Car Insurance - Uneconomical Repair Clause

  PalaeoBill 08:42 12 Aug 2009

I've just noticed a strange clause in my car insurance details whilst renewing.

"If your car is uneconomical to repair (written off) and we agree to settle your claim on that basis, you still owe the full yearly premium as we will have met all our responsibilities to you under the policy. Once we settle your claim, your car will become our property and you must send us the registration document. All cover will then end unless we agree differently. We will not refund any of your premium."

Is this normal? It seems a tad unfair to me. If you change cars during the year it is usually either free or just incurrs a small charge to change the policy document. But, this means if you have an accident in the first week of a policy and your car is written off you lose the next 51 weeks cover!

  PalaeoBill 09:09 12 Aug 2009

forum member. Your not wrong! I've just checked through the last few years books (I really need a clear out) and they all say something similar.

  spuds 12:02 12 Aug 2009

It might be worth considering, that what some insurance companies regard as uneconomical repair to themselves in settling a claim, might be economical for the vehicle owner to have the vehicle repaired privately.

A friend of mine had a very minor prang with their people carrier. The insurance company 'wrote it off'. He made an offer, and the insurance company was only to pleased to accept the offer. The necessary repairs and checks were completed (him being in the trade), and the vehicle as many more years of family use.

The other thing to watch out for, is the effect it might have on any 'claims protection' scheme, within a policy.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:11 12 Aug 2009

My daughters car was written off by her insurance company (over £500 to repair at the garage) she withdrew the claim and I repaired it at a cost of £35 and a couple of hours labour.

She subsequently sold it for £500 and didn't lose her No Claims discount when insuring her next vehicle

  WhiteTruckMan 22:33 12 Aug 2009

is that any vehicle repaired in this manner- and I'm not criticizing as I have done it myself- will show up on a vehicle check as having been written off, and there may possibly be problems re-insuring it in the future.


  ened 07:31 13 Aug 2009

There is something wrong with that!

Surely the difference between a rear-end shunt and a chassis damaging prang should be identified.

I know from an incident some years ago that a ten year old BMW is likely to cost more to repair if someone goes into the back of you than the car is worth. But to the owner the car had many more good years left. A repair will not affect the safety of the vehicle.

Whereas a twisted or cracked chassis is a different issue and is probably justifiably 'written off'.

Both cars have been written off, one for safety and one for merely financial reasons.

There should be a way of showing the difference!

  Chegs ®™ 12:19 13 Aug 2009

Most vehicles that are "written off" can be purchased and repaired.They are all given a classification of severity of damage.I used to buy minor damage vehicles,repair them & sell at a profit.These vehicles rarely had much more than smashed plastics(bumpers,etc)which could be bought from car-breakers,painted and "voila",one vehicle in perfect order.I ceased doing this because prices asked for the damaged vehicles became so high that profits were only a £100 or so.

Insurance Categories
Below is a list of the classifications by which insurance companies write-off vehicles.

Vehicles categorised as ‘A’ or ‘B’ have been so severely accident damaged that they are deemed unfit for repair by the insurers and must therefore be “crushed” to prevent them from being able to go back on the road.

We don’t sell cat ‘A’ or ‘B’ vehicles as repairable salvage - we only sell categories ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘X’ to our customers!!!

A written-off vehicle that must be totally destroyed, including all of its parts.
A written-off vehicle from which the spare parts may be re-sold, but from which the body-shell should be destroyed so that the vehicle cannot be returned to the road.
A vehicle that is written-off by the insurers because the repair costs are greater than the value of the vehicle itself, but which can nonetheless still be potentially repaired to a roadworthy condition.
A vehicle that has been written-off by the insurers, for various possible reasons, even though its physical repair costs are less than the vehicle’s actual value.
A vehicle that is “not recorded” as being damaged on the HPI register, or which has very minimal damage only. Generally speaking, these vehicles are “stolen-recovered” cases.

From click here

  PalaeoBill 13:06 13 Aug 2009

It was not so much the process of writing off that caught my attention, but the fact that the insurance policy terminated at that point. I appreciate that you can't continue to insure a car that no longer exists (as its written off) but the insurance policy was for a year and it is a bit of a stretch to say the policy only covered that vehicle. We all know that the bulk of the cost of a policy is related to the person not the car. Exchanging one car for another of similar value and insurance group is perfectly acceptable and incurrs only a small charge if done within the 12 month term of a policy. I've done it several times over the years (one insurance company did it for free for me when my Primera died of excess mileage and I replaced it with another less travelled one).
However is do see that it is a clause common to all of the different insurance companies I have since looked at. I just didn't know about it and it seemed strange to me.

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