Not at fault accident, other party's insurer wont repair until excess paid

Can anyone confirm whether there is anything that can be done in this scenario?

I was in a not at fault accident (rear end accident), the at fault party has lodged a claim with their insurer and I have contacted the insurer to follow up.
The other party's insurer is claiming that they cannot start the process to get my vehicle repaired until their client pays the insurance excess - so apparently I am left in limbo until this occurs.

I think it sounds like bullsh!t, but has anyone else been in this scenario?
Also I'm uninsured as I had accidentally let my policy lapse - I only realised the day of the accident.

Amended my post: some people wanted my post to clearly state I was uninsured.

Comments

  • +12

    accidentally

    • Yes believe it or not - I have never had an uninsured vehicle until just recently. On the day of the accident I spent all night searching through emails to find my policy only to realise I had let it lapse. The were other policies due at the same time and I paid all those but idiot me missed this one.

      And I count myself lucky that it wasn't me that was at fault in this accident.

      • Your insurer will :

        • Send an email for the upcoming renewal.
        • Send a reminder email that your renewal is due.
        • Send an SMS to tell you you are now overdue.
        • Send another SMS that you are no longer covered.

        How does one accidentally ignore 4 pieces of correspondence?

        • this is so true.. i switched my car insurance and my previous insurer even called me to let me know and check.

        • +4

          I actually didn't get any correspondence after it lapsed - My insurer was NRMA. I got a please pay email with an attachment saying my renewal was due.
          then nothing else after that. No further correspondence.

          Instead of harping on the fact that I didn't have any insurer please let me know if you have anything useful to contribute

          • -3

            @Quaker:

            let me know if you have anything useful to contribute

            I'd argue his contribution is something worth considering given the predicament you find your self in.

            Insurance companies as tsunami said, spam policy holders with reminders, if you had acknowledged any one of them you wouldn't be making this post.

            • +1

              @Godric: I wish they had spammed me with reminders - but in my case it didn't happen.
              Fact is I was uninsured and there is nothing I can do now. I did acknowledge in my post that I couldn't go through an insurer (and edited it further to be even more clear) - so tell me again how your post is helpful

            • -1

              @Godric: I didn't get spammed when I didn't renew, so I'm surprised to hear people here being so definitive about it.

              Because you're wrong.

  • +7

    This is always the case,
    Insurer who has to pay expects the excess paid.
    If you went through your own insurer, they would pay to fix your car and chase the other parties insurance on your behalf.

    • +4

      Not necessarily mate. It's a lot more complex than this especially when litigation gets involved.

      OP - make a complaint about the other driver's insurance company with AFCA first. You'll likely be pleasantly suprised what happens once the complaint is forwarded from AFCA to the insurer. Best next step for you engaging a solicitor (which likely won't be necessary).

      • +1

        Not necessarily mate. It's a lot more complex than this especially when litigation gets involved.

        No if you have decent (ie not budget one) full comp policy its as simple as that. Lodge a claim, provide the details, the insurance companies deals with it from there. You get your car fixed, the insurance company gets to chase them up etc.

      • +1

        Thanks Alister - I will have a look on the AFCA website.

  • +6

    You can only get quote to fix your car and send a letter of demand to the owner directly.

  • +5

    so.. bottom line is that your car is not insured?

    • Yes - I think that was clear in my post

      • +7

        not really…

        Also I cant go through my insurer as I had accidentally let my policy lapse

        If you let your policy lapse, you no longer have an insurer. Your title should ideally say uninsured driver not at fault accident.

        • Sure - I've amended the post for you.

  • +6

    Get your vehicle repaired and send a letter of demand to the driver. Don't send it to the registered operator nor owner.
    https://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/Pages/representing/lawassis...

    • Thank you - I have the Letter of demand with repair quote ready to go. But was hoping not to need it given the other party had finally contacted their insurer.

