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Car accident - They want to do the repairs themselves.
Where do we stand?

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108 replies to this topic

#1 alwayshappy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

I had a lady back into me at an intersection a couple of weeks ago.  Her towbar put a hole in my bumper.  I've just received quotes to have it repaired and it's about $700 worth of damage.  She does not have insurance. Our car is not worth much, however, the hole in the bumper certainly makes it worth less money in terms of its aesthetics.

I don't want to put this lady in financial difficulty, however, I know I am entitled to have the bumper repaired.  She has now asked if her husband can do the repair job himself, to save them money.  My husband was already thinking that we may not even have the bumper repaired but just take the money for the cost of the repairs, to offset the loss of value on the vehicle as a result of the damage.  

Are we entitled to insist it is repaired by accredited motor repairers?

Are we entitled to take the cash value of the repairs instead of having the vehicle repaired, given the minimal value of our car (probably only worth $2-3K)?

Just wondering where we stand.

Edited by alwayshappy, 21 November 2012 - 09:26 PM.

#2 weepingangel

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:22 PM

I thought your insurance company chased the other person, regardless of whether the other party had insurance?

#3 jules095

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

If you want it repaired privately, then don't put in a claim.

If you put in a claim, then you can't take the money & run.

#4 epl0822

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

If you want to be considerate of the lady's finances I think it would be nice to give them a couple of options. If you want it repaired then you could either agree to the husband fixing it or insist on accredited motor repairs, or you could say "I'm also willing to accept a lesser payment of $X which will be less than the amount it would cost to fix."

#5 Mousky

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

I was under the impression that if you went through your own insurance when the other party were uninsured, you had to pay the excess. I could be wrong though.

#6 Rosiebird

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

I agree with Jules. It's not free money, it's a free repair job.

#7 Phascogale

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

Unless her husband is a panel beater I'd be reluctant to let anyone repair my car. It may be a matter of simply replacing the bumper but the bumper will need to be sprayed to match the colour of your car and this is where some of the costs are involved.  What was the husband going to do to fix it?  Was it a patch job on the bumper or a replacement?  I'd want a replacement because the structural integrity of the bumper will probably have been compromised (but I can't really say as I can't see the damage).  He might do a crap job if you let him repair the car and it will be worth even less.

There's probably no easy way out for the lady.  If you claim on insurance then they will chase her for the cost anyway so it would have to be a private agreement.

But if the cost is going to be $700 to repair, she's probably still not going to be happy if you suggest $500 as a lesser price instead of the full cost.  I would imagine she will be hoping that her husband will be able to repair it for less than $100 or $200 so unless you are prepared to accept this sort of amount it's not going to work.

So basically, yes you are entitled to get your car repaired by accredited repairers but you may need to go through your insurance for this to happen.  Going through insurance will be the easiest way for the problem to go away because they will be the ones chasing the woman for payment and not you.

#8 missy78

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:55 PM

I'd be really hesitant to have them repair it, even if the woman's husband is an accredited repair person. I personally would have insurance take care of it and make sure everything is above board.

#9 JaneDoe2010

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:57 PM

I think it all sounds pretty dodgy (especially your thought of requesting just cash and no repair) and I'd go through insurance.

#10 bakesgirls

Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (Back2Insanity @ 21/11/2012, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If she is so worried about financial difficulty then she shouldn't be driving around an un-insured car. What if she hit a BMW?

Totally agree. Third party doesn't cost that much compared to comprehensive insurance, and certainly less than paying for repairs to another car. Put it through insurance. Her request sounds dodgy to me. You won't have to pay an excess because you have all her details. She will probably have to come to some sort of payment schedule/agreement with the insurance company, but thats really not your problem. She should have insurance. IMO, it's irresponsible to not have it and just hope that you don't have an accident.

#11 casime

Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:23 PM

Put it through your insurance, that's what you pay premiums for.  It's not your problem that she has chosen to drive around uninsured.

#12 2 Gorgeous Girls

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

QUOTE (Mousky @ 21/11/2012, 04:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was under the impression that if you went through your own insurance when the other party were uninsured, you had to pay the excess. I could be wrong though.

All insurance companies I know of as long as you meet their criteria (not at fault, third party details) your excess is waived regardless of if they're insured. The insurance company is still going to recover the full cost of repairs.

I don't get the no insurance thing either. If you damage someone else's car worth $100,000 (as an example) and it's written off you're liable for that full cost regardless of whether you're insured or not. Is it really worth going bankrupt to save a couple of hundred dollars a year?

OP if they are being difficult/dodgy I'd go through insurance. You never know what damage is underneath the bumper

#13 katbalou

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

I doubt the OP has comprehensive insurance herself, if the car is only worth $2-$3000.  I certainly wouldn't.

I wouldn't let the husband do the repair job.  I would probably settle for a cash sum to organise repairs myself, if I wasn't insured.

If I was insured, I would let the insurance company take care of it.

#14 FeralZombieMum

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:27 PM

I agree with the others, sounds like they are offering a free repair, not cash.

I know of a few people that have had cars fixed by family or friends that are panel beaters - it's hard to know if you could trust them or not to do the right thing.

On the other hand, I know a few people that accepted cash and didn't end up getting it repaired - in each case the car damaged wasn't worth much to begin with and the paying parties have come out better than if they were forced to pay via insurance so kind of like a win-win for everyone.

