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Insurance classed my vehicle as Category B, write off

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  • Insurance classed my vehicle as Category B, write off

    Five weeks ago whilst driving down a country lane, I hit a large pothole, it really jolted me in the car but I didn't think too much about it and carried on driving home as it was only minutes away. When I got to the end of the lane, the rear end of the car started to make a rattling noise so on arriving home, my partner looked at the rear drivers side and it was noticeably lower than the right, not massively, but enough to notice.

    My Partner said he thought something had snapped on the suspension so we got the Garage who looks after it to take a look and he said the rear drivers side swinging arm had snapped and he quoted us 700.00 parts to repair it, plus 4/5 hours labour at 50.00 per hour so I decided to claim on my insurance as I'd never made a claim before and that's what insurance is for, right?

    I 'phoned the insurance and after 5 weeks they made me an offer to settle as they'd decided to write the vehicle off. I told them that I wished to buy the car back and have it repaired and she came back to me with a settlement figure, less the price of me buying it back and said the money would be in my account within 24/48 hours.

    The insurers engineers hadn't brought my vehicle back 3 days later, then I received an email saying their engineers said my vehicle was a Category B write off so they couldn't allow me to buy it back, it would have to be scrapped as their engineers deemed it not roadworthy. I was really upset by this as my own garage who are an MOT centre had said the vehicle could be repaired and said no way would they risk their reputation in stating a vehicle was roadworthy if it wasn't!

    On paper, my vehicle is old, but in reality, so much of it has been replaced on callbacks , e.g it's had 4 new doors , a new steering column, something to do with the clutch, chip for fuel replaced, chip for the abs replaced, umpteen other things and in January it was re called and had 4 new airbags. The vehicle is a Toyota Avensis, and each time its called back, the Toyota garage do a full vehicle diagnostic to determine if any work needs doing on the car and gives a quote for that work being carried out....it was only in Toyota in January and nothing needed doing. Additionally, it only passed its MOT in August with not even any advisorys on it and my garage said there's no way that my vehicle has deteriorated so much in such a short time as to now not be roadworthy so I think I am being duped here!

    My garage is prepared to repair the vehicle and do another full MOT on it so the insurance have asked us to send them all this information, which we have done, and now we are waiting for an answer as to what happens next.

    I really want to have my car back, I know her inside out and she has never let me down and I know what work she has had done on her and she has had most things replaced that would have gone on a car her age, given all of the above, is there anything else I can do to help over rule the Insurances current position please?

    Many thanks for any help received.

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  • #2
    You have the right to dispute the insurance company's engineers ruling and advocate for the car's insurance classification
    You should ask the insurer for the engineer's name and his AQP (Appropriately Qualified Person) number
    Under the new code of salvage you have the right to ask for an independent review by an AQP
    If the insurance company refuses your request you should demand your car back and tell them you are going to sue under the Interference of Goods Act
    Good luck, hope you don't end up having to sue in court


    • #3
      Hi Pezza54

      Thank you so much for your reply and excellent advice, I really didn't hold much hope out for my being able to challenge my insurers so your advice has given me a real boost! I know I'm not forced to win, but at least I know what angle to approach it from now thanks to you.

      It probably sounds really silly, but I bought my car with money from my Late Partners Estate and she means a lot to me, and the thought of her being scrapped made me feel so sad, but now I will give it everything I've got to fight for her.

      ​​​​​​​Thank you so much again and I will let you know what happens.


      • #4
        Hi Pezza54

        I wrote to the insurers as you advised me, and they wrote back a week later stating they were going to get another engineer to look at my car, but they had totally ignored the content of my letter, not answering their engineers name, nor his AQP number, nor replying to my request for an independent review by an AQP.

        I wrote back and thanked them for their email, but pointed out that they hadn't responded to any of the points in my letter and I attached another copy of my letter for their information ....that is another ten days since and still we are no further forward.

        Is there anything I can do now to push them a long a little with 0this situation , as it is now over 6 weeks since the accident and all this time without a car is costing me a fortune in taxi fare's as we are out in the sticks and don't even have a regular bus service.

        Any further help or advice you can give me would be much appreciated. Thank you .


        • #5
          Follow the insurance company's complaints procedure and if you are unhappy with their response to your letter of complaint, you should start a claim with the FOS


          • #6
            Thank you so much Pezza54 , I will do that.


            • #7
              Hi Pezza54

              Just wanted to say a huge thank you to you as because of your advice, I challenged my Insurers and am thrilled to say that they have now removed the Category B from my vehicle and so it is now being arranged for it to be dropped off at the Garage of my choosing for the repairs to be carried out!

              I am so grateful to you, so huge thanks again!


              • #8
                Good result - and well done Pezza54
                Lawyer (solicitor) - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by private message.

                Litigants in Person should download and read this: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/..._in_Person.pdf


                • #9
                  Thank you so much atticus , I'm delighted


                  • #10
                    Hi Pezza54

                    Well after having spoken to the engineer on Wednesday and then yesterday wherein he said that he was recategorising my vehicle a Catrgory N and the insurers would be arranging for my vehiicle to be dropped at the garage of my choice for repairs to be carried out, the insurers have rung me this morning and now said they can't allow it to go back on the road so are putting it as a Category B again! I am absolutely gutted and in tears as yesterday I thought it was all sorted and I was getting my car back, and now we are back to square 1 again! Please can you advise me what I can do now?


                    • #11
                      Sorry to hear that. Follow my advice in post 5


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