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Thread: Warning: Lumley insurance

  1. #11
    Senior Member Merv's Avatar
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    Rivetted Paul! I had the same issue with an insurance company and the storm damage to our old iron roof in Brisbane. They kept insisting that it was wear and tear (some of it was 95 years old). I kept saying it didn't leak before the storm... am I not covered for storm damage (I was)? They eventually paid the lot. So Frank's neat point about "coincidence and co-incident" is maybe the key. You may be not able to absolutely prove it did not leak before the accident, but they cant prove it did? All you know is it leaked after the accident.
    Merv

    Member # 2633
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  2. #12
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    update - with story and learnings to follow:

    - after 18 months,
    - a tortuous and nightmare process,
    - the despicable, dishonest, proven lying, and (IMHO, and to be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") - the consumer watchdog) unconscionable conduct and behaviour from IAG (Insurance Australia Group, owner of NRMA / Lumley ++)

    - the "full monty" investigation by the Financial Ombudsman ruled 100+% in my favour
    - eventually the cheques were received (very late of course, in breach of the Ombudsman's instructions) and have cleared
    - and this horrible "totally not at fault" process is over


    Thanks for the advice re the Financial Ombudsman … they were fantastic …

    … never give up …

    Short and succinct summary to follow ...
    Paul

    1969 ex-South African RHD Tangerine 911T (matching numbers)
    1970 ex-Southern Californian LHD Conda 911T (matching numbers)
    1955 Series 1 86" Land Rover (original Australian CKD … stripped to chassis and slowly re-building)
    1987 W124 230e

    (long term paid up member)

  3. #13
    Senior Member Fishcop's Avatar
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    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the update on your saga...

    Glad to hear you got the right result, albeit with the associated heartburn.

    I'll cross-link this topic in the Aussie Typ901 forum which runs an insurance thread.

    Cheers
    J
    John Forcier
    EarlyS #1987
    1968 911 Race Car "Grun Hilda"
    1969 S/T interpretation "Blau Healer"
    Restoration Saga

  4. #14
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    thanks John

    OK - here we are.
    (never is as short as you hope ….)

    (a) Story:
    - see the earlier post
    - fyi I’ve had one “at fault” accident in my life before, some 5 years ago in a family car
    - My 1970 Porsche 911 had had a full engine rebuilt, at high cost (I think everyone here understands this !), at an exclusive Porsche workshop (known in Australia as one of the very best) just 3 months before the accident. It did not leak after this engine rebuild
    - This was a “not at fault” accident (someone drove into the back of me when I was stopped at a red light, allowing a lady with buggy to cross the road)
    - After the accident, the engine immediately started to leak. That very night.
    - My insurer (a specialist classic insurer, Lumley) had in recent months just been bought by another insurer (IAG / NRMA). Unfortunately, the guy who drove into me was insured by NRMA. So in effect: one part of the IAG business was claiming against another part of IAG. Not good for the victim: me
    - Whilst the insurer agreed to the body-work damage (including slight chassis re-straightening needed – it was a hard bang), the insurer immediately rejected any: (a) repairs to fix the new oil leak (b) exhaust repairs (bent/hit hard)
    - the engine was removed from the car. After the dismantling of the exhaust system from the engine, the mechanics discovered a cracked #1 barrel. The insurer then also rejected (c) any engine repairs, or responsibility, whatsoever.


    (b) What I understand
    - insurance companies are subject to fraudulent claims on a daily basis
    - that is appalling

    - their response, whenever they can, is to deny responsibility / say no

    - Their response seems totally arbitrary. My case was good. My character and insurance history was good. The rebuild on the car was top-class and very recent. I’m a professional (chartered accountant and negotiator) and they could see I understand both finance and the law.
    - So … from the insurance company’s point of view … it’s not personal …. Just business


    (c) ongoing:
    - Keep the insurer informed on a regular basis. New photos every 6 months. Confirmation that the car is running well, no leaks.
    Paul

