Car Accident Insurance Excess Fee Compensation
Could I Claim Compensation For Car Accident Insurance Excess Fees?
If you are in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to compensation. Before receiving it, however, you may find you need to pay a car accident insurance excess fee.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about excess fees for vehicle insurance. We also explain how to recover this cost and other damages from a road traffic accident claim and how to get relevant expert advice.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Here at UK Law, we can offer free specialist advice on personal injury claims. Our panel of lawyers can help with any queries you may have about road traffic accident claims in particular. If you would like to have a confidential talk with a legal expert about vehicle insurance excess fees, then we are happy to help.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Car Accident Insurance Excess Fee Claims
- What Is A Car Accident Insurance Excess Fee?
- Explaining Vehicle Insurance Excess Fees
- Why Do Insurance Policies Have Excess Fees?
- Car Accident Injury And Special Damages Compensation Calculator
- What Other Excess Fees Might I Have To Pay?
- How Do Voluntary And Compulsory Excess Fees Differ?
- Do You Always Have To Pay An Excess Fee?
- How Long Do I Have To Make A Car Accident Insurance Excess Fee Claim?
- I Was Injured In A Car Accident, What Should I Do?
- Do You Handle Car Accident Insurance Excess Fee Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Contact Us For More Help
- Other Information
- FAQs About Car Accident Compensation Claims
You may have certain questions about vehicle insurance excess fees. What are they exactly? How do they work? Why do they exist? How is a compulsory excess fee different to a voluntary one?
Within this guide, we’ll be answering these questions and covering other important aspects of excess fees and car accident claims in general.
Remember, if you have any questions or would like to make a claim, get in touch with our team on the number at the top of this page.
Car accidents can potentially do a lot of damage to yourself, the passengers you had on board and the vehicle you were driving at the time. Therefore, any compensation you can receive from a claim following this type of accident can prove invaluable to cover these damages.
Following a car accident, you may need to start a claim on your own vehicle insurance. This is usually done to cover the initial repairs to your vehicle before you receive any compensation from the other party involved. Before you can get these initial repairs done, your insurance company may charge you an excess fee first. This excess fee should be outlined in your insurance policy.
The chart above comes from the Department for Transport’s annual report on road accidents in Great Britain for 2019/20. It shows the number of serious injuries recorded by the police in road traffic accidents (RTAs) between 2004 and 2019. It’s estimated that there were 30,144 serious injuries caused by RTAs in 2019 alone.
All drivers in the UK are legally required to have an appropriate insurance policy on the vehicles which they use. Usually, as part of a driver’s insurance policy, there will be an excess fee included. It is relevant to any claim you make following a road traffic accident involving you and the vehicle you’re insured to drive.
The excess fee is a specific amount of money that is either held back by your insurance provider or paid to your provider when you make a claim. The cash figure for your insurance policy’s excess fee can vary in size. Numerous factors can influence the excess fee including the following:
- The type of vehicle insurance policy you have (Third Party Only, Third Party, Fire and Theft Insurance or Fully Comprehensive).
- The vehicle you’re insuring.
- How many years you’ve been driving for.
- Whether or not you have a no claims bonus (and how large it is).
Excess fees are what you agree to pay towards any claims you make on your insurance policy. It is often something you’ll pay upfront to get a claim started. So before signing up for a particular policy, you should make sure you can afford the excess fee in the agreement.
Normally, you only pay the excess fee for your damages and when you’re at fault for the accident you’re claiming on. However, there can be exceptions.
You may end up paying the excess fee on your insurance policy for the following:
- Claims for accidents you’re responsible for (also known as at-fault accident claims)
- Fire damage
While your excess fee is usually paid up front to start a claim, it may sometimes be deducted from your total repair bill instead. That means you would pay it at the end of the claims process.
It depends on the circumstances of your claim, who your insurer is and how your policy works. If the cost of repairs to your vehicle is below your excess fee, then you usually can’t claim on your vehicle insurance.
When don’t I have to pay an excess fee?
Potential circumstances which can mean you don’t have to pay your excess fee can include the following:
- If the other driver involved in your accident has admitted fault to their insurer, your excess fee could be waived. You’ll likely still have to pay it at least initially, so you need to be able to afford it. Once your insurer is certain you’re not at fault, you should get the money for your excess fee back.
