Your car has been damaged in a motor accident. What you do next and how you handle your insurance claim will likely determine how successful your claim is.
If you’ve been injured, or your car has been damaged in an motoring accident, here are some tips to help your car insurance claim proceed smoothly so that you get paid out what you’re entitled to in the most timely manner possible.
1. Write down what happened as soon as possible so that your account is accurate. An accurate report of the accident or incident will help your insurance company decide quickly.
2. Take photos of the scene, the damage and injuries. If you have a mobile phone or digital camera along, one of the best things you can do is document the circumstances with photographs. They’ll be a valuable addition to your written account for the insurance report.
3. Determine whether you need to call the police. You should call the police to make a report if:
– If your car has been stolen
– if the car has been broken into
– if your car has been maliciously damaged
– if someone has been injured as a result of the accident
– if you believe an illegal act has taken place
4. Inform your insurance company as soon as possible after the damage occurs. If your insurer has a 24 hour help line, use it to report your accident, then follow up with a written claim.
5. When you ring up the insurance company after your accident ask the company representative to outline exactly the steps you need to take in order to file a claim for coverage – then be sure to follow the instructions you get to the letter.
6. If you are entitled to a courtesy car, follow the instructions from your insurance company when you hire it.
7. If you are not entitled to a courtesy car, you may still be entitled to claim travel expenses for the time that you are without your car. Your insurance company will cover “reasonable expenses”, which generally means by the cheapest available means. If you keep your claim for travel expenses reasonable, they are more likely to be covered.
8. Be honest in your claim form. One of the biggest reasons that claims are denied is that the claimant falsified information.
9. Do not have any repair work done to your vehicle until your insurer agrees to pay for it. Check with your insurer to find out if they have recommended or preferred repair shops in your area. Shops that work regularly with your insurer will often hae special arrangements to get the work done quickly and efficiently.
10. Be sure to get an official receipt for any work done to your car. In most cases, you’ll be required to submit a receipt with your claim form in order to have it paid or be reimbursed.
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is never fun, but if you follow these few simple tips, it will be far easier and less complicated.