Car Insurers and recommended repairers


P

paulfoel

I've had loads of hassle off my current insurer (swiftcover) because
they want me to use their recommended repairer for repairs to my car.

Basically, the nearest recommended repairer was 40+ miles away (in
fact, in a different country!!!) so I told them to get stuffed and
found a local one.

Since then they've tried all sorts to get me to change my mind.
They've been deliberately obstructive in my opinion.

What exactly is the law with regards to repairers etc? I'm wondering
if its worth complaining about their behaviour....
 
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A

Aidy

What exactly is the law with regards to repairers etc? I'm wondering
if its worth complaining about their behaviour....
You are allowed to take it to a VAT registered garage of your choice as long
as the quote is reasonable and the work to sufficient standard.
 
P

paulfoel

You are allowed to take it to a VAT registered garage of your choice as long
as the quote is reasonable and the work to sufficient standard.
OK. Thanks for the clarification.

The insurers are spouting all sorts of stuff like:- There'll be a
considerable delay while they get authorisation, I'll only get the
amount for repairs that the authorised repairer was going to charge,
the work wont be guaranteed etc.
 
T

Tim

The insurers are spouting all sorts of stuff like:-
There'll be a considerable delay while they get
authorisation, I'll only get the amount for repairs
that the authorised repairer was going to charge, ...
Hmmm. Has the authorised repairer actually
seen the car, to be able to give a good view
on how much they *would* actually charge?

... the work wont be guaranteed etc.
Eh? It's not up to your insurer to tell your local garage
whether they can guarantee their own work or not!
 
R

Ronald Raygun

Aidy said:
You are allowed to take it to a VAT registered garage of your choice as
long as the quote is reasonable and the work to sufficient standard.
No way can it be "the law" that the garage you use must be VAT registered,
although it's pretty unlikely you would find a garage which isn't.

There isn't really any law as such. What matters is what's in the agreement
between you and the insurer. Read your insurance policy.

The problem lies in who decides what is "reasonable". It may be that they
can say that the quote by their preferred repairer is substantially more
favourable than the one you can obtain independently, and that would make
your local repairer's quote unreasonable in their view.

But it would be unreasonable of them to expect you to suffer any
inconvenience as a result of using theirs. It shouldn't matter to you
how far away they are, though, as you need never visit them. The repairers
should collect the car from you and return it to you. If this is not
possible, your insurers would need to reimburse your taxi fare there and
back. That may be enough to redress the balance, and make your local
garage suddenly become "reasonable" again.
 
P

Peter Crosland

What exactly is the law with regards to repairers etc? I'm wondering
You are allowed to take it to a VAT registered garage of your choice as
long
as the quote is reasonable and the work to sufficient standard.
OK. Thanks for the clarification.

The insurers are spouting all sorts of stuff like:- There'll be a
considerable delay while they get authorisation, I'll only get the
amount for repairs that the authorised repairer was going to charge,
the work wont be guaranteed etc.

The suggestion that you are entitled to take it where you like is completely
wrong. The insurers are paying so they are entitled to choose who will do
the repairs. They use approved repairers because having been approved they
guarantee the repair and also have a decent scheme of inspection so that the
insurers don't have to send an inspector to check that each job has been
done properly. The bottom line is that by doing this they keep the price of
repairs lower and therefore the premiums are as well.

Peter Crosland
 
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S

steve robinson

Ronald said:
wondering >> if its worth complaining about their behaviour....

No way can it be "the law" that the garage you use must be VAT
registered, although it's pretty unlikely you would find a garage
which isn't.

There isn't really any law as such. What matters is what's in the
agreement between you and the insurer. Read your insurance policy.

The problem lies in who decides what is "reasonable". It may be that
they can say that the quote by their preferred repairer is
substantially more favourable than the one you can obtain
independently, and that would make your local repairer's quote
unreasonable in their view.

But it would be unreasonable of them to expect you to suffer any
inconvenience as a result of using theirs. It shouldn't matter to you
how far away they are, though, as you need never visit them. The
repairers should collect the car from you and return it to you. If
this is not possible, your insurers would need to reimburse your taxi
fare there and back. That may be enough to redress the balance, and
make your local garage suddenly become "reasonable" again.
Its irelevant what the contract says about who repairs your car , its a
restrictive practice which is unenforceable , it doesnt even matter if
there quote is cheaper , as long as the garage you choose meets all the
required repair standards and thier price is reasonable then you can
ignore the insurance company gibberish (most companie will send an
assessor out anyway)

