How to Make a Car Insurance Claim

Published by on . Updated on 18 May 2020

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Got into an accident? If that's not bad enough, the last thing you should face is the confusion of making a car insurance claim.

Cars are so expensive in Singapore, and that isn’t helped by the expensive car insurance we are forced to get. Unfortunately, we need it because sometimes we can’t avoid certain accidents on the road. Making a claim can be quite a stressful affair, and not everyone knows how to do it.

It’s amazing how your day and mood can turn upside down with one wrong move while on the road. But regardless of whether the accident was your fault (which it obviously wasn’t), the number one thing to remember is, don’t panic!

In this article, we shall run through what need to do when you get into an accident with another driver. We will also run through what you should do when you get into an accident by yourself (e.g. barrier, traffic light, lamp post).

Getting into an Accident with Another Driver

If you are the victim of another driver’s negligence, you will be able to get your insurance company to file a claim against the insurance of the driver who collided into you. If the accident happened because of your negligence, remember that your No Claims Discount (NCD) will be affected should insurance companies get involved.

After the Accident, Report It to Your Insurer ASAP

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After having an accident, do not procrastinate on making an insurance claim. Many insurance companies have a time limit, usually 24 hours, in which to report an accident. So, should you take your time on making a report, insurance companies may refuse to process your claim.

Different insurance companies rely on different methods of making a claim. If you need to, you can call your insurer’s 24-hour hotline immediately after the accident for help.

Don’t forget, you must also make a report in person at your insurance company’s reporting centre as soon as possible too. The staff there will help you with the paperwork, so you will have to submit all your evidence, which we will talk about below.

Don’t Move Your Car Unless Absolutely Necessary

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The title says it all, because if you do move your car, the insurance company might have a better better case to challenge your claim. Thus, you will need to contact your insurance company before driving off, even if the accident was a minor one.

The only reason for moving your car immediately after the accident is if it is in the middle of road, holding up traffic, and endangering your life, or the life of others.

Call a Tow Truck, If Necessary

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If your car is wrecked to a point where it is no longer in a condition to drive, you will have to get a tow truck to move it. Many car insurance companies require you to only use tow trucks affiliated with them. Thus, getting any other tow service to move your car might result in your claim getting rejected.

Take down Particulars

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Should you get into an accident with another vehicle, you will need to take down the particulars of the other driver. The standard things to note down include the driver’s name, phone number, cap plate number, NRIC number, address and insurance company.

Should you want to make a claim against the other driver, you will need all this information. Also, you won’t lose your No Claim Discount (NCD) if your insurer can prove that the accident was the fault of the other driver and not you. That will result in your insurance company making a claim against the other party’s insurer.

Collate Photos and Dashcam Footage

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Following an accident, you need to take detailed, clear photos of the accident scene and of the vehicles involved, if any. Through these photos, you should be able to provide the scene and context of the accident.

Take as many relevant photos as you want and need, with a couple of close up and wide shots. It would only help your case with the insurer when you make a claim.

In accidents, the useful dashboard camera comes into play as an independent party. Apart from providing videos for our Inconsiderate Drivers of the Week series, the camera will often reveal who was at fault for causing the accident. So, if you don’t have a dashcam in your car yet, you should really consider getting one soon.

Fixing Your Car at a Workshop

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Following an accident, unless it is just a minor dent, you most probably need to send your car to a workshop to get it fixed. Like with tow trucks, most insurance companies have a list of authorised car workshops.

Despite the fact that insurers are now not allowed to deny your claim if you go to an unauthorised workshop, it is still unadvisable. Should you go to one and they do not do a good job with the repairs, the insurer might be led to believe that they caused the damage, which might affect up your claim.

Thus, it is still advisable to go to an authorised workshop after an accident. If required, your insurer should be able to provide a list of them to you. A benefit of going to an authorised workshop is that they know what kind of paperwork from the repairs you will need to submit for your claim.

Another reason for visiting an authorised workshop instead of an unauthorised one is hassle. Sometimes, an unauthorised workshop may take longer than an authorised one to do their assessment. This, in turn, just extends the time needed to repair your car.

The reason this happens is that your insurer needs to get surveyors down to the unauthorised workshop you have chosen to analysis the damage in detail. The appropriate repairs also need to be submitted back to the surveyor for approval before the workshop can start on the repairs, and all of this just takes time.

Getting into an Accident by Yourself

The good news is you don’t have to deal with another party and their insurer. But that’s hardly a comforting thought when you have just wrapped the front of your car around a lamp post.

If the damage is light, like a small dent or scratch, you can either learn to live with it or take it to a workshop without involving your insurer. However, if the damage is quite severe, like in the lamp post scenario mentioned above, you have a decision to make.

To Claim or Not to Claim

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With no other party involved, you are free to choose whether you want to fork out your own cash or to involve your insurer. But in order to make that decision wisely, you should take your car to a workshop to assess the damage and the cost to fix it.

If your NCD is considerably high, it might not be worth making a claim over some minor damage as you might end up paying higher premiums the following year. So, you will need to do some calculations and compare your NCD to the cost of repairing your car.

If all you got was some minor damage that you can live with, it’s probably not worth losing your NCD over claiming damages. With every claim you make, you lose 30% of your NCD, causing your premiums to rise drastically the following year.

Even if you excess is low enough for the insurance company to cover a substantial chunk of the repair costs, it might not be enough to cover the increase in premiums following the 30% in NCD.

Not only that, if your excess is higher than the cost of repairs, you will probably have to fork out 100% of the repair costs out of your own pocket, which defeats the purpose of claiming.

So do your own calculations and find out whether it’s more worth settling the repair costs yourself or to bring your insurer into the fray.

So now you know how to make an insurance claim, but in order to do that, you first need to have an insurance plan for your car. We know, no one wants to talk about insurance as we can’t even bear to think about our precious and expensive cars being damaged.

However, it is required by law for our cars to be insured. So, let’s make the best out of this situation by searching for the most suitable car insurance for your needs.

Here at Motorist, we can get you the best motor insurance coverage at the lowest price possible. We will assist you to source for the best coverage from over 10 insurers. In just one working day, we will revert with the most competitive quote with no obligations.

I want to find the most affordable car insurance plan within 24 hours!

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