Uninsured Losses

Basically, uninsured losses are those out of pocket expenses that are not covered by your insurance policy. Normally in the case of a car accident claim, where you were not responsible, these can include your excess which is the amount you have to pay on your insurance policy, personal effects damaged in the accident not covered by your policy, the cost of car hire whilst yours is being repaired, loss of earnings, if it means having time of work to deal with matters relating to the incident etc., etc.

You should check your own insurance policy, as many of the above losses may be covered and need not be claimed back but I would advise trying to claim something back as if successful, it will prove your innocence to your insurer and therefore prevent loss of hard earned no claims discount. What is no claims discount, well it is the discount you receive on your insurance premium for driving without any claims for a certain number of years. Any claims you make on your policy that are not proven to be the other party's fault may result in a loss of a portion or all of this discount.

It is as well to also remember that historically insurers have agreements between themselves. Known as 'knock for knock' agreements these are in place to help reduce costs by insurers. Companies that have such agreements, agree to each pay their own policy holders costs regardless of who was to blame. In these circumstances it becomes even more important to recover your uninsured losses. Knock for knock agreements are less common these days but may still be in force between some companies, so it's best to check.

When you originally took out your insurance policy they may have cheekily added on uninsured loss recovery cover for a small extra amount and hoped you didn't notice. If that's the case on your policy, your insurer will try to recover your out of pocket expenses for you. However, if like me, you want to save money on your initial premium, you can ask for this cover to be removed as it is not difficult to make your own claim and if you think about it, your insurer is not going to be as diligent at recovering your losses as you would be personally.

To recover your uninsured losses, simply write to the other party involved (normally referred to as the third party) and hold them responsible for the accident and ask that they pass your letter onto their insurers. It isn't necessary to go into detail as it is much better to argue liability with their insurer rather than them personally. Mark any letter you send 'WITHOUT PREJUDICE' as this provides you with some legal get out, should the case ever go to court. This notice should mean that anything you say in the letter or letters cannot be used against you. Make sure you add the accident date, location and registration numbers in the heading of your letters and always quote any reference or policy numbers you have.

Once you hear back from the insurer you can begin to submit details as to why you believe their insured to be responsible and send them documentary evidence of your losses such as receipts, estimates etc. Finally, don't be put off by silly offers of settlement, you can still negotiate for what you believe is rightfully yours. this is especially important where your own policy doesn't cover any damage to your own car e.g. third party, fire and theft. In this case your uninsured losses may well be the total cost of repairs or the whole car. For additional local insurance visit alphadirect.

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