My Insurance Has Written off My Car (Not at Fault) - Is There Anything Else I Can Do as I'm out of Pocket?

Hi everyone,

This is solely to get some advice, opinions and experiences as I've never been in this situation before and hardly ever need to claim on my insurance. OzBargain was helpful last time I had a weird insurance question I had no experience with.

Long story short, I own a Hyundai i30 that has just turned 12 years old. It was top of the range with lots of extras, in immaculate condition and only 90,000kms (I don't drive much, lol). I have not looked at my insurance much over the years as it's actually an addition to my Dad's policy with AAMI.

A scumbag of a useless driver was in a parallel park on a 60km road. As I was about to pull in line with his boot I saw his indicator flick on to pull out…. and then he did straight away without checking at all and slammed into my front passenger side and front wheel arch. My whole front side was wrecked and my car has now been written off.

My insurance will pay Redbook value which is around $5400 according to them. A quick look on Carsales showed that same model cars with equivalent kms (worse TBH) are around $10k - $11k and even cars with much worse kms are about the same.

I am super pissed off with myself for not checking my insurance and what value I was insured at. That is on me, I know. Prices are probably up due to COVID as well.

Having said that, is there any way to make this less painful? A number of friends have said to sue the other driver or his insurance for the difference. I honestly don't know if this is a thing? I also don't have dash cam and it was peak hour so the one witness who came to help me get my car off the road ran off straight away to get his own car out of the way and I don't have his details. All I have are the details of the offending driver and whatever details AAMI may have gotten from him, if they share them.

Am I screwed? I honestly don't need this. I'm not working ATM due to a workplace injury and the loss plus not having a car could honestly ruin me. I am having a super bad year :(

Help or experiences appreciated.

PS: Don't use AAMI. They wrote my car off a week ago apparently and never bothered to tell me. Only know coz I called for an update. I was also in shock when the tow truck came and can't remember how much I removed from the car. I had only just been released from hospital and was probably a bit more shaken than the average person. All I know is I took the expensive stuff out but there's probably things in there I can't recall. AAMI won't play ball on letting us check the vehicle to see what's left.

EDIT: Going through my paperwork it looks like I was on agreed value so no negotiation. I don't know why the guy on the phone said Redbook.

Tbh I was in hospital last time my policy was renewed and a family member handling my mail and bills just paid it for me. It dropped over $1000 from the year before FML and I never bothered to check. Very expensive lesson. Having said that, has anyone ever sued the at fault driver? Is this a thing? Yeah my insurance was not optimum but my loss is still this dude's fault. Feeling very sorry for myself atm haha.

SMALL UPDATE: For those interested, whilst the process with AAMI is still not over and overall this has not been the best experience with them so far, some positive things have happened. The yard where my car is stored cleared my car out and posted everything to me, which is great and I'm very thankful for that and how accomodating they were. AAMI have now also agreed to claim against the at fault driver's policy and have begun that. It's honestly been more hoops than it should have been considering last time I claimed not at fault it was really simple and a good experience with them… but maybe that's just what happens when your car gets written off? Ball is still in their court and we'll see what happens. For anyone considering them though, the assessor has clearly stated they use Redbook to value cars. Considering how off Redbook is for market value, esp atm due to Covid, if that's an issue for you don't go with AAMI.

Comments

  • At least you are ok.

  • Yeahhh I’ve never trusted redbook.

    • +2

      Never looks at the original condition, specifications, km driven.

  • +16

    If it's insured to market value you could try negotiating by arguing that Redbook values don't reflect the current market and provide as many examples as possible from carsales, gumtree, marketplace etc of the same year and model. If it's insured to an agreed value then you're probably out of luck.

    • That's what I'm hoping, that I'll be able to argue it.

      I have just had a look at the PDS though and it doesn't say anything about the difference between market v agreed value, and when I checked the AAMI paperwork I have it just lists the "Amount Covered" which is $5400. I have gone over every bit of paperwork I have and I can't find anywhere where it lists whether that's market or agreed. I've had the policy for around 8 years and honestly can't remember what I signed up for. I'm hoping market, but knowing my luck it will be agreed. ~sigh~

      • +10

        I would think if it lists an actual value then it would be agreed value.

