I just want to claim my excess

Insurance advice from Your Key
I just want to claim my excess.

We are often asked how you go about recovering your insurance excess.

It is tempting to take a bigger excess to keep our premiums down, and that works, but it can be a pain after an accident which is not your fault.

You must inform your own insurer about any accident whether you want to claim or not. Remember Your Key will do that for you if you contact us first and we handle your case.

If you have fully comprehensive insurance you might claim first on that policy for your vehicle damage and then seek to claim against the person to blame. You pay up your excess and your repair is done. This can be a mistake.

The reason why recovering that excess is difficult is that if you are claiming for property damage alone, and the claim is below £5,000, the costs of using a solicitor to run your claim cannot be recovered from the other side when you win. It is an uneconomic case and falls outside most legal expenses insurance policies. Most policies we know of, including the one we use, do not cover the recovery of excess alone.

The other mistake is to think that because the accident was the fault of someone else your insurance record will not be damaged. You are wrong because if your insurer has made a payment your no claims record goes backwards.

The next mistake is to believe that when your insurance company pays for your repair they will get back the money from the person at fault, or their insurance company. Some insurers chase the party at fault, and some do not. It is pot luck what practice your insurance company follows, but it is your insurance claims record which will suffer. It is expensive to recover relatively small amounts, particularly when your premium can be increased next renewal.

The legal cover operated by Your Key covers any accident in which there is an injury. If your injury is worth at least £1,000 then your legal costs will be paid by the party to blame, and within that case your excess and other losses can be recovered. It is when you are claiming below £5,000 for property only losses that the no costs rule applies, or where an injury is worth less that £1,000 and property loss is below £5,000.

The best way to avoid chasing the excess yourself is if you use credit repair or credit hire. If another motorist was responsible for the accident the credit repairer will agree to fix your vehicle and will recover payment direct from the insurer of the person to blame. Much better than having your own insurer do the job and make a mess of your insurance claims record. Credit hire is similar. The hirer decides if you have a good case, if you need the vehicle, and will then hire a vehicle to you. The hire will be paid by the insurance company of the person to blame. Within that case you can recover your repair costs plus any other expenses or losses.

Credit repair and credit hire are sometimes given a bad name. The rules are actually quite tight and the company we use operates within the agreements between the credit hire and insurance industries. The credit repair and credit hire companies that get it wrong tend to be too quick to hire expensive vehicles, allow the hire to drag on, and seek high rates of hire. It is not a surprise the insurance companies kick up and fight such cases. This type of company leaves you at risk. We take great care to ensure we work with legitimate companies which operate to high industry standards.

Through credit repair and credit hire you have the services you need, you usually avoid payment of your excess, and if not professionals will recover the excess and any other expenses for you.

If you cannot use credit repair or credit hire, and the property damage you seek is below £5,000 then please see our detailed guidance on bringing a small claim in the Legal Rights category.