If you are involved in a car accident, there are a few things you must do in the immediate aftermath. One of the most important things is to have your motor insurance claims settled. Claims for reimbursement of repairs can be filed in the following ways:
- If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run case and have suffered bodily injuries as a result of the accident and have no details of the other party, you can make the claim with the Motor Insurance Bureau.
- In case you want to make a claim with your insurer, the process of filing a claim varies from insurer to insurer. Your insurer will, however, pay for the damages only if your claim exceeds the excess amount. For example, if your claim amount is S$900 and the excess is fixed at S$500, the insurer will pay only S$400. Also, you are likely to lose your No Claim Bonus.
- If you are involved in an accident and the vehicle is insured as per the Non-Injury Motor Accident Scheme of Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC), then your claims below S$3,000 will be provided by FIDReC. In cases like this, no lawyers are involved.
- If you are making a claim against a third party, the costs will be high as lawyers will get involved and you should ideally file a claim for damages under your own car insurance policy. In case you are able to make a successful recovery against the third party, you will retain your No Claims Discount during the time of renewal.
Let us now take a look at the step-by-step guide to make a car insurance claim:
- If you are involved in an accident and you are not severely injured, the first thing that you must do is take down the details of all those who have been involved in the accident, including witnesses present at the scene of the accident. The details include name of the parties involved, their phone number, their motor and/or life insurance company, and their NRIC number.
- Once you get the details of the people involved in the accident, you must take a series of pictures of the accident for your insurer to look at. The pictures must have the registration number of the vehicles involved, the road near the scene of accident and damages caused to all the vehicles involved.
- Most car insurers will have a list of authorised car workshops where you can have the damages to your car in the accident repaired. If you take your car to some other workshop, you may not be able to get the coverage.
- Check the impact to your car insurance policy. Once you are involved in a car accident, you may lose your No Claims Discount. Also, find out if the insurance premium has been raised. If the premium has been raised you may want to look for another policy. However, there is no assurance that you will find a low-priced one as the accident is put on record, and others may quote a high premium as well.