      • +1

        Your last insurance premium notice should state what the sum insured was. If it has a figure this will indicate that it will be "Agreed Value", if no figure stated it will be "Market Value".

      • As far as I know, AAMI only does agreed value (ie. you lock in the agreed value for 12 months when you start a policy or pay a renewal).

        You can adjust the agreed value up/down (within a range based on the car) for a new policy or renewal, and premium adjusts accordingly.

        Worth speaking to the client manager or whoever handling your claim to see if they can do anything for you. They do usually consider financial hardship more seriously in covid times, but not sure if that only applies on paying premiums as opposed to claims payout.

        The carsales figures you quoted, $10k-11k seems a bit high to me though for a 2009 i30. Bear in mind when selling on carsales you usually list higher than what you want, to leave room for inevitable negotiations. I had a 2013 i30 that was going for about $13k off memory when I was looking to sell and that was 2 years ago.

        Also take redbook with a grain of salt. 10+ years ago I know the car resale industry used glasses guide (not sure now if still the case) as it was more accurate, but its subscription based.

    • +10

      You should remember that the prices on CarSales are the figures that people are hoping to sell their car for. The Redbook data is what cars have been traded for, and is treated as "The Word".

      And keeping policy data up-to-date is totally on the policy holder. The insurance companies have no clue how to read your mind, and will go by what is concluded in a contract document.

      • If it's based on prices shown on ownership transfer forms then its way under. Everyone understates those to minimise stamp duty.

    • While it is a good advice for the OP, asking prices on carsales aren't a good indicator of the actual car value. It is full of dreamers now.

    • This is sound advice, I did the same 3 years ago when my insurance was trying to undercut me by 5k so is aid just go and buy me a similar car, even add 30k kms onto it if you like.

      They finally agreed to pay the correct amount

  • +12

    You can argue back with your insurer - see https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/10461105/redir where the insurer changed their mind after they fought back and a link from that thread with a similar story https://www.reddit.com/r/AusFinance/comments/mcjzqh/update_c...

    Namedrop AFCA and it should help. If it doesn't, complain to AFCA https://www.afca.org.au/make-a-complaint/insurance

  • +1

    That's dodgy by aami in this incident)

    You're technically able to argue the amount they pay out. I was in a similar incident and was contacted by my insurer (weirdly aami). The valuer then called me and advised me what the car would be worth. I argued and asked for a higher value using different sources. He eventually gave me the higher price.

    Then a few days later the tow people came and took the car away.

  • market vs agreed value.

    • +3

      After reading the PDS and all the AAMI paperwork I could find, I actually have no idea which I had. I had assumed market value, but now I;m not so sure as I can't find any paperwork that actually says that. All I have is one that says "Amount covered" which knowing my luck will be AAMI's way of saying agreed value. :(

      For my new car, I will definitely learn from this.

      • -1

        AAMI only does Agreed Value.

  • +10

    , is there any way to make this less painful?

    Get very drunk, and learn from it.

    YMMV

  • +4

    I work in the insurance industry and it sounds like it's a pretty standard process to use the "redbook" market value. The insurer doesn't decide what the "market value" is, they go to a third party (ie redbook) to find out and probably pay redbook a fee for that service. I expect that to be the same for all general insurers.

    It sounds like you have strong grounds to argue that the redbook market value is underpriced, especially since you can reference the carsales costs given the COVID environment. As others have mentioned above, if they still refuse, you could threaten to go to the tribunals etc.

    Hope it works out and would be keen to hear the outcome.

    • +1

      Thanks very much for your advice. I have been going through my paperwork and AAMI lists "Amount covered" in my documents, which I'm 99% sure now is their way of saying agreed value. I have never bothered too much with my insurance as I'm attached to my Dad's major policy which covers a lot of different types of things. I just paid the premiums and the only other time I've been in an accident (not at fault) it was a great experience. It's my fault for not taking more of an interest in it. Tbh I just trusted my Dad who said it was a good deal. He feels super bad btw. He thought it was on market value lol. I will learn for next time.

  • +3

    I would argue with them that because the other driver is at fault it is no cost to them to value you your car at replacement cost.

    • +1

      Turns out other party is also with AAMI so they are suing themselves. I was always battling with them going for the cheapest option overall. ~sigh~

      I will try arguing though! I don't just want to roll over.

