24th October 2019

What happens if I need to make a claim?

Following on from our last piece on what steps to take in the aftermath of an accident, we asked the Underwriting Manager at Footman James, Pieter Bolton, to explain what happens after you make your claim, and how we work to get you back on the road again as quickly and easily as possible.

Our claims lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call, a member of the claims team will take you through the process of reporting all the details of the accident. They will ask what damage has been done to your vehicle, and what third party claims there may be, as well as taking down any other relevant details. The claims team will pass on all this information to the insurers, who then get claims process underway for you.

At Footman James, we operate a customer-led model via our underwriters, which means that wherever possible, we allow you to choose the way in which you would like the claim to be dealt with. There are three main choices:

  • Selected Repairer Network – If you have had no idea where to take your vehicle, our underwriters operate a repairer network with a number of specialist centres that cater for all types of repair work no matter what type of vehicle you own.
  • Customer chosen repairer – Our customers often have their own trusted specialist they wish the vehicle to be taken to, so if you have a preferred garage, let them know.
  • Cash in lieu – If you wish to complete the work yourself, the cost of repairs is estimated and submitted to the insurer. You are paid the costs to allow you to purchase the parts and repair the vehicle yourself

Of course, some of these options above may be restricted dependent upon the circumstances, but we always try to allow you to choose the option that suits you best.

If your vehicle can't be repaired then you will be offered a fixed amount for the replacement of your vehicle.

When working out how much your vehicle is worth, one of the features of a Footman James classic vehicle policy is the option to set an ‘agreed value’ with FJ+. Agreed value means if your vehicle is lost or totally destroyed, and the value of your vehicle has been agreed, you have the certainty that you will be paid out the amount shown on your policy schedule.

If you don’t have an agreed value policy on your vehicle, then we would use a blend of traditional methods to find a fair market value for the vehicle. Market value means if your vehicle is lost or totally destroyed, you will be paid out the value of the vehicle at the time of the claim in line with current market trends. Our experts use their market knowledge alongside various price guides to determine what your vehicle was worth at that time of the accident.

Setting an agreed value provides peace of mind that your vehicle's worth is set in stone, plus it can also speed up the claims process. However, it's important that you keep this up to date with each renewal, as fluctuating market trends could see the value of your vehicle change considerably - especially if you have recently completed some restoration work or have fit new parts.

We also offer nil deduction salvage retention as an add on with FJ+. This allows you to retain your vehicle and/or its parts (subject to the salvage category applied) with no additional costs involved to purchase the salvage at a time of loss (vehicles over £50,000 excluded).

In all cases, Footman James promises to get you back on the road as quickly and as smoothly as possible.