Making a car insurance claim is not too difficult; you just need the right information to hand and a checklist of what to do.
Many insurance companies accept online claims that guide drivers through the process.
To help you with your car insurance claim, here is the Insurance Blogger step-by-step checklist:
- Tell your insurance company about the incident that has triggered the claim. This could be an accident or someone damaging or stealing from your vehicle while it was parked.
- Draw a bird’s eye view scale diagram of an accident, or even better, take some photos with the camera in your phone before any vehicles are moved.
- Try and take pictures of any drivers and witnesses as well, but don’t provoke a confrontation.
- Make sure your images include the number plates of any other vehicles involved in the incident.
- Don’t repair any damage yourself before an insurance assessor has had a chance to look at your car.
- If the insurance company says your car is a write-off, make sure you know whether the cash they are offering you as compensation is the retail or trade price – trade is what a motor deal would offer and retail is what you should expect to pay for a similar vehicle.
Expect an offer between the two, but be realistic about your car’s value.
- A good tip is to keep any maintenance and repair bills for your car. They prove the condition of your vehicle and indicate how well you have looked after the car. It’s a good idea to photograph the car and the milometer every few weeks as well.
All this helps you prove the car’s value in the event of a write-off and lets you negotiate a bigger pay out.
- If you disagree with the car insurer’s valuation of your vehicle, appeal to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, pursue your claim with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. You may win a pay out that covers some or all of your claim.
- Don’t repair your car yourself or ask a garage that is not on your car insurer’s approved list to do the work. If you do, the insurer may not pay or only pay a reduced amount and you will have to cover the rest.
Remember, if you have an incident and decide not to claim, the conditions of your car insurance may still mean you have to tell the insurer. The insurer may invalidate your policy and refuse paying out on another claim if they find out you have not told them ‘relevant’ information under the terms of your policy.