Motor Insurance Claims Guide
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
If someone else was involved in the incident it is vital to get their details and to report your claim as soon as possible. You should get the other party's name, telephone number, address, vehicle make and model, registration number, the number of people in the vehicle, and details of any injuries suffered.
If you were not at fault, the sooner we make contact with the third party insurer 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, such as excess, injuries, and loss of earnings.
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 in order to keep the cost of their claim as low as possible.
So, whether you were at fault or not, enabling us to pursue the responsible party or manage 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.
- Stop and 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 was injured or you have not exchanged details at the scene
Report the accident to us 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 0800282652. They operate 24 hours a day, will take all the details from you including those of anyone else involved in the accident and start handling 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 any injuries sustained
- 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. We will be able to use the third party's vehicle registration to establish their insurer. 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 also 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.
Approved Repairer Scheme
Using our Approved Repairer Scheme comes with many advantages for you:
- You will be given access to an extensive selection of first-class independent and manufacturer-approved bodyshops
- You will be given the option of utilising our self-serve portal which allows you to choose your own repairer and manage your booking online
- Repairs can start without the need for estimates, authority etc and will be completed as quickly as possible to minimise any inconvenience
- You do not need to worry about getting estimates as our Approved Repairers can come to your home or place of work to complete their assessment
- We will provide a lifetime guarantee on the workmanship of the repairs
- You will be provided with a courtesy car to keep you mobile while your vehicle is being repaired. This will be a small vehicle and is not intended to be a direct replacement for your damaged vehicle
- 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 0800282652. They will find your nearest available Approved Repairer, give you the details and let you know when to expect a call from them to book your vehicle in for repair and arrange the courtesy car. Our Approved Repairer Network also offers the ability to track the progress of your repair through their online portal.
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 before we then finalise your claim.Non-approved repairers
Whilst we would encourage you 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 will have to obtain an estimate(s) and we will require images of your damaged vehicle in order to authorise any repairs
- You will need to ask the repairer to send the estimate to us via Audatex or GT Motive using the following code – “NFUM”
- 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 physically inspected
- Your repairer is unable to provide a loan car
- Your repairer is unable to guarantee the repairs. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any guarantee on repairs undertaken outside of our Approved Repairer Network
- Your repairer is unable to provide a collection and delivery service or clean the vehicle inside and out
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 economical proposition.
Our staff on the Claim Notification Line 0800282652 will make an initial assessment when you report your claim to them. If they assess your vehicle to be beyond economical repair they will arrange for your vehicle to be collected by by one of our trusted vehicle salvage contractors for safe storage whilst we settle your claim. In some cases we may need to have your vehicle inspected by an engineer.
Before your vehicle is collected by by one of our trusted vehicle salvage contractors, it is important to remember to remove all your personal possessions from the vehicle. 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.
Once we have made all the necessary checks on the vehicle (e.g. ownership, outstanding finance) and one of our engineers has assessed its pre-accident value 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 will then belong to us and will be disposed of by our salvage contractor.Valuation
If your vehicle is stolen or declared a total loss we will settle your claim by paying you the lesser of either the vehicle's market value or the value shown on the schedule. An exception can be made if your vehicle is eligible for New Vehicle Replacement (as detailed in your policy wording).
To establish the market value of your vehicle we may use several industry guides including Percayso, CAP, and Glass’s Guide. We will also use adverts from a variety of sources such as Autotrader and dealer websites. The market value will account for the exact model of your vehicle and any optional extras fitted, as well as its overall condition allowing for things such as the recorded mileage and any pre-accident damage.
When we discuss the market value with you it may help if you have done some research of your own and we recommend that you take a look at vehicles of the same age, make, model, specification and mileage for sale in your area.Finance
Where there is an outstanding balance on any finance arrangement we are obliged to settle this amount with the finance company first and you will be paid the remainder up to the agreed pre-accident value of the vehicle less any excess.
You will need to contact your finance company and ask for a settlement figure as well as give them permission to speak to NFU Mutual directly. 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.Replacement Car
If your vehicle is less than 2 years old and is stolen and not recovered or the repairs will cost more than 60% of the manufacturer’s list price then we will replace it with one of the same make, model and specification. Full terms, conditions and eligibility criteria are explained in your policy wording.Personal Number Plate
If your vehicle is stolen or written off and has a personal number plate you will need to make that clear to the claims handler and act quickly to transfer it or put it on retention to make sure that the plate is not lost or destroyed and settlement of your claim is not delayed. To help speed things along we even refund the transfer or retention fee.
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 GOV.UK web pages to transfer the plate or put it on retention as soon as we confirm that your vehicle is beyond economical repair.
Our approved glass repair and replacement services are provided by Autoglass, National Windscreens and Nationwide Windscreens.
You can call our Claim Notification Line on 0800282652 and they will assign a provider to you. If your vehicle has advanced driver assistance systems such as automatic collision avoidance braking or lane departure warnings and your windscreen is replaced, our approved suppliers can also recalibrate these systems as part of your claim.
Your supplier will determine 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 your glass replacement excess (there is no excess payable for glass repair) and the VAT if you are registered for VAT. Upon completion, your supplier will then send us the bill and we will finalise your claim.
