A drunken man travelling just short of the speed of sound crashed into my car at 2am one Sunday morning around 10 weeks ago, the police attended and the man was taken away in an ambulance. He will be charged with drink driving, no insurance and dangerous driving. I was asleep and my car parked legally on the road.
As a result of the accident my car had only 3 wheels attached to it, and was pushed in to two other cars. I asked that the vehicle be removed from the road as it was unquestionably not roadworthy, and as a result, illegal to keep on the road. I was advised by Elephant that the car would be collected by a salvage company within 5 days. After another 1 hour on the phone at a cost of nearly £10 from a mobile (0870), they asked a local garage to collect the car the following day.
The legal assistance team. These people provided a base model diesel Volkswagen passat as a vehicle for me to use until my claim was settled as it was so obviously not my fault. They charge £454 a week for this vehicle, (for the same money you can have a Lamborghini Gallardo on lease) this cost is then passed on to the 3rd party in this case the uninsured man, 10 weeks on this "loan car" has racked up a bill for £4540.00! It just so happens the car belongs to a lease hire company owned by Elephant’s legal expenses people. I have received letters telling me I must mitigate my costs, yet this "loan car" is nearly 10 times the price off the same vehicle on lease hire, or even just 3 times the current car hire rate. This I believe is not mitigating costs. Either they have no idea what the going rate is, if this is the case the person in charge should go, or, they chose to ignore it and make a huge profit out your misfortune at the cost to all the premium payers.
The valuation. Let me firstly state that I have had jaguars, Daimlers, bmws, deloreans, and Volkswagen camper vans, amongst other interesting vehicles, each one was picked because it was different and rewarding to own in a different way. The car in this case was very rare and there is no direct replacement. Due to the complexity of the car, insurance premiums are very expensive and Elephant told me it was in group 27 to insure because they are so costly to repair, it is interesting that this is taken in to account for the premium but not the payout. It was a Citroen xantia activa (look it up on the net if you’re interested) complete with all the options, full service and previously owned by Citroen specialists workshop manager. I spent 6 months finding this car. The day before the accident I had spent £700 on small imperfections, 2 weeks previous I had spent £300 on a new exhaust system. It had a very very slight blow. Elephant offered me £1000.
In the 10 weeks that this catalogue of errors has gone on, not one vehicle of the same specification as mine has been for sale in on the auto trader in the whole of the UK, but even so they believe £1000 to be the market value. If I was going to sell the car I would not have spent £1000 on it and then sell it for £1000. Maybe Elephant.co.uk could inform me why my car is worth 1/3 of what it cost me after 1 year and why their car is worth 10 times the market value. If I purchased a replacement activa I would have to find an extra £300 - £500 myself for the initial purchase, lose many of the options my car had, lose the £1000 I spent in the few weeks before hand and then due to the complexity of the car and the fact that most Citroen dealers don’t know what an activa is never mind how to fix it, I would also need to spend an estimated £1000 on the replacement vehicles suspension to bring it up to standard that leaves me at least £2000 down. I had 3 offers all for £1000, they have ignored 3 requests for a final response, the ombudsman has been informed and is writing to them.
Insurance companies take on risk, yet one risk they did not want to take on was to find a replacement car and undertake any repairs required to bring the car up to the standard of the previous vehicle. If they would take on the risk why should I? And if it would only be worth £1000 anyway how could I possibly benefit from it.
I also had to pay my car insurance all this time even though they cancelled the policy, I don’t have the car and I’m not receiving or using a service.
My policy was not cheap, however,
What do you get if you pay peanuts?