      • +3

        no the letter of demand loosen them up a bit - they will contact insurer and hopefully pay up the excess to get you out of their hair

  • -1

    I was in a not at fault accident (rear end accident), the at fault party has lodged a claim with their insurer and I have contacted the insurer to follow up.
    The other party's insurer is claiming that they cannot start the process to get my vehicle repaired until their client pays the insurance excess - so apparently I am left in limbo until this occurs.

    This is correct, the excess needs to be paid to start the insurance claim process with that company which will in turn fix your car.

    Also I'm uninsured as I had accidentally let my policy lapse - I only realised the day of the accident.

    Well if you had full comp insurance all you had to do was claim with your insurance and they would have sorted it all for you.

    So now your options are to wait or pay for the repair yourself or pay the other parties excess yourself to get the claim going or start some long drawn out legal thing to get your money back for the repair, but honestly paying their excess for them will be cheaper and faster in the long run if you have lots of damage and need your car fixed NOW.

    • -2

      This is correct, the excess needs to be paid to start the insurance claim process

      I've seen a variable excess for insurance to your own property, but what kind of janky ass insurance has an excess for third party damage?

      This just sounds more insurance party bs. They'll pull every trick to avoid paying out. I swear to god, they're as much trouble as they're worth.

      • +6

        Until the at fault party pays their insurance excess, the insurance company has not been instructed or confirmed by their client to represent them, thus won't fix your car.

      • +3

        but what kind of janky ass insurance has an excess for third party damage?

        The OP 'claim' for damages/repair to their car is with the driver who hit them, not the driver who hit them insurance policy.

        The at fault driver can either pay for the damages or lodge a insurance claim with their insurance for the mater to be handled over to them to deal with.

        For them to do this and make a claim, they need to put a claim in, and as they are at fault they have to pay the excess before the claim is 'started'.

        You as the person hit doesn't get some magical right to lodge a claim with the other peoples insurance company because you want your car fixed. If you want that right, its called having your OWN full comp insurance, and then you do have a magical right to lodge a claim with them and they do all this behind the scene and chase the money etc from the other party while you drive around in a repaired car.

        As the OP didn't have insurance, they need to wait for the other party to do something. But as I said above, any legal pathway is going to cost you more than just paying the other parties excess and getting a repair.

        OP needs to talk to them, and see what the hold up is. I'm guessing they have no money.

        • -2

          I see that as two separate issues.

          Issue 1 - Other person damaged OPs car in an accident that they were at fault with. They owe compensation to OP for damages
          Issue 2 - Other person damaged their own car in the accident. As per the agreed terms, if they want to have their car repaired they must pay part of the sum.

          There's no reason for the first issue to get wrapped up in the second.

          • +1

            @outlander: This, the letter if demand goes to the at fault driver and you fix your own car. If they don’t pay their excess they’ll end up having to pay you for the full repair. The letter of demand should be the first thing you do if your insurer isn’t doing it for you. If they do pay their excess it will be their insurer paying you back….

          • +1

            @outlander:

            Issue 1 - Other person damaged OPs car in an accident that they were at fault with. They owe compensation to OP for damages

            Correct, the OTHER DRIVER owes the OP damages, no one else at this stage. Your statements had been

            but what kind of janky ass insurance has an excess for third party damage?
            This just sounds more insurance party bs.
            They'll pull every trick to avoid paying out.
            I swear to god, they're as much trouble as they're worth.

            You're laying blame on the insurance company for not fixing the OP car. The OTHER driver hasn't lodged a claim and delegated responsibility over to them to look after this issue. Simple as that.

            • -2

              @JimmyF: In the OP

              The other party's insurer is claiming that they cannot start the process to get my vehicle repaired until their client pays the insurance excess

              How would the other party's insurance be aware of it, if the they haven't been notified? Either they know about it and are bullshitting, or they don't and they are deflecting. Neither would surprise me. Companies have long ago found out that if they get customer service to not serve customers, a lot of people won't follow up on it. And OPs not even a customer.

              They're scum who avoid paying out on their obligations. Don't know why you're so adamant on defending them.

