Thousands of people each year are involved in motor accidents and are entitled to compensation. Many people lose out on car insurance payouts because they are not aware of how to make a claim, or because they did not apply in the correct way.
If you should be involved in an accident, it is important to get the details of the other person or people involved. Take the other driver?s number and email address, and also the details of their insurer. When you are still at the scene of the accident, make a note of the other car?s licence number and write down any other details that may be useful. For this reason, it is always advisable to keep a notebook and pen in the glove compartment of your car, as well as a disposable camera to photograph any damage to the vehicles for insurance purposes. If there were any eye-witnesses, ask them for a statement and take their contact details, as this will help your claim.
You should inform your insurer immediately after the accident has happened. Leaving it too long may result in your insurance claim being invalid. Many insurers have 24-hour helplines, so get in touch at your earliest opportunity. However, do take a moment to go over the incident in your head, as you will need to be very clear on the phone about what happened. Your statement will be noted down, and it will help your claim if you can be calm and consistent when relating the incident.The insurance representative that you speak to will want as much information as possible, including the date, time and location of the accident, as well as details of the injuries and vehicle damage sustained.
If any criminal damage has occurred, they will need to take the incident reference number you have received from reporting the incident to the police. The insurer will then be able to confirm whether you are covered under the terms of your car insurance policy and give you advice about how to claim for repairs. The level of coverage you have will determine whether your insurer will cover all repairs. If you only have third party insurance, for example, damage to your vehicle would not be covered. Make a record of the call, taking the name of the person you spoke to and the time of the call. If you are given a reference number, it?s also important to make a note of this as you will need it when you submit your claim.
Before you go ahead with repairs, check whether you are required under the terms of your motor insurance policy to go to a repair garage that is approved by the insurer. Also, make sure that you have clear (written, if possible) confirmation from the insurer that they will cover the costs of repairs to your vehicle before proceeding, otherwise there is a risk that they will refuse to pay and you will be left with the costs. Depending on the level of cover that you have, the insurance company may pay for your car to be towed, if it cannot be driven, and most policies will pay for a replacement car while you are waiting for repairs to be carried out. When repairs are completed on the vehicle, the insurance company will usually compensate the garage. If you have agreed to pay an excess on your motor insurance policy, you will have to make this payment before the insurer will pay out. After this, the claim is completed and the insured receives the vehicle back. Should the insurer require you to make the payment yourself initially, it is very important to keep all receipts and other relevant paperwork to ensure you are fully compensated by the insurer. Before you send these to the insurer, take a copy to keep for your records.
If you are comprehensively insured and your vehicle is written off in the accident, or the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of replacing the vehicle, the insurer will provide you with a sum of money with which you can buy a replacement. The sum you are given will reflect the current market value of the vehicle, the condition it was in before the accident took place, the mileage and specification of the vehicle.
Having your vehicle repaired after an accident can be a huge expense, and so it is really important to be comprehensively covered, even if it does cost you a little bit more on your premium. Click here to receive a competitive car insurance quote from one of the market leaders.