We'll tell you the secret insurers don’t want you to know, so that you can get your accident damage repaired for free, without paying your excess and quicker.
Not having to pay your excess – sounds to good to be true. Insurance companies rely on people not knowing their rights after an accident. The truth is that if you have an accident that was not your fault, then you have a few options open to you. Read on to find out how you can get your car accident repairs done without having to pay an excess, without your premiums or no claims history being affected and get a courtesy car that is the same make and model as your own.
When you have an accident it is almost instinctive to contact your insurer and ask for help – after all, that’s why you pay your insurance, right? Not always. The most common thing people do after an accident is forget about it. If the damage doesn’t stop them using their car most people just leave it unrepaired – even when it’s a simple fix. People only contact their insurer when their car is new or the damage is severe. Then most people call their own insurer – but is that what you should do?
What Are My Options?
You Have four options: do nothing, repair yourself, call your insurer, claim against the other driver’s insurance. Ultimately the choice is yours to make but we hope this article will help you choose to exercise your rights and get your damage repaired after an accident.
What are your rights after an accident?
In the UK it is mandatory to have car insurance (See here for our guide on saving money on your insurance). If you have taken a comprehensive policy then you will have contractual rights to make a claim. You can agree a settlement privately with the other driver involved, but you should be careful as private agreements can be difficult to enforce. If the accident was not your fault, you also have the right to make a claim against the other driver, or more commonly, against the other insurer.
As anyone who has ever tried to claim against the other insurer, having legal rights and enforcing those rights are two different things. After reading this article you will be armed with all the information you need to make a successful claim.
Repair Yourself and Don’t Claim
We do not recommend this option as it is the most unfair to you. You do have the most control over the cost with this option, however, unless the damage is some minor scuffs or scrapes that some T-Cut will sort, you should have the work done professionally. Another thing to consider is that the damage to your car may be hidden and unless that is fixed it could cause problems later.
If you don’t have the damage repaired at all, you should take images of the damage and store these somewhere safe (emailing to yourself is always a cheap and easy way to store important information). If you have another accident it can be near impossible to distinguish old from new damage and this could make it look like the accident was your fault or more severe than it was.
Claim Directly Against the Other Party
This is the least popular option people make after an accident. There is a sense of mystery and confusion surrounding accident claims and I speak from experience when I say that the staff working for insurers can be hard nosed at the best of times and downright rude at others. This is probably the reason people don’t claim against the other person but it is also one of the biggest mistakes people make after an accident.
You have a legal right to claim against the insurer. There are some steps that need to be passed; establishing liability, negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement and frequent discussions with the insurer. These steps are all worth it in the end, however, it is best to find an agent who will do all of that for you and one who will do it for free. See here for details.
Claim Against Your Own Insurance Policy
This is the second most popular option people make when they have had a car accident. As people pay for their car insurance it is understandable that they would want to get their monies worth and make a claim. Even so, this is the worst option second only to doing nothing. See the next section for why you should never call your insurer when you are not at fault.
When you contact your insurer, they will deal with your claim as per the policy details. For most people this means that they will book your car in with one of their regional mechanics, repairs will be done and you may be given a small courtesy car (for a fee). They will then try to get any money they have spent from whomever was at fault and you will probably be asked to pay your policy excess before any repairs are done. That being said, if you were at fault for the accident this is your only option if the repairs are extensive.
Why You Shouldn’t Choose Your Insurer
There are several reasons why you should never let your insurer deal with your non-fault claim. You should read below to find out why.
Will My Premium Be Affected by A Non-Fault Claim?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is definitely!
Calculating insurance premiums is a mathematical puzzle. The formula used to calculate (rate) your policy is so complex and takes in information that you provide, that they know about you and from statistical data they get from external parties. Every little thing you do or say can have an effect on the premium you pay and as unfair as it sounds, if you have an accident, even a non-fault accident, you are more likely to have another – statistically.
