Being involved in a road crash is a frustrating and time-consuming experience. What should you do if you, unfortunately, get into an accident? You should be aware of what to do and what not to do. Read on as we share the right things to do for your safety and an easier insurance claim process.
What are the DOs after getting involved in an accident
Below are the steps that you should do following a road crash:
Check your injuries
Check if you have any injuries to your body. Try to move your arms and legs to find injured spots. Stay calm and call for an ambulance at 999 immediately to request assistance if anyone is injured.
Take note of your surrounding. Your vehicle should not block the road.
Move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid a traffic jam or another collision. Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers can see your car.
Additionally, place a warning triangle at least 45 meters from your vehicle on a flat surface where it will be visible to other drivers.
Gather details of the accident
Do not panic if you get involved in an accident. Safely move your car to an emergency lane to avoid causing a traffic jam. Jot down the details of any other involved party in the accident. Make sure you do not miss the following details:
- Car registration number
- Car model, year, colour
- Name, address and phone number
- Identity card (MyKad) and driving licence
- Pictures of the damage as proof
Call your insurer’s hotline
Lodge a police report
You need to lodge a police report within 24 hours of the accident. You will need a police report to file a claim from your insurer later, even if it is just to claim for damage to your vehicle.
Please provide the details of the accident to support your report.
Report the accident to your insurance company
Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Although the insurance policy specifies you have a few days to report an accident, it is advisable to do it within 24 hours or by the next working day to avoid any risk. Lodge a police report immediately unless there is a valid reason, such as being hospitalised or receiving treatment for your injuries, that an official medical report can support.
Please note that failure to report your accident can land you in trouble. You can protect yourself against any unexpected third party motor claims or personal injury claims by filing a police report.
What are the DON’Ts following an accident
Now, there are certain things that you must not do following an accident. Read what is to be avoided when involved in a road accident.
Don’t run away from the accident scene
Please do not run away from the accident scene, although the accident is not severe.
If you flee from the scene, you are bound to be charged with hit-and-run, which could result in imprisonment.
Don’t simply accept a settlement
Please do not accept any verbal and on-the-spot settlement. The third party may offer you a low-cost settlement if the accident is not your fault.
This does not serve the purpose of car insurance. It is better to let your insurer know as they know better the actual cost of your vehicle damage.
Don’t be tricked by unauthorised tow truck service
Don’t get caught off guard by unauthorised towing truck drivers that offer to help you after the accident. They may try to pressure you into utilising their suppliers’ services. Their service can easily cost you up to RM500 depending on the distance and time.
Yes, it is expensive, so be careful.
If free towing is included, you may contact your insurer to request their authorised towing truck.
Do not forget to notify your insurer after you get into an accident, although you do not intend to make an insurance claim.
It is crucial for your protection against liability resulting from the accident.
What if you are at fault?
It depends on the damage severity. If the damage is minor and nobody is injured, you may discuss settlement with the other party. Most people prefer to settle a minor accident privately than make an insurance claim to avoid losing their No Claim Discount (NCD).
You can file an Own Damage claim with your insurer for your vehicle damage. However, you are likely to lose your NCD.
What if you are not at fault?
You may either claim from the third party’s insurer directly or initiate an Own Damage Knock-for-Knock (OD KFK) claim for a speedier process.
- What is OD KFK?
OD KFK claim involves a situation where your vehicle suffers damage after being knocked by another party who is at fault.
You may choose to claim against your own policy or against the third party’s insurer. This claim protects your NCD because you are not at fault. For your information, NCD is a form of discount that insurers offer if you or a third party does not make any claim under your policy. Having NCD can significantly lower your annual premium.
Where should you send your car for repairs?
Make sure to send your car to an authorised insurance panel workshop for repairs. Avoid sending your damaged vehicle to an unauthorised repair workshop to avoid complications of your claim.
Stay calm and follow the above steps to facilitate an insurance claim
Even with the most careful of driving, the unexpected may unfortunately occur.
It is always best to arm yourself with knowledge over what to do following an accident. It helps prepare you to face the unexpected and handle the situation with confidence.
Please do not forget to check your car insurance expiry date. Make sure your car insurance is always active to avoid any possible problems in the event of an untoward accident.
You are liable for fines if you drive without valid insurance. In addition, you cannot make an insurance claim if anything happens to your car. Therefore, always ensure that your car insurance is active.