      • +2

        Find a no win no pay law firm and get started at them then I reckon.

        • +3

          Most of those are the most expensive options. They offer the no win no pay option as they make up for it by a large percentage cut of the win.

        • +1

          They only assist if there's an actual injury.

    • +5

      Sounds reasonable. The other lorry owes compensation for the loss, not a cheque for a theoretical value of the vehicle.

      Be interesting to be able to see if AAMI have given OP a low ball but charged the other party a more realistic value and will pocket the difference

  • +3

    Also I don't believe it's a thing to "sue" the driver at fault. A couple of reasons:
    -Your insurer acts as your agent in a car accident claim, assuming you go through them. Essentially your insurer acts as an agent who pays you the $5.4k in advance and then goes to the at-fault driver to then recoup the money. The at-fault driver then notifies their insurer, pays the excess fee and then in the background, the insurers will communicate with each other.
    -Theoretically you could bypass your own insurer and deal with the other insurer directly but have never seen this happen and not sure if it's worth it.
    -Not worth time and effort to go through legal effort to do this (tribunals, etc.) over the relatively small theoretical difference between your agreed value and market value.
    -Assuming your agreed value is below market value, you've been "saving" on premiums over time compared to someone who pays for market value (I could be wrong though if this isn't the case).

    If you're curious, you could have a look at what redbook estimates your car to be worth?

    • +1

      I don't believe it's a thing to "sue" the driver at fault

      It is a thing. Suppose your insurance doesn't include cover for rental cars, then you can still claim those directly from the other drive (and their insurance).

      As you pointed out, it's generally not worthwhile going through courts, etc for this, but often a simple letter is enough. Yeah, you might need to follow up a few times, etc, but it's certainly an option to pursue the other driver directly for things that aren't covered by your insurance.

      Theoretically you could bypass your own insurer and deal with the other insurer directly but have never seen this happen and not sure if it's worth it.

      I've done this in the past, because I wanted a cash settlement, rather than get the car fixed. We settled for a fraction of what I asked for, but I wasn't overly upset by the outcome. I always knew that I could go through my own insurance if things went south.

  • +5

    I wrote off a 2.5y old Subaru xv because the parking area was subjected to a flash flood. I had it insured at market value.

    The NRMA guy called and said … We'll give you X based on other cars of similar age and km. J said… But what about accessories like towbars, cargo barrier etc?

    He said that if I could provide the invoice of when I paid for it be would cover me for 50% of the non-labour component.

    I thought it fair and a good process.

    Good job NRMA

  • Glad you are OK! What car you getting next? Would you consider another Hyundai?

    • Thanks!

      Not sure what car yet! I have had a look at Carsales and the used market seems really overpriced? I had heard that cars had gone a bit crazy during covid but everything seems to be at least $3000 - $4000 above Redbook estimates? Sometimes more. At least that's the range for cars in what I plan to budget.

      I have been happy with my Hyundai and have looked at their hatches and small sedans so far.

      I guess that's my next question? Anyone have any small - medium car recommendations? Hoping to spend under $20k. Could push it a bit over for a really good car or good value. When I buy cars I buy them for long term. My Hyundair i30 would have had 3 more years in it before I assessed whether it was worth an upgrade. Given how little I drove it, I might even have kept it. It was a good and reliable first car. RIP.

  • +1

    I left AAMI for NRMA. Never looked back.

    • +1

      Thanks for the recommendation. I will def look at them and do a comparison. Now that I've looked at AAMI closely (for the first time in 8 years at least) I'm not sure I'll continue with them. Looks like there's a lot of research and comparing in my future!

      • +3

        Don't compare. You are paying for their service with NRMA.

        AAMI do not care about their customers.

        • +3

          That’s a broad stroke assessment, based on what sampling? I’ve been with AAMI and made my fair share of motor vehicle claims (not at fault) and to date haven’t had any bad experiences. At the end of the day, everyone is responsible to what they’re signing up for. If you don’t, then it’s you’re own fault.

  • +5

    My insurance will pay Redbook value which is around $5400 according to them. A quick look on Carsales showed that same model cars with equivalent kms (worse TBH) are around $10k - $11k and even cars with much worse kms are about the same.

