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Old 01-14-2002, 07:31   #1 (permalink)
NB & NCII V8 Fairlanes
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Bibra Lake Western Australia
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Insurance Company Pains

As some of you might recall some guy ran into the back of my V8 Fairlane Christmas Day. It needs a whole new bumper and a exhaust mount. Easy but costly to fix (quoted $1,200 to $1,400 by smash repairers). Problem is they want the car for up to a week and I can fix it myself in a day - buy new parts paint them assemble bumper then swap them over. Its stark white so colour matching is even a big problem. Parts around $800 from the Ford dealer.

Here is the rub the other guys admitted liability and has caused no problems. However, his insurer (Swann) is trying to insist I have a smash repairer fix the car although I'm offering to do it at less cost and have offerred to let them see and assess the car before and after I fix it ( by fax twice).

My view is that just because one of their clients ran into the back of my car this insurance company have no power over who repairs the car; I can if I wish simply bill the other driver and he can in turn claim against his insurer. They say as the insurer (and I have not claimed against them or my insurer) they have the right to insist I have it done my a smash repairer and that I must get two quotes and choose the lower cost one.

My own insurer the RAC has previously allowed me to do my own repairs before subject to them OKing my finished work (and they always comment that it is better quality than the smash repairers work). So I guess I can always claim against my own insurer but I feel this would be giving into the them and the other insurer is still saying the wouldn't honour the claim.

Anyway, anyone know of a valid reason why I can't proceed as planned; ie fix it myself, bill the other guy and if necessary pursue recovery action against him?

It does seem a bit hard on the other guy just because he's got a silly inflexible insurer but their arrogant manner have really p'd me off. They just keep responding that if I fix the car myself they won't pay reagrdless of how I go about it.
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Old 01-14-2002, 09:09   #2 (permalink)
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This sort of recalcitrant behaviour by insurers is why people like them so much......
Surely as long as you're satisfied with the repairs and it isn't costing them anymore than it should, they shouldn't bitch. I think though that an insurer can insist on repairs being done by an approved repairer if they're to pay out a claim. (better go check my law books) Stupid i know but since when have banks and insurers followed sensible logic and filled the needs of customers??
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Old 01-14-2002, 15:00   #3 (permalink)
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Hi,

That sounds wrong to me. If your car is insured (as it is) I dont even know why the other insurance company is in contact with you at all.

Back when I had my EA, a lady backed into my car (while my car was parked) I was lucky enough to catch her before she drove off (thanks to my very noisy alarm). I bought the new bumper, indicatotor, and got my neighbour to fix the guard and spray the bumper and scratch on guard (he owns a panel beater place). I sent my receipts to Suncorp (my insurer at the time) and a little while later, I got a cheque in the mail for my costs.

I think they should be more happy to do it this way... cos that accident ended up costing 1/4 of the price it would have if I had just taken it to a panel shop to get the whole thing done.
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Old 01-14-2002, 15:24   #4 (permalink)
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yes, from my experience the insurer is allowed to insist on a registered repairer, but they have no choice who. that is intirely up to you.

maby, if you have someone that you know in the industry, you can get them to let you do it there and have them send out the bill.
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Old 01-16-2002, 01:49   #5 (permalink)
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The point is:

a) I have no contract with the other guys insurer; therefore I have signed no agreement obligating me to use a smash repairer.

b) I'm under no obligation ( no contact and no law obligating me to do so) to claim of any insurer;

c) I can just bill the other driver and recover reasonable costs.

d) The other driver is also not obligated to claim off his insurer; if he chooses to do so I think it's a matter between him and his insurer; nothing to do with me.

Anyhow the RAC advice is I can proceed as proposed and will have no trouble with recovering from the other driver but I should expect resistance from the other guys insurer and they may be able to reject his claim unfortunately leaving him holding the baby. ie I'll get my money but it may take court action and the other driver, depending on his insurance contract, is not guaranteed to get what he pays me back from his insurer. He may only be covered for cost of repairs carried out by an approved repairer. Therefore, to save his butt I may have to claim through the RAC under my policy and the will settle up year end under their "knock for knock" arrangements.
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Old 01-24-2002, 02:32   #6 (permalink)
NB & NCII V8 Fairlanes
 
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The RAC assessor came today. Theyv'e had a change of mind as well. They claim:

a) Their system can't cope with a claim without BSN Number or GST tax. As a CPA I know that's a load of bull.
b) They're concerned over liability if I breath in poisonous paint fumes. I wonder how infrequent exposure to acrylic enamel paint compare to the fumes from that drum of old nitro methane I ran through my lawn mower or those odd smelling cigarettes we smoked when we were young and silly, etc etc.

They did say I can fix it myself and bill the other driver though (but I may have to take him to court as his insurer won't play ball).
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