Drivers may know enough to get their cars insured every year. However, making the actual insurance claim after an accident is a different story.
In too many cases, people complain of car insurance claim rejection or getting insufficient compensation. This often happens because most people are not aware of the procedure or they commit mistakes while filing the claim.
In this article, we want to help you avoid some common missteps that can weaken your car accident insurance claim.
Delaying a police a report
Do not waste any time contacting your insurance company. You must report the accident within 24 hours after the accident happens.
Even if the accident happens during the weekend, please don’t wait until the next business day. The police will still take your report on any day, including weekends. Not reporting within this timeframe may be grounds for the insurance company to deny your claim. They could deny your claim if you did not complete a police report on time.
Sometimes, the other involved party in the accident may try to settle the matter personally without involving the police. You must not agree to this as not informing the police about the accident is illegal.
Note: You may only delay if there is a valid reason that can be supported by an official medical report. Examples are being hospitalised or receiving treatment for your injuries.
Taking too long to file insurance claim
Similar to the police report, it is paramount that you inform the car insurance provider about it. Make sure to inform them however minor it may be and regardless of whether there is any damage.
Failing to report the accident may increase the risk of your claim application being rejected. Usually, you can file the claim report within a week – equivalent to 7 days.
What happens if you don’t inform your insurance company? You will need to pay for vehicle repair bills yourself. If another person makes a third-party claim and your insurer never received notice, you could become personally liable for the other person’s damages. So take note!
If you claim without submitting all the required supporting documents, it will be rejected for being incomplete. You need proof that you were not at fault if you want your insurance to find the claim in your favour.
What type of evidence do you need to submit? It is important to take photos of the location, vehicle damages, and license plates of all vehicles involved.
Other than that, the followings are the necessary documents:
- Completed claim form
- Original copy of police report
- Copy of driver’s and policyholder’s identity card and driving license
- Copy of vehicle ownership certificate
- Photos of accident scene and damages to vehicle
- Police letter informing which party is compounded for road traffic offence
Running away from the accident scene
It is normal to panic when you get involved in an accident. However, do not ever run away from the accident scene.
You must not move from the spot – take pictures of the scene as proof to support your settlement claim to avoid your claim getting rejected.
The evidence will also help you prove your innocence in case of a police investigation. If necessary, get a statement or testimonials from the witnesses near the accident spot. This will further help you validate your settlement claim.
Frequently asked questions about insurance claim
We have put together some of the most common questions about car insurance claims.
Is lying to insurance a crime?
Providing false information to your insurance company is a form of insurance fraud.
What happens if you lie to your car insurance company? You run the risk that any claim you make might not be paid and your policy terminated.
Does an insurance company have to pay for claims in a certain amount of time?
Insurance companies have to pay all claims in a reasonable amount of time. However, the timeframe may be different for each claim. Some claims may need more time for a more thorough investigation.
If the car accident was my fault, should I admit it to the other driver?
It is best not to admit liability and let the insurer/investigator determine which driver was at fault.
Although you may feel like you were at fault, please avoid confessing that the accident was your fault. Perhaps it is the other driver who also contributed to the accident (unbeknownst to you).
What should I do if the other driver refuses to give me their details at the accident scene?
If the other involved party refuses to provide their details, call the police. Inform the police officers that the other involved party refused to cooperate.
To your knowledge, the other involved party cannot refuse to provide certain information when the police request it. Therefore, you just have to wait for the police to get the information you need.
Can I make an insurance claim for car dents?
Yes, you can claim for dents. However, we advise you to claim your car insurance for the big loss instead of minor dents.
You may risk your accumulated NCD if the fault is yours.
If I make a claim, will I lose my no-claim bonus?
Avoid making insurance claims especially if the cost is small as they will affect your NCD.
As you are the party at fault, you will lose your No Claim Discount (NCD) after making your claim.
Will my car insurance premium increase after a claim?
Multiple claims mean that you pose a higher risk to the insurance provider. In return, the insurer might increase the premium when you renew the policy.
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