- If you’re in a road traffic accident with an uninsured or untraced driver, this could affect your excess fee. The fee may be waived and your no claims discount may be protected too.
- You aren’t required to pay your excess fee when someone else claims against you.
- Excess fees aren’t included in Third Party Only (TPO) vehicle insurance.
- If it’s found you weren’t at fault for the accident, your insurer usually claims the excess back from the at-fault party’s insurer.
The safest thing to do is to assume you will always need to pay your excess fee first if you have to make a claim on your vehicle insurance.
While claiming for a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have questions about the compensation amount you’ll receive. The compensation paid out for car accident claims can vary a lot. Final payments are influenced by many factors.
The damages which are compensated for when claiming on a car accident usually fall under ‘general damages’ and ‘special damages’.
General damages are paid out for any injuries you suffered due to your accident. The severity of your injuries also influences the amount given under general damages.
Special damages cover any financial losses which have occurred as a direct result of the accident you’ve experienced. If you had to pay your Insurance policy excess fee following your car accident, then this could be recovered in your compensation claim under special damages.
In the table below, we’ve included estimated compensation figures you may receive under general damages for certain injuries. The injuries listed are ones that can potentially occur following a car accident.
The figures come from the Judicial College guidelines, which solicitors may use to calculate the value of different injuries. The value of financial losses covered by your claim under special damages depends on the circumstances of your case. They will be added on top of general damages.
|Brain or Head Injury||Moderately Severe||£205,580 to £264,650|
|Brain or Head Injury||Less Severe||£14,380 to £40,410|
|Face Injury - Scarring||Very Severe||£27,940 to £91,350|
|Face Injury - Scarring||Less Severe||£16,860 to £45,440|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Loss Of Sight In One Eye||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Minor||£3,710 to £8,200|
|Back Injury||Moderate||£11,730 to £36,390|
|Back Injury||Minor||From around £2,300 to £11,730|
|Neck Injury||Moderate||£7,410 to £36,120|
|Neck Injury||Minor||From around £2,300 to £7,410|
You can contact UK Law for a more accurate calculation of how much compensation could be given in your particular car accident claim.
Depending on who you are or certain other circumstances, you may have to pay a different or extra excess fee for your vehicle accident claim. This could happen under the following circumstances:
- If you’re below the age of 21, you may have to pay an additional excess on top of your regular one. This depends on the exact details of your policy.
- You may be charged an extra excess if your vehicle’s windscreen needs replacing as part of your accident claim. This extra excess could be avoided if the windscreen can be repaired without replacement.
- If you get your car repaired from an unapproved garage or mechanic, your insurer may ask for an additional excess before your claim can be completed. When you are involved in an accident with your vehicle, you should inform your insurer as soon as you can. Your insurer may advise you on which approved repairer they want you to use to get the damage to your vehicle fixed. If you don’t check this with your insurer first, then you could end up paying extra for your claim.
A car insurance excess fee can consist of two types of fees combined. One is the compulsory excess and the other is a voluntary excess.
At a minimum, the compulsory excess fee is included. It is set by the insurance provider and they calculate it based on several factors. This includes the age of the driver taking out the policy and details of the vehicle they are insuring.
The voluntary excess is an additional and optional amount of money you pay on top of the compulsory excess fee for your policy. While you are getting an insurance policy for your vehicle, you can set the amount you’ll pay in voluntary excess. You don’t have to add a voluntary excess, but doing so usually lowers the premiums for your insurance. A bigger voluntary excess leads to larger discounts.
Following a car accident, you will have to pay an excess fee before you can claim on your insurance in most circumstances. There are certain circumstances where it may be waived or gained back. However, the safest approach is to assume you will always have to pay your excess fee following an accident.
Even if a car accident you’re in wasn’t your fault, you may still have to pay your excess fee at least initially. While you could get it back later, you should make sure you can afford the fee before taking out your insurance policy.
If you are involved in a car accident or another type of road traffic accident, there is usually a time limit for starting a personal injury compensation claim for the incident. As standard, this type of claim needs to be started within three years of the date of the accident.
Following a road traffic accident, you may need to claim on your own vehicle insurance policy for initial repairs. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to pay the excess fee on your policy before this particular claim can begin. You may be able to gain back the excess you paid to your insurer as part of your personal injury claim.