    1969 ex-South African RHD Tangerine 911T (matching numbers)
    1970 ex-Southern Californian LHD Conda 911T (matching numbers)
    1955 Series 1 86" Land Rover (original Australian CKD … stripped to chassis and slowly re-building)
    1987 W124 230e

    (long term paid up member)

  5. #15
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    (d) My advice, to anyone suffering an accident
    (note: applies to anyone, whether at fault or not at fault)


    (i) If involved in an accident, turn the engine off. Insist of a breakdown truck to remove your car. Do not be tempted to move the car (unless in a very dangerous location)
    Do not give the insurer the excuse to say that you caused some/all of the damage, by driving the car after the accident

    (ii) My understanding is that the insurer cannot “force you” (in Australia anyway) to use their preferred repairer.
    So … IMHO … Unless there’s a really reason, why wouldn’t you go to Porsche ?
    OK – they might not fully “remember” the older cars … but … they’ve got the power and influence with insurers to ensure that things are done properly. They might even be the intermediary / front man for the repair ?
    Or … try a strong, large, well known classic repairer, ideally with a lawyer on the employee list (there are some)

    (iii) You can expect your car (especially in a not at fault accident) to be repaired to the condition it was in BEFORE the accident
    So, we're not talking about … getting all those little niggles fixed at the insurer's cost. Clearly that's not fair on the insurer

    (iv) Keep records of everything that happens and inform the insurer in writing any time something happens re the claim

    (v) If you speak to the insurer, confirm the key elements of the discussion in writing later (eg email).
    IMHO, whilst it’s ok to talk on the phone with the insurer at the very beginning … the moment you feel something isn’t working … move to all discussions in writing

    (vi) Keep all communication factual and polite

    (vii) IT’S BUSINESS. IT'S NOT PERSONAL. Tell yourself this daily ….

    (viii) If you’re not getting what you feel is fair, “strongly advise” the insurer to be present at the dismantling / damage assessment process.
    CRUCIAL: If something unexpected happens at a dismantling/damage assessment, stop, and speak to the insurer. Tell them what you’ve found. Ask if they want to delay any further assessment that day or later, until they, or their “expert”, can attend

    (ix) The insurer will NOT understand a Porsche 911. Not will their “expert”.
    They will make stupid suggestions (e.g. “use an e-bay 1978 SC barrel to replace the 1970 911T one which was damaged”)
    (clearly i said no, and used their lack of knowledge as an example of why they were mistaken in saying no to my claim)

    (x) They are likely to spend no, or minimum, effort in substantiating their “no” position.
    They will likely ignore anything you tell them / any “evidence” you show them.
    They want you to give up and give in.

    (xi) Make your own decision. What $/ level of repair would you accept. Should you accept any less than the damage in full (I’d suggest, if you have the stomach for a fight, no you shouldn’t accept anything less).
    Make a decision – if you would accept a compromise, what would it be.

    After their unreasonable behaviour to date, I decided: no compromise. 100% of the costs to put the car back into the condition before the accident was my minimum requirement

    (xii) Set dates for the insurer, in writing. Follow their process (including their own internal dispute process) and lay out the dates when things should happen.
    Then state that if you do not get your car repaired to the condition it was in before the accident, you will go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”).

    (xiii) Whilst this is going on, I’d strongly advise you to store the car.
    I’d strongly advise you do not get the work done now. It significantly weakens your negotiating position.

    Inform the insurer the car is off the road and stored, because of this dispute. (Note: I still insured and taxed the car for the process – even though it was off the road). In relation to costs incurred because of the accident and the rejection of the repair costs, and because your car is not drivable, inform the insurer that you will be claiming the following – and this is how it works –
    (a) off the “at fault” party (likely: their insurer) for the time that the repair ‘should’ have taken (note: whether or not you have a hire-car-inclusion, if you are not at fault, you can use a hire car from one of the specialist hire agencies and they deal with the claim with the insurer), and
    (b) off your own insurer for the ‘excessive time’ that you didn’t have the car for, because of their error in not accepting liability to repair your car.
    This principle was confirmed by the FOS in my case. Keep ALL receipts during this process (taxis, hire cars, etc) and regularly update the insurer of the costs incurred, and send them copies of receipts

