If your car is properly insured, making a claim should be straightforward. However, you’ll be able to get a pay-out much more quickly and without any hassle if you can provide your insurer with all the details of your claim – for example, what happened and who was involved in an accident – as promptly and clearly as possible. Bear in mind that if you are claiming from someone else’s insurance, you could experience delays due to the extra layers of paperwork, and disputes over blame. This two part article will inform you on what to do when involved in an accident and the process of claiming your insurance with less hustle.
Steps to follow when in an accident
Perhaps the most common reason for claiming on your car insurance is if you’re involved in some sort of collision. If this happens to you and you are not seriously hurt, the first thing to worry about is making the scene of the accident safe. Turn on hazard warning lights, and ensure that other traffic is aware of what has happened. You should call for an ambulance or police if anyone is injured or the collision has created a blockage.
You should also inform the police immediately if anyone involved has driven away – it is an offence not to stop at the scene of an accident. Once safety concerns have been addressed, you can think about insurance:
- Don’t admit liability or offer to pay compensation: you may not be thinking clearly, and there could be other factors that you are not aware of that contributed to the accident. If you take the blame, it could affect any insurance pay-out you’re entitled to.
- Make a note of the registrations of the vehicles involved.
- Take the names and contact details of the other drivers, passengers and other witnesses. Drivers are obliged to share this information, as well as their insurance details (such as the name of their insurer).
- Try to sketch out what happened in the accident.
- Take photographs of the aftermath if possible – it is always a good idea to carry a camera (perhaps a disposable one) in your car, or use your mobile phone if that has an in-built camera.
- Make a note of your location, including road or street names, and the nearest house our business numbers. Write down any other information that could be relevant such as road or weather conditions, plus time of day.
What about other cases?
If you need to make a claim for theft, or if your vehicle has been damaged or driven into while it is parked, it is again useful to collect as much information – such as the location, and details of any potential witnesses – as possible to pass on to your insurer. Also keep a record of any dealings with the police: in cases of theft or vandalism, for example, you will be given a crime reference number.