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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 2015 Zoe which we have owned for about 18 months.

Around 3 weeks ago it was involved in an accident, a third party has admitted liability and we have been dealing with his insurers - Acorn who are a private hire specialist.
Damage to the car is just short of £5000, as a result it is a total loss, and it still drives and charges.

The offer from the insurance company was £6150, and the battery has to go back to Renault which will apparently cost £2500.
The insurer have reduced our settlement by £2500 as they state they are not liable for anything other than the market value of the car and as such it is down to us to cover the battery cost.

To add to our woes our gap insurer, Ala (replacement vehicle gap) have stated that they will be basing their settlement on the market value of the car, and ie £6150 and not what we are actually been paid, and this is apparently bacause they are not liable for losses apart from those relating to the damage to the vehicle.

Long and short is we are going to end up £2500 out of pocket, I can't help feeling this is very unfair and not helped by the extortionate charge made by renault.

I have taken legal advice and it appears my only hope is to pursue the driver directly, as I this relies on the fact that he can actually afford to pay.

Has anyone had a similar experience?, I spoke to our insurer RSA who stated that they would have dealt with the claim in the same way, I am now very nervous about getting another Zoe and need to be sure that I find an insurer who would cover the battery repatriation costs.


Any advice would be gratefully received.
 

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That's crazy and I hope you get it sorted. In a 100% no fault accident you should never find yourself out of pocket. Have you considered taking the other party to small claims court and they can claim that expense back from their insurer?
 

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This is why the battery lease is such a pain in the arse.

Do you have legal cover on your home insurance or motor policy? If so I'd be making use of it.

Letter before action to the third party telling them there is a short fall in what their insurer will pay. That will motivate them to badger their insurer to pay up. I'd also tackle the third party insurer to make sure the battery value is also included in the market value of the car calculations as that should add about £3k - £4k or so onto the value so that might make a difference.

I'd also tackle RCI on whether they can legally charge you to scrap the battery in the first place as I'm sure someone found some EU legislation somewhere that specifically mentions it having to be at no cost to the consumer.

I'm sure others have managed to get RCI to back off and accept the vehicle is scrapped and they just take an amount for the battery instead of taking back physical possession.

If you don't get anywhere I think there is an insurance ombudsman route. This nonsense needs to be knocked on the head with battery lease cars.
 

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I will never go down the leased battery route again due to no insurer being prepared to indemnify you for anything other than the 'vehicle' the battery (any battery) is seen as a consumable and out with the scope of usual settlements.

RCI will attempt to make you pay what they see is a legitimate cost to them however my contract did not itemise this as a legitimate cost, but it all depends what you agreed to. I asked them to show me where the costs were state. They couldn't - but would not shift their position. Your GAP insurer however may find it difficult to avoid making a settlement as the reason you took it out was for this eventuality. Just because they did not understand the problem is no excuse to avoiding their responsibility.


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I will never go down the leased battery route again due to no insurer being prepared to indemnify you for anything other than the 'vehicle' the battery (any battery) is seen as a consumable and out with the scope of usual settlements.
This is factually incorrect. Many insurers fully understand the risk and will cover the battery owned by a 3rd party. Of course you need to insure the total value, including the battery insurance value stated on the rental agreement.

It isn't just specialists either as Admiral have a page discussing EV insurance and battery rental. See Admiral.com - Car, MultiCar and MultiCover Insurance Quotes

If I had a no fault accident I would use the Renault accident management company (details below) who I am confident would ensure RCI were paid for the battery and me a fair price in the event of a total loss. Worst case I would use my legal protection policy to pursue the 3rd party in the courts so I was made good.

Renault Accident Support Line | Renault Assistance | Owner information | Services | Renault UK

I sympathise with OP as dealing with insurance companies is never easy.
 

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Factually incorrect? I beg to differ. With my vehicle I tried 11 insurers all of whom explicitly stipulated the battery would never be included in any settlement figure. I was very fortunate it not having to make a claim but the issue remains. The ONLY time I discovered coverage was in a Dealership Promo who provided discounted cover for Year 1 only but as I wasn't the target driver my insurance sans battery was considerably less.

Whilst you may believe providing an additional amount to 'cover' the cost of the battery lease simply means you pay more for cover. Once it becomes a claim then the figure you quoted becomes an irrelevance - the Insurer's Guide will provide the payout figure, and the last time I looked there was no split to include leased battery models within the settlements. This issue, and of course getting out of the battery arrangement at the end of PCP will drive most users nuts.