    10k-11k for 12 year old i30 seems crazy expensive. Yeah, people can advertise the car for what ever they want, but are they actually moving at this price? What does a new i30 cost at moment? 24k?

    • Tbh I agree. I would never have thought it was worth that much. But cars are insane atm. Mine was $28,000 new in 2009 because I got a top of the range one with extras. Entry level would have been much less. Range now is $25,500 - $34,500! I can't imagine paying $34k for an i30!

      The 10k+ for used is based on the model and low kms, I guess. I honestly can't believe it's that much.

      I've been looking on Carsales and similar or slightly larger (ie. an Elantra or something) are all consistently $5000ish over Redbook. Not just that, I've seen some Elantras that are 4 years old and yet still within 2 or 3k of their brand new price. Covid has a lot to answer for.

      • +1

        I've been looking on Carsales and similar or slightly larger (ie. an Elantra or something) are all consistently $5000ish over Redbook

        There is definitely a lag between actual used car sales and redbook values, but I feel like used car values had a big surge last year and they've plateaued this year.

        Redbook has caught up to it somewhat.

        The other problems are that redbook is a national average and there's lots of regional variations in used car prices and redbook doesn't really reflect factors like whether the sale includes gst or how much rego is remaining. It also doesn't tell you how many data points they used to come up with their estimate.

        Anyhow, redbook problems aside, I don't have much advice beyond what others suggested already, which is to haggle with the insurance company to get a better payout.

    • My Kia Sportage was sold for $15500 after purchasing it at around $29000, 8 years ago. So not outrage at all for $10k valuation for this car.

      • My Kia Sportage was sold for $15500 after purchasing it at around $29000, 8 years ago. So not outrage at all for $10k valuation for this car.

        That's not the correct comparison to make, since new car prices up. If a kia sportage costs 35k, now and you sold it for 15.5k, that implies 55% depreciation over 8 years or ~6.875%/year (which is pretty low for a car).

        That sort of depreciation would put the OPs car below the 10k mark. I'm skeptical that those cars on car sales would actually sell that prices they're advertised for.

  • I didn't think AAMI had a market value option - every policy I've taken out through them have an adjustable agreed figure

    Glad you're okay though!

    • +1

      Well that makes sense! Thanks.

      It also helps explains to me why I never thought much about it. The insured value was probably much closer to replacement cost last time I looked at it properly, given covid inflation etc… so no alarm bells went off to me about the huge difference. Lesson learnt though that I will be much more aware instead of just paying the policy and thinking everything was fine.

  • How does one buy a car at redbook prices?

    • No idea. I've never had to and never had a car written off before. Was still on my first car. RIP. ;)

    • I don't believe you can at the moment (or maybe ever). I always thought they just apply some kind of depreciation algorithm to the original price but now I think it is just extremely dated data.

      Case in point all the Holden/HSV's that have rocketed in price. Redbook lists $100k cars as being worth $20-30k.

  • At the end of all of that … is it worth suing the other driver?

    The answer to that is usually no. You'll be up for at least a few thousand in your own legal costs to have the matter heard with no guarantee of success. Depending on outcome, you can end up in a significantly worse position than you are already in.

    As ever, you make your own decisions, but as painful as it may seem, my assessment is suck this one up.

  • +1

    Does the other driver have insurance? If so, claim through their insurance, get some evidence together as to the cost to replace your car like for like. You then bargain with them.

      • That link doesn't seem to say that?

        • Sorry about that. Try this one

          • +2

            @Baysew: I see, not sure why I didn't see that. Doesn't matter to the op though, as a third party they need to be "made whole" regardless, and their agreed value is irrelevant, as it has nothing to do with their policy.

            • +2

              @brendanm: I agree. OP needs to claim directly against the perps insurer (ie. The perps policy since its the same insurer). The insurer will fight against you on this so you may need to make legal threats. Theyxwill fight because they know they are on the hook either way, and they are trying to push you into the cheapest option for them. Know your rights.

              Basically this situation has nothong to do with your own policy. Its the perps insurer who must "make you whole". Doesnt matter who your insurer is.

              I had this situation a few years ago, but different insurers. My insurer wanted to write off my van for a low payout. So I said screw that and went direct to the perps insurer instead myself. My insurer refused to do it on my behalf, they just gave me the one option - the low agreed value payout from my own policy.

