For attention UK car owners/drivers

Discussion in 'Member Casual Chat' started by cerberus, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    I've been trying all morning to get my head around this so-called 'knock-for-knock' insurance claim procedure. I mean, if the accident (this is a hypothesis thanks gawd!!) wasn't my fault, why the hell should my own insurance (me?) lose out in anyway. Apparently I could even lose my no-claims bonus? I'd be grateful for any replies from someone who can understand it please.
     
  2. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    "Knock for knock" is a colloquial term and is used when the cost of settling the claim is split between the insurance companies representing the parties involved. Insurance companies are businesses and their primary (sole ?) concern is minimising the cost to themselves of resolving a claim.

    Where fault for a claim is absolutely indisputable - for example I was stationary, at a traffic light when someone ran into the back of me - then the insurance company covering the liability for the "at fault" party will bear 100% of the cost. In a lot of cases (the majority ?) no one party is fully at fault and/or it's an accident where the involved parties do not bear 100% of the liability.

    In the case of your hypothetical "knock for knock", your insurance company will attempt to assess how much of the liability you are likely to bear (somewhere between 0% and 100%) and will compare that against the costs involved in pursuing the matter through the courts. Your insurance company will not want to spend thousands of pounds pursuing a legal claim against another party when their liability is a few hundred pounds, instead they will seek to settle for a mutually agreed sum.

    You may think that you bear no responsibility or liability for the accident but:
    • You're likely not an impartial judge
    • The other party may feel the same way
    • The law may take a different view
    • It may be impossible to assign liability accurately
    That said, I have been involved in five automobile insurance claims and in each case the other party has borne 100% of the cost.
    • The occasion I mentioned above. In 1990 I was stationary at traffic lights, with brake lights clearly visible when someone ran into the back of my MGB
    • In 1998 I was stopped (in my two week old Fiat Coupe) to allow a vehicle coming the other way across a narrow bridge - an 18 year old in his mum's Ford Fiesta ran into the back of me
    • Two weeks later in that same car (and waiting for it to be repaired), a council mowing machine ran out of control and into the side of the car.
    • In 2009 a bus backed into my Jaguar XJ-S while it was parked - the bus company was self-insured and wanted to write off the car, we came to a mutually agreed sum for the repairs.
    • A neighbour ran into that same car when they were pulling out of their drive
    In all cases (fortunately) the other party was clearly "at fault" so the prospect of shared liability was never raised.
     
  3. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    Thanks, but those presumptions of arguable gradations of guilt seems like the rules were made especially so the policy holders subsidise their own insurance company's liabilities. WTF??
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  4. Bush Lawyer

    Bush Lawyer Well-Known Member

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    This is not quite accurate:

    I am insured with ABC Ins. Cerberus....your are insured with DEF Ins. We have a prang. ABC and DEF have a knock for knock agreement between them. ABC will fix my car and DEF will fix yours. No legal or admin argument about contributory negligence or fault. (I dunno how they sort out excess payments.)

    Down side is.......both ABC and DEF could hike their premiums against both of us and not have regard for fault in that prang we had.
     
  5. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    And we lose our no-claims bonuses? Win-win for the insurers??
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  6. Bush Lawyer

    Bush Lawyer Well-Known Member

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    I cannot recall ever actually getting a 'no claim bonus' despite making no claims on my private vehicle. I think that is a long gone relic.
     
  7. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    It is in the UK, BL? I've just transferred mine from the previous car to the current one, and there it was in black and white.
     
  8. Bush Lawyer

    Bush Lawyer Well-Known Member

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    Okay.
     
  9. cenydd

    cenydd Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's why it's worth paying the extra few quid a year to get protected no claims bonus. It's usually cheaper to pay the extra for that coverage than it would be if you lost your no claims (assuming you have full no claims), and had to pay the full cost of the insurance next year.

    If someone runs into the back of you, it's automatically assumed to be 'zero fault' on your part (because they should have been watching what you were doing - 'hazard awareness'). It's very difficult to overcome that, and can only really be done with witness statements and the like (probably via the court system - it's worth paying the few quid extra for legal cover with your car insurance too!). That's why an insurance scam has sometimes been operated where people slam their brakes on to get someone to run into the back of them, and then claim 'whiplash' and the like. They do it in a place with no witnesses, and it's almost impossible for you to prove that you weren't to blame. Even if they have stopped suddenly you should still have been aware of that risk of that happeneing and far enough away that you had time to stop, so you effectively have to prove that they did so deliberately to cause an accident - if they say 'a dog ran out', and there's no CCTV or witnesses, you're basically stuffed. Such fraudsters may well only be caught out because of making multiple insurance claims, rather than on a specific accident.

    Any other type of accident where both cars are moving tends to be seen as at least partly the fault of both parties - they might have pulled out when they shouldn't have, for example, giving them most of the blame, but at the speed you were going you should still have been able to avoid a collision (and things like whether you were exceeding the speed limit become critical). That's kind of inevitable, unless you can show you were were well within the speed limit and they pulled out so suddenly that there was nothing at all you could do to avoid them (which is why so many people are now choosing dash cams). It may still be their fault it happened really, but you still have to take some of the blame for not always assuming that everyone else on the road is an idiot who might do something stupid at any moment - the 'hazard awareness' stuff.

    Always protect your no claims bonus, and always make sure you have legal cover (and if you drive a lot, it's probably worth considering buying a dash cam these days, unfortunately).
     
  10. liberalminority

    liberalminority Well-Known Member

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    a dash cam is a dual edged sword, if you're at fault a copper can use it against you.
     
  11. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    But if it wasn't your fault then none of that should arise - that's the point of this thread viz. why the hell should the innocent party be sanctioned in any way at all? I mean, aren't all the consequences (loss of the car whilst being repaired, the significant loss of its value because it is now on record as having been involved in an accident, and the cost of hiring one in the meantime?) an inconvenience in itself when the third part is wholly to blame? No wonder insurance companies never go bust. It's a license to print money.
     
  12. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    If it's not your fault then likely the other party's insurance will pick up the tab - as has happened to me the five times I've listed upthread.

    The difficulty is that there may be cases where you think that it's not your fault but the other party, and their insurance company, dispute that. cenydd provides a good summary in her/his post.
     
  13. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    That's a different kettle o' fish which I've already touched upon: but my query was where the culpability is beyond any doubt whatsoever, as in your shunts.
     
  14. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    If culpability is in no doubt, I cannot see how the settlement would be knock-for-knock.
     
  15. cerberus

    cerberus Banned Donor

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    You could well be right, and it is more logical; maybe I'm misunderstanding the procedure.
     

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