09 Mar 2015

A question about : Another Albany Assistance car crash query...

Hi all, hoping someone can provide advice on the best way to proceed. Apologies for the long post ...

Situation so far:
- No-fault accident for which the other driver/insurer have accepted full liability.
- My insurers, Bell, have passed me off to Albany Assistance.
- Albany have arranged a hire car for me (which I've received) plus got my car in with a repair specialist for a quote (no further progress yet).
- 3rd party's insurer (Swiftcover) has also contacted me offering repair etc + courtesy car at no cost to me.

I've just received a Vehicle Repair Finance Agreement from Albany, which on first sight looked a bit worrying, hence a search of this forum which turned up a number of worrying threads on Albany suggesting that:
A - Albany would take AGES to get the car fixed/process the claim.
B - If Albany's handling of hire cars etc results in unreasonable costs the 3rd party insurer might not pay it all back, leaving me liable.

On the plus side having re-read the finance agreement it actually looks OK, BUT can I avoid either / both of the above problems (if they are actual problems!) by:
1. Don't sign the repair finance agreement: the car's only worth Ј1500, if repairs are that I can affort to pay it and presumably get Bell/Albany to recover it, if its >Ј1500 for repair it'll be a write-off anyway.
2. Get Albany to cancel the hire car / repairers and take up Swiftcover's offer.

thanks in advance to anyone who's read this far!


Best answers:

