Insurance claim dilemma

Discussion in 'Driving/Incidents/Roadrage' started by Piff, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Number 1 son has had a minor bump in his W169. Happened at low speed at a junction when car in front stopped for no reason. Drivers got out and thought damage was insignificant and didn't even exchange details.
    Initially it looked like his bumper had light scratches and we thought it might be a "chips away" type repair.

    However, yesterday he needed to open the bonnet to re-fill the screen wash bottle and found the plastic pull tab had gone from the bonnet lock. Enquiry on here & at main dealer reveals new bonnet lock needed at nearly £40

    I've effected a temporary repair with a cable tie and while doing that noticed lots of other damage:-
    Broken headlamp mounting brackets, needing new headlamp.
    Cracked radiator grille.
    Small dent/bend in corner of bonnet with cracked paint at bend.
    Poor alignment between bonnet & bumper suggesting bumper has been pushed down & in.
    Air con radiator bent.
    Possible other bits not evident until bumper removed.


    In 1 weeks time son gets his first company car so will be selling the W169 and will not need his own car insurance for the forseeable future.

    We could bodge a cheap repair but that is likely to reduce the sale value of the car, mostly due to the poor gap between bonnet & bumper.

    Alternatively he could make an insurance claim but he has a total of £550 excess. This would make the car easier to sell & he would get a better price.

    Comments invited......................
     
  2. NDFR

    NDFR Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If he's not going to need his own insurance for a while then is his NCD going to expire anyway?

    If so then he way as well claim for the repairs if they exceed the excess.
     
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  3. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    How much is the car worth?
     
  4. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    I'd be inclined to diy fix the bits that can easily be fixed , using parts from the scrapyard to keep costs down , then sell as-is .

    The bumper may adjust on its mounts or be pull-able by another vehicle ( when I had an argument with a tractor in my Polo on a country road many years ago , there was no damage at all to the tractor , so the farmer wasn't bothered ; I bent in my front bumper , smashed the grille and dented the bonnet in - a trip to the scrappy produced a bonnet in the right colour , grille and bumper all for £25 - on fitting the bonnet , I discovered that the landing panel had been pushed in , so I tied a towrope around it and hooked it onto the back of my then W123 and got my sister to sit in the polo and keep her foot on the brakes , after a couple of gentle bits of pulling , the landing panel lined up perfectly with the new bonnet and all was good - I got the parts from the breakers on the Saturday morning and had them all fitted by teatime . I ran that car for another year or so , then my other sister had it after me for a further couple of years ) .

    It's amazing what you can fix by yourself just using things like towropes , jacks and crowbars .

    While I wouldn't ever lie about the condition of a car I was selling , I wouldn't volunteer any information about the bump and would only answer truthfully about it if a prospective buyer asked . The damage may seem obvious to you , but someone coming to see the car may not notice it and could end up running the car without ever noticing anything wrong - some people can be completely unaware of all sorts of things being wrong . As you said yourself , the extent of the damage wasn't at all obvious until you opened the bonnet and started looking carefully - not all buyers will !

    As a private seller , as long as you haven't lied about anything , once they drive away they have no comeback .
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
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  5. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Difficult to say without knowing all the figures, but you should also factor-in the time involved in dealing with the insurance claim. Had some back-and-forth with Aviva a few years ago, definitely time consuming task.
     
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  6. wongl

    wongl Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Why not just sell it as it is with a discount of £550 which is what it would cost you if you made a claim anyway.
     
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  7. mat8n

    mat8n Banned

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    if you claim it'll probably end up being a write off.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not sure, but in good condition, in the region of £5250 to £5500
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It is with Aviva.
    Equally I would be spending time in the garage trying to get it sellable
     
  10. gIzzE

    gIzzE MB Club Veteran

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    I would get the lock repaired and sell as is for £4700.

    When he got his job with co car, did they ask for his driving history and if he had had any claims?
    Starting and having to tell your new boss, I just had a big claim last week might not be the best start?


    What year, model and mileage is it?
     
  11. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    Has the accident been reported to the insurance company?

    The terms and conditions usually insist that you report any accident regardless of a claim, if the other driver changes their mind and reports it then this could come back to bite your son.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not advised insurance co. He said that other driver was female, poor grasp of english & insistant that it was her fault for stopping. Didn't exchange any details, not even number plate.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    2009, 09 plate, A160 Blue Efficiency Classic SE, only extras I'm aware of is Bluetooth. He's out at the moment so not sure of mileage, believe it to be between 45k & 50k
    edit
    Just had a text from him saying it is just under 50k, I know he is currently adding about 500 miles per week so by the time he gets the company car next weekend it could be just over 50k. Oh, and it is the face lifted model which came out in 2009.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  14. gIzzE

    gIzzE MB Club Veteran

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    Hmmm? Maybe worth repairing properly then.

    However, I think you would easily get £5500 for it as it is though. Just repair the catch.
     
  15. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    In law if by any chance it ever went that far, he would be found to be at fault as he did not leave enough room to stop safely.

    We had a similar experience a few years ago, Madam was driving when a car pulled out from a side road and hit her. Very slow speed, very minor scuff to the bumper and the young lady (again with poor command of English ) said that she was at fault.

    We did get the number plate of the other car and we did report it, her insurance were then in contact claiming we had driven in to her car and she had 3 people in the car who would act as witnesses!

    She was the only person in the car at the time of the accident.

    Slightly different circumstances but people do react strangely at times and can change their mind afterwards.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes, been there myself many years ago.
    Winter night snow on verges but not on road (melted & road was wet). I had driven the road 10 mins earlier & was on my way back. Car headlights in front of me and didn't realise the car had stopped in the middle of the road. Too late anchors applied & I skidded into them. Elderly couple, £300 of damage to their car which I would have paid.
    Next day, visit from plod to take my statement. Elderly gent claiming that I was driving recklessly & accident had brough on wifes asthma and would be making an injury claim.
    Plod was sympathetic, had already measured road width and agreed that there was room for 2 cars to pass unless elderly plonker had stopped in the middle with his headlights on.
    Put into insurance companies hands and "injury" claim never materialised. But did cost me significantly more than £300 in lost NCD & inflated premiums over the next few years
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Want to buy a car?:D
     

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