5 Rules To Follow To Ensure That Your Car Insurance Claim Is Processed Successfully
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to know the steps that you must take if you want to submit a car insurance claim.
Before we start discussing the claims process, it is important to noted that the type of insurance claim you can make depends on the type of insurance policy you purchased.
3rd party insurance is to cover your 3rd party liability should you damage 3rd party vehicle, property or bodily injuries. It will not be able cover own damages. Should your vehicle damaged in recent flash flood, 3rd party insurance would not cover that.
Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, would allow you to make a claim on your own insurance for such incidents. It will provide car owners a peace of mind.
Even if your car is not damaged, it is important to follow the procedure that is laid down by the General Insurance Association.
Here are some rules that you must follow if you get involved in an accident:
1. Accident essentials – don’t forget to take these steps
If anybody is injured, your first duty is to call for medical help. But as far as your insurance claim is concerned, this is the action that you must take:
- Get the name, address, and phone number of the other party involved in the accident. Make a note of the vehicle number as well.
Use your mobile phone and take photographs of the accident. Try and capture the damage to your vehicle as well as to the other car.
- Phone your insurer’s hotline immediately and provide information about the accident.
- Follow their instructions on where you should go to report your accident, and file your claims.
- All insurers would be able to assist you to tow your vehicle to an authorised workshop when necessary.
- Some insurers may even be able to provide you with onsite claims assistance.
- Make a police report. This is compulsory if someone has got injured or if a foreign vehicle is involved.
2. Get the right insurance policy if you are carpooling for a fee, or are a private hire driver.
If you are ferrying passengers in your private car and you get into an accident, there is a likelihood that your claims may not be successfully processed. Make sure your car policy provide coverage for such situations.
Why is that? It could be due to the type of car insurance policy you purchased.
A private car policy does not allow you to carry passengers for a fee, as the insurance company sold you the policy based on the understanding that you will use your car for social and domestic purposes.
If you plan to ferry passengers for a fee, you need to convert your policy to hire and reward usage. This will involve approaching your insurance company and making a specific application. You will probably have to pay an additional premium to buy coverage.
3. Understanding your car policy’s exclusions
Like every insurance policy, your car insurance too, comes with its list of exclusions. Make sure that you study the details carefully. If you are not familiar with them, you may assume that your insurance policy is valid in certain situations, when, in fact, it is not.
When you bought the policy, did you declare yourself as the “non-driving insured”? If you did, and the car is involved in an accident when you are driving, your claim may not be processed.
Similarly, if the car is driven by anyone who is under the influence of alcohol/drugs/strong medication, and there is an accident, the policy would not respond.
Other exclusions that are common to car insurance policies are:
- The car is driven outside its permitted geographical area.
- The driver does not have a valid licence.
- The number of people in the car exceeds the legal seating capacity.
4. Declare your legal car modifications to your insurer
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), a statutory body tasked with maintaining the country’s transport and road systems, has clear guidelines regarding car modifications.
Modifications fall into three categories. There are certain changes that you can make without the LTA’s approval. A second list specifies modifications that require prior approval from the LTA. Finally, there are certain modifications that are not permitted.
Your insurance policy will include a clause that specifies that your claim will be rejected if you have made an illegal modification.
If you are making major and legal alterations to your car, it is a good idea to declare your car modifications to your insurer. While you will expect to incur additional premium for them, it will ensure that you will be able to make the appropriate claims if your car gets into an accident.
5. Accidents involving foreign registered vehicles
If you get into an accident with a foreign-registered vehicle, it will be a lot more difficult to make a claim on the other party.
You do have the option of making a claim against an insurer in Malaysia, but the procedure may take a long time. In most cases, it would be best to make a claim on your own policy, while waiting for the legal process take its course for the claim on the other party. Once again, 3rd party insurance will not be able to provide for own damage claim.
Make sure that you follow the procedures
Every insurance company has a clearly defined claim approval procedure. It is useful to familiarise yourself with this and make a note of the insurer’s emergency contact number. If you do get into a car crash, this information will prove to be very useful.
If you are involved in an accident and are too unnerved to remember all these points, it would be best to call your trusted advisor for help. They will be best equipped to walk you through all these steps.