Insurer reduces settlement offer because of pre-existing damage to van

Motor Insurance

When Ben’s van was written off, his insurer offered him less than he was expecting, so he asked us to investigate.

What happened

Ben's van was written off after someone attempted to steal it. He put in a claim with his insurer, but when they gave him their payment offer, he was unhappy with it and complained. The insurer explained in its final response that they were paying market value for the van, making deductions for the condition and mileage. 

Ben was still unhappy about this, so he contacted us so we could look into it. 

What we said

We checked the trade guides and found these agreed with the insurer's starting point. 

We then looked at the evidence to support the deductions made, including photos of the damage and an estimate for the repair. We found that the insurer had taken 50% of the estimate cost of repairing the pre-existing damage off the valuation. 

We explained to Ben that the market value his insurer needed to pay was for a similar mileage and condition. And we felt that the insurer should be able to take into account any pre-existing damage when the incident happened. We felt the deduction the insurer made was fair. 

We didn't think Ben had been treated unfairly and the insurer's valuation was fair, so we didn't uphold his complaint.