Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How To Report Car Damage To Insurance

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Prepare The Necessary Information

How to Report a Claim – GEICO

Be ready with the details that the notary public will ask of you when preparing your affidavit:

  • Certificate of Registration number
  • LTO Official Receipt number
  • Description of the kind of damage to your vehicle and/or any third-party property after the incident
  • Any witness during the incident, such as traffic enforcers and/or security guards
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    At The Scene Of An Accident

    Protecting your ability to sue someone else starts at the scene of the accident. Its good to have an accident checklist to help you gather the right information.

    If youre involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is step back, catch your breath and make sure you and your passengers havent been injured. Soft tissue injuries are a concern even in a bumper-bump, and injuries raise the stakes for an insurance claim.

    Assuming there are no injuries, it will still be stressful for both parties to the accident. Try to minimize road rage in the inevitable exchange of driver information. Pull your car over to a safe spot if possible. Dont stand on a crowded or high-speed road unless you have to. And if possible, stay inside the car, dial 911 and wait for the police.

    If the parties are reasonable, make sure they get what they need to file a claim, and that you do as well. Someone else really only needs your insurance information from your insurance ID card. Many insurers provide a car accident checklist in their mobile apps, or print one out and keep it in the glove compartment.

    Make sure to verify the responding police officers name and badge number, which could be scrawled illegibly on any document you receive. Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as it is filed, and check for accuracy.

    How Does An Insurer Decide A Category After A Car Is Damaged

    An insurer’s responsibility is to return the car to the condition it was in before an accident, though this can be costly. Depending on the damage and car type, it might involve a trip to a more specialist garage or buying expensive parts.

    A new version of the ABI Salvage Code of Practice came into effect from 1 October 2017. This still defines 4 categories of salvage but they’re described and defined differently.

    Old salvage categories

    • AScrap complete vehicle crushed without any components being removed.
    • BBreak body-shell/chassis crushed without any structural components being removed.
    • SStructurally damaged but repairable.
    • NNon-structurally damaged but repairable.

    You might also hear the terms ‘actual loss’ to describe categories A and B, and ‘constructive loss’ to describe C and D .

    So, if your car is written off by your insurance company, the level of damage is divided into four clear categories. Firstly, Categories A and B, where the vehicle is beyond repair and must never return to the road.

    Secondly, Categories C and D , for those that can be repaired, but where the cost of doing so might be more than the car is worth. How insurers make these decisions and what happens next can raise a lot of questions.

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    Why Is It Important To Report Accidents

    If you dont report an accident, someone could claim against you later.

    For example, say you bumped into someones parked car and drove off. At the time there might not be anyone around, but you may have been caught on CCTV or someone might have seen you.

    Its also a legal requirement to stop after an accident, no matter how minor it is. You can find more information on this in the Road Traffic Act.

    Driving off after something like this can have far greater repercussions than if you stop, leave your details and report it to the police.

    So if you havent spoken to the driver of the vehicle, you need to leave your details and report it to the police.

    If you dont, you could face a fine, points on your licence or a driving ban.

    Collision Or Upset Coverage:

    Car Damage Report Template (9)

    If you purchased Collision or Upset Coverage, your insurance company will pay to fix or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, regardless of fault, less the deductible you chose at the time you purchased the coverage. This also includes cases where an uninsured driver cannot be identified, or damaged your vehicle.

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    Get Reimbursed After Paying Upfront

    If you need to call a towing company yourself or the police to tow your vehicle, save receipts for later potential reimbursement as part of the overall car insurance claims process or a roadside assistance claim. You may also be reimbursed for the towing and storage of your car if you were in an accident and the other party was determined to be at fault. Reimbursement may also be possible if you have towing coverage under your cars warranty, your credit card company, or another service provider.

    Injury At An Accident

    If another person is injured in the accident you must also produce your certificate of insurance, if anyone at the scene has reasonable grounds to see it.

    If you dont, you must report the accident at a police station or to a police officer as soon as you can. This must be within 24 hours.

    You must do these things not only when you were directly involved in an injury accident, but also if your vehicles presence was a factor.

    If you dont have your certificate of insurance at the scene of the accident, you may take it to a police station you nominate when you report the incident.

    You must do this within seven days of the accident.

    Reporting the accident to the police by telephone is not sufficient, and you cant ask someone else to report it for you.