  • I was in the same boat, and I returned the Albany Assistance car after 48 hours. Like you, I received an equivalent hire car offered by the 3rd party insurer, and that took all my worries away.
    You are right that Albany's costs might end up in your lap if the 3rd party insurer refuses to pay up that amount, especially if they have offered you an equivalent hire car from their end.
    Make sure that you don't take any nonsense from Albany, I was quite firm in telling them that they needed to come and collect the car right away.
  • Wow, thanks for the quick reply! Did that all work out, i.e. you didn't end up paying for the Albany car while you had had it? Did you still go thro them for the repairs?
    thanks again,
  • Before handing the car back to Albany, I spoke to the 3rd party insurer and they confirmed they would bear the costs for the 48 hours that I was using it. Anyway, it worked out a lot cheaper for the insurer because Albany were intending to charge twice the going rate for providing the car. The third party insurer fixed me up with a nice 6 month old car from Enterprise Rental, and they settled the bill directly without any hassle.
    However, I didn't take up the repair offer from the 3rd party insurer as I felt that they might use cheaper parts, so I got my own insurer to fix my car.
  • i would take the offer frmm swift cover..
    albany/drive assist/help hire fees are astronomical and the insurers can refuse to pay them they ultimatley then its your problem..
    ask them what about a write off situation and weather they'd provide a car till settlement is sorted
  • Oh man how did anyone manage to deal with these sorts of companies before this forum!!
    @mcjordi - thanks, very good point.
    @both - the Albany deal does include insurance in case the 3rd party insurer doesn't pay the full amount, but it needs you to sign the credit agreement to get it, and then possibly having to chase *another* insurance claim after a waiting period of 343 days (or something similar) - who wants to be doing that! - as someone else said, I just want it sorted with the minumum of hassle!
    I've also concluded that there's less chance of getting the car written-off if I get Swiftcover to provide the courtesy car, as there'll be less cost overall and therefore (compared to the car's value) more money for repairs ....
    However as I've had the Albany car since Wed and I'm not going to manage a swap till Mon, to do this I'm going to have to get Swiftcover to confirm they'll be happy to cover all costs to date, else I'm better off sticking with Albany & signing all the paperwork, grrrr...
    I think MSE need to do an article on this!
  • i think swift cover would gladly pay albany for the few days youve had the hire car.. rather than the 8+weeks your likely to have it if they dont
    they are looking out for there profits not you sorry to say and will do what ever is cheaper for them, which to start is to rid you of albany as its a major expense for them..
    if its too expensive to repair then swift will write it off and pay you out for the car.. so start looking for similar mileage/age cars just incase and save the adverts to negotiate a settlement.
    and dont forget if your injured aswell
  • Be careful of Swift Cover, their claims management company SIMS, are renowned for cutting corners.
    Like a host of other insurers they will use Non Genuine parts to repair your vehicle as they are approx a third of the price but repairers hate having to fit them as more often than not they do not fit properly.
    They will also demand that you have your car repaired at their approved garage. These garages are the ones who agree to work for the least amount of money. If you do not agree to have your car repaired they will just give you a cash settlement based on the costs they would have paid their garage and leave you to arrange the repairs and foot the difference in repair cost.
  • I'm in this boat now, I'd love to hear what happened next loststeve.
  • Yes I'm also in the same boat - some idiot crashed into me whilst I was giving way to him at a speed bump thing and is trying to say I was on his side of the road therefore I was in the wrong - even though he hit me (a stationary vehicle!)
    Albany are dealing with the claim rather than royal sun alliance as it was not my fault and I have an independant witness to say I was not in the wrong. I have a albany hire car and they have my trashed car in their garage but I'm nervous of signing their vehicle repair hire agreement even though the woman from Albany said I will definately not have to pay the costs even if the 3rd partys insurance don't pay out - just not sure if I beleive them knowing that they would actually have an agreement saying I would bear the costs
  • Ask them to confirm it in writing if they are certain you will not have to pay under any circumstances...
  • Ask them for a copy of the legal expenses insurance policy wording that they provide, as this will cover you for any costs that are not recovered from the guilty party's insurer.
    hope it helps.
  • Credit hire companies offer non fault hires (Credit hire) on accidents where they feel a strong chance to recover the costs. If they feel they will be unable to recover the costs or feel a dispute in liability they will back out of providing a car.
    Credit hire companies take the risk of losing the cost should it be disputed but it never falls back on yourself it will always go to the credit hire company/your insurer before you (dependant on whether you were offered a car above one that is similar to your own)
    Credit hire excists to make money, that is all, all insurers do it.
    Credit hire companies will also closely monitor the length of time you're in hire because they realise any un-necessary delay will result in a lesser chance for them to recover their costs back via the Third Party Insurer.
  • Adam260 you might want to reconsider the wording of your post, as the fact of the matter is that some (Not all) Credit Hire Companies will pursue the hirer for the costs if they cannot recover from the third party. I suspect you are quoting using experience of your own company.
    Have a look through the MSE forums (You can perform searches) or the moneysupermarket forums or even better honestjohns.co.uk forum You will find plenty of people who have credit hire companies pursuing them for large amounts of money. I have seen people pursued for amounts upwards of Ј8000.
    I'm concerned that people will read your post and not realise the potential risks of a credit hire.
    P.S There are plenty of rumours from employees of credit hire companies that cars are loaned out for longer periods than necessary especially when their targets are not being met. I assume you did not receive the infamous round robin email from the "Disgruntled" employee of a major Credit Hire Company.
  • Albany Assistance policies offer protection on them anyway ensuring that costs do not fall back on yourself - that's a product that I know they offer.
    I cannot speak for other CHO ie: Drive Assist, AI Claims.
  • Guys, just want to say thanks for the advice in this thread. Had a non fault accident last night, and got put on to Albany. The hire car I was supposed to get didn't arrive today, and I had a nightmare trying to get hold of them on the phone. I googled Albany and found this among other threads with horror stories about them!
    I've cancelled the hire car and also cancelled Albany's repair to my car... I won't be signing any credit agreements with them. I've instructed Elephant to recover my car and have it repaired by their approved repairer, who will provide a courtsey car... all under my own policy. Obviously I'll have to pay my Ј350 excess, but it will be recovered from the 3rd party's insurer.
    I've been informed by Elephant that I must use Albany for my personal injury and uninsured losses claim.
  • Emm Eff you do not have to use Albany for your injury and uninsured losses, you are free to use whoever you want. Elephant are being underhand by telling you this, they are being influenced by the Ј300 + commission Albany will pay them if you make an injury claim through them.
    As you have read Albany are worse than useless
  • It's only recommended because they're the legal providers on the policy, something that's included in the policy you have taken out. If you want to use a different company then that's your choice, it's just a recommendation that's all.
  • The guy at Elephant told me that Albany only appoint the solicitors, which is why I decided just to leave it at that.
    I'm actually confused by the whole setup. The accident is non-fault, I have fully comp cover + guaranteed no claims... why would I even want to use Albany??? Why do Elephant even recommend them in a situation like mine when they know they'll get their money recobered from the other insurer.
    It seems daft that Elephant would have their customers confused with these 3rd party companies and the finance agreement etc... OK, so Elephant get commission, but they've probably lost a customer come my renewal date!
    All I can say is I'm glad I got on to Elephant and asked them to deal with the claim under my policy!