Uninsured car accident - legal issues - Aussie Stock Forums

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  1. #1

    Default Uninsured car accident - legal issues

    This doesn't involve me personally, but I'm trying to help sort this one out. Situation as follows.

    Car A has crashed into parked car B.

    It is very clear that the driver of car A was at fault, given that car B was legally parked when the incident occurred. Nobody was injured. Police attended the accident and a fine was issued to the driver of car A.

    Car A was not insured at all (apart from compulsory MAIB which only covers injuries / medical, not damage to other vehicles).

    The owner of car B has pursued repairs through their insurance company.

    Now here's the issue. The insurance company has commenced repairs (largely complete to my understanding) after getting only ONE quote for these repairs. And the bill amounts to over $6000, for what seemed relatively modest damage to a car only valued at $10,000. As you would expect, they now want the owner/driver of car A to pay the cost of these repairs.

    To me, this seems somewhat unreasonable. Arguments that the owner of car A should have had insurance aside (too late for that now...), I would have thought that there would at least be some requirement to get more than one quote for repairs?

    It's not as though there is only one bodyworks within a reasonable distance of the accident location, there are several within walking distance, and the the way it has been done amounts to effectively a blank cheque for the cost of repairs, payable by the owner of car A.

    As I've said, I am not directly involved with this but I've been asked for my opinion. To me, it seems unreasonable that there was not at least more than one quote obtained. It sure doesn't look like $6000 worth of damage to me or anyone else who is aware of the situation. Maybe it is, but it is questionable.

    Anyone know where they stand legally on this one? Does the owner of car A have any legitimate options other than to simply pay the amount demanded by the insurer of car B?

    Should they not have some right to at least a second quote?

    Should they have been asked to accept the only quote that was obtained prior to repairs commencing?

    Any other relevant issues?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Uninsured car accident - legal issues

    I got stuck with this issue. Insurance company got one (overpriced) quote and contacted me 3 months after being fixed so too late. My only real course of action was to state that I would only make payments of $5 a month to repay the debt, which would span a period of 33 years. As the insurance company could not force a higher payment upon me legally as I offered a sum, they had to accept. 3 months into the arrangement they offered to settle the debt at 10% of the original debt, admitting the original quote was too unreasonable.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Uninsured car accident - legal issues

    The expectation is that the insurance company uses a fair and reasonable process to determine repair costs. Ask for the process used, if it's not fair and transparent then ask why they are not following the industry code of conduct...

    eg http://www.abrcode.com.au/forms/CodeofConduct.pdf

    Never say that you won't pay, but conditionally agree to fulfill the obligation once a fair process is used to determine reasonable repair costs. A fair process would be to obtain at least 2 quotes to ensure collusion on costs is avoided.

  4. #4
    awg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Newcastle, NSW

    Default Re: Uninsured car accident - legal issues

    Hi Smurf,

    I have been involved in several negotiations with Insurance Companies, for which the ultimate legal liability lay with me, but the circumstances of the situations were not 100% clear cut.

    In each instance, I offered a settlement.

    I was surprised how quickly they accepted. ( once the REAL negs started)

    It is important to be reasonable, but also be prepared to negotiate hard, in writing if neccesary, and be prepared to make use of the complaints process etc etc.

    Seems like the Insurance made a slip up, but your friend is still behind the 8ball cause cant really say how much the repairs should have cost.

    start with 50% offer ??

    ps I used every trick in the book, I dont know if yr buddy has any aces up there sleeve, the Insurance company reps could be characterised as mainly low dirty bastards

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