    (xiv) Make a decision about getting your own expert report. I only got this during the FOS process (because, it is time consuming and expensive).
    Maybe it might have helped if I had it earlier, but I don’t think so – they would have ignored it.
    Accept: if you go to the FOS you will need an expert report (I got two initially … then had to get a third one to dispute their allegedly "corrected" expert report). Add the cost of the expert report to your claim
    Accept: you need to do all the research and work, and make it easy for your expert

    I was lucky, their "expert" made a couple of silly mistakes. They didn't understand the exhaust and heat exchanger set up, and described it all upside down (Left was described as right, and so on …)
    This made them look very stupid
    BUT … they totally ignored my advice showing/proving they had it wrong ….
    …. and basic errors such as these had to go all the way to the FOS before anyone took any notice of them


    (xv) If you don’t get a fair result from the insurer, be fully prepared to go to the FOS.
    They were good

    I strongly suggest you make a “bible” of the whole story.
    Explain the process in full
    … This was around 70 pages long ...
    Include all copies of correspondence (I had 22 appendices).
    Use your language.
    Remain factual, but you are entitled to express a little emotion too … the heartbreak about the damage to your pride and joy, the loss of being able to use it, the stress and worry because of the unreasonableness of the insurer

    (xvi) Make life easy for the FOS.
    Keep to their deadlines.
    Explain any delays in advance.
    Tell them why the insurer is unreasonable.
    Tell and demonstrate to them that the insurer clearly doesn’t understand your car.
    Express your frustration that the insurer has ignored all of your reasonable points and explanations so far
    Show where the insurer is lying (and IAG lied repeatedly in their statements, and i proved it. Clearly i am writing this sentence carefully, but the evidence is there with the FOS ….)
    Explain things in english, clearly, for them

    (xvii) Accept – the process takes AGES

    (xviii) Accept – once it goes to the FOS, the insurer will go “all the way” (They’ve paid their fee at this stage, so will say “no” until the bitter end)
    Last edited by pgxif; 02-29-2016 at 08:29 PM.
    Paul

    1969 ex-South African RHD Tangerine 911T (matching numbers)
    1970 ex-Southern Californian LHD Conda 911T (matching numbers)
    1955 Series 1 86" Land Rover (original Australian CKD … stripped to chassis and slowly re-building)
    1987 W124 230e

    (long term paid up member)

  6. #16
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    (e) Final Result

    I was not asked to, and did not, sign:
    (i) any confidentiality agreement about this settlement, or
    (ii) any waiver / disclaimer about future claims on this accident.
    Unless you are forced to - why would you sign rights away ?

    The Financial Ombudsman awarded me:
    - full engine repair costs (including replacement of 6 cylinders if an identical 'single' cylinder could not be found - it couldn't)
    - full new exhaust system (exhaust/muffler, plus heat exchangers)
    - first service cost (700 miles - because this would not have been needed "but for the accident")
    - taxis and hire car costs over a year … over $5,000
    - compensation for my loss (time/effort) … $1,000
    - expert reports … up to $3,000
    - interest

    (note: the insurer had already agreed to pay all bodywork costs)
    FYI: Total accident and above claim costs were in the region of $40,000
    None of it my fault ...


    I also discovered during this process that i had seven (7) insurance policies with IAG/NRMA Group. I've had these for about 15-20 years
    The premia on these (motor / home / home contents etc) was just under $6,000 p.a.
    I listed these in my correspondence with the insurer. To no avail.
    I have one policy left, until it expires shortly.
    They have lost this annuity of $6,000 p.a. … every year ….

    To say nothing about the personal negative experience i've had …. which i'm warning all my friends about (many of whom are IAG/NRMA policy holders)



    Hope this helps …
    Above all:
    - PATIENCE, HANG IN. THEY RELY ON YOU TO GIVE UP; and
    - IT'S BUSINESS AND NOT PERSONAL
    Last edited by pgxif; 02-29-2016 at 08:24 PM.
    Paul

    1969 ex-South African RHD Tangerine 911T (matching numbers)
    1970 ex-Southern Californian LHD Conda 911T (matching numbers)
    1955 Series 1 86" Land Rover (original Australian CKD … stripped to chassis and slowly re-building)
    1987 W124 230e

    (long term paid up member)

  7. #17
    Senior Member Fishcop's Avatar
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    Excellent response Paul.

