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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have been involved in a car accident for which the other

Customer Question

I have been involved in a car accident for which the other party has accepted liability.
My car has been declared uneconomical to repair and my insurance companies agents have offered me book price of £700.
To replace my car like for like, for which I have evidence from adverts for similar cars, would cost £1700.
My insurance company say they will only pay the £700.
Why should I lose out when the accident was not my fault?
Can I sue the other driver for the difference?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

Have you tried to negotiate with your insurance company?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I have tried negotiating and have provided copies of adverts for similar vehicles.

I have made enquiries and can get my car repaired for £1000 so I made them the offer to take £1000 and keep the car.


They say they can only offer me the difference in salvage value £300

against the book price of £700 so I would get £400 and a Category C

on the log book

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

If it was not your fault, I
don't know why you put a claim through your own insurance company. You will
lose your no claim bonus and will have to pay the excess.

I would have simply claimed
against the faulty driver insurer.

To be frank, I would be suing
the other driver for everything.

The value of the car can be
the source of many arguments and debates in court.

I would be very surprised if
your own insurance company offered more than they have done.

It is also very difficult to
argue with your own insurance company.

The value of the car is the
amount of money that would be paid by a willing buyer willing seller. It is not
full retail that a car would be for sale
on the forecourt at.

In practical terms, it is
about halfway between full retail and bottom book.

The purpose of insurance is
to put a person back into the position that they would have been had the
incident not occurred. The law will not however enforce an impossibility and if
it is impossible to get a car of the same condition the court will simply award
money instead.

You appear to have done all
you can with regard to getting evidence but this is not something that would be
directed against your own insurance company.

I don't know whether your own
insurance company has recouped their loss from the faulty driver's insurance
company but you do need to find out. Only when you have that information will
you know whether you are suing the other driver for the full amount or just the
shortfall. If you sue the other driver for the full amount because his
insurance has paid nothing then you will have to refund any money to your own
insurance company that they paid.

If you had any kind of
whiplash injury, all this will be dealt with by the injury solicitor, free of
charge, as part of the overall claim.

Does that answer the

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So do you think I could still go back to the other parties insurance company and try to deal with them?

They did contact me early on to, but my insurance company advised me not to deal with them.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
You need to find out if your own insurance co has settled the claim with them and if they have been paid. Who is his insurer?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

His insurer is Groupama through our local (Taunton) branch of Swinton

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I have no experience of their claims handling.

You need to find out if your own insurance co has settled the claim with them and if they have been paid.

Until then it is impossible to know which way or how to move fwd.

I assume that you haven't been paid out yet



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They have now offered £1395 to settle. I can keep the car for the salvage value of £375 but I have to surrender the V5 and mot.

When I have repaired it I have to get it checked and mot'd.

Do they have to tell me if they have settled with the other company and for how much?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Yes, you are entitled to know if they settle and how much.

For the sake of this amount is it worth losing yr NCB?

They aren't entitled to the V5 or MoT if you are buying the salvage


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If I settle for the £1020 and keep the car, I will not lose my NCB as the other party has accepted responsibility.

I am now dealing with Incident Management Solutions Ltd.

Who say they will send me a finishing off letter, but they want the V5 & MOT.

Can I refuse to send the documents, and still get the settlement?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

The car is yours, so why should they want the MoT and V5. They are talking rubbish. Idiots.

You have No Claim Bonus, not a no fault bonus. Getwritten confirmation that this will not affect your NCB and ask them to confirm in writing that this must only be declared as a non fault accident. I have experience of this so that's why I am warning you. get it all in writing.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX put this to them and see what response I get

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

U might get a surprise!