When you took out your insurance you agreed to pay an excess, a contribution towards the cost of any claim you make. The amount of your excess is detailed in your Policy Schedule. On completion of repairs you pay this amount directly to the repairer. In the event of your vehicle being written off as a total loss, the amount of your excess will be deducted from your final settlement. The excess is also deducted if your vehicle is a total loss following a theft.
You must pay the excess even if you were not to blame for an accident. However, in these circumstances, you may be able to reclaim the excess from the third party or their insurers. If there is no damage to your vehicle then you do not need to pay the excess.
Your no claims discount (NCD) will be affected when you make a claim, unless you opted to protect your no claims discount (NCD) when you took out your policy and haven’t made another claim under that policy in the same renewal year. If the incident for which you are claiming is not your fault and if your insurer makes a full recovery of costs, your NCD will be reinstated. If your insurer cannot make a full recovery of costs, even if you are not to blame for an incident, then your NCD may be affected.
For example, if your vehicle is parked and hit by an unknown driver, this is not your fault but as the identity of the third party cannot be determined, your insurer cannot recover costs and your NCD is therefore affected. Similarly, if you make a claim for theft your NCD will be affected. This is because it is unlikely that costs can be recovered from those responsible for the theft. However, your NCD will not be affected if your vehicle and/or goods are subsequently recovered undamaged.
If the cost of repair to your vehicle exceeds its market value then it is likely that your insurer will decide it is beyond economical repair. This is known as a total loss. When this happens your insurer will appoint an engineer to inspect your vehicle and place a value upon it. The valuation will take into account a variety of factors, including the condition of your vehicle prior to the incident for which you are claiming, its mileage and current re-sale market trends for that kind of vehicle. Once your vehicle is identified as a total loss we will ask you to send us the vehicle’s Certificate of Registration and Licencing, National Car Test (Classic Car policies only) and copies of any other documents, such as service records, which may assist in its valuation.
If you have modified your vehicle this will also be taken into account providing it is stipulated in your policy and you can provide documentary evidence (such as receipts and photographs) of those modifications. It is essential at this stage that you remove any personal belongings from your vehicle. If your vehicle has been removed to a secure site, our claims staff will be able to assist you in making arrangements to collect your belongings. When the valuation has been completed you will then receive a settlement offer from your insurer.
You must report any theft to your nearest Gardai station as soon as possible. If you do not report a theft to the Gardai we will not be able to process your claim. If your vehicle is not subsequently recovered your insurer will make you a settlement offer based on a variety of factors, including its make, model, year of manufacture, mileage and current re-sale market trends for that type of vehicle. If you have any photographs of your vehicle you should submit these to us, as they will help the engineer appointed by your insurers to make a fair valuation in the absence of a vehicle. If you have modified your vehicle this will also be taken into account providing you can provide documentary evidence (such as receipts and photographs) of those modifications.
Before making a settlement offer, your insurer will normally allow around three to four weeks for the authorities to try and recover your vehicle. After this time we will ask you, if you have not already done so, to send us the vehicle’s Certificate of Registration and Licencing, National Car Test (Classic Car policies only) and copies of any other documents, such as service records, which may assist in its valuation.
With every motor insurance claim the priority is to get your vehicle repaired or, if it is a total loss, a settlement agreed with you as soon as possible. But if an accident is not your fault, you will be advised by your claims handler that your Legal Expenses cover (included as standard in all Carole Nash motorcycle and classic car policies) has been activated.
Your case will then be passed on to a specialist solicitor from our panel who will contact you to determine the extent of your uninsured loss claim. Once they have obtained these details they will then pursue the other party or their insurers to establish if liability for the accident is being disputed. If there is no dispute they will ensure full recovery of all your uninsured losses is achieved as quickly as possible. If the circumstances of the incident are straightforward and liability is not contested, this is usually a short process and full loss recovery is made.