Had a no fault car accident? Read our no fault accident advice and know your rights.
Here at Non Fault Car Accident Repair we offer a fast, flexible car accident management service which can help you maintain your no claims bonus. We also promise to significantly reduce the stress associated with a no fault accident by taking care of the paperwork, liaising with the third party insurers, organising repairs and providing a like-for-like hire vehicle within 24 hours*. Call Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm on 0800 059 0220 to discuss your situation with our experts.
After a no fault car accident
If you are involved in a car accident it’s an offence not to stop the car at the scene. You should ensure your car is in a safe position, switch off the engine and put your hazard lights on straight away. Check for injuries with any passengers as well as recording anything about the way you feel yourself. If it’s only a minor collision and there are no injuries you should still make note of the details. Call the emergency services immediately if there is any damage to property, the road is blocked by the vehicles or if there are any injuries amongst those involved.
It’s important to stay calm and take a moment to collect your thoughts, especially if you’re angry because the car accident was not your fault. You shouldn’t apologise or admit responsibility for the accident until it’s 100% clear what has happened as a third party may later take this as an admission of liability. There’s some further advice on what to do after a car accident from The AA.
After a car accident you should ensure your vehicle is roadworthy before you drive away from the scene. In the heat of the moment it might not be top on your list of priorities but you should check the basics are all intact. For example check that the lights are all functioning as they should – to avoid causing yourself any further issues. If there are loose parts these should be removed and stored in the car and you should also make sure that there are no fluids leaking from anywhere in the vehicle.
Choosing your repairer
Car insurance providers will offer to have your car fixed by a garage within their own network of approved repairers because they get better costs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for you but may limit your choices of car repair locations and you might prefer to opt for your own choice of repairer. If you have a local car body repair specialist you can choose to use them for the repairs and know that your car is being repaired by a garage that you know and trust.
Insurers are obliged to let you choose your repairer
What isn’t made entirely clear by some insurers is that they are obliged to allow you to choose your own repairer. It is usually more convenient for an insurance company to repair your car with someone in their repairer network, therefore they may talk about delays or extra costs if you choose to go elsewhere. If you are making an insurance claim from your insurer they will still pay out for repairs for a successful claim. However, an insurer might impose extra terms or restrictions if you are not using their network, so it is worth reading up on your policy before making a decision. It is your right to spend time weighing up the benefits of dealing with your chosen repairer, versus the suggested route from the insurer. The right to use your own repairer dates back to the Consumer Rights Act, of 1993, superseded by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. More on car repair rights via Green Flag.
In the event of a no fault accident (where the identifiable third party has accepted liability) you don’t need to make an insurance claim from your own insurer. You should make your insurer aware of any no fault accidents, but you can pass the non fault accident details to a car accident management service like Non Fault Car Accident Repair. We will provide a choice of repairer which can include our own car body repair workshop in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
Read more via GoCompare about the pros and cons of choosing your own repairer.
Making a third party claim
When a car accident was not your fault and was caused by an identifiable third party you will be able to make a claim for repairs as well as personal injury*. The claim for any costs is made directly from the third party insurer without involving your own insurance company – aside from making them aware of a no fault claim. A no fault claim is handled by an accident management service provided you have all the details of the third party who were at fault for the damage to your vehicle. Make sure you record the name, address, contact details, vehicle registration details and their insurance details if possible. You also need to be confident of the admission of liability from their side. The third party insurers must agree to repairs in advance at your choice of repairer but this can all be handled by us here at Non Fault Car Accident Repair as soon as we have your no fault car accident details.
A key point to remember is that if you are making a third party claim you are not required to pay your insurance excess. Insurance policy excess is only payable if you are making a claim from your own insurance company, which if using an accident management service – to organise repairs and a hire car – this will not be the case. Admiral.com have this guide to the common car insurance myths – including policy excess.
Filling out claim forms
Regardless of who is at fault for a car accident you will still need to record details of the accident and those involved for a claim form. If you’re not making a claim from your insurer you don’t need to fill out their standard claim form but they may wish to record some of the information collected after the accident. Most companies who handle no fault accident management have a way of taking this information from you. Our claim form is very straightforward and can be filled out online. We’ll need your name, email address, telephone number, car registration and postcode as well as the date and details of the incident you’ve been involved in. We provide an easy way to upload photographs of the damage to your vehicle and you can also let us know if you require a hire car whilst repairs are carried out.