              Basically forget about your own policy OP, it is irrelevant. You are on your own now. You will need to do it all youself, as if you were uninsured and had to claim against the perp yourself.

              You have evidnece now that you arent at fault so dont worry about that. The insurer had already deemed the perp is at fault.

              Again. Know your rights and get the proper result you are legally entitled to.

  • "I also don't have dash cam and it was peak hour "
    I had a woman in a small urban tank do the same to me outside a school within 2 meters of approaching the zebra crossing. She was quite irate, given that I was in a old battered Volvo doing only 25KPH and she was in a shiny new Range Rover, therefore I should clearly have given way.

    Come the phone call two weeks later, and the insurance rep called up. I asked them where the damage was on her vehicle - Front right bumper, damaged headlight and fender. Riggght - I then offered to send the photo of the mark down my left rear door.

    Sorted - with an apology for wasting my time.

  • +5

    Two points: What is the definition of market value? Your policy doesn’t say Redbook. You need to show the proof you have of actual retail market value. The other point is that you had no intention of selling your car so therefore the value to you is replacement of the exact same car as best as possible. You have invested years into this car so you were not looking to get a low market value price for it. You would need to pay a premium market value price to replace it to put you back exactly where you were and feel confident in your purchase.

    Insurers ALWAYS lowball you expecting the possibility that you will argue. They invariably move up when challenged with logic and reason. I have experienced this. Go back to them with all of your facts, figures and need to be where you started. Don’t be fobbed off by technicalities of insurance language. You are just a dot on the page and the person you are dealing with is wanting to sign off on your claim. If they are a problem, ask to escalate it to a more senior person.

    • +1

      OP has a policy document that lists $5400 as the Sum Insured. That will be the maximum they will ordinarily receive in a claim. AAMI do not do "Market Value" policies, and I'd be extremely cautious of a policy that does, as some of those will fluctuate from week to week and you will have no clue what "value" you are covered for.

      • +1

        Then OP should be targeting the policy of the person that hit him even if it’s the same company. There is no rule that says your policy limits your claimed amount of the other driver’s third party portion of their policy.

  • +2

    Ask AAMI for 2 weeks worth of hire car expenses
    Even if they won't pay they will typically recover this for you as it is a standard request
    Presumably that is $500 odd in your pocket :)

  • Just because your insurer writes the car off ie they consider it cheaper to pay you than repair it. You maybe able to actually get it fixed.

    Friend got rear ended. Car written off gave him 2k for it (it was a piece of junk). He replaced his boot lid and rear bumper and he was good to go. Ended up a 1.5k profit :) Car just has some mismatched colour panels.

    • +1

      Is it even legal to do that and drive a written off car ?

      • +3

        Depends on the type of write-off, and to some extent which state it happened in.

        • in addition you cant get comprehensive insurance on something thats already written off, it only makes sense to do this on a beater you leave at the station etc

      • +1

        there are 2 types of write offs. Repairable write offs (eg. car can be repaired but wouldn't be economical for the insurer to do so) and something else, I think statutory write off (where the car can never be repaired because it won't be safe to do so).

        The first you can repair and get roadworthy on after repairs are inspected. Processes might vary by state. Also may effect future resale as I think you now have to disclose when selling if your car was a repairable write off.

        If you can be bothered going through that process, you can purchase the salvage (at some assessed salvage price) from your insurer, which they deduct from the payout.

      • +1

        The car isnt written off unless the insurer completes the process. Ie they make the payout and lodge the paperwork.

        Before that its not even recorded anywhere. Its only an economic writeoff from the insurers point of view at that point. If you can fix it yourself you can do so legally BEFORE it gets officially written off.

        Once its been officially written off (even repaiable) then its an entirely different story.

        • So do they make the payout , then do the paperwork as a repairable written off and return the car to us if we ask-for us to fix?

          • +1

            @treekangagaroo: You need to do a cash settlement on the claim, with you keeping the car. So the cash payout they give you would be slightly lower than their lowest cost option. Thats because they wont be able to recover any costs through auctioning off the writeoff and claiming back unused rego etc.

            That way the insurer never officially takes ownership of the car, and so they cant officially write it off even as repairable.

