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Motor Insurance Claims Guide

Call us now for a quote 0800 282 652

No matter who you are or what you drive, an accident can happen at any time. For most people it is a new experience, the first time that they will have thought about their insurance policy and tested the product that they had hoped never to have to call upon.

This guide explains the main steps along the way and deals with what happens next to you and your vehicle and anyone else involved. It tells you what we can do to help and which of our trusted partners you can expect to hear from.

We can’t stop accidents happening but we will do all we can to make sure that:

  • The consequences are as hassle free as possible
  • You have an understanding of what comes next
  • You get the maximum benefit from your insurance cover with NFU Mutual

For more information about NFU Mutual’s motor claims process, here are the answers to some of your frequently asked questions.

What do I do if someone else (a third party) is involved?

Details

If someone else was involved in the incident it is vital to get their details and to report your claim as soon as possible.

If you were not at fault, the sooner we start to pursue the recovery the more likely we are to successfully recover our costs, and you will be more likely to recover any losses not covered by your policy.

If you were at fault we will use the information to try to contact the other party and manage their repair and courtesy car costs. 

So, whether you were at fault or not, both the pursuit of the responsible party and the management of the costs involved in looking after the innocent party are important ways that you can help us to contain the rising costs of motor insurance - not only for you but for everyone.

What do I do at the scene of an accident?

The Law

  • Stop – if anyone is injured or other vehicles or property are damaged
  • Provide your (or the vehicle owner’s) name, address and insurance details to anyone with good reason to need them
  • Report to the police within 24 hours if anyone else is injured or you have not exchanged details at the scene

Reporting the accident

Report the accident as soon as possible. Do not wait until you have your policy number or all the information about the incident.

Whatever’s happened, call our Claim Notification Line on 0800 282652. They operate 24 hours a day, will take all the details from you and other drivers and start dealing with your claim straight away.

To help with the claims process

Don’t apologise or accept responsibility, even if you think that you may be to blame.

Do collect the following information about the incident:

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers of all other drivers and their vehicle registration numbers
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers of all passengers and which vehicle they were in
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of owners of damaged property
  • Details of the injuries suffered
  • Details of any property damaged 
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses
  • Police officers’ details and incident reference number
  • Take photographs of the scene and any damage where it is safe to do so
  • Details of any Insurers and their policy numbers

This information is important because it will help us to contact anybody else involved in the incident.  If you are not at fault, having all this information will give us a much improved chance of recovering any money we have paid and help you recover any losses not covered by your policy such as the excess. It will increase the likelihood of the claim not affecting your No Claims Discount.

If you are at fault for the incident, it gives us the opportunity to contact the other driver and make sure that we do all we can to keep their claim costs to a minimum.

Whether you are at fault or not this information is extremely valuable as it helps us to manage costs effectively – which ultimately helps to minimise the impact of claims on your premium.

What happens if the damage is repairable?

Glass only

Our approved glass repair and replacement service is provided by Autoglass, book an appointment by calling 0800 363636 or alternatively book online via the booking portal dedicated to NFU Mutual Customers.

Autoglass will explore whether your glass is repairable or needs replacing and then book you in at a time and place to suit you. The only charges you will have to pay are the excess (replacement only – repairs are free!) and the VAT if you are registered for VAT. Autoglass will send us the bill and that should be it.

Approved Repairer Scheme

Using our Approved Repairer Scheme comes with many advantages for you:

  • Repairs can start straight away and will be completed as quickly as possible to minimise the inconvenience
  • You do not need to worry about getting estimates
  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs
  • You will be provided with a loan car to keep you mobile while your vehicle is being repaired. Remember, this a courtesy car and not a like for like replacement for your damaged car
  • Your vehicle will be collected and returned to you cleaned inside and out

All these benefits are free of charge and part of your cover provided that the damage is covered by your policy and you report your claim to our Claim Notification Line on 0800 282652. They will find the nearest Approved Repairer, give you the details and let you know when to expect a call from them to book your car in for repair and arrange the loan car.

The repairs and costs will be monitored by our team of motor engineers to ensure that repairs are carried out properly. The only charges you will have to pay are the excess (which your claims handler will tell you about) and the VAT if you are registered for VAT. The Approved Repairer will send us the repair bill which we will pay and that should be it. 