Gathering estimates for car repair
Only one estimate is required for a third party insurer to approve repairs to your vehicle. Your chosen repairer will provide an estimate for the cost of repair identifying the areas of concern and a total cost for the work to be done. You can get further estimates for the work if you wish but these are only usually required if the insurance engineer and the chosen repairer cannot agree on the repairs to be undertaken and the associated costs. Generally, an estimate won’t bind the garage to the figure provided, although it will be a fair indication of the eventual cost for repairs. The AA have some advice for dealing with garages that is worth a read.
Finding a hire car
Your vehicle insurer usually provide a courtesy car when making a claim on your insurance. This may be an optional element of your insurance policy so it is worth checking. They may stipulate that the hire car is only provided if you use a repairer from the insurers network of approved garages. If your insurance policy promises a courtesy car, it may stipulate this will only happen if you use the insurers chosen repairer. Most insurers will remove your right to use a hire car if you decide not to use their approved repairers. This is because it significantly inflates the cost of an insurance claim, so by only offering them if you use a approved repairer, the insurer can keep costs down. In 2014 GoCompare.com checked with 225 fully comprehensive car insurance policies via Defaqto and found 93% provided a hire car as standard but only 7% would provide a car if the insurance policy holder chose to use their own repairer.
A like-for-like hire vehicle
The good news is that most accident management services include the use of a like-for-like hire vehicle for the duration of repairs to your vehicle or at least provide access to a low cost hire solution. At Non Fault Car Accident Repair we can provide a like-for-like vehicle replacement within 24 hours of your claim subject to claim acceptance and vehicle availability. If you don’t actually require a hire car whilst your own car is repaired, this may allow for the repairs to be booked in with your chosen repairer sooner than you anticipated. Therefore we always recommend that you make it clear whether you require a courtesy car when making an enquiry with us or any other accident repairer.
Understanding your car insurance cover
Your car insurance policy document explains the extent of your insurance cover. A policy that is ‘third party’ only, helps protect other people, vehicles and property in the event of an accident that was deemed to be your fault. If you drive into the back of the car in front, your insurance would cover the cost of the other person’s car and medical expenses if they were injured in the incident. What isn’t covered is damage to your own car or any injuries you receive as a result. More details from Confused.com
Third party, fire and theft car insurance covers any damage to a person, their car or their property if you have an accident while driving – and it also covers your car in case it’s stolen or gets damaged or destroyed in a fire. More about this type of cover from MoneySupermarket.com
Comprehensive cover allows you to claim from your insurer for accidents that are deemed to be your fault or do not have an identifiable third party – for example if your car is damaged in a supermarket car park. It carries an added level of protection and means you should only have to pay your compulsory and voluntary excess if the worse happens. Confused.com recommend checking all types of policy for your car for the best price and to check what exactly is covered when comparing the pricing too.
Looking after your no claims bonus
A no claims bonus, also referred to as a no claims discount is a reduction in costs that your car insurer can apply to your car insurance premium for each year that you haven’t made a claim. There is some debate about how useful a no claims discount is once you’ve been driving for a number of years as this article in the Guardian explores but the general consensus is that you can save money on your policy and it’s worth trying to hold on to your claim-free record. You can technically build up an unlimited number of years but most insurers are only concerned with the first five. Aviva.co.uk have information on their website including a reminder that protecting your no claims discount – as some insurers will encourage you to do – will not guarantee that your insurance premium won’t increase. It just means that you’ll still receive the agreed discount on your premium amount.
Obviously you want to protect your no claims bonus, especially as a young driver. That’s why in the case of a no fault accident we recommend talking through your claim with us before making a claim with your insurance company. Some insurers may remove no claims discount even if you were not at fault for the accident and it’s worthwhile checking your policy before making a claim. If you were at fault for the accident it’s also worth understanding the consequences of making a claim (the excess to pay and the affect on your no claims record) before considering whether to put a claim in for repairs or pay for them yourself.
Paying your policy excess
Your insurance policy excess – usually split into compulsory and voluntary – is the amount that you must pay in the event of a claim on your insurance policy. If you use an accident management service for a no fault accident claim you will not have to pay the excess* on your insurance policy because you are not making a claim. At Non Fault Car Accident Repair we have more information when policy excess payments are applicable. This includes whether your excess is applicable if your vehicle is written off following an accident which is known as a total loss claim.
If you have been involved in a no fault accident and need advice, please send us an enquiry or call us between Monday and Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0800 059 0220
How do you know you have a no fault claim ?
If you are in doubt about whether to make a no fault claim without your insurance company, read about the most common no fault accidents first. You can also contact us to see if your situation is one we can help with before you take any further steps.
* Subject to claim acceptance and vehicle availability