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Factually incorrect? I beg to differ. With my vehicle I tried 11 insurers all of whom explicitly stipulated the battery would never be included in any settlement figure.
Admiral have the facts in back and white on their Web site and my policy with Pluginsure clearly states it will pay RCI for battery. So saying "no insurer" was factually incorrect because that is at least two insurers who will cover the battery.

As I assume you didn't look at the link above, the words from Admiral are
You should notify us when taking out your policy if you’re leasing the battery. If the car is written off, we need to make sure the payouts for the car and its battery go to their respective owners
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Many thanks for all the replies I think what seems to have been the sticking point is that the battery is not damaged, it still drives and charges, the insurance company are of the mindset that the £2500 to repatriate the battery is the cost of a service which they are not liable for. The gap is replacement vehicle gap, zoe was 2yrs and 4mnths old when we got it, the gap will pay out in the price of a vehicle of that age at todays prices, I am hoping that we may just be able to scrape back into a 15 plate vehicle. Interesting what is been said about some mainstream insurers, and I'm going to give admiral a ring. I think taking legal action is the only route, we are going to have to accept the settlement for now as we need to get back on the road. Bizzarely we haven't been helped by the fact that the zoe seems to have increased in value, and we paid 6300 from a Renault dealer 18 months ago, can't find much under 7,000 at the moment.
If anyone else knows of other insurers who are worth looking at please let me know.

Thanks
 

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@Dom T You need to get legal on the other insurance company or appoint an accident management company to negotiate on your behalf.

You have a legal right to be made whole, it doesn't matter what you paid for car, you should be paid current market value so you can get similar Zoe.

Good luck
 

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Battery lease is great when you have the car, not so great when you're trying to get rid of it or you write it off...

You could enter some awkward stand off whereby you physically keep the car and don't accept the payout until RCI have come to collect their battery... ;)
 

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Battery lease is great when you have the car, not so great when you're trying to get rid of it or you write it off...
I get some people don't like battery lease but I have no worries re selling when time comes. Several battery lease cars have sold privately here and independent EV dealers will buy too.

IMO ZE40 will be continue to gain in popularity as 2nd car over next few years as EV demand increases. It also an excellent car for small businesses with 2% BIK next year and battery lease an operating cost.
 

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I get some people don't like battery lease but I have no worries re selling when time comes. Several battery lease cars have sold privately here and independent EV dealers will buy too.

IMO ZE40 will be continue to gain in popularity as 2nd car over next few years as EV demand increases. It also an excellent car for small businesses with 2% BIK next year and battery lease an operating cost.
Firstly, it was Admiral that refused to cover the battery. True, this was in 2014, and I would have hoped things would have moved on by now but it was only 2 years ago when it was clear 4 dealerships had no interest in any EV with a battery lease.

Selling privately? Do you tell your purchaser that they will need to be credit checked AND accepted by RCI irrespective of whether they pay cash up front for the car! Indeed, I know of one seller who assumed he only needed to have the form filled in and posted. That was until RCI told him the buyer failed ID checks and lease was continuing regardless. He had to find someone RCI ‘liked’.

Let’s also not forget that Renault’s plan to use AC Rapid Charging has found no other followers so future users will need to realise DC is the future. Even InstaVolt decided not to support AC charging and means ZE users cannot use their network. It will be a Beta vs VHS battle once more, and currently ZE is on the wrong side of the line.


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Selling privately? Do you tell your purchaser that they will need to be credit checked AND accepted by RCI irrespective of whether they pay cash up front for the car! Indeed, I know of one seller who assumed he only needed to have the form filled in and posted. That was until RCI told him the buyer failed ID checks and lease was continuing regardless. He had to find someone RCI ‘liked’.
Another factual inaccuracy. RCI don't have to like the buyer, as a seller you just need to make sure the buyers name and address are correct. Also, there is no need for a credit check as the battery can be disabled from charging if they default on payment. A genuine buyer should have no issue in proving a copy of a utility bill or similar to confirm address.

With regard to charging, a high percentage of Zoe are R90/110 bought for local driving so don't need to use rapids.

For those that want to use on longer journeys, all rapid networks except Instavolt are still deploying AC. All grant funded have to include AC, so there will be chargers around for a long time. Ironically with the current state of EH, a Zoe is more likely to get a charge at an MSA than a CCS car.

In addition, 22kW AC destination chargers are getting more common (including Tesla) and Zoe is main car to benefit.

Personally I wouldn't have the ZE40 as our only car - our plan is to have Model 3 for long distance, replacing the now sold Ampera.

I agree that if the new Zoe has 200 mile range and 50kW or faster CCS charging, it will be more popular as a single car solution.
 