Consider this before calling your insurer next time you have an accident. People believe that they must inform their insurer when they have an accident but this is not true. If you were not at fault, or the accident was so minor that no one will be making a claim – DO NOT TELL YOUR INSURER.
What About the Quality of Insurance Repairs?
Given how much money insurers make from drivers you would expect them to use the best parts and people when repairing your car. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Insurers are known for one thing – making money, and they do this well. They sign up to deals with mechanics and then funnel everyone in a region to that one location. This means that you may have to drive for miles to get to the mechanic.
Insurers make similar deals with suppliers to get replacement parts. These parts are usually not branded and you may find that there is a generic part being put into your BMW. Like most generic versions of anything, the quality is usually not as good which means they will not last as long as the real McCoy.
The quality of repairs is one the most complained about things made against insurers. When you claim with Rapid Claim, we always use local mechanics who use branded parts in all repairs.
Will I Get A Courtesy Car?
Everyone knows what a courtesy car is. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that this is an optional extra on most insurance policies. When you make a claim your insurance company does not have to give you a courtesy car. If you have taken it as an optional extra on your policy the car you get isn’t always what you imagine it will be.
Generally, the car you get is a small three or five door hatchback (think Ford Ka or Focus). You will be asked to pay a deposit for using the car which is on average about £200 and if you forget to top the car up with petrol before giving it back, you will be charged a high refuelling fee.
More often than not insurers do not supply you with a courtesy car which means that you will need to find alternative transport until your car is fixed or you have been paid for a total loss. Rapid Claim pride ourselves in supplying all of our clients with a free courtesy car that is the same make and model as the one being repaired.
What Type of Service Will I Get from My Insurer?
You would expect a high level of service from a big company like your car insurer but unfortunately service seems to be low on their list of priorities. Just ask anyone who deals with a large financial company (try to remember the last time you got good service from your bank).
The problem with any large company is that they are faceless. When you call you are put through to a big call centre where they work to a script and take you through their process. This is usually always frustrating because they ask questions that don’t apply to you because they do not listen – they fill in their form.
Being so big means that your claim is dealt with by a department and not by a person. This usually leads to crossed wires, missing information and long delays in processing your claim. Even after your repairs have been finished, your claim stays open until your insurer makes a full recovery from the other driver’s insurer. Whilst the claim is open it will look like a fault claim against your policy and that puts your no claims history at risk and could mean as much as a 32% increase on your premium the following year.
The poor service received by policy holders is the biggest reason for complaints to insurance companies. When you claim with Rapid Claim you get a personal Claim Manager who will work on your claim from start to finish. They will get to know you so that you feel as comfortable as possible and get your claim settled fast.
What About Complaints?
Complaints are a good thing for a company. They let the company know when something goes wrong and provide them with an opportunity to fix the problem so that it doesn’t happen again. There are of course some issues that are out with the control of anyone so if a company has no complaints at all, that can be more suspect than having too many. The point is, it isn’t that complaints are made, it is the reason for the complaints and how they are handled that matters.
When looking at car insurance claims the most common complaints are; poor service, poor quality repairs and unfair settlement offers. The worrying thing with the complaints is that customers complain about the same things year after year with the insurance companies showing little or no signs of improvement. This is a red flag as it shows that the insurance company does very little to learn from their mistakes despite hefty fines when they get it wrong – the term ‘more money than sense’ springs to mind.
Rapid Claim Pride ourselves in ‘Getting it Right First Time’. Your experienced and dedicated Claim Manager will speak with you at all stages of your claim. This means that you can raise any questions you have and you know that you will get an answer that you can trust. Your Claim Manager will do everything in their power to ensure that your claim goes as smoothly as t possibly can and that you get the best settlement that is possible for your accident.
How Long Does It Take to Settle A Claim?
The honest answer is that the time it will take for a claim to settle varies for a number of reasons. The complexity of the claim, if there is a dispute, what is being claimed and even the time of year. The average time a claim takes to settle in the UK is 16 months from the date of the accident. For a breakdown by claim type see below. The Law allows a period of up to 6 years for a claim to be made but most claims settle within 2 years. Rapid Claim settle client claims on average 4 months after contacting us.
