Advantages Cheap Insurance
Disadvantages Too many companies involved when you want to make a claim
|Competitiveness of APR|
|Comprehensiveness of range of products|
|Efficiency of service|
|Value for money|
|Online - Content/organization of site||Good|
|Online - Reliability/speed of site||Good|
We have an Eagle Star Gold Policy. “We are confident that by offering this service, you can have peace of mind that all repairs will be completed quickly and professionally.” Their claim, not mine.In May 2003, my husband was unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident. The front end of the car was a write off. The car at the time (a BMW 323i) was worth about £3000.
“We promise all work will be carried out to the highest standards, enabling all Eagle Star repairers to provide an extended warranty of three years on all paint and body repairs.” Sounds good?Having contacted my insurance company, Eagle Star, they were very helpful, and the next day, my car was collected by a company called Collision Care in Corby, Northants. They were an approved repairer of Eagle Star.
I think that I need to make it clear that Eagle Star do not deal with claims themselves, but pass them to a company called “Motorcare Services Ltd” to deal with.“Our repairers will liaise direct with our in-house motor engineers to ensure that your car is inspected quickly to enable the repairs to be started immediately, without the need for you to spend precious time obtaining estimates.”
A company called Northern Assessors sent an Engineer to look at the car (Yes, that’s right, not in house at all!), and value the damage. The cost of repair was about £3000. Did they write off the car? NO. It took over a week to decide what they were going to do with the car, but eventually, they decided to repair it. After all, the Assessor valued the car at £4000. A car which is on an N plate, and has done over 130,000, worth £4000, who are you kidding!So, now we’ve got 4 companies involved – Eagle Star, Collision Care, Northern Assessors and Motor Care. Hmm. Can’t you see communication getting difficult?
We borrowed a courtesy car, which was the pits. A Rover 25 was offered. Now, if you have a Rover, please don’t take offence. It just was uncomfortable after driving the 3 hours to work, and 3 hours back, but nevertheless, we at least had a car.When the work had been completed, we picked up the car. This is where the problems start.
1. Bonnet is bent
2. Bonnet not on straight
3. Wing not on straight
4. Trim under air intake is second hand – this had been snapped in half with the impact.
5. Lights not fitted straight.
6. Trim under driver’s door hanging off – they’d stuck it on with mastic instead of clips.
7. Bonnet liner not fitted – clips missing
8. Belly pan missing from under engine
9. orange peel effect paintwork
10. Badly fitted windscreen
Having spoken to Collision Care, and getting a really rude attitude, I phoned Motor Care, who told me to phone the Assessors. They passed us back to Motor Care.17 phone calls later, we were asked to take it back to Collision Care to give them the opportunity to correct it.
On collecting the car, there were still several problems. They had stuck the trim down again with mastic, the bonnet and wings still did not fit. They had put filler in my new bonnet (bearing in mind we are guaranteed new parts). There was a windscreen crack 12” long caused by badly fitted hinges. It went back one last time, and still no joy.After several more phone calls to complain, we were offered the chance to take the car to a specialist of our choice. This was their offer. We decided to take it to a BMW garage in Leicester called Sytner. It would have an invisible repair guarantee.
The Assessor, however, had a different idea. Because Sytners sub contract the work to GMW, the Assessor decided to take it there directly. Consequently, there was no “discount” which Sytners would have got, and now there is no guarantee on repairs. Sytner had stated that the car needed a new bonnet. Taking it directly meant no new bonnet, and the repair bill was more than Sytners quote! But Eagle Star guarantee the repairs don’t they? NO again. If you take it to a repairer of your choice, they don’t guarantee the repairs.They don’t tell you this when they offer it to you. It does state this in the Policy, but I interpreted this to mean if I took the car to a repairer of my choice, without giving their approved repairers a chance, it wouldn’t be covered. If you give them a chance, and they mess it up, then give you the option, surely this should be covered. It is all down to interpretation of the policy.
12 months on, and the bonnet vibrates at 70mph. The belly pan fell off the car on a dual carriageway at 70mph – GMW didn’t touch this. This is not covered under their guarantee as we took the car to another repairer afterwards, even though they didn’t touch that part of the car. I have problems with occasional loss of power steering, the loss of the speedometer intermittently, and a loud ticking noise from the engine. The garage who service my car could have charged me to repair this, but say they believe it to be a cause of the accident. The catalytic converter has also disintegrated, which they also believe is due to the impact. Eagle Star don't believe so.I telephoned to make a complaint today to Eagle Star, but, conveniently, their managers were all in a meeting until 3pm. When I called them back at 4pm, I got through to a lovely Manager called Marilyn. They have arranged for my car to go to Sytners to be re-assessed.
I guess you could say that I am writing this opinion in anger, but my anger with them hasn’t waned over the last 10 months. This saga is ongoing.I would not recommend Eagle Star. I have been a customer of theirs for 16 years, and this is the second time I have made a claim, and neither time was I the driver. The policy looks excellent until you need to make a claim. This is the last time that I will insure my car with them. I would rather pay an extra £100 per year for peace of mind, and I will be very careful to check out reviews on an insurance company before insuring my car next time.
***The Next Step***If I don’t get any joy this time, my next steps are detailed below.
From Eagle Stars web site, they state that you can write to the Chief Executive at:Eagle Star
If you are still not happy with the way that they deal with your complaint, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman Service to review your case. Write to:Financial Ombudsman Service
I will update this review when the case is finally closed.Sam xxx
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