The first thing to do is to report it to the police. Make a note of the crime or incident reference. If you haven’t been given a Crime Reference Number by this point you can call us back another time and provide it.
Next report the claim to the Claims Notification Line on 0800282652.
Depending on the circumstances of the theft, 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 and begin the process of valuing your vehicle.
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 a personal number plate you will need to make that clear to the claims handler and act quickly to transfer it or put it on retention to make sure that the plate is not lost or destroyed and settlement of your claim is not delayed.
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 (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 stolen and once we have agreed the settlement figure and sent you the payment, the vehicle will belong to us if it is ever found. 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.
If you use our Approved Repairer service they will provide you with a small courtesy vehicle whilst they carry out the repairs.
If your vehicle is stolen or is declared to be beyond economical repair then we will provide you with a courtesy vehicle for 14 days. Note, this is not a direct 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, electric/hybrid capability, 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.
Your policy 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 the courtesy vehicle doesn't meet your needs. If you report your claim via our Claims Notification Line 0800282652, our staff will provide DAS with details of your claim and they may contact you before you hear from us again.
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.
In some areas we recognise that we need the help of specialists to provide the level of service that you need. We spend considerable time carefully selecting partner businesses that will treat you as a ‘member’ of the NFU Mutual family.
Anybody 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.|
|Approved Glass||Your claim can be directed to Autoglass, National Windscreens or Nationwide Windscreens as we use three suppliers to ensure the widest possible UK coverage.|
|Enterprise Rent a Car||If your car is a write off or stolen, Enterprise will provide the 14 day courtesy car.|
|AX||If Enterprise Rent a Car are unable to provide the courtesy car we may use our contingency supplier to meet your needs.|
|Synetiq/Adam Hewitt Ltd.||If your car is a write off our salvage contractor will contact you to arrange safe storage of your car whilst we settle your claim.|
|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.|
|DAS Law||Solicitors appointed by DAS where your claim needs to be pursued in court.|
|DAC Beachcroft/DWF/ BTO/Carpenters Solicitors||Solicitors who may be instructed to defend or pursue a claim on our behalf.|
|Mutuaide||Emergency Assistance provider based in Paris who are available all day, every day for travel and motor breakdown claims occurring when you are outside of the UK. Contact Number: 00 33 145 16 64 65|
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 another company looking to offer you their services to repair your vehicle and/or provide a hire vehicle. This activity is totally beyond our control and has not been prompted by NFU Mutual or any of our service providers.
It may be that the other driver’s insurance company offers their services because they would prefer to manage the costs themselves rather than simply receive our invoices. Alternatively, you may be approached by a Claims Management Company looking to make a profit by charging inflated costs back to the other driver’s insurance company. NFU Mutual neither pay nor receive referral fees and we cannot stop these other companies from calling you. However, 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 alternative offers which may leave you with some financial risk. Despite any assurances you might be given to the contrary, they are not always provided free of charge to you.
Under the terms of your NFU Mutual policy you have the automatic benefit of legal expenses cover provided by our partner DAS. If the vehicle replacement offering provided by your policy is not sufficient and a larger vehicle is required then, provided you are not at fault for the accident, DAS can arrange to provide a vehicle (via Vehicle Replacement Group Ltd). The costs of which will be managed by them and then recovered from the other driver’s insurance company.
If you are VAT registered, you’ll be required to pay this aspect of the invoice to the repairer. Similarly, the excess should be paid to the garage when you collect your repaired vehicle. If your vehicle is a Total Loss, your excess will be deducted from the pre-accident value once this has been agreed.
Any evidence regarding your accident may be vital in helping your Claims Handler determine liability on your claim. Should you have any footage or images please inform your claims handler ASAP and they will send you a link to our media sharing platform. You can then upload the evidence for your Claims Handler to review and, hopefully, use it to strengthen your case against the Third Party driver.
We will always seek to make a fair decision on liability for our customers. In any liability decision we make, we will ensure that you are well informed and understand the rationale behind the decision.
Unfortunately, there is no specific time frame in which liability must be agreed. Each case will depend upon the time needed to gather evidence and the speed with which the insurers involved correspond with each other. Relatively simple decisions on, for example, “hit while parked” or “hit in rear” cases may be resolved within a few weeks. However, more complex decisions where, for example, none of the involved vehicles were stationary or severe injuries have been sustained may take significantly longer to resolve.
Our claims department will work with you to gather all the evidence and information necessary to make a considered decision. In certain cases, we may need to involve our Claims Inspectors and Solicitors. However, their involvement will always be to protect the best interests of our customers.
Should you receive any correspondence from the Third Party or their representatives during your claim, please forward this to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting your claim reference number, and we will respond on your behalf. This includes contact from other insurers and accident management services.
Some claim types do not affect your NCD, examples of which can be found in your policy booklet. Information on how your NCD may be affected can also be found on the same pages of your policy booklet.
If a Third Party is involved in your claim and they are found to be fully responsible then, provided we can recover the full costs of your claim from that Third Party, your NCD will not be affected. Determining responsibility may take some time though and is not always in NFU Mutual’s control.
All feedback helps us to make sure that our service continually 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. We, along with some of our service providers, like to carry out customer surveys, and we encourage you to give your views openly and honestly.
Finally, this guide is not a substitute for the Car Insurance Reference Booklet [PDF: 376KB] 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.