What To Do If Car Hit You From Behind And Your Insurance Company Wants You To Pay An Excess

By Daniel Picard. Last Updated 20th February 2023. Welcome to our guide, which looks at the scenario, “a car hit us from behind, my insurance company wants me to pay an excess.” Do you need answers to a question such as ‘a car hit us from behind, do I need to pay the excess for damage caused to my car?’ This online guide aims to answer these kinds of questions and more. It will also explain the process of making a personal injury claim if you are injured in a rear-end shunt accident.

If at any time you’d like free legal advice on making a non-fault accident claim, you can speak to our team on 0161 696 9685. They will answer any questions you have and provide you with important information about your own claim.

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How Does Insurance Excess Work?

Car hit us from behind my insurance company wants me to pay an excess

Car hit from behind

So, how does an excess work on car insurance?

With an insurance policy, you’re often expected to pay an excess fee when you claim against it. This fee is usually an agreed-upon amount, though it can vary. For example, if you crash your car, to claim back the cost of the repairs, you may have to pay a fee of, for example, £200 upfront.

However, if someone else crashed into your car, causing damage, it’s possible to make a claim against their insurance policy, and you wouldn’t have to pay an excess fee.

If you suffered an injury in that crash, you can also make a personal injury claim and recover the cost of repair back as part of that process. This method won’t require you to pay an excess fee either. A car accident solicitor can also arrange for a hire car while your vehicle is repaired.

If you still need help on how an insurance excess works, get in touch with us today.

What Is A Rear-End Accident?

A rear-end accident, or rear-end shunt, is an accident involving a moving vehicle running into the back of a stationary one. These simple accidents can cause rear-end collision injuries such as whiplash, back pain, or muscular strains, as well as rear-end collision damage to either one or both vehicles. These accidents can be caused by distracted or negligent drivers or drivers who are drunk or under the influence of drugs. Note that there were 153,158 casualties of all kinds on the road in 2019. Of these, 25,945 were serious injuries, and 1,752 victims were killed

For a person to make a claim, two key facts need to be proven. Firstly, that the person has suffered some physical harm, such as a case of whiplash. Secondly, they can prove that a third-party was at least partially at fault for causing the accident. If both of these facts are true in your case, then it could be possible that you have valid grounds to make a compensation claim. Read on to find out more, or call our team. One of our advisors will evaluate your claim and let you know whether they think it could be successful or not.

What Is An Excess On A Vehicle Insurance Policy?

As you think, “a car hit us from behind, and my insurance company wants me to pay an excess”, let’s clarify what excess is. In relation to a vehicle insurance policy, the term excess is applied to the amount of money you will be expected to pay out of your own pocket before the insurer pays anything. To answer the question, ‘how does car insurance excess work?’ we can give an example.

Let us imagine that a car has been damaged in an accident, and the owner needs to get it repaired. They get a quote from a local garage for £400. They have an excess on their policy of £100. This means that the insurer will only pay £300 towards the cost of repairs. The policyholder will have to pay the £100 excess. When you make a car accident claim, the excess is the amount of money you will need to pay out of your own pocket before the insurer will contribute any funds.

If you are still unsure whether you have to pay any excess yourself or how much this might be, then please speak to one of our advisors. They can help you to understand your insurance policy and find out the level of excess you are expected to pay if any.

What Is The Difference Between A Compulsory Or Voluntary Insurance Excess?

If you are involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you need to know whether you have to pay an excess. There are two different types of excess that a vehicle insurance policy could include in its terms and conditions.  These are:

  • Voluntary excess – when you are involved in a car accident, voluntary excess means it is optional to pay. However, in some cases, doing so could prevent your insurance premium increases because of the claim.
  • Compulsory excess – this kind of excess you must always pay. In minor accidents where little damage to your vehicle has been caused, it is likely that the compulsory excess will cover the costs, and the insurer will pay nothing.

If you are unsure whether your policy has a clause about compulsory or voluntary excess, please speak to one of our advisors. They can help you to understand it.

Why Are Excesses Charged By Car Insurance Providers?