Average Time When Claiming with Your Insurer
When you make a claim with your insurer there are often many delays. See above for more details. Your insurer is usually fairly quick to have your vehicle repaired and this is often completed within 4 months. The major delay is with closing your claim down as insurance companies can be sluggish to recover the money, they spent on your claim from the at fault insurer.
On average a claim will take approximately 17 months to settle when you contact your own insurer. A key point to remember is that so long as the claim remains open it will appear as a fault claim against your policy. This would mean that on average when someone claims on their policy they suffer financially because their insurance goes up at renewal – even if going to a new insurer as they share information on claims electronically.
Average time when claiming with Accident Management Company
Accident Management Companies (AMC) are a means to exercise your right to claim from the insurer of the at fault driver. These companies are usually large corporate bodies who specialise in accident management for big companies who run a fleet of vehicles; like buses, Royal Mail, Sky Television etc.
AMCs usually complete repairs on your vehicle within a month but you are usually asked to pay a deposit for any courtesy car they provide you with. They will deal with your car claim only and no additional losses are included – you will not receive any form of compensation for your accident even where you have had to pay money because of the accident, e.g. taxi fares.
The average time for a claim to be settled by an AMC is approximately 5 months but you will be passed over to a law firm to recoup any expenses you incurred or compensation you are owed.
Average time when claiming with Law Firm
Law Firms suffer from a similar problem as large insurers in that they often take much longer to settle any claims they deal with. The reason for the delay is usually a reliance on old fashioned paper-based files and file handlers having enormous case holdings. This means that less time can be spent on your claim.
Another reason that Law Firms take longer to settle claims is money. Solicitors are paid by the insurer on a set scale as defined in law. The fees that a Solicitors can charge increase when the case is litigated (sent to court). This means that most Law Firms routinely force the case to court even when a quicker resolution could be made. This is unfair on the client as litigating a case can add 12 months to the time a claim takes to settled and often only for a small increase of a couple of hundred pounds on the settlement value.
Law Firms will normally only deal with your compensation claim and they will take nothing to do with any repairs needed to your vehicle. The average time a claim takes to settle in a Law Firm is approximately 27 months.
Average time when claiming with Rapid
Rapid Claim was created by a team of people who have worked for insurance companies and law firms. Rapid Claim pride ourselves on knowing how both worlds work and bringing the best elements of both to our clients.
Rapid Claim deal with the full claim, from start to finish for our clients and we use our expertise and experience of the claim world to the advantage of our clients. On average, our clients full claim is settled at approximately 4 months with any repairs being completed within 28 days of the accident.
What Will I Get When I Use Rapid Claim?
Rapid Claim pride ourselves on our service. When Rapid Claim was formed in 2018 our clients were placed at the very core of everything we did and the company was created around our clients. The best parts of the insurance company and law firm were taken and now we have a company that we are proud to call Rapid Claim.
Making a claim is as easy as 1, 2, 3 1 Contact Us → 2 Repairs → 3 Settlement
By far the easiest step to getting your repairs without paying your excess is contacting us. Click the button to claim your free repairs now or if you would rather start the claim process yourself you can click that button. We will get all of the information we need to get your repairs booked in, a courtesy car for you and the other information we need to settle your claim.
You will have your own dedicated Claim Manager who will keep you informed at all times during your claim and who you can contact at any time. When your Claim Manager first speaks with you, they will listen to you. This way they will answer any questions that you have, even if you’re too shy to ask or they have slipped your mind at the time. Our Clams Managers are so good at their job that they often know what your want to ask before you have even asked it.
Your Claim Manager will keep you updated as they progress your claim and they will always give you sound advice that you know you can trust. The first conversation you have with your Claim Manager usually takes about 30 minutes. During this call they will get all of the information that they need to build a picture of what has happened and how to get the best resolution for you. This way, you will not have to worry about calling umpteen times and having to repeat yourself to a different person.