    I've also had some experience arguing with insurers, thought not to your level; it was a mere travel insurance claim. However my experience is exactly the same, "No" in the first and second rounds of correspondence; document it carefully and don't get snooty or personal; send it all off to the ombudsman; be patient and responsive as needed.

    Glad there was an eventual good result.
    John Forcier
    EarlyS #1987
    1968 911 Race Car "Grun Hilda"
    1969 S/T interpretation "Blau Healer"
    Restoration Saga

  8. #18
    Senior Member StephenAcworth's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this, Paul

    An interesting story that has been very well documented.

    I had a bad experience here in Canada with my wife's Audi...

    She drove it into a Dodge Caravan in a Walmart carpark (so many bad things in that sentence I know!!!)

    Insurance company insisted it go to their repairer, despite my insistence it go to the main dealer who supplied the car and had serviced it regularly since purchase.

    Their repairer had no experience of Audi and when the car was returned "fixed" they hadn't even seated the headlights properly... the cost was in excess of $2,000.

    I refused to accept the repair and took the car to the Audi dealer... they wrote a report to the insurer free of charge itemizing all the wrong things done to the car (clips and brackets removed and not replaced, headlamp washers not repaired but glued into the bumper to stop them rattling (working??), and stated that it was the "worst repair they had seen in over 40 years of bodyshop experience"... needless to say I sent the report to the insurer and demanded that the work be done to the standard expected: e.g., the car returned to the state it was in immediately prior to the accident. Which is the point of insurance, isn't it?

    Anyhow, after several weeks of negotiation (arguing), the insurance company agreed.

    The repairs cost around $4,000 and the insurer had to pay for a hire car for nearly 4 weeks whilst the car was repaired.

    Once I received the car back, I demanded, and got, a written assurance that my premiums would not be adversely affected as the heightened cost was due to their negligence, not the original accident.

    Long story short, as Paul says, document everything, remain calm, but be forceful. The role of insurance is to restore your property to the state it was in immediately prior to the accident. Documentation is hard to dispute... photographs especially so...

    Stephen
    1966 911 Coupe - Slate Grey - 304598

    Member # 1616

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenAcworth View Post

    She drove it into a Dodge Caravan in a Walmart carpark (so many bad things in that sentence I know!!!)
    … laughing … !!


    Thanks for your experiences …

    So the interesting questions, that we should ALL know in advance, are potentially country specific to some extent:
    Question 1: "does the country that you are in allow insurers to dictate which repairers you may / may not use ?"
    Question 2: "does your OWN insurance policy (specifically, if you are at fault - but might include when not at fault also) restrict you in any way to repairers you may / may not use ?"
    Question 3: "if not at fault, does the other party's insurer have any right to restrict you to repairers you may / may not use ? "

    In my own case:
    - I am 100% confident that in Australia, the answer to Question 1 is : NO. In Australia, insurers cannot dictate.
    - Question 2: My own policy states that I can choose any repairer
    - I am unsure about Question 3 (and need to explore !!)
    Re: 2 and 3 …. i also want to find out … if the insurer can't 'dictate', does it ever have a right to "say no to / deny the use of " a specific repairer ...

    cheers
    Paul

    1969 ex-South African RHD Tangerine 911T (matching numbers)
    1970 ex-Southern Californian LHD Conda 911T (matching numbers)
    1955 Series 1 86" Land Rover (original Australian CKD … stripped to chassis and slowly re-building)
    1987 W124 230e

    (long term paid up member)

  10. #20
    Junior Member markymark_1968's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks for the time you have put into such a comprehensive summary, Paul! Makes me glad I am no longer with Lumleys now, though....
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Winston Churchill

    '76 carrera 3.0 - silver.
    '69T Irish green - gone but not forgotten!

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