  • +7

    AAMI did thus to us too. I was rear-ended while driving my mum's 10-year old Nissan Pulsar, and they wrote it off for $1800. We argued it was worth more, and sent the assessor 10-15 links on carsales websites of other Nissan Pulsars with similar age and km selling for $3-4k and eventually got $2500 for it + got to keep the car which my mum sold to a car wreck place for $800 in parts. She still wasn't happy with the final outcome but it was better than what AAMI offered at the start, so you should push for a better outcome.

  • As others have pointed out

    The payout amount is negotiable !

    Do your research and find out what it will cost to replace your car with the same including all accessories and also the amount of registration counts as well

    • +1

      But is it negotiable if he has a policy for “agreed value”?

      • The claim should be against the other driver’s policy not OP’s in that case.

  • +1

    You have every right to take the equivalent car with equivalent k's off gumtree/marketplace/carsales and send it to the insurer. They'll try to lowball you to obviously get out of it as cheaply as possible but you are entitled to fair value, which with COVID tax isn't redbook value, its the market's value.

    Push harder.

  • This is why you should have just been paying "third party, fire and theft".

    The value of your vehicle, clearly shows that "sellers" are ripping off potential buyers.

    You now have knowledge of this proper value, and should feel comfortable in negotiating the salesman down to this amount.

    • Valid point but - depends. If comprehensive cover is say $200-300 p.a. more than TPFT then you have cover for at least $5.4K (in this case)
      If car is $2K or less - sure
      But most of us have an At Fault accident once in our life - and getting some $$ towards buying a replacement of $5K+ is worth it
      YMMV

  • +3

    Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever use AAMI.

    It's just that simple. They are absolutely the worst, and most people who have made a claim will agree.

  • ALWAYS HAVE AGREED VALUE<<<

    appeal. its all you can do

    the problem is, covid had raised up used car prices but redbook prices dont reflect this

  • Can you take the car parts apart & sell?

    • You’d have to buy the wreck off the insurance co. Once they pay out, they own the car.

  • +1

    In relation to you things in the car, check with the assessor which salvage auction they have sent the car to. Out assessor was able to tell us and we called and had the car bought to the viewing area as were able to take anything we missed out of the car.

    • Thanks! My Dad has since had better luck following up and the yard where it is will check what's in there for us. This is a good backup plan though, I would never have thought of that. :)

  • I didn't read all comments, maybe this was already mentioned. If it is insured as market value, it would generally go by the Glass's guide if it comes to a dispute. I would pay the small fee, get a Glass's guide report https://www.glassguide.com.au/
    Then go through internal dispute process with insurer and if not successful escalate to ombudsman.

  • +2

    Claim their insurance instead of going through yours, they were at fault. Your agreed value was for when you were at fault in a crash. They were at fault so they pay, has nothing to do with what you had it insured for so you can go for replacement value.

    • might be onto something there. Could be worth discussing with his insurance.

    • +1

      In this case it's a bit harder because both parties are insured by AAMI so they are not really interested in the whole bill blowing out.

  • So heres a suggestion…

    Take the money being offered, then ask about price to buy the written off car. Typically, though im not 100 percent, i believe you can purchase your written off car after pay out for a couple of hundred.

    Will require some effort on your part, but you could part out what you can, get on an active facebook group for your car model, and start selling. You could make back more than what youve been paid out if you have the patience.

  • +3

    I had my car written off 2mo ago, same basic situation

    1) their insurance pays, not yours. He was at fault
    2) I was paid out market rate, CURRENT market rate, not Redbook. You have definite cause to argue that. The price of second hand cars is sky high. The insurance company literally told me to prove the value of the car to them if I wasn't happy with it
    3) they can't just write off the car and pay you out without you accepting it and signing off. It make no sense that they can just do it without your knowledge
    4) was anything else in the car damaged? Phone for eg. You're entitled to claim that back
    5) you can sell the car to your own nominated scrap dealer and make a few extra bucks. I got an extra $250 so it ain't much but still worth it

    • Issue is the other party's insurance is also AAMI, so it's in AAMI's best interest to pay as little as possible.

  • +1

    Lodge an AFCA complaint

  • -1

    Eh you're not screwed - you were paid out as per the terms of your current insurance policy.

    From here, if you need a car, buy a $5k one and upgrade when you get back on your feet again.

