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Parent hit someones car - minimal damage - offered them cash - advice please!

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  • Parent hit someones car - minimal damage - offered them cash - advice please!

    I can't quite believe I am hearing this but I found out today my dad caused paintwork damage to someone elses unoccupied, parked car.

    He quickly established it was the car belonging to someone working in the chain shop it was parked outside of. I'd have to say everything seems to stack up in this direction. As in, I do not think some goon stepped forward and lied that it was their car, or that they are potentially uninsured anyway. My Dad has (non-vehicle-insurer) insurance for his own paintwork damage, 3 year, 3rd party paint warranty that came with the car for any damage less than 12" or 3mm.

    Afraid of insurance issues (though, he has no reason to, no claims, no points, lives in Somerset, relatively low insurance) he offered to pay for the repair to the other party himself, e.g. for the cosmetic repair provided they could agree on the garage and see the reciept. An early estimate is around 200-250. (Wheel arch rubbed with wheel arch scuffing the paint off, no bending of metal or tearing of plastic).

    I think this seems like a bad idea full stop, although not sure for him, the other party, or both of them!

    Should he just go back to the other party and say he made a mistake and to do it though insurance ASAP before any work gets done?

    Or is there some sort of statement of limitation he should make out for the other party to sign, before any money is handed over?

    It seems to me as if he is more than likely duty bound to tell his insurer anyway?

    Tags: None

  • #2
    You are correct, that even if he deals with the third party claim himself, he has a duty of utmost good faith to advise his insurer of the incident prior to the next renewal.

    Regarding settling the matter himself he needs to get a firm quotation (not estimate) in writing before agreeing to meet the cost himself.
    Also there could be a problem if the third party is dissatisfied with the standard of the work after completion.
    I always recommend letting the insurance company deal with it.... that's why you pay your premium for them to assume the risk


    • #3
      So basically going back to the guy ASAP and saying 'sorry change of plan, please claim via your insurer' would be the absolute best thing to do?


      • #4
        IMO yes, but all your dad needs is a letter from third party saying he holds your Dad liable for repair costs to his car following the incident where your Dad collided with his stationary vehicle.
        Your Dad then passes that to his insurers and they deal with the matter.

        Just suppose the work takes longer than expected and the third party rents a car... your Dad would be picking up the tab.


        • #5
          Thanks, I will instruct accordingly


          • #6
            Ah OK, you've expanded on that, that actually sounds a slightly easier sell to the other party, and as he lives about 5 streets away, I wonder if it's best for our side to provide a letter to sign and then the other party either signs or not (if he refuses to sign he would be instructed verbally to 'make a claim via insurers' I suppose?)


            From: Other Party
            To: Insurer of A.Dad

            Dear Sir/Madam,

            On the <date> my stationary, unoccupied car <VRN> in a private car park, outside my place of work was struck by a vehicle being driven by A.Dad.

            He has located me via my place of work, and provided the details for yourselves as insurers.

            Please could you make arrangements for the damage caused to be repaired under the policy you have provided.

            Yours Faithfully,

            A N Other




            • #7
              There's no great problem
              Third party gives your Dad a letter:

              Dear Dad,

              On dd.mm.yyyy you collided with my stationary vehicle, a make & model Reg no. causing damage.
              I hold you wholly responsible for the damage and all losses arising.
              You should notify your insurers accordingly.

              Your Dad sends that letter to his insurers with a covering note explaining the incident.

              His insurers may also have a telephone contact for him to notify them of the incident.
              If he uses that, also confirm it in writing.

              I know it is old fashioned to put pen to paper, but after a lifetime of doing it I still prefer to keep written records!


              • #8
                Yeah, sorry, bit of a headache this morning, yes of course the letter was supposed to be from the other party to my Dad, got it, lovely, cheers
                And yes given our earlier interactions with the insurance co (he provided proof of NCD (protected!), they kept insisting he hadn't!) letter will be the only game in town, agreed.


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