It’s something that everybody dreads, making insurance claims. However keeping to the following steps will help keep the stress to a minimum and make your claim a lot easier. Furthermore these steps apply equally for new and used cars.
Keep documents and policies safe.
It may seem obvious but keep your vehicle details, records and receipts in good order and somewhere safe. This will make any claims so much easier in the long run.
Report the incident straightaway.
The majority of policies have a time limit for you to report incidents whether they are accidents, vandalism or theft. In the case of vandalism and theft you should also contact the police.
With accidents make sure that you get any other involved drivers details and also details of any independent witnesses. Make sure you report the accident to your insurer immediately even if you don’t plan to pursue a claim.
If somebody is injured at the scene, show your insurance to the police and if possible take photographs as evidence in the event of making a claim.
Keep the facts straight.
It may be best to write down exactly what happened as soon as possible. This will help to keep your version of events accurate and consistent. Make sure you have the correct times and dates, the details of everyone involved including witnesses and don’t try to exaggerate as insurance companies are very skilled at spotting bogus and inflated claims.
Who to call?
To officially make the claim you must ring the claims helpline. The claims number will be on your insurance document and also on the insurers’ website. Alternatively you can call your insurance brokers and they will be able to provide you with the claims number. Be prepared as they will need all the details that you can provide.
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If you have comprehensive insurance you should put a claim in with your own insurer. If you only have third party insurance you should make a claim against the other driver. It is then up to the insurance company to decide responsibility and who will pay for repairs.
When will my car be repaired?
Do not get your car repaired without the insurance companies’ permission. They may have their own approved garages and need inspections of the vehicle. If the damage is too great your vehicle may be “written off”.
If this is the case, you should be offered the vehicles current motor trade value. The insurer will keep your “written off” car however you can negotiate to buy the car back as long as it is repairable to a roadworthy state.
Then you will receive the market value minus the salvage value of your car. It is worth mentioning that if you have an older car that suffers only minor damage after an accident you may choose not to put in a claim in case the insurers write it off.
In this case you simply repair the car and keep it. Motor trade insurance is there to help and protect in the case of an accident and following these guidelines will make the claims process easier and straightforward.