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The third party insurance must pay. Yes, they pay for the damage to the car... AND now the damage to the battery. ALL third party property damage.

It is very very simple.

Their liability is not simply limited to 'the car' it is everything that their third party wiped out.

I think this is a pretty simple case, TBH.

If there was expensive kit in the boot and the third party smashed it up, then they should pay.

The third party claim is not at all, not remotely, JUST the car itself. In fact, the legislation doesn't even mention 'another car'.

See the legislation:-

upload_2019-4-13_18-57-20.png


Technically, you can't claim for the battery because it isn't yours. So in the case of a dispute like this, you will indeed have to inform RCI that THEY must make a claim against the third party if the other party's insurance is playing a snotty game. You will have to do NOTHING, and if RCI then take you to court, you have to let them, and then counterclaim against the insurance company, so that RCI and the insurance company end up in court together. It is between them I am afraid, and yes if they want to make it difficult then you are piggy in the middle.

But ultimately the insurance company has to pay. The insurance cover MUST cover the battery when part of a damaged car.

(Note; the above is my interpretation, it is not authoritative, but then only a court decision is ever authoritative on this.)
 

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Can't you insist that the other party must repair the car no matter what the cost, as they have to put you back to the state you were in prior to the accident?

I've heard of a few people who have declined a financial settlement and insisted the car is repaired to the condition it was in prior to an accident. Sometimes due to sentimental reasons or some other reason, but as it isn't your insurer that is paying out i think you can choose what to do.

If they won't repair it they should be coming up with a financial package you are happy with.

Why not try putting forward a choice to either repair, or pay for the return of the battery?

consumer-rights-for-a-motor claim - Motor Claim Guru - Motor Claim Guru
 

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Can't you insist that the other party must repair the car no matter what the cost, as they have to put you back to the state you were in prior to the accident?
Bear in mind it is slightly more complicated than that. The battery is not the car owners property. More than 'just the car' got damaged.

But in principle, quite so. You say 'put me back into a Zoe with the battery lease back in place and not to my disadvantage'.

It is, indeed, a mess. Renault insist that 'you' have insurance which covers the battery, OK, that is within your control, but how can you ensure that some 3rd party has such specific cover?
 

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Thinking about it another way, their offer of £6kish, is to compensate you for the loss of your car.

Surely then, if they have bought the car from you, they must deal with RCI directly to sort the battery out?

They can't say 'the battery isn't damaged, you've got to pay for it to be returned to RCI', you could argue that it is damaged, as its function is to power your car, which it now can't do.

You could also argue that any accident severe enough to write the car off will have potentially damaged the internals of the battery, have they opened it to check? If they haven't, they should return it to Renault to be checked, at their cost, if they have opened it up they have invalidated the battery's warranty, so they should compensate RCI for it...

Are they returning any of the undamaged tyres to you? Surely if they are okay they should, the same as the battery, or aren't they, because they are attached to the car, as part of the car they are included in the settlement, the same as the battery should be.

Write them a letter telling them your sister bought the tyres and you were borrowing them from her and she'd like them back, and your dad paid for the stereo, so technically that's his and if it still works he wants it delivering nest week...
 

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Ouch.
Can't help with the situation but count Aviva in as one of the insurers who knows about the battery lease and have a statement they will read out to you if you ask. You do have to insure for the full value though I believe, there's no reason not to as the 6k difference doesn't push the price up with Aviva (it's a range, something like 5000-15000) or I imagine other insurers.
Scary though how easy a mistake it is to make, I initially only insured for the amount on my invoice too.
 

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Ouch.
Can't help with the situation but count Aviva in as one of the insurers who knows about the battery lease and have a statement they will read out to you if you ask. You do have to insure for the full value though I believe, there's no reason not to as the 6k difference doesn't push the price up with Aviva (it's a range, something like 5000-15000) or I imagine other insurers.
Scary though how easy a mistake it is to make, I initially only insured for the amount on my invoice too.
That's the thing, it doesn't matter what the OP's insurance cover is, the third party has admitted fault and it is going through their insurance.

Therefore the third party's insurer should be putting the OP back to the situation/state they were in pre-accident, not putting them £2.5k out of pocket.

So they should either be, repairing the car back to its original state, or compensating them with a payout so they can purchase an equivalent car to the original.

If it was a battery owned zoe I, the settlement would probably be about £8-9k, but they are saying 'here's the £6.5k for your zoe, but now we've got to keep £2.5k to send the battery back to RCI'.

Thinking about it, I'd get on to RCI or Renault about it, it's not good publicity for their business model when the car manufacturers are trying to increase EV uptake.
 
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