Non-approved repairers

Whilst we would encourage all our members to use our Approved Repairer service, you are of course free to choose your own repairer if you wish. However you may find that:

  • You have to get an estimate or estimates
  • Repairs will not start until one of our motor engineers has approved the repair method and costs with your repairer. Sometimes the damage may need to be inspected
  • Your repairer is unable to provide a loan car
  • Your repairer is unable to guarantee the repairs. We will not provide any guarantee on repairs
  • Your repairer may not be able to provide a collection and delivery service or clean the vehicle inside and out

What if the damage is not repairable?

Total Loss Process

It may be immediately obvious that your vehicle is not going to be repairable either because the damage is so severe or, especially with older vehicles, simply not an economic proposition.

The Claim Notification Line (0800 282652) will make an initial assessment when you report your claim to them. If they assess your vehicle to be beyond repair they will arrange for your vehicle to be collected by our salvage contractor for safe storage whilst we settle you claim.  In some cases we may need to have your vehicle inspected by an engineer.

Before your vehicle is collected by our , it is important to remember to remove all your personal possessions from the vehicle - not forgetting the road fund licence (Tax Disc). You will need to supply us with your vehicle documents (V5c Registration Document, MOT, original purchase receipt, keys etc) so it is a good idea to find them and have them ready.  We will let you know where they need to be sent.

If your vehicle has personal number plates you will need to make that clear to the claims handler and follow the correct processes as laid down by DVLA to make sure that your interest in the plates is protected so that you can transfer the plates to your replacement vehicle. If the vehicle is the subject of a lease or hire purchase agreement it will help to locate the agreement and provide details when you send in your documents. 

Once we have made all the necessary checks (e.g. finance company) and one of our engineers has assessed the value of your vehicle we will contact you to discuss settlement of your claim. We will notify DVLA that your vehicle has been written off and once we have agreed the settlement figure and sent you the payment, the vehicle belongs to us and will be disposed of by our salvage contractor. Where there is an outstanding balance on any finance arrangement we are obliged to pay the finance company this amount, and you will be paid the remainder up to the agreed value of the vehicle less any excess.

Valuation

If your car is stolen or a total loss we will settle your claim by paying you the market value of your car unless you are entitled to new car replacement.

To establish the market value of your car we use a number of sources including Glass’s Guide, AutoTrader adverts and dealer websites. The market value will take into account the exact model of your car and any optional extras as well as the overall condition of your car allowing for the recorded mileage and any pre-accident damage for example.

When we discuss the market value with you it will help if you have done some research of your own and we recommend that you take a look at similar cars for sale in your area.

Replacement Car

If your vehicle is less than 2 years old and is stolen, beyond economic repair or the repairs will cost more than 60% of the manufacturer’s list price then we will pay the cost of replacing your car with one of the same make, model and specification. You have to own the car or be buying it under an agreement where the car becomes yours. If a replacement is no longer available then we pay you the amount you paid for your car. 

Personal Number Plate

If your vehicle is stolen or written off and has personal number plates you will need to act quickly to transfer the personal number plate or put it on retention to make sure that settlement of your claim is not delayed. To help speed things along we even refund the transfer or retention fee so no excuses!   

Your claims handler will discuss the process with you in more detail but in short we will not be able to settle your claim in full until the personal number plate has been removed from the vehicle by DVLA and we have details of the new registration. Please follow the guidance on the DVLA web pages to transfer the plate or put it on retention as soon as we confirm that your vehicle is a write off.

What do I do if my car is stolen?

The first thing to do is to report it to the police. Make a note of the crime or incident reference.

Next report the claim to the Claims Notification Line on 0800 282652.

Depending on the circumstances of the disappearance, further investigations may be required. You will be told what those enquiries will entail, who will be contacting you, and when.

You will be provided with a courtesy car for a period of 14 days whilst we carry out enquiries.

You will need to supply us with your vehicle documents (V5c Registration Document, MOT, original purchase receipt, keys, etc.) so it is a good idea to find them and have them ready. We will let you know where they need to be sent.

If your vehicle has personal number plates you will need to make that clear to the claims handler and follow the correct processes as laid down by DVLA to make sure that your interest in the plates is protected.

If the vehicle is the subject of a lease or hire purchase agreement then it will help to locate the agreement and provide details when you send in your documents. We may need you to contact the lease or hire purchase company as they often require authority from you to allow them to discuss your finance agreement details with us. 

Once we have made all the necessary checks (with the police and/or any finance company) and one of our engineers has assessed the value of your vehicle, we will contact you to discuss settlement of your claim.

We will notify DVLA that your vehicle has been stolen and once we have agreed the settlement figure and sent you the payment, the vehicle belongs to us if it is ever found. 

