I would just like to bring this to your attention as it may save you in the long run when taking out car insurance.
When I shop around for car insurance I make use of all the provider's online quote to try and get the lowest priced premium.
I want to warn those who are thinking of making their excess higher to keep their premium costs low thinking that,
"I'm a careful driver, the chances of me being at fault is low so in the chance of me getting in an accident is more likely to be the other party at fault so I won't have to pay excess" to avoid thinking like this.
There are situations where even if you're not at fault of the accident you will still have to pay excess as this is what has happened to me.
I was rear ended and even have dashcam footage. I've got the other parties details such as license and phone number however those details are the owner of the car and not the driver. So my insurance hasn't been able to get a hold of the driver so I have to pay excess to release my car from the panel beaters.
Insurance will refund me back the excess I paid once they're able to recover the cost from the other party, also I paid by credit card which incurred a $15 fee which insurance will not refund, only the excess amount.
I'm with AMI and this is what's in their contract which justifies their stance in not refunding me my excess.
AMI policy from https://www.ami.co.nz/pdfs/ami_car-insurance-pw.pdf
Innocent party protection
a. Your vehicle is covered for accidental damage arising from a collision with another vehicle.
b. We will only pay for damage to your vehicle if:
i we can confirm that the driver of your vehicle was completely free of blame, and
ii you can supply to us the registration number of the other vehicle, the name and address of the driver, and
iii the driver of the other vehicle is uninsured and acknowledges involvement in the accident to us.
Example case where this can take a long time, the driver of the Driver of the other vehicle hasn’t acknowledged involvement in the accident. Even though the type of accident is obvious that it’s not your fault ie. being rear ended and having dash cam footage, insurance will still not pay you out until they go through their recovery process which can take months.
My claim was lodged on 11 April 2021 and its expected to possibly take long as the other party cannot be contacted.
I called AMI to follow up on my case and they said something along the lines of, "In a worse case scenario where this claim has been closed due to not being able to get contact of the other party, you won't get your excess refunded"
I'll update this post when I get refunded to get a rough idea of how long these processes can take if not cancelled.
So the next time I'm taking out car insurance I'd carefully read through their contract for any wording that gets insurance to avoid paying you for example like this one from AA, "the person responsible confirms their involvement in the event" - I assume if the other party doesn't confirm their involvement then you don't get an excess refund.
A similar situation happened to my friend who is with ASB for their car insurance. They were faced with being asked to pay excess at the panel beaters but after they called their insurance they were able to have it waived as the type of accident showed they were not at fault.
This is my first time being faced with having to pay excess at the panel beaters where I am not at fault in an accident, so I just want to bring to attention that it's possible that you may need to pay excess where you're not at fault in a car accident.
Heres also a fair go story thats similar too