Many years when my DH was a student, someone (another student) ran into his mini at a slow speed. The guy offered to pay cash instead of going through insurance...DH had 3rd party (I don't think anyone should be allowed to drive a car without even 3rd party!) and the guy wasn't insured.

It was better for the guy to pay DH the cash (was the guy's idea) and DH didn't even have to get quotes, they just agreed on an amount.
DH had all the intention to get it repaired, but upon looking at the damage, he was able to hammer it back into shape - there wasn't any structural damage and not much damage to the paintwork. So he pocketed the cash - much to my disapproval at the time.

DH said that his car had depreciated due to this damage, so the money was compensation for that, not for the cost of repairs - if he had chased the guy with quotes and insisted it was repaired properly, then the guy would have been a lot worse off because it would have cost him a lot more.

#15 The Old Feral

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:29 PM

Your bumper is a crucial part of your car's crumple zone, it has to be fixed properly and not just patched up by an amateur. Let your insurance company sort it out.

#16 jessie123

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:37 PM

Go through the proper channels op. These things never end well.

If they have no insurance its not your problem they will simply take payments from them until its paid off. Having worked for an insurance company we had people who we would organise payment schedules with for very small amounts per week.  

Insurance is not designed for you to make a quick buck.

#17 liveworkplay

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:45 PM

OP, go through your insurance, her financial problems are not your concerns.

I doubt the OP has comprehensive insurance herself, if the car is only worth $2-$3000. I certainly wouldn't.

We have a similar bomb I mean car and have it comprehensively insured. It is the "second" car and if it did get written off, we would need a second car and the $1500-$2000 we would get could certainly get a cheap, reliable one where we live.

Someone ran into it a couple of years ago and damaged the bonnet and front panel. The quotes came in at around $2500 to fix. Their insurance company argued that the car (at that time) wasn't worth much more then that but as we needed the car and thus wanted it  fixed , our insurance company insisted and it was done.

#18 emnut

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE (katbalou @ 21/11/2012, 07:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I doubt the OP has comprehensive insurance herself, if the car is only worth $2-$3000.  I certainly wouldn't.

One of our cars that are replacing soon is worth about that - it costs $60/annum less to have 3rd party insurance rather than comprehensive so really the difference isn't worth dropping to the lesser cover

#19 LookMumNoHands

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

QUOTE (casime @ 21/11/2012, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Put it through your insurance, that's what you pay premiums for.  It's not your problem that she has chosen to drive around uninsured.

Yeah, I agree. And there's no way I'd let the husband do the repair.

#20 2 Gorgeous Girls

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE (katbalou @ 21/11/2012, 06:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I doubt the OP has comprehensive insurance herself, if the car is only worth $2-$3000.  I certainly wouldn't.

I wouldn't let the husband do the repair job.  I would probably settle for a cash sum to organise repairs myself, if I wasn't insured.

If I was insured, I would let the insurance company take care of it.

I have comprehensive insurance on my car worth around that much. The premiums are cheap and I couldn't afford to replace it if I had an accident.

Besides if the OP only has Third Party insurance and the person who hit her is uninsured she can still claim through her insurance under the "uninsured motorist extension" It's a standard feature in policies.

#21 alwayshappy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

So the saga continues....

We do have comprehensive insurance on our car, so we will certainly be considering going through our insurance company, especially after the latest email I received.

The lady emailed me to say she'd had a good chat with her husband and "...we are going to fix your bumper as you and (her) 'husband' agreed on when you first spoke which was a second hand bumper and it painted if needed.  We need the year and make/model of your car so we can get hold of a bumper for your car and also a paint code which 'husband' can help you get so we can buy the paint for a bloke 'husband' knows who is fully qualified to paint the bumper so no need to worry about 'husband' fixing the bumper himself as it will be done professionally.  It has to be done this way or our kids don't get Christmas".

So now they are trying to dictate to us how it is going to be done.  In my earlier conversations with her husband, I had indicated that I would do everything I could to keep the costs down, given they were uninsured.  I said that I would consider a secondhand bumper (and I still would) given the value of our car, but at no stage did I agree to having a home repair job.  My greatest fear with that is the lack of warranty and the issues around the integrity of the repair.

And the last line, about their kids Christmas..... words fail me!  As if that's my fault!

Ringing my insurance company tomorrow.  I hope a claim doesn't go against us with future premiums, but I think this might be the best way to progress this issue as they are clearly starting to get bossy!

Wish me luck!

#22 Chchgirl

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

I would go through the insurance company as pp's have suggested. It isn't your problem if they are uninsured..

#23 Soontobegran

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

OP, how did she back into you at an intersection? People are usually moving forward not reversing. huh.gif

#24 liveworkplay

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

Ringing my insurance company tomorrow. I hope a claim doesn't go against us with future premiums, but I think this might be the best way to progress this issue as they are clearly starting to get bossy!

Wish me luck!

Good Luck! I would not be corresponding with them from now on, leave it to the insurance company

#25 VioletRose

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

QUOTE (alwayshappy @ 21/11/2012, 10:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It has to be done this way or our kids don't get Christmas".

If i was in any doubt about getting my insurance to deal with it (which I wouldn't be) This veiled threat would seal the deal for me.

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