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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I have a situation with a car insurance claim. The vehicle

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Good afternoon,
I have a situation with a car insurance claim. The vehicle is a BMW X5M with a non standard, non BMW paint colour which was declared when I took out the insurance cover.
I had an accident and took the car to the approved repairer locally in Ashford. I also took the car to the company that painted the car the non standard colour 2-3 years earlier as it was them from whom I bought the car two years ago and I knew that they had that particular paint. The company is Auto Audio Installations London NW10
Their estimate is £5300.00 which is approximately £1000.00 more than the approved repairer in Ashford. The insurance company (Admiral) will pay for the repair but only up to the amount of their approved garage's estimate which means I am about £1000.00 short of the full amount. I have had various conversations with them (apart from having written to them) but they insist their offer of approx. £4300.00 is their final cash offer as they will not deal with a garage that they maintain is overcharging on the labour charge by approx. £1000.00
I will not have the car repaired by the approved garage as they have already said they cannot guarantee matching the paint colour.
Having declared the non standard paint work at the outset, I expect the insurance company to allow for the extra costs in repairs when calculating the premium but they apparently do not do this.
My question is : Do I accept the offer of £4300.00
Is the insurance company acting within the law by offering less.
Thank you for your help.
Richard Radzik

Hello Richard my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Have the insurance company said why its so short in terms of payment please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The insurance company consider that the labour is excessive. We are comparing a garage in Ashford Kent to a garage in central London. I feel this type of problem should have been anticipated by Admiral when calculating the premium.

You don't have to accept the offer and indeed you can accept it as part payment, unless it says in full and final settlement. if so you should not accept this.

You should also write a letter of complaint to the firm and set out your reasons why they got it wrong. This will be investigated and they will come back to you with a response.

If you are not satisfied with the response at that point you can complain to the Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can investigate your complaint at:

But to answer your questions - you do not have to accept the £4,300. Its a commercial decision for them to offer less, its not against the law.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please Richard?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for that information. I have already explained to them as to why the labour charges are so different but they appear not to allow for the non standard paintwork although they want to know if a vehicle has been modified. They therefore do not cover any variation to a vehicle and do not make it known when insurance is taken out. I will contact the ombudsman as suggested.
Thank you

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