              • +1

                @outlander:

                How would the other party's insurance be aware of it, if the they haven't been notified? Either they know about it and are bullshitting, or they don't and they are deflecting

                You're confused. Simply notifying the insurance what has happen does not mean agreeing to be represented or to go ahead with the claim.

                  • +2

                    @outlander: Not really, just you and op are Confused with how insurance and representation works sweetheart.

              • +4

                @outlander:

                How would the other party's insurance be aware of it, if the they haven't been notified?

                They say nothing about them being notified of the issue, they said

                The other party's insurer is claiming that they cannot start the process to get my vehicle repaired until their client pays the insurance excess

                Just means there is no claim in the system as the excess hasn't been paid to STARTING a claim.

                or they don't and they are deflecting

                OP has called up and said blah blah hit my car and I want mine fix…. The insurance company is saying they can't start to repair the OP car until the client puts a claim in and pays the excess to start a claim.

                Companies have long ago found out that if they get customer service to not serve customers, a lot of people won't follow up on it

                The OP isn't a customer of this company. The OP has no right to be demanding a repair from them at this stage.

                Would you be happy if I called up your insurance and started a claim on your behalf without you knowing? No you wouldn't. But this is what you think the OP can do.

                Again the OP issue is with the driver not the insurance company. Its up to the driver to delegate to the insurance company. They do this by DRUMROLL opening a claim and paying their excess.

                Don't know why you're so adamant on defending them.

                Don't know what you're so adamant its the insurance companies issue? The OP issue is with the DRIVER not the insurance company. The DRIVER is the one who is liable.

                The insurance company has no horse in this race until the DRIVER lodges a claim and pays their excess to start the claim. Then and only then, can the OP start to seek repairs from the insurance company. Until then the OP needs to seek repairs from the DRIVER.

                All this would be a none issue if the OP had full comp. OP would call their insurance company, start a claim, get their car fixed. The OP insurance company then sends a massive bill to the other DRIVER, that driver shits the bed at the bill and threat of legal action, so calls their insurance company and lodges a claim, pays the excess, gives them the bill and everything is resolved.

  • -3

    Why not just call your own insurer?

    • +1

      Lol… you must be new here…

  • +3

    Also I'm uninsured as I had accidentally let my policy lapse - I only realised the day of the accident.

    … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there it is.

  • +1

    No MS Paint, no sympathy!
    Exclamation mark!!1!

    • +1

      OP deserves to have his car wrecked, if he doesn't have the decency to make a poorly drawn MS Paint pic.

  • +1

    I'm uninsured

    Stay in school kid

  • +1

    Is this related to this post: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/552258

    • +1

      would definitely explain why they are't paying their excess!

  • +1

    Hahaha the at fault party probably knows OP has no insurance.

    • +1

      The "At Fault Party", is you know, still at fault.

  • That is crap business policy to not repair the not at fault drivers car… they shouldn't be disadvantaged… the at fault car for sure totally agree with it.

    • +2

      crap business policy to not repair the not at fault drivers car

      They will repair, as soon as their client (note that you are not their client, they don't work for you) pay's the excess and confirm representation.

  • +2

    Typically, you would get your insurer to chase the other party (or their insurer) for damage. Your insurer will pay for your repairs first.

    In your case, you are uninsured (call it an accidental lapse, etc… semantics.)

    Your recourse is yours to manage. Send a letter of demand and hope it doesn't end up in the trash.

    • If it ends up in the trash (depending on the damage sum), you can force them to court.
      You can even get a lien on them without them appearing. Letters of demand aren't something to ignore, that being said… send it via registered post.

  • Send a demand letter for a replacement ca to the party/insurer. I heard companies like right2drive will chase up the insurance company for such a replacement car.

  • I used to work in insurance and there is the principle of "utmost good faith". In your circumstance I'd contact your insurance and explain the situation, pay the renewal. If they drag their feet, ask to speak with a manager (preferably one who is an Australian insurance institute member). Hopefully they will look after you, you'll be able to lodge your claim and have your insurance chase the third party and there won't be any skin off your insurers nose.

