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Owner's anger after rare car damaged 'beyond repair' by falling fence

PUBLISHED: 10:29 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:29 31 August 2018

Mr Raby with his vehicle at his home in Bacton. Photo: James Raby

Mr Raby with his vehicle at his home in Bacton. Photo: James Raby

Archant

A north Norfolk auto detailer has told of his anger at a housing company after his rare car was damaged by an unstable fence.

Fence panels fell onto James Raby's rare car. Photo: James RabyFence panels fell onto James Raby's rare car. Photo: James Raby

James Raby, 38, said his MG ZS 180 was damaged when fence panels belonging to Victory Housing fell onto his vehicle when it was parked in a shared carpark.

Mr Raby, who runs JR Detailing from his home in Bacton, said: “At the back of the property there was a fence which was unstable.

“It’s shared parking. There are three owned properties and the rest are Victory Housing.

“We are by the coast so we get a lot of wind. I thought the car was far enough away from the fence but during the night of January 23, two fence panels literally broke away from the fence.

Mr Raby says the boot lid and bumper of his vehicle were damaged. Photo: James RabyMr Raby says the boot lid and bumper of his vehicle were damaged. Photo: James Raby

“They fell onto my vehicle and damaged the boot lid. I think it’s beyond repair and the bumper is broken as well.”

Mr Raby, who has lived in Bacton since 1985, said Victory Housing were aware of the danger posed by the fence.

He said: “They knew it was damaged and they’ve done nothing about it.

“I’m pursuing a public liability claim due to their negligence.”

The damage to Mr Raby's vehicle. Photo: James RabyThe damage to Mr Raby's vehicle. Photo: James Raby

He added: “I just want to feel they’ve listened to me and there’s compensation and for them to apologise.”

Mr Raby said he had bought the 2003 model MG in May 2012, meaning it is not old enough to be a classic car.

However, he said: “Its not just a car that can be chucked away and you can get another one.

“Only 16 of this vehicle remain on the road today.”

Mr Raby’s claim is being dealt with by Aviva for Victory Housing, who have said it is a non-structural write off.

In an email to Mr Raby dated May 9, Aviva wrote: “The vehicle is uneconomical to repair.”

Mr Raby was offered £2,660, the equitable value of his vehicle.

He described the offer as “insulting” and said: “It wouldn’t even cover the cost of paint.”

A spokesperson for Victory Housing said due to legal reasons they were unable to comment on an ongoing claim.

A spokesperson for Aviva said: “Liability was investigated and agreed by the Aviva Insured Victory Housing.

“Mr Raby provided estimates to repair his typhoon MG ZS v6 180 at over £11,000. The vehicle is a 2003 plate therefore the engineer determined the vehicle was uneconomical to repair.

“Due to MG Rover ceasing trading in 2006 the Aviva engineer was unable to put a pre-accident value on the car using the standard Glasses guide method due to cars no longer being built. The engineer therefore sourced his valuation on the current market for vehicles of this type of vehicle which were on sale at the time of the investigation. The valuation came to £3,800 and the engineer recommended a salvage value of £1,140 leaving an equitable value of £2,660.

“We believe this is a fair valuation.

The engineer when valuing the vehicle stated his valuation and offer was based on the vehicle owner Mr Raby providing the following information: a copy of the vehicle V5, documentary evidence to support the vehicle mileage, and service history proof of the vehicle.

“The above information was requested due to the fact the vehicle had been previously registered as a write off prior to the incident by another insurer.

“To date Mr Raby has not provided the information requested, which is required to progress the claim. He has also not provided any proof of his valuation of the vehicle. Our claims handler had a long conversation with Mr Raby and discussed with him the various MG owner’s clubs he could contact to potentially obtain better estimates to repair his vehicle as the original estimate of over £11,000 for a 14-year-old car meant the vehicle is uneconomical to repair.

“Where an insurance company decides it is uneconomical to repair, there is nothing to stop the owner retaining their vehicle and using the cash settlement they receive towards repairing it. Those repairs may however end up costing more than the market value settlement received and if so, they will have to fund this shortfall themselves.”

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