Car insurance claims can become stressful affairs if the correct steps are not taken. Understanding a few simple steps, however, will help ease the strain and resolve many of the issues you may encounter.
Invalidating your cover will cause additional anxiety. Therefore the first basic step is to be active in reporting any accident as soon as possible, even if it is only small. Your policy will outline any time limitations and often vary from policy to policy, so be sure to keep it safe and easily accessible.
Important information for your insurer
Your insurer will need to be in possession of certain information if the accident involved another driver.
- The car’s registration and insurance details
- Contact details of the driver including: drivers name, address and phone number.
- A report of how the accident occurred along with the weather conditions
- When exactly the accident occurred
- In the event of the other driver fleeing the scene or having no insurance, then it is vital to first of all contact the Police.
Pursuing a claim
If you inform your insurer in the allotted time frame, then they will make life much easier by issuing a report form for you to fill in. It helps to be completely transparent,as omitting even the most finite details may ultimately impinge the process.
The fundamental first step is to endeavor to get the necessary data outlined above, particularly the registration number and contact details of the other driver.
Some accidents are the result of criminal acts; for example driving under the influence of drugs or collision with a stolen car. It this is the case, it is vital to get the crime number from the police force for reference later.
Try and get photographs of the accident or, better still, a video on your smart phone where you outline the time and date of the accident along with any details you consider important. This may prove invaluable when form filling later.
Try and remain as neutral and transparent as possible, and never admit culpability for the accident unless you are completely certain.
Fill in the claim form to the best of your ability, providing as much detail as possible.
If applicable, remember to secure eye-witness contact information.
Weather damage claims
Damage due to extreme weather is a common problem, and can range from minor scrapes to serious incidents. As with any car insurance claim, weather damage claims must be reported as soon as is viable. Most car insurance packages will cover weather damage, but it is best to check before making the report.
No claims bonuses are generally impacted the year following a weather damage claim. Again, photographs and videos are helpful, along with as much detail as possible.
The next steps
Once all the required documentation and evidence is received by the insurance company, they will set about fixing the issue and contacting any other individuals’ insurers (if applicable).
As a generalrule, any vital work that needs to be performed immediately must have thorough documentary evidence and any receipts to claim back at a later date. This is particularly relevant to weather damage cases.
Note that in this case, many insurers prefer to deal with specific trades people they have an affiliation with, and may be unwilling to pay for any work carried out by separate contractors.