In this article I will be taking you through 10 steps to claim touring car insurance, which is a very broad title so let me explain. If you have been involved in an accident and your vehicle has been written off then your insurer might agree to compensate you the current market value for that car, but there are conditions. You can’t simply drive around in a badly repaired car, or one that has been pieced together with other cars and expect the insurer to pay out. The 10 steps below are what needs to be done before your insurer will hand over any money.
1. Contacting your insurer
The first thing you must do is contact your insurer. This can be done by giving them a call, filling out an online form or even sending them a letter; whatever feels most comfortable to you. You don’t need to know the total cost of repairs for this step, all you need to tell them is that your car has been written off.
2. Your insurer will contact the garage
You should receive a letter from your insurer in which they tell you that the car has been written off and that any repairs would be covered by your warranty. The next step is for them to contact the company that carried out the repairs, known as the ‘garage’ in this article. All quotes and invoices will be sent to your insurer for approval before any work is carried out on the car, even if there are any parts that need to be replaced.
3. The insurer should give you a reference number
Once the garage has been contacted by your insurer you should receive an email or letter from them containing a reference number. This is so that anyone you’ve been in contact with knows who they’ve been talking to. If you don’t receive a reference number then get in touch with your insurer and ask for one, don’t just carry on without it!
4. The insurer will send out an engineer
Once the garage has received the go ahead from your insurer they will send out an engineer (often the same person who inspected the car in the first place). This engineer will inspect your car to make sure it’s roadworthy, which is what you’re paying them for. Note that if they refuse to fix something on your car then you’re not obliged to pay for it; but any repairs that are deemed necessary will be covered by your warranty.
5. You receive a quotation for the repairs
Once your car is deemed roadworthy you should receive a written quote from the garage for all of the parts and labour required to fix it, along with an estimate for all of the extras (such as windows, tyres, etc). If anything is not working properly or has been repaired incorrectly then get in touch with your insurer and let them know, otherwise they might refuse to pay for the work.
6. Your insurer should contact you
Once your car is ready to be returned it’s time for the final step; which is when your insurer will actually contact you to let you know. They’ll let you know the total cost of all the repairs and what they’re going to pay, along with a breakdown of any extras that need to be paid for. Remember that if anything was replaced then it will not be covered by your warranty because it’s been used.
7. You sign off the car
You must sign off your car to let the garage know that it is now back to its pre-accident state. Once you’ve done this no more claims can be made against your policy, so if anything else happens then you’re not covered!
8. You receive a cheque from your insurer
Once everything has been signed off you should receive a letter from your insurer telling you how much they’re going to pay and how much you need to pay. This will be broken down into parts and labour, anything that has been covered by your warranty and the extras (such as tyres or windscreens) that you still need to pay for yourself. Note: If you have a loan car then this will be returned with a full tank of petrol, but if you were using it to get to and from work then the money to pay for your journeys should be reimbursed too.
9. You have to pay the garage
Once you have been reimbursed by your insurer you’re going to need to go back to the garage and hand over any money that is left after they’ve received their payment. Any cheques your insurer pays the garage in will be made out to both of you (you and the garage) so don’t think that this means there is double the money available!
10. You receive any excess money back
Once all payments have been exchanged between yourself, your insurer and the garage you should receive any money that was left over. Even if it’s only £1 you should still get this back in full, unless your insurer is some sort of charity (in which case they’ll return any amount).
What do I do if my insurer does not contact me?
If your insurer does not get in touch with you within a few weeks then call them up and ask what is happening. If they’ve been slow to respond then it’s likely that the repair has been put on hold, which means your car will have to stay where it is until they’ve come back to you.
Does my insurer have to pay for the windows and tyres themselves?
No, they’ll usually cover things such as paintwork or the engine instead of those things. Your insurer might ask for proof of the tyres being changed if you have them done yourself, so keep hold of any receipts or invoices.
What happens if I do not have enough money to pay for the repairs?
If your insurer does not give you enough money to cover the costs of the work then they’ll usually put it on hold until they can raise more cash. You’ll have to wait until this happens before you can get your car back, but don’t worry as it’s very rare that a problem like this occurs.
How long will this process take?
It varies, but the sooner you start then the faster it will go (usually). It can often take around three months for your insurer to deal with all of the different problems that need sorting out after an accident, so try and be as patient as possible.
At The End Of The Day
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