Frequently Asked Questions
We’re always happy to answer your questions. If you find your question has not been answered below, then send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Q: How do I instruct you to carry out car inspections or other reports?
A: There are a number of ways you can send an instruction through to us:
- The easiest way is to get our IT department to set-up a direct link between our system and yours. This is a simple task for case management systems such as ProClaim, SQL, XML, Zend based systems.
- You can send an instruction through our online portal – http://portal.laird-assessors.com
- You can send an email with an instruction sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can call our First Response team on 0151 342 0594 and they will take the details down from you.
- If you would like a new instruction sheet, please email email@example.com (or call 0151 342 9961)
Q: What happens once I have instructed you?
A: Upon receipt of your instruction, you will receive confirmation from our team. We will then contact your client to arrange an inspection of their vehicle within an hour. If we can’t get hold of them we’ll keep trying plus we’ll send texts and emails. You will be updated once we have booked an inspection. You can help us by ensuring their contact details are correct and we have all of their numbers and email addresses. You can always ask them to call us if they wish.
Q: Do you provide a time for inspection and ring my client with notice?
A: Due to the nature of the work our engineers carry out it is difficult to guarantee a time so we normally ask that the client makes the vehicle available for one day, between the hours of 8 and 4pm. We can inspect at the client’s work address, storage yard or garage if this is more convenient. The driver does not normally need to be with the vehicle.
We tend not to charge a fee for the first failed inspection as a gesture of goodwill, however, we will charge £50 for further failed inspections.
If the vehicle is used for work e.g.taxi driver we will provide a notice call to the client in these circumstances.
All clients also get a text message to their mobile to remind them of the inspection date.
Q: What is the position of the file – how do I know if the inspection is booked?
A: The easiest way to track your cases is through our online portal http://portal.laird-assessors.com/ where you can view the status of each instruction and download copy reports.
You will also receive regular email updates from our team detailing all stages of the process. This includes:
- When we receive your instruction
- When we have contacted the client and booked an inspection
- If we have been unable to contact the client
Q: What time will the engineer arrive?
A: Following instruction, one of our logistics co-ordinators will contact your client to arrange an inspection. Our service standards ensure we inspect all vehicles on the same day of instruction, or the following day or at worst the day after your instruction. Inspections are booked on an all-day basis as we do not require anyone present during the inspection. Should access be required the assessor can call with around ½ an hour’s notice to advise of his arrival.
Q: Do clients need to be present at the inspection?
A: We do not require your client to be present at the inspection. Our engineer does not need anyone to be present as most accident damage inspections are external only and we aim to cause as little disruption to the client as possible. This is obviously fully dependant on the type of report.
We can inspect anywhere such as home, work or garage as long as we know where the vehicle is parked. Unless specifically asked, all inspections are external and the engineer will have details of the location of the damage as given on instruction.
Q: Does the engineer need keys to my client’s vehicle?
A: This is preferable but by no means essential. Our engineer will only be carrying out an external inspection. It would be helpful for the driver to let us know the mileage of the car; either call, email or leave a note on the dash.
Q: Doesn’t the engineer drive the vehicle at the time of inspection?
A: No – this is not normally part of our van, bike or car inspection process for a standard accident damage report.
Q: What happens next (after inspection)?
A: After our qualified engineer has inspected your clients’ vehicle a full estimate, vehicle valuation and data check will be used to compile a report. You will normally receive the report the same day or certainly within 24 hours following the inspection unless otherwise stated. Our reports team can be contacted directly on 0151 342 0593.
Q: What do I do if the repairer finds further damage to the vehicle during repairs?
A: If the repairer finds further damage to the vehicle during the repairs, we suggest that they send us a detailed, itemised estimate for repairs with the digital colour images of the additional damages noted or send an audatex estimate to LAIRDENG. They can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Q: What do I do if my client disagrees with the pre-accident valuation of the vehicle?
A: We suggest you ask the client to provide supporting evidence from vehicle websites such as AutoTrader showing vehicles of the same specifications, same age and same condition with similar mileage showing a higher valuations. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Q: Why is the vehicle unroadworthy?
A: Details regarding the un-roadworthiness of a vehicle can be located on page 2 of our report, within the box labelled ‘Vehicle Comments’. Typically a vehicle is un-roadworthy due to an item that would fail an MoT test. Just because a client is driving a vehicle doesn’t make it roadworthy!
Q: Can I speak to the engineer who inspected the vehicle?
A: Most of our inspecting engineers are not based at our Head Office in Heswall. However, should you require engineering assistance we do have an onsite engineering team who can assist. You can call them on 0151 342 0685.
Q: How do I forward a supplementary repair estimate?
A: Supplementary estimates can be forwarded via the Audetex System, our code is LAIRDENG, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 01513427844.
Q: Can I have a copy report/images/fee note?
A: The easiest way for you to download copy documents is by logging on to our online portal http://www.laird-assessors.com/principal-login/new-principal-registration/. Alternatively, please call our main reception with our reference number for the particular case you are dealing with – 0151 342 9961.
Q: Why is my vehicle a total loss and still roadworthy?
A: Your vehicle has been deemed a total loss as it is not economic to repair as the cost of the repairs outweigh the value of the vehicle. The vehicle’s roadworthiness is only assessed in relation to the damage that has been sustained and not the cost of the damage. The roadworthiness is solely established based on whether or not a vehicle would pass an M.o.T in its current condition. Eg a scratch down the side of a £500 car may cost £600 to repair; the car is an uneconomical total loss but still driveable.
Q: Why is there zero salvage on my vehicle when it is a total loss?
A: A salvage value will only be placed on a vehicle if there are salvageable parts following the incident. If the vehicle is only of small value and is old, it is likely that there will zero salvage; in some cases there will be a charge to remove & safely dispose of the scrap value. We can asssit with disposal of the salvage; simply contact our total loss team here or call 0151 342 0786.
Q: Why is the value of my vehicle not full retail?
A: We try to value a vehicle fairly so age, condition, unrelated damage and mileage are all taken in to consideration when valuing a vehicle. This is the same if any extras have been added to the vehicle that increase it’s value. Our value should reflect the cost to replace your clients’ vehicle with one of a similar standard.
Salvage Category Guidelines
When an insurance company disposes of a vehicle instead of returning it to the policy holder, it is assigned a salvage category. This may either be ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’. In some instances, a vehicle may not be given a category, designated as ‘not recorded’ or ‘Category X’. The different categories are explained below:
SCRAP only e.g.total burn outs. These vehicles must be crushed and no parts can be salvaged.
BREAK only. Parts can be salvaged from these vehicles but the body shell, or frame in the case of motorbikes, must be destroyed
Repairable, but the insurance company-estimated repair costs exceed the vehicle’s pre-accident value. This is likely because the insurer is obliged to use new manufacturer-supplied parts and high-cost labour.
All other repairable vehicles. The estimated repair costs do not exceed the pre-accident value of the vehicle, but it remains more cost-effective for the insurance company to dispose of it. For example, the cost of providing a hire car to the policy holder for a long period would, when added to the repair costs, total more than the pre-accident value of the vehicle. Alternatively, a vehicle may be recorded as category ‘D’ because it was stolen and only recovered after the policy holder had been paid out.