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Insurance Company Trying To Write Off My Cooper

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#1 christopherhayes86


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:31 AM


Unfortunately someone didn't like the back of my cooper and redesigned it with me inside. After many arguments the insurance company still want to scrap her saying that a £2500 repair bill is higher than the value of the car.
She is a 91 plate 1275 cooper carburettor model, zero rust and immaculate, does anyone have a rough valuation?

Thanks for your help in advance.



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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:33 AM

just look on piston heads,

these can be up to £5000.


£2500 would be for a run of the mill cooper with the normal mini rusty areas,

#3 cal844


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:35 AM

get an engineers report on the car!

#4 GraemeC


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:50 AM

Build as much evidence as you can for the asking prices of similar age, spec and condition Minis. Ideally from garages but ebay and small ads will help.

Send this to your insurance company and politely say that you don't believe their pre-accident valuation is accurate to the current market and ask for details of how you take this up with the insurance ombudsman.

#5 sonikk4


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:57 AM

Get a decent engineers report though, someone who knows classic cars. Also did you have good quality pictures of the car before the accident?? All of these help in the fight.

Post up pictures of the damage as well.

#6 christopherhayes86


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 12:58 PM

They put me in touch with the engineer who did the value her and he had no idea, which made me query why he was doing the valuation. I priced up the parts and worse case is £900, but I'm pretty sure the subframe hasn't been touched which will drop the cost.

The insurance won't take the file I have created for a valuation as they see it as a biased opinion. I've now convinced them to send someone else around whilst I'm there.

They have no idea the first call I had about her was from the salvage yard even before they had seen the damage.

#7 Black.Ghost


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:18 PM

It's not a biased opinion if it's just information gathered from public sources. Good luck in the fight; they are probably worrying because the value is twice what they expected.

#8 GraemeC


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:22 PM

Biased opinion - yes, but then so is theirs! 

Difference is you have gathered facts whereas they have used an assessor that is used to looking at new cars day in day out, not classics.


As said - ask for the details of the ombudsman, especially if you feel they aren't bothering to listen to you.

#9 Carlos W

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:27 PM

Where's the car now?


If it's at home make sure they don't take it anywhere.


Also, find out who the other party is insured with

#10 Yoda


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:44 PM

Ask them if you can buy it back if they write it off. that way you keep the car and they will give you money which will cover the cost of a professional repair so,


"quids in you will be"


Plus by the sound of it you have a 91 mainstream cooper which is now becoming a collectors item, not just a classic.



Last time i did this i got payed out 1800 quid, bought the car back for £400 and made the repairs myself. If only a cat D write off there is no need to get it inspected either and i believe very soon the same will apply to cat C

Edited by Yoda, 19 November 2015 - 01:48 PM.

#11 1984mini25


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:34 PM

The bigger issue is Without agreed valve insurance any car over 10 years old, from an insurance point of view is only worth its scrap valve. So with a mini your looking at best £100 to £150.

#12 Sleepy Stu

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:25 PM

For everybody reading this please, please make sure you have an agreed valuation on your mini's with your insurance provider!


Christopher I'm assuming you are dealing with the 3rd parties insurance company. If so don't take any crap at the end of the day they are just trying to pay out as little as possible and they dont have much a leg to stand on as their driver is in the wrong. Hopefully you have legal cover so if needed you can get your insurance company involved to start fighting your case.


Also do not let them take the car anywhere. If they do I promise you, you will never see it again.


Good luck!

Edited by Sleepy Stu, 20 November 2015 - 05:33 PM.

#13 Tomm


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:32 PM

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. 


I have recently had to deal with my insurance for the first time. Mine is not a mini but my work van that was hit by a lorry driver that fell asleep on the M5. 


I have spent countless hours on the phone to them with very disappointing results. I can only assume they deal with hundreds, if not thousands of people a day and feed them the same old rubbish with a high majority of them looking for the ordeal to be done and dusted as soon as possible and accepting the response on the they are given initially. 


I spent 5 hours on the phone one day, getting passed from pillar to post with no satisfactory responses at all. I ended my final phone call with mention of the ombudsman and that I was very unhappy. The following morning I got a very nice phone call from a woman who as appointed to handle my case, we spoke about what I wanted the final outcome to be and she seemed to get on the case. Due to not being at fault in my claim it seems as though my insurer have finally pulled their finger out and started getting somewhere, or at least I sure hope they have! 


I spoke with an insurance adviser at my own cost, he advised me of the term "indemnity" this means that your insurer is liable to ensure that you, as a policy holder must be compensated to the extent that you are returned to the same position you were in before the accident. My current problem is that I undervalued my van, now it is wrecked and I now have to replace my van like for like I am unable to for the disclosed valuation amount, I have undervalued my van by around 35%. My current argument is that my the current market value for my van is £X and to replace it I need that amount. 


I wonder if you can prove beyond any reasonable doubt that your mini would cost (for arguments sake here) £5000 to replace and that if they are to deem the vehicle a total loss that is what they would have to pay out, if that would make them reconsider the option of writing it off and paying it out. 


I assume you still have the car with you? I don't know if you would be able to get a specialist around, be it a mini or classic specialist, and have them to put a "Pre Accident Value" on the car which they would be prepared to present to you to forward to your insurance provider. If you look on Copart they do in fact provide a PAV from what I remember. This may then work in your favor when it comes to the repairs being valued. You also have to remember that in most cases they are using a high end firm to supply labour and panels which will give a very high repair estimate, this is why so many people buy accident damaged vehicles back to have them repaired themselves and often times end up quids in as a result. 


Just for the record, everything I have said above is from my own personal experience and may not be 100% factually accurate, but if it helps you in any way. Bonus. 

#14 Ethel


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Posted 20 November 2015 - 12:09 AM

The usual insurance claim issues that have graced TMF since the beginning.


1. Keep the car in your possession, if at all possible, until the claim is agreed.


2. Don't claim through your own insurers if the other party is clearly at fault. Unless they're uninsured or you suspect you could be subject to a counter claim.


3. Be prepared to hold out for a decent offer. You can also claim for renting a replacement or other transport costs up until they make a reasonable offer. Escalating their costs like this counteracts them trying to wear you down.


4. They usually do prefer to write off old cars because there are often complications and arguments over the repairs. Consider a buy back/salvage offer, but get an assurance, in writing, over how it will be categorised first.

#15 christopherhayes86


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Posted 20 November 2015 - 11:01 PM

Thank you for all of your advice, had some good news today after some tiring phone calls. The insurance company sent an independent advisor to carry out a valuation, according to the garage he laughed when he got there and said it was worth £6000 all day long minimum. He's going to do a bit more research to confirm this, but it's looking good.

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