What you have to watch out for with the insurers recomended garages is
they cant cover anticorrsion warranties offered by the manufactuers ,
it will viod any manufactuers anticorrsion warranty and they often use
patent instead of oem parts .Car manufacturers usally have a list of
recomended repair centres that will cover any warranties or the
manufacturer themselves will continue cover if your vehicle is repaired
by thier recomended repair centre

--
 
A

Adrian

The suggestion that you are entitled to take it where you like is
completely wrong. The insurers are paying so they are entitled to choose
who will do the repairs. They use approved repairers because having been
approved they guarantee the repair and also have a decent scheme of
inspection so that the insurers don't have to send an inspector to check
that each job has been done properly. The bottom line is that by doing
this they keep the price of repairs lower and therefore the premiums are
as well.
<hollow laughter>
It's nothing whatsoever to do with quality.

The big bodyshops sign up to do cheap rates for the big insurers, in
return for having work channelled their way. Because the rates are cheap,
they're forced to churn the jobs through, which results in lower quality
- and let's hope not many complain.


If the OP is at fault on the claim, then he's stuffed. His insurance are
paying, they can point him at whoever they want, and he's stuck. He would
almost certainly have agreed to that by taking the policy out, if he'd
read the paperwork.

If, otoh, he is not at fault, then he doesn't even need to get his own
insurance company involved. Claim direct from the other party or use a
third-party "accident management" company. You are then much more in
control.
 
S

steve robinson

Peter said:
wondering >> if its worth complaining about their behaviour....

OK. Thanks for the clarification.

The insurers are spouting all sorts of stuff like:- There'll be a
considerable delay while they get authorisation, I'll only get the
amount for repairs that the authorised repairer was going to charge,
the work wont be guaranteed etc.

The suggestion that you are entitled to take it where you like is
completely wrong. The insurers are paying so they are entitled to
choose who will do the repairs. They use approved repairers because
having been approved they guarantee the repair and also have a decent
scheme of inspection so that the insurers don't have to send an
inspector to check that each job has been done properly. The bottom
line is that by doing this they keep the price of repairs lower and
therefore the premiums are as well.

Peter Crosland
Peter your wrong on this one the insurance company can not make you use
one of thier repair centres , its a restrictive practice in the same
way car dealerships cant make you have your car service with them to
avoid warranty loss

I went through this with norwich union 6 years ago . As long as the
price is reasonable then they can not refuse to pay out


The final crunch came when i asked them if they would honour the
manufacturers anticorrsion warranty (6 years) and garentee that only
oem components would be used in both instances they said no they
couldnt .

Its nothing to do with keeping prices for insurance down its more to
do with keeping insurance companies profits up

You will also find that many insurance companies actually own thier own
repair centres or are heavily invested within them

--
 
D

Dave Baker

Peter Crosland said:
OK. Thanks for the clarification.

The insurers are spouting all sorts of stuff like:- There'll be a
considerable delay while they get authorisation, I'll only get the
amount for repairs that the authorised repairer was going to charge,
the work wont be guaranteed etc.

The suggestion that you are entitled to take it where you like is
completely wrong. The insurers are paying so they are entitled to choose
who will do the repairs.
AIUI the policyholder is legally entitled to have whoever he likes repair
his car whether or not the insurance company use 'approved' repairers. The
contract terms cannot exclude this right.
 
R

Ronald Raygun

Adrian said:
If the OP is at fault on the claim, then he's stuffed. His insurance are
paying, they can point him at whoever they want, and he's stuck.
The notion that the insurers are paying is a fallacy. The basis of an
insurance contract is generally one of indemnity. That means (in theory)
that *he* incursr the costs, and his insurers refund them (even if in
practice the insurers end up paying the repairer directly). It is *his*
car and *he*, not the insurers, is entitled to choose to whom to entrust
the repairs, provided the cost is not unreasonable. In making that choice
he is entitled to take into account the reputation of the various competing
repairers, and if appropriate to dismiss the insurers' preferred repairers
as unsuitable.
 
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C

Chris Bartram

Adrian said:
<hollow laughter>
It's nothing whatsoever to do with quality.
My experience of 'approved' repairers are that they are shite. Worse
than shite, in fact.

FWIW, I have read that it is your choice alone, and that has been by
experience as well. The Ins Co usually want you to use their scheme, but
don't *insist* upon it.
 
A

Aidy

No way can it be "the law" that the garage you use must be VAT registered,
although it's pretty unlikely you would find a garage which isn't.
According to the docs I've seen that is one of the stipulations. I couldn't
find the docs on-line but a bit of googling reveals what you'd
expect....repair centres saying you have the legal right to get your car
repaired where you want, and warranty companies saying you must use their
repair centre :) However some warranty companies do state that you have the
choice but it must be VAT registered and they would "prefer" you to use
their recommended garage. I think the VAT registered is so you don't get
your mate down the pub to repair it and claim top whack.