Excesses are used by insurers to dissuade people from making insurance claims for trivial damage to their vehicle. For example, after a rear-end accident fault with a light that requires new plastic housing, costing very little. If the car owner makes an insurance claim for this minor damage, it could cost the insurance firm hundreds of pounds and even more processing the claim.

Excesses also dissuade people from making fraudulent claims, as they will have to risk some of their own money to get any money from the insurer. Furthermore, excesses act as an incentive to resolve minor accidents without getting the insurer involved. When the damage to either vehicle is within the amount of excess the policy dictates, it could be advantageous for all parties to arrange to fix their own damage and not incur a potential penalty from their insurer.

When Are Excess Fees Charged By Insurance Providers?

In cases of compulsory excesses, you will pay car insurance excess fees every time you make an insurance claim. This is regardless of who’s fault the accident was and whatever the cost of repairs will be.

In the case of voluntary excesses, you will only pay the excess fees if you decide it is advantageous to do so. For example, if the accident wasn’t your fault and you don’t expect to face any penalty, such as loss of no claims bonus from your insurer, you might choose not to pay the excess.

Do I Have To Pay An Excess Fee If The Accident Was Not My Fault?

Onto the key point of “a car hit us from behind, yet my insurance company wants me to pay an excess.” Whenever you claim your vehicle insurance firm, you will have to pay a compulsory excess. In the case of voluntary car insurance excess, it is up to you whether you pay or not.

However, if the accident was not your fault, and you intend to make a compensation claim for either physical harm you have suffered or financial loss due to damage to your vehicle, then you will be reimbursed for the excess if you win your claim.

If you would like more information about the process of making a compensation claim and potentially claiming the excess you paid as damages, please speak to one of our advisors today.

Rear-End Accident Injury Claims Calculator

If your personal injury lawyer is successful in processing a claim on your behalf, the amount of compensation you receive is calculated based on many factors, making it very hard to give an accurate estimate of the value of a claim without knowing the specifics. However, to give you a general idea of what your claim might be worth, you can check out this table below.

This table was created using the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication updated annually which provides valuations of injuries based on compensation awards made by the courts. You might also be able to find an online personal injury claims calculator that could roughly estimate the level of compensation you may receive if you win your claim.

Moderate Head Injury: (c) (ii)£90,720 to £150,110There will be an effect on the person's ability to work and a risk of epilepsy as well as other issues.
Less Severe Head injury (d)£15,320 to £43,060There will have been a good recovery but some issues may still persist, such as concentration.
Severe Neck Injury: (ii)£65,740 to
Injuries in this bracket include serious fractures that cause considerable disabilities.
Moderate Neck Injury: (ii)£13,740 to
Injuries in this bracket might include those that have accelerated or exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
Severe Back Injury: (iii)£38,780 to £69,730Disc lesions that cause several issues are a type of injury covered in this bracket.
Moderate Back Injury: (ii)£12,510 to £27,760Disturbed ligaments causing several issues are an injury covered in this bracket.
Severe Shoulder Injury£19,200 to £48,030A significant disability is caused by neck injuries that involve brachial plexus damage.
Severe Pelvic Injury: (i)£78,400 to £130,930Extensive fractures also affecting the back and bladder. There will be several other issues.
Severe Pelvic Injury: (iii)£39,170 to £52,500Examples of injuries in this bracket include a fractured arthritic femur or hip requiring a hip replacement.
Hand Injury: (b)£55,820 to £84,570Damage to both hands reducing function.

The money awarded for the injuries sustained is known as general damages. They are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced due to the injuries. 

If you want a much more accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you could receive if your claim is successful, you will need a personal injury solicitor to value it for you. Please speak to our team to learn how to proceed with this.