Accident Repairs Arranged
After you have spoken with your Claim Manager for the first time they will get to work immediately. They will contact a mechanic nearest to you or your work (we work around you, you never have to work around us) to schedule the best time to book your car in for an inspection. They will also arrange for a replacement car to be waiting for you at the mechanic so that you never have the inconvenience of not having a car.
We will arrange for a replacement car that is the same make and model as your own car – we will even try to match the colour if we can. You can keep this car for as long as it takes for your own car to be repaired. You do not have to pay a deposit and there is no excess to pay for the repairs. We sort the money side out with the insurer for the other driver. If you have an accident on the road that wasn’t your fault, we see no reason why you should have to pay anything.
What If My Car is Not Roadworthy?
Sometimes the damage to your car is so bad that it can’t be driven. When that happens, you should contact Rapid Claim ASAP! Rapid Claim will arrange for your car to be towed from the scene or if you have moved it, we will collect it from there. We will also arrange for a replacement car to be delivered to you so that you never have the inconvenience of not having a vehicle.
We will match the replacement car as close as we can to your own, make model and even the colour. If we cannot match it, we will supply you with a courtesy car that is of a similar type but never a lesser model. You will never have to worry about getting a 3 door Micra when you were driving a Qashqai. You keep the car until your vehicle has been repaired and is ready for collection.
What if My Car is a Total Loss/Write Off?
We instruct a qualified mechanical engineer to inspect every client vehicle. They will provide your Claim Manager with a detailed accident report and if it is the opinion of the engineer that your vehicle cannot be repaired, we will arrange for you to be compensated with a fair amount for the loss of your vehicle. Your Claim Manager will discuss the options with you and advise you on the best option.
If your car can be repaired but the cost of the repairs is above 70% of the value of your car, this is what is known as an insurance write off. In this instance you have the choice of taking the cost of the repairs and keeping the vehicle or dealing with the claim as a total loss and being compensated for its value. Your Claim Manager will discuss your options and work with you to get the best resolution.
No matter which option you take, you will get a like for like replacement car until you have agreed a settlement amount and the money has cleared in your bank account. If your car is a total loss it can take longer to agree a settlement with the insurer which is why we guarantee that you can keep the courtesy car until you have your compensation and can buy a replacement vehicle.
Settlement of My Car Accident Claim
What makes Rapid Claim different from other accident claim companies is that we have taken the best parts from all parts of the claim process and rolled them into one. We call this service the One Stop Shop because that is exactly what it is. Rapid Claim will deal with every aspect of your claim. That way you only deal with one person who knows your claim inside and out and from start to finish.
Rapid Claim takes a holistic approach to your claim. We know what can and can’t be claimed. We know what is and is not a fair and reasonable compensation amount. We also know who to go to for the best service for our clients. This all means that we are able to start working on your claim from the beginning and begin negotiations with the insurer as soon as is possible. That is why Rapid Claim has the quickest settlement rate of any company in Scotland.
Rapid Claim will never charge you a fee for our services and you will never be asked to pay anything towards your claim. The insurer must pay our fees when we make a claim on behalf of a client and Rapid Claim believes that is fair compensation for our time so we will never deduct any money from your compensation. This means that you always keep 100% of your compensation which is why we can proudly state that your claim is always 100% free.
Experienced Claim Management
Rapid Claim may be the new kid on the block in Glasgow and the West Coast of Scotland, but we have years of experience handling claims. Collectively our team has over 50 years of experience of working in Insurance and Law. When Rapid Claim was formed in 2018 the best parts of the insurance company and law firm were taken and now, we have a company that we are proud to call Rapid Claim.
Our team have been successful in settling claims that other firms have rejected on grounds that they were likely to be unsuccessful. The difference between Rapid Claim and other firms you find online or on the high street is that we are not afraid of difficult cases. Our years of experience has made us confident that with hard work and our knowledge we can settle even the most difficult of cases.