I'm quite sure I'm right though, you can take your car where you want and
insurance companies that say otherwise are just doing what companies always
do...incorrectly inform you of your rights for their own gain. If there was
no such law then the OP's company would say flat out it must be done at
their repair centre rather than just dragging their heels.
 
D

Dave Plowman (News)

OK. Thanks for the clarification.
The insurers are spouting all sorts of stuff like:- There'll be a
considerable delay while they get authorisation, I'll only get the
amount for repairs that the authorised repairer was going to charge,
the work wont be guaranteed etc.
Hmm. If your car has an anti-perforation warranty which is much longer
than the mechanical one some makers insist on repair work being checked by
their dealer for it to be honoured in the event of a claim. And rightly so
- I can't imagine the average body shop bothering to replace wax etc that
doesn't show from the outside.
 
R

Ronald Raygun

Aidy said:
According to the docs I've seen that is one of the stipulations. I
couldn't find the docs on-line but a bit of googling reveals what you'd
expect....repair centres saying you have the legal right to get your car
repaired where you want, and warranty companies saying you must use their
repair centre :) However some warranty companies do state that you have
the choice but it must be VAT registered and they would "prefer" you to
use their recommended garage. I think the VAT registered is so you don't
get your mate down the pub to repair it and claim top whack.
Why shouldn't your mate down the pub do it and claim *reasonable* whack?
It might perhaps be reasonable for the insurers to wish to be satisfied
that whoever does it is in fact running an established bona fide business,
and has experience of that sort of work, but merely being VAT registered
doesn't necessarily correlate well with not being a cowboy.

In any case one might ask what concern it is of the insurer whether the
repairers are cowboys or not (given that *their* preferred repairers are
likely to be more cowboy-like than *your* preferred repairers). After all,
if you're happy with the job, and it works out cheaper, the insurers ought
to be happy. If the repair later turns out to have been badly done, it
will be your problem to fight it out with the repairers, not the insurers'.
 
P

Peter Crosland

What exactly is the law with regards to repairers etc? I'm wondering
AIUI the policyholder is legally entitled to have whoever he likes repair
his car whether or not the insurance company use 'approved' repairers. The
contract terms cannot exclude this right.

Care to provide a cite for that assertion?

Peter Crosland
 
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S

steve robinson

Peter said:
Care to provide a cite for that assertion?

Peter Crosland

Peter , it falls foul of the varoius laws which prohibit restrictive
practices and anticompetitive behavour , very similar to tied
serviceing of vehicles to retain manufacturers warranty which was ruled
against about 5 years ago

Thier are also warranty issues , most manufacturers anticorrosion
warranties will be viod if the work is not performed by manufacturer
approved companies using oem parts , the insurance companies and thier
approved garages will not honour such warranties either so the contract
terms making you effectively sign this away are unfair

As i posted earlier had this issue with norwich union some years back
--
 
®

®i©ardo

Dave said:
Hmm. If your car has an anti-perforation warranty which is much longer
than the mechanical one some makers insist on repair work being checked by
their dealer for it to be honoured in the event of a claim. And rightly so
- I can't imagine the average body shop bothering to replace wax etc that
doesn't show from the outside.
But the anti-perforation warranty has nothing to do with one's motor
insurer. That is provided by the vehicle manufacturer and is more of a
wear and tear situation, which is not usually covered by motor insurance
policies.
 
R

Ronald Raygun

®i©ardo said:
But the anti-perforation warranty has nothing to do with one's motor
insurer. That is provided by the vehicle manufacturer and is more of a
wear and tear situation, which is not usually covered by motor insurance
policies.
Quite so, but the point is that you are entitled to such repair as will
reinstate the vehicle to the way it was before the accident, which includes
having an intact manufacturer's warranty. The insurer cannot insist that
you get work done in such a way as to invalidate your pre-existing warranty.
 
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A

Alan Ferris

But the anti-perforation warranty has nothing to do with one's motor
insurer. That is provided by the vehicle manufacturer and is more of a
wear and tear situation, which is not usually covered by motor insurance
policies.
But OEM parts are and should be fitted. I would not accept anything
less when my bike was repaired under insurance. Why should I accept
an after market exhaust to replace an OEM?

--
Alan "Ferrit" Ferris

()'.'.'()
( (T) )
( ) . ( )
(")_(")
 

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