For information about how we value your vehicle and the replacement car benefit go to What if the damage is not repairable?

How do I stay mobile?

Courtesy Car

Once your claim has been acknowledged and cover confirmed, if you use our Approved Repairer service they will provide you with a small courtesy loan vehicle whilst they carry out the repairs.

How do I recover my excess and any other losses?

Your policy cover automatically includes legal expenses cover provided by DAS, and they are there to provide you with a range of legal services in connection with your ownership of a motor vehicle.

One of the services they can provide is the recovery of any losses not covered by your policy; such as injury, your excess or car hire. If you report your claim via our Claims Notification Line 0800 282652 DAS are automatically provided with details of your claim and may contact you before you hear from us.

They will assess whether you have a case against another party, and if they conclude that you do, they will make contact with you to see if they can help you.  

DAS help us to pursue claims against other motorists and their insurers, and also to chase outstanding debts where other motorists or their insurers have agreed to pay but are then reluctant to do so.

Our Trusted Service Partners

In some areas we recognise that we need the help of specialists to provide the level of service that our members need. We spend considerable time carefully selecting partner businesses that will treat you as a ‘member’ of the NFU Mutual family.

Everybody who contacts you on our behalf will introduce themselves, explain why they are calling, what their role is and at the end of the call explain what will happen next.

Approved repairer The Approved Repairer (managed by Vizion) allocated following your report to our 24 hour Claim Notification Line 0800 282652.
Autoglass Our vehicle glass repair and replacement service. Contact Autoglass direct on 0800 363636 or via the Claims Notification Line 0800 282652.
Enterprise Rent a Car If your car is a write off or stolen, Enterprise will provide the 14 day courtesy car.
Salvage Contractor If your car is a write off our salvage contractor may contact you to arrange safe storage of your car whilst we settle your claim.
TLSS A specialist team who assist with Total Loss claims.
DAS DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Ltd manage all claims on our behalf under the Legal Protection Cover provided to all members under their motor policy.
Premier Assist Providers of hire vehicles via DAS where our own provision does not meet your needs.
CW Law Solicitors appointed by DAS where your claim needs to be pursued in court.

Ambulance Chasers

If you were not at fault for the accident, and the other party took your details at the scene, then it is almost certain that you will be approached very quickly by a number of companies anxious to secure your business in terms of both the repair of your vehicle and the provision of a hire vehicle. This activity is totally beyond our control and has not been prompted by NFU Mutual or any of our service providers.

The promoters of these schemes have one of two motives: either they are able to make money by selling your details to a service provider who will pay them a referral fee (most likely), or they will be trying to manage the costs. NFU Mutual neither pay nor receive referral fees. We actively encourage all our members to take advantage of their policy benefits and avoid these arrangements which serve only to increase motor insurance premiums generally.

You are not obliged to take up any of these offers which may leave you with some financial risk in spite of any assurances you might be given to the contrary. 

Under the terms of your policy you have the automatic benefit of legal expenses cover provided by our partner DAS. Where the loan vehicle from our Approved Repairer or under our 14 day arrangement does not meet your needs, then DAS can arrange to provide a vehicle (via Premier Assist) and recover the cost from the other party.

Reminder, this guide is not a substitute for the full reference booklet wording and should not be relied upon as containing all the terms and conditions.  It is intended as a helpful outline of some of the main features of the claims handling process.

How do I tell you about my experience of making a claim?

All feedback helps us to make sure that our service improves and continues to meet our members’ needs. We hope that your claim experience will be positive and that you will find time to share that with us. Please phone, email or write to us.

If all has not gone as you had expected we actively encourage all our members to let us know – again by phone, e-mail or letter. Please let us know at the first hint that something is not right - the sooner we know, the sooner we can start to put things right. Many of our service providers carry out customer surveys and we encourage you to give your views openly and honestly.

Finally, this guide is not a substitute for the full reference booklet wording and should not be relied upon as containing all the terms and conditions. It is intended as a helpful outline of some of the main features.

If your vehicle is stolen or is declared to be beyond repair then we may provide you with a loan vehicle for 14 days. It may be possible to have the vehicle delivered and collected. Please note, this is not a like for like replacement for your damaged car.

We cannot guarantee that vehicles with special features such as tow bars, dual control, automatic gearbox, roof bars, child seats etc will be available. Our nominated supplier may be able to assist you with these for an additional charge.

The courtesy car must be driven by someone covered by your certificate of insurance. These options apply whatever the circumstances of your claim and whether you were an entirely innocent victim or not.