chosen repairer will offer the same facility, simply ask when you have your car estimated. If your policy does not specify a courtesy car then you should ask your chosen repairer if they can hire you a car for the duration of repair, most repairers are able to offer a low cost hire solution.