    • I’ve heard this too. If you have a good history with your insurance company and several policies they may help, especially if you are not at fault.

      Many years ago my mother had her insurance company help when she was hit while driving an uninsured car, it was not her fault, not her car at the time as it was part of her fathers estate that had not yet finalised. She was, at the time just relocating the vehicle and not a regular user.

    • Especially since it's not actually going to cost his insurance company anyway as he wasn't at fault here.

      • When an insurance company makes a claim towards the at fault party, is the claim only for damages occurred ie. cost to repair or replace at market/agreed value or damages + insurances admin/legal etc teams time?

        • No idea. But either way the admin costs are largely already done since these things are already pre-agreed between insurance companies specifically to minimise any tit-for-tat expenses every time there is an accident.

  • Can I please ask related question?

    I have similar case but I am insured and have comprehensive insurance with Bingle.
    While parking in carpark with engine switched off other car hit my car and damaged rear side of my vehicle. When I asked Bingle they demand excess to be paid first to be able to repair my car. So I asked other party to lodge the claim through her company but even though she agreed I havent heard from her for 7 ays after accident.
    Because I didn't have to deal with insurance claim before I assumed if I have comprehensive insurance I dont have to pay excess if I am at no fault. I was expecting to call Bingle , dont pay anything, and they will look after everything.

    My question is: are there differences between insurance companies as far as comprehensive benefits goes? Does every insurance company ask for excess first even if I have comprehensive insurance?
    Thanks.

    • +1

      Does every insurance company ask for excess first even if I have comprehensive insurance?

      NRMA doesn't.

      Source: four not-at-fault accidents, all claimed via comprehensive insurance with them.

      • Good to know, thanks.

      • How do you have four-not-at-fault claims?
        At a certain point, you have to assume the common variable is you.

        • Well not my fault when I'm stationary and people rear-end me because they can't control their car, or fail to give way and smash into the side of me, is it? :/

          • +1

            @kerfuffle: I'm just kidding… really poor luck for you!
            I had someone almost pit manoeuvre me when I was just turning into a car park, terrible drivers are everywhere!

            • @smalltime0: Yeah; not fun when your smash repairers have a look at you and recognise you, and are all 'you again?' 🤦

              Now you know why I have comprehensive insurance :) (And unlike the OP, I don't let it lapse as I note when it's due)

    • +2

      Does every insurance company ask for excess first even if I have comprehensive insurance?

      No. This is why not all companies and policies are the same and it's important to read the pds for claims process.

      Some demand for excess first, then will refund you IF they can get the money out of the at fault party.
      AAMI and NRMA does not ask for excess first. Allianz do from experience. Not sure about others.

      • Lesson learned. I have to read pds before renewing this year.

      • then will refund you IF they can get the money out of the at fault party.

        Well that sucks, avoid those companies. The whole point of insurance is to not have to pay anything when some idiot smashes up your car.

    • +1

      Sounds unusual, you shouldn't have to pay any excess when you can identify the other driver and the fault is not yours.

      • +1

        That’s the penalty for taking a cheap policy. They make you do some of the work in a not at fault accident, or you pay them to do it. This is purely to save themselves some money, which I theory gets passed on to discount the policies.

  • +1

    "Also I'm uninsured as I had accidentally let my policy lapse - I only realised the day of the accident."

    • Classic!!!!
  • +2

    That is their issue… not your issue.
    Seek free legal advice…
    You can take these matters to NCAT, for a small fee.
    You can even represent yourself in Court.

    They are the ones that owe YOU

  • Not 100% sure regarding NRMA car insurance, but I am pretty certain in some PDS that there's a section for "what happens if my insurance is less than a week out of date and I forgot to renew and now I want to claim but I'm uninsured" and I was surprised to see that actually some insurers do indeed allow you to just pay your insurance after the fact and they will consider you covered for the previously unpaid period.

    Worth calling your previous insurer and reading the PDS very carefully.

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