  • Once your insurer 'pays' you out, then your legal claim against the at-fault driver is subrogated to your insurer. In the process, your insurer pays you $x (market value) and pursues the at-fault driver (or their insurer) for $x plus whatever reasonable cost they incurred to pursue the loss.

    Yes, some have mentioned above you can pursue the at-fault driver directly or through their insurer. I have been through that process and it took an enormous amount of time and effort. Would I do that again? Very likely.

  • Post a photo and let Ozbargain assess the damage to your car :)

    If it's not that serious, you might be able to get someone to repair it

  • +1

    PS: Don't use AAMI.
    Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever use AAMI. It's just that simple. They are absolutely the worst, and most people who have made a claim will agree.

    Wow. I hear you. I'm with AAMI, with only one accident (touch wood). Not at fault. They handled it great. Treated me like royalty. Offered hire car etc. Communicated well, kept me up to date, didn't write off my car when it could have easily been written off. Perhaps I was that one in a million or differs due to the at fault driver being with RACQ insurance. All these comments is making me consider changing.

    • +1

      I think you were lucky. The only other accident I have had I was not at fault and AAMI handled it well, or so it seemed at least. But at the same time it was just panel damage from being side swiped and organising with the approved repairer was straight forward. It's partly why I never really worried about my policy because things had gone so well last time.

      This time around, I have had no updates, no contact etc… They wrote my car off on Monday and I only found out because I called for an update. Who knows when they would have told me? The reason I called, because the claim on the online portal switched to say something like, "Assessment finalized", but doesn't even say what was decided. I have also not received any paperwork. I have been assured multiple times by AAMI, both when I first put in the claim and in phone calls since that proof of the claim and information would be emailed to me. I didn't prompt that, they said it as part of their spiel. Have I received any emails? NO. Not spam or anything either, I've checked. All I have is the online portal which provides only basic info. My Dad is authorised on my behalf because I'm attached to his main policy and he hasn't received anything either.

      Maybe they are good, maybe they are bad. This time around I have had a bad experience, not just because they have written off my car.

  • +1

    Feels bad

    • Yep :(

  • +1

    Thanks everyone for your advice. As always, I have learnt a lot from all the replies here and most likely an expensive lesson.

    I will take everything on board and see if I can negotiate with AAMI about the value as I'm the party not at fault. It doesn't hurt to try and seems like the best bet at this stage. I think given they are the insurer for the other party though it will be an uphill battle, especially given my policy is agreed value. It sucks but that is life. I was pretty upset about it yesterday because it all felt so unfair due to the actions of someone else, but I feel better about it now and will try to see the positive and use some of your advice.

    I knew suing was unlikely but figured it was worth asking as well before making an arse of myself and wasting an actual lawyer's time.

    For anyone wondering why my car was written off for a pretty minor accident, tbh I am not suprised. Considering it was low speed, my car was pretty wrecked. I believe the other driver was pulling out at an extreme angle to do a u-turn and probably hit the pedal pretty hard, because his front end dug and tore completely through my front side and wheel arch. The tyre was completely torn off and I was on my rim, the axel was twisted and the headlight and all the panels along the front were damaged and some even had chunks torn off. The front passenger door also couldn't be opened properly because the front panel was twisted into the hinge. Given the damage to the axel and point of impact, I wouldn't be suprised if the whole suspension needs replacing. I knew AAMI probably wouldn't think it worth it for a 2009 model, but I was hoping because I was not at fault I'd be lucky. Them the breaks.

    • I would get them to check Redbook for exact model with KMs and condition.

      Then find one the exact same at a dealer. The price should be about the same as dealers price by Redbook. They will add price or reduce based on local demand but should be similar to your pay out.

      Get dealer ad and send to AAMI.

  • Interestingly you might have been better off if you weren’t insured at all. At least then you could argue that you need to be paid out the replacement value.

    • Another reason why insurance is a scam. In this case, the fact that both parties are insured by the same insurer, means the OP will get screwed with a low ball offer for a written off car.

  • +2

    Glad you are ok, first Get off your dads policy and get your own, that way all renewals deals come to you so you cannot , not know whats happening, I went from aami to allianze and saved a lot.

    With covid artificially inflating the price of 2nd hand cars it may be best to buy some older shi*box thats safe and run it into the ground for a couple of yrs till prices recover.

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