Car repairs after a non-fault accident - your rights
Being involved in a car accident that isn’t your fault is an unpleasant experience, not to mention an upsetting one. To add to the stress, your car will no doubt need repair work carrying out, but how do you go about sorting this out?
Call us first before your insurer, and Car Body Care Centre will be able to help with arranging car repairs. We’ll help you get your car back on the road as quickly as possible, whilst taking care of the insurers on your behalf. It’s a common misconception that your car insurer has to authorise which repair centre your car is sent to after an accident, however you actually have a legal right to choose who repairs your car.
Insurers will naturally try to get customers to use a repairer from their repair network, however this is for the insurer’s convenience rather than yours and often isn’t in the best interests of the customer. The reason for this is that repairer networks are under pressure from insurers to repair cars as quickly and cheaply as possible, thus lowering their ‘average repair cost.’ The knock on effect is that the insurers are never left out of pocket, but inevitably, quicker repairs means that corners are sometimes cut and quality is compromised.
You don’t have to claim on your insurance for a non-fault accident
Damage repair costs to your car can be claimed directly from the third party’s insurer, and therefore there should be no excess for you to pay because you’re not claiming on your own insurance. Car Body Care Centre can help with these type of claims, and will obtain authority on your behalf from the third party insurer to start repairs.
We’ll need to have identified the third party that was the cause of the damage, so it’s important to ask for their name, address, contact numbers, vehicle registration and their insurance company details in the aftermath of the accident. You’ll also need to provide some detail on the accident - when and where it happened, and the circumstances leading up to it.
Calling your insurance company before us means that you will be required to claim under your own policy, for an accident that wasn’t your fault, and you may have to pay your policy excess. That’s why we always recommend calling your repairer of choice first. You also don’t need to pay any excess, as we will put your claim through a non-fault company on your behalf.
The benefits of using your own car repairer
It’s easy to be influenced by insurer’s suggestions of delays and extra costs if you don’t go with their nominated repairer, but don’t be swayed by this. Choosing your own repairer, especially one that you know and trust, gives you a degree of control over how your repair is carried out. It can also save any potential travel to your insurer’s chosen repairer if they happen to be miles away.
Another thing to be aware of is that your insurer’s recommended approved repairer may fit non-original or copy parts. Whilst there is a benefit to doing this with older vehicles where new parts are no longer freely available, on newer cars there are concerns that this could invalidate your car’s warranty. There’s also a risk that these ‘copy’ parts may not perform to the same quality standards as original manufacturer parts in the event of another accident.
You’re entitled to a like-for-like replacement car
You should never be left without a car in the case of an accident that wasn’t your fault, and as long as your claim is accepted by our non-fault company, you’ll be entitled to a like-for-like hire car. This is provided free of charge whilst your own car is being repaired. In the case of an accident that was your fault, you’ll receive Car Body Care Centre’s courtesy car free of charge.