Whatever the truth, Kelly’s experience led him to set up Motor Claim Guru, a company that, he says, helps motorists obtain fairer treatment from insurers. Here are five of the most common complaints it receives.
Kelly claims the majority of people who contact him say their insurer is offering them less than the market value for their car. Kelly says it’s a ploy by insurers to save money by incentivising their assessors to reduce valuation figures.
“When I was an assessor with a major insurer, I was on a 10% profit share on condition that rather than offering the market price, my valuations were within 80% of Glass’s Guide’s suggested retail price for the car,” he says.
A customer can dispute the insurer’s valuation but Kelly claims that most insurers don’t budge. Instead, they direct the customer to the Insurance Ombudsman, Kelly says, knowing they’ll probably give up. Which is where Kelly steps in.
“Where I believe the valuation to be obviously wrong, I’m happy to help clients secure a higher figure,” he says. “In such cases, I have a 99% success rate.”
Fitted options ignored
Depending on the model, most trade guides quote valuations that include popular options. Where additional ones are fitted, it can, says Kelly, be difficult to persuade an insurer to recognise them when calculating a payout.
He recalls helping a client who was in dispute with his insurer over his Mercedes G-Wagen that had been written off and had £40,000 worth of options fitted to it. The insurer refused to reflect the value of the options in its payout until Kelly got involved, at which point they increased their offer by £20,000.
Claims unpaid #1
Refusing to pay a claim is a simple way for an insurer to save money. A common excuse, says Kelly, is that you didn’t reveal something, such as points on your licence, when you took out the policy. “I’ve seen a significant increase of this type of claims refusal in the past two years,” he says.
Points are one thing but one of Kelly’s clients had his claim refused following an accident because he’d constructed a frame inside his van onto which he’d placed a mattress so that he had somewhere to sleep when surfing. His insurer said that as a result, he’d turned his van into a motorhome so the insurance cover no longer applied.
Kelly says: “Not only did the insurer refuse to pay him a settlement figure for his van but they also wanted him to repay the £7000 they’d paid the driver of the other car.”
Kelly challenged the insurer’s decision, quoting the DVLA’s definition of a motorhome, and won, gaining a full payout plus £5000 compensation and 8% interest on the whole claim.
Claims unpaid #2