We Must Reform Motor Insurance

At times, Motor Insurance seems like one of the biggest scams possible.

They exist not to fight your corner or to get you back to square one, but to do as little and pay as little as possible.

I myself had a car accident recently where my car was written off. It is one of the classic ones where I'm in the right hand lane of a dual carriageway overtaking a truck, driving under the speed limit and keeping my distance of 2 seconds to the vehicle in front, who then at the last seconds swerves into the left hand lane in front of a truck and reveals a stationary car that had broken down in my lane.

The van driver (www.islandfireprotection.co.uk)  had a clear view of the broken down vehicle and either didn't notice it (driving without due care and attention) or deliberately decided to drive as fast as possible to try a dangerous move and swerve around the van risking death to the person in the broken down car.

The van obscured the view I had of the broken down car, so I did not have as much luxury of the amount of reaction time that the van driver had. Though I could have reacted to the van driver doing an emergency stop, I could not respond to a broken down vehicle like that with no warning.

At the very least I would have expected my insurance company to back me up with seeking the van driver and helping me with a prosecution and 50/50 responsibility due to the negligence displayed by the van driver.

At the best, I would have hoped my insurance company would have seen that actually, there was nothing I could do and the actions of the van driver directly impacted my ability to take reasonable action.

As it is, the insurance company consider me 100% liable.

Annoying as it is, fair enough.

So to replace my car with virtually like for like, will cost £2500.

I've got a reasonable settlement which nearly covers that, however the way settlements are calculated need to be improved.

Last year, I spent over £1000 on a new Electronic Brake Module, 2 new Calipers, 1 new spring, 1 new battery and this year, I've just had a new wheel bearing and two new front tyres that were barely 200 miles old at the time of the accident. On top of this there's £70 worth of fuel in the tank.

While the settlement gives me a car that is similar in age, mileage, and appearance, it does not take into account the mechanical conditions of the car and any work you've done on it. If you go to an independent dealer, you will not get new tyres, you will not get a full tank of fuel, and you will not have had all the brakes done. They will do just enough work to get through an MOT.

I could get another car where I'll have to spend another £1000 on parts that I didn't need to worry about on my current car. As far as the insurance is concerned, they won't offer you any extra for the extra love and maintenance that you've given to your car. Even if you can prove it.

If you cannot take your work with you in the event of a write off, Insurance IMHO should at least cover the cost of a full tank of fuel and new tyres (if you can prove they are less than six months old). I would ideally like them to cover the cost of any work you've had completed over the previous 12 months so you're not out of pocket if you need to complete the same work on your new "like for like" car. Or they should provide like for like replacement through some kind of limited warranty. So if the calipers fail on my new car within 12 months of the date of the original claim, I should be able to claim the cost of replacement back from the insurance.

If you won't get the money, then what incentive is there for anyone to actually maintain their car to a high standard?


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