Rapid Claim prides ourselves on being local. We work almost exclusively in Glasgow and the West Coast of Scotland. The reason for this is that we have taken time and energy to build a wide network of people and companies who we trust to work for our clients. Our dedication to service and quality means that we need to trust the companies that we are asking to repair your car, offer you medical services or to deal with any aspect of your claim. We do that by speaking with our network on a regular basis and meeting them face to face. Rapid Claim would never instruct a company that they didn’t have the upmost faith in.
Being focused on the West Coast of Scotland means that we also know our client’s better. We understand Glasgow isn’t convenient for someone who lives in Ayr. This is something that bigger firms and insurers don’t appreciate. They see anything under 60 minutes as a reasonable distance to travel.
Fast Claim Settlement
Rapid Claim was created by a team of people who have worked for insurance companies and law firms. Collectively our team has over 50 years of experience of working in Insurance and Law. When Rapid Claim was formed in 2018 the best parts of the insurance company and law firm were taken and now, we have a company that we are proud to call Rapid Claim.
Unlike most companies Rapid Claim deal with your full claim, from start to finish and we use our expertise and experience of the claim world to the advantage of our clients. Other companies will deal with only specific aspects of your claim. This means that you need to deal with multiple people who have no understanding of the different elements of your claim. This can mean that your claim will take over 2 years when you use other firms.
On average, our clients full claim is settled at approximately 4 months with any repairs being completed within 28 days of the accident. The reason that we can be so fast is that we get all of the information we need when you first speak with us. This avoids the back and forth that is common in big companies and most law firms. You will get a dedicated Claim Manager who will work on your case form start to finish. They will always be thinking two steps ahead and arranging any complicated reports or assessments well in advance. This way Rapid Claim can have all of the evidence that is needed to begin negotiations at about 3 months.
What Is No Win No Fee
Everyone has heard the term but most people don’t know what it actually means. No Win No Fee is a legal agreement know as a Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA). This is a deferred payment arrangement where the client agrees to pay the firm a % of their compensation if they win, but if they lose the client will pay nothing.
On paper this sounds like a good deal, but in practice what happens is that law firms chose not to take on cases they do not think they can win. This means that almost every case taken on by a law firm results in the client paying a portion of their compensation to the law firm. There is no cap on how much a firm can take but the average is 25% (sometimes 30%). That means that if you get £4000 compensation, your lawyer will take £1000 – and this is on top of the fees they get from the insurer. It is common for a law firm to be paid more money than their client.
When Rapid Claim was formed in 2018 our clients were placed at the very core of everything we did and the company was created around our clients. The best parts of the insurance company and law firm were taken and now we have a company that we are proud to call Rapid Claim. This is why we never take money from our clients.
The fees paid by the insurer of the other driver are defined by law in Scotland. Rapid Claim feel that the money the insurer has to pay us for working on your claim is more than reasonable and we are of the opinion that to deduct any money from our client’s would be morally theft. This means that you always keep 100% of your compensation which is why we can proudly state that your claim is always 100% free. You never have to pay a penny.
Now you know that you do not need to pay your excess after you have had an accident that was someone else’s fault. You can contact your insurer or a law firm but they take over two years to settle a claim and the service is very poor. The smart choice is to contact Rapid Claim who repair client vehicles within 28 days, provide a replacement car that is the same make and model as your own and claim compensation for your accident and pay clients on average after only 4 months.
Rapid Claim put service at the heart of everything and never charge a penny for their service – 100% free compensation, no deposit, no excess and no hidden fees. Do the smart thing and claim your free repairs today and protect your no claims history and keep your insurance premium low.
Not having to Pay your excess – sounds too good to be true. Insurance companies rely on people not knowing their rights after an accident. The truth is that if you have an accident that was not your fault, then you have a few options open to you. Read on to find out how you can get your car accident repairs done without having to pay an excess, without your premiums or no claims history being affected and get a courtesy car that is the same make and model as your own.