Join Date: Jun 2007
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Basically Direct Line did a "Valuation" on the Scenic based on their estimates of pre fire condition (Which I argued was irrelevant) anyway they were trying to make out that a couple of thumb dents, a scuffed alloy and a marked rear bumper amounted to a devaluation of £1500 off the car. The policy had an excess of £400 so by the time all of that was taken out of the valuation of £2200 we would have been left with £1800 to get the same vehicle again. I pointed out to them over and over again that to buy an identical vehicle of the same age and condition would cost us between £3200-3500 so how the hell was their offer valid. They kept bombarding me with the excuse that car valuation is not an exact science and all they have to go on is Glasses guide valuation. I countered this argument by telling them that if I wanted to pick up another Scenic in the same condition I would have to pay much more for it. I backed up my claim with adverts printed out of AutoTrader and other car websites. They still refused to pay the extra.
In the end I got them to state their "Final Offer" on a letter and got the ball rolling with the Financial Ombudsman. We took lots of photos of the car before it was towed away and used these as evidence of the vehicles' general condition. The FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) wrote to Direct Line and they immediately responded with a revised offer of £3150 which we accepted.
Basically the insurers will try and wriggle out of paying what you are due. If you can prove that the replacement cost of the vehicle is valid the FOS will try to uphold your complaint as they are fed up with insurers taking your money and then failing to pay out what you are due in the event of a claim.
While all of this was going on with the Insurer I was also putting my case to RUK about the cause / effect of the fire on the vehicle. We explained that it was a close run thing to losing our child in the fire as he had been sleeping in the car just prior. Had my wife not woken him and brought him indoors he would most likely have died from toxic smoke inhalation. I keep bringing it back to that point as I keep seeing people leaving their kids unattended in these cars. It is my belief that 1999-2003 models are affected by this issue (Renualt have other ideas) as I have checked switches in models across this age range and they all use the same part number switch.
Renault "As a gesture of goodwill" paid up several times to cover the cost of items lost in the car through smoke damage and got us a replacement vehicle that we put our insurance monies into. They also paid for a years full AA cover as well. Tell me that they were not aware of a problem on these vehicles again and I'll lose my rag!!
Keep pressing on and Badger VOSA / RUK to get this sorted!!
Cheers - Dave
When they said "Heated Mirrors" ................
Currently in fireball scenic's garage:
2006 Grand Scenic II DCi130 Dynamique