It is important to mention that the standard three year time limit for starting a personal injury claim for road traffic accidents works differently under certain circumstances. For instance, if a child is injured in a car accident, then the time limit for claiming does not start immediately for that child. It remains frozen until the child reaches their 18th birthday.
A child cannot start a personal injury claim on their own. However, a representative known as a litigation friend can start a personal injury claim on a child’s behalf. A child can begin to represent themself in a compensation claim once they’ve reached the age of 18.
Another scenario where the three-year time limit for claiming is frozen is when a victim lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. If a victim recovers sufficiently to the point where they can start their own claim, then the three-year time limit will become active when this happens. A litigation friend can start a car accident claim on behalf of someone lacking in mental capacity before they’ve recovered it (or if recovery is not possible).
If you are in a car accident, then the first thing to check just after it has happened is the condition of yourself and any passengers with you. If you can, approach the other drivers involved in the accident to exchange the required information for insurance claims.
Before doing anything else, make sure you get the medical care you require for any injuries you’ve suffered. Obtain evidence of any medical treatment you receive. This could include medical notes and a discharge letter. This evidence could prove useful later if you make a personal injury claim.
What to do following recovery
When you’ve been treated for your injuries, you may need to report the accident to the police in time. That’s assuming it hasn’t been reported to them already.
You should also contact your insurance provider about the accident as soon as you can. This is a necessary step, even if you don’t intend to make a personal injury claim. Failing to do so within the set period detailed by your policy could invalidate it. When reporting the accident to your insurance provider, give as much information about it as you can.
After following all of these steps, you could then look to start a personal injury claim, as long as you feel comfortable doing so and have good reason to believe you’re entitled to compensation. You should collect together evidence you have that can support your claim. The sooner you can do this, the better. Dashcam footage or witness contact details are some of the types of evidence you could possibly collect.
After gathering your evidence, you could then contact a solicitor who could support your case. Ideally, you’ll want to hire a solicitor with prior experience in handling car accident claims. Your chosen solicitor will ask questions about your potential case and review your evidence. If you sign an agreement with your solicitor, they should then guide you through all the next steps.
Signing a No Win No Fee agreement with a solicitor offers certain guarantees which boost your financial security. The benefits include the following:
- You’ll only need to pay your solicitor for their service if your claim is successful.
- You won’t need to pay any of your solicitor’s legal fees upfront or during the case.
- It won’t be necessary to pay your solicitor’s legal fees if the case goes ahead and proves unsuccessful.
Following a successful claim under a No Win No Fee basis, your solicitor will take a small percentage from your compensation to cover their fees. Your contract with your solicitor should include details of how exactly the payment works.
You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on car accident claims. Our panel of lawyers can offer their insight into any questions you may have about your personal injury claim. You can contact us through the following methods:
- Reach out to us on our live online chat service
- Fill in a call back form
- Submit a claim online form
- Phone us by calling 020 3870 4868
For more insight into car accident claims, you can check out our other guides linked to below:
This guide provides more insight into making a claim when supported by a solicitor who specialises in road traffic accident claims.
You can read this guide if you’re looking for more information about claiming against an uninsured driver.
This guide explains more on how to know the right time and procedure to report a car accident based on its circumstances.
What should I do if involved in a car accident?
If you are involved in a car accident, then first make sure that you and any passengers with you are okay or if they need any medical treatment. Exchange details for your insurance claim if you were a driver in the accident. Report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible.
Could I still claim if partially at fault?
It may be possible to claim compensation from a car accident even if you were partially at fault. If you are deemed partially responsible at the end of your case, then any compensation you receive will be reduced based on your level of liability. For example, it will be halved if you are considered 50% responsible for the accident.
Should I accept the other party’s offer?
If you make a compensation claim against another party following a car accident, then they or their insurer may offer you a settlement to end the claim. It is up to you whether you accept or reject such an offer. We recommend you think carefully about any such offers and whether it reflects the damages you’ve suffered. You should never be pressured into taking any offer.
How long do car accident claims work?
The time it takes to complete a car accident claim can vary a lot. The process may take 6-12 months or less if the liable party takes the blame early or is easy to work out. However, some car accident cases can be more complex and require more evidence gathering.
Thanks for reading our guide on the car accident insurance excess fee.