Have you also been told about some brilliant backyard mechanic who can repair your vehicle at a fraction of the costs? A frequent cause of unhappiness for the insured car owner is unsatisfactory repairs to the vehicle after an accident. This complaint is usually that repair work done is inefficient or defective or that the vehicle has not been restored to its pre-accident condition, or a combination of both.
The Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance has provided the following guidelines to insured car owners with reference to repairs on their vehicles!
- Find out if your Insurer is paying you your loss or reinstating the vehicle.
- If it is paying your loss (less excesses) you deal with the repairs and the repairer. Your loss is usually the fair and reasonable cost of repair.
- If it is reinstating, the repairers are Insurers agents and should look to Insurers for payment; you are entitled to the repaired vehicle in as good a state as it was prior to the accident, and you are obliged to pay any excess to the Insurer.
- Read your policy conditions to check whether there is anything which affects the basic positions set out above.
- If you are satisfied that you can prove that what the Insured is offering you in money does not represent your proper loss less excess, or that the vehicle has not been properly restored, then object, and if you cannot achieve satisfaction, approach the Ombudsman if you want mediation, or your Attorney for advice as to whether you should assert your rights in a Court of Law.
We would like to advise that policy owners communicate clearly and without delay with the insurer. It is best to be fully aware of all the facts and to make an informed decision – only by doing so will you be able to avoid nasty and costly surprises!