Special Damages You May Additionally Claim

As well as general damages, it’s also possible in successful personal injury claims to claim for special damages. This is designed to compensate you for any expenses or financial losses that have been incurred as a result of the injuries. In cases involving more severe injuries, it may be possible to claim for loss of future income too. Some examples of common types of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings – if the claimant lost out on their salary, wages or work bonuses, either partially or in full, as a result of their injury/illness, they may be able to recover this.
  • Medical costs – if the claimant required private medical care that the NHS could not provide, it could be possible to claim this.
  • Lowered earning potential – if the claimant’s injuries are severe enough to hamper their ability to earn a living in the future, this may also be compensated.
  • Out of pocket expenses – such as travel costs related to getting medical treatment or dealing with the claim itself may be recovered.
  • The cost of care – if the claimant had to hire a nurse to help care for them at home, or a cleaner to help maintain their home, or even if a family member had to attend to provide support, this can all be claimed for. 

The most important thing to remember when it comes to special damages is that everything claimed has to be evidenced. Therefore, keep all of your receipts and invoices, even bus tickets!

Do You Pay Excess If Not Your Fault? How To Claim Back Your Insurance Excess

If you have you been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, your insurance company may charge you an excess even if you weren’t at fault.

However, claiming back your insurance excess as part of a personal injury claim is possible. It’s also possible for your insurance company to recover the cost back from the at-fault driver if you choose not to make a claim.

If you’re unsure how to claim back your insurance excess, you can reach out to us for guidance free of charge. If you’ve been charged an excess in a car accident that wasn’t your fault call 0161 696 9685, our 24/7 free legal advice hotline.

How Legal Helpline Could Help You

If you have been involved in a rear shunt accident, causing a whiplash injury or any other kind of injury, we can offer you advice on how to claim for the harm suffered. We can also advise you on how to go about claiming for any compulsory or voluntary excess you paid, even though the accident was not your fault. Legal Helpline helps you with the query, “a car hit us from behind and my insurance company wants me to pay an excess.”

Our panel of solicitors has over thirty years of experience handling personal injury claims. They will strive to win you the maximum amount of compensation possible and will expertly guide you through the complexities of the legal process, debunking legal jargon along the way. And if ever you have a query or would like an update on your case, they’ll be on hand to take your call.

To claim with us, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Call our team and have your questions answered. Our team will provide you with any information you need related to the claims process at this time.
  2. One of our advisors will evaluate your claim for you and talk you through our claims process.
  3. A personal injury lawyer will then begin to process your claim for you, aiming to get you the maximum level of compensation possible.

No Win No Fee Rear-End Accident And Insurance Excess Claims

Our panel of solicitors can give you the option of entering into a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. 

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t’ worry, the success fee is legally capped!

Start Your Case Today

Have you had to pay an excess charge as part of an insurance claim? Perhaps you have also suffered an injury in the same accident that damaged your car? You could be entitled to compensation.

Our team can help you to get your claim underway.  You can contact our team on 0161 696 9685, and one of our advisors will discuss your claim with you and offer you some free legal advice on what to do next.

References And Claims Guides

You might like to check out these external links; they could have useful information for you:

Advice About Vehicle Insurance

The Road Traffic Act 1988

Road Safety Statistics

These other guides we have published may be of use to you:

Car Hit Us From Behind My Insurance Company Wants Me To Pay An Excess FAQs

Must I pay excess if it isn’t your fault?

In this case, you have to take a step backwards to take a step forward. That means paying the excess initially to begin the claim. But then, if you’re absolved of blame, your insurer can claim back the excess from the defendant’s insurer.

Do I pay excess if someone hits my car?

Excess is paid, at least initially, for any claim, no matter who is to blame. Even if someone hits your car, you pay excess at the first point of making a claim. But once it’s determined that the third party is at fault, you could receive this amount back.

Could I claim back my insurance excess?

Indeed, you can claim this back if you’re innocent of any wrongdoing as part of the accident resulting in a claim. But it could be that you must claim this back from the guilty party’s insurance company rather than your own.

Might a car insurance company refuse to pay a claim?

They could do this. But there must be a valid reason. Hence why you should check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy very carefully. Usually, though, the insurers won’t take this step, especially if you’re not at fault.

Guide by MR

Edited by REG

Thank you for reading our guide covering the scenario, “a car hit us from behind, my insurance company wants me to pay an excess.”