    If you have any doubts, we advise you to complete the above steps as soon as the accident happens, regardless of who was at fault.

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    Who A Car Insurance Policy Covers

    If you get into a car crash, your insurance may cover:

    • the driver
    • all passengers
    • other people who are involved

    In some provinces, injured passengers or other people involved in the accident who have their own insurance policy must make a claim under their policy first.

    The principal driver is the person who drives the car most often.

    Additional drivers are other drivers in the household who may use the car as part of their routine, such as driving to school or work. Your insurance policy must list additional drivers. If additional drivers have a poor driving record, your premiums may increase.

    Occasional drivers are drivers who only use the car from time to time.

    Why You Need A Notarized Affidavit For Car Insurance Claim

    Should you make an insurance claim on the hail damage to your car or roof?

    The notarized affidavit is a requirement for most types of car insurance claims, like own damage , CTPL , excess bodily injury, third-party property damage, Acts of God, RSMD , and towing reimbursement.

    This legal document is where you tell your version of the story, which is simply a factual narration of the incident. For example, if you got your windshield caved in from an accident, you can get an affidavit of damage to your vehicle windshield.

    Its usually an alternative to the police report, which is also a requirement for car insurance claim. If youve already filed a police report after a car accident, this would sufficeno need to get and submit an affidavit for car insurance claim.

    However, its easier and faster to get a notarized affidavit of damage to vehicle for insurance than a police report. Sometimes, police reports are released the day after filing, so youll have to come back to the police station for the police report. When you obtain an affidavit, it will take you only a few minutes to wait for the document.

    This is especially helpful for hit and run cases in the Philippines. Instead of waiting for the police report, you can go get an affidavit of damage to vehicle due to hit and run. For lighter cases like a fender bender in a parking lot, you can choose to get an affidavit of damage to vehicle while parked if your insurance covers it.

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    What Details Should I Provide

    If anyone involved in the accident is injured, you must give your insurance details, including your name, address and the vehicles registration. You must show them your insurance certificate if they ask for it.

    Even if no one is injured you could exchange insurance details as it might help to speed up the claims process.

    Its worth getting their details, too, as you may have an injury that you werent aware of at the time of the crash.

    If youre not the vehicles owner, you should give the car owners details.

    How Long Do You Have To File A Claim Or Lawsuit

    You can file a claim or lawsuit only within your state’s liability time limitknown as the “statute of limitations.” Each state has its own statutes of limitations, and there are different time limits for various types of damages, such as bodily injury or property damage.

    You should know that your auto insurance policy might say that you should initiate the claims process right away at the time of the incident, or within 24 hours of when the damage to your vehicle was done. But this is not the last word.

    However, the shorter time frame stated on your policy is not a requirement, and it does not preclude you or another driver from filing a claim or lawsuit months or even years later, as long as it is within the statute of limitations of the state where the accident occurred. This is because some injuries and mechanical damage are not apparent until days or weeks after an accident occurs.

    However, be aware that the longer you wait to file a claim, the harder it might be for you to defend it.

    Insurance companies may be suspicious of significantly delayed claims and will investigate whether the damage truly resulted from the covered accident or from a later incident. If they have legitimate reasons to doubt your claim, they may deny coverage.

    Typically, auto insurance claims fall under one of two statutes of limitation:

    • A time limit for bodily injury claims
    • Another time limit for other claims, including property damage , collision damage , and comprehensive damage .

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    Car Insurance Claim Process What Happens Next

    If other people were involved in the accident,your insurer will contact the insurance companies of the other people to resolve the claims. Some insurers only agree to pay for car repairs carried out by their own approved mechanics wait for your insurer to contact you with the garage details before rushing to have your car fixed as you could end up paying for the repairs yourself.

    You may not have to pay any excess if it can be proved that the accident was not your fault and your insurance company can recover the money from the other driver’s insurance. If you caused the accident then you will almost certainly have to pay the excess and, as a result, your car insurance premium is likely to increase in the future.

    What Happens After I’ve Reported The Incident

    Vehicle Damage Report Template

    After you’ve decided how to proceed, we’ll start the process and advise on timescales where possible. Until we know the extent of the damage it can be difficult for us to state how long the process will take. Liability can be a complex process with no set timescale so we might not be able to provide you with timescales straightaway.

    We understand having road traffic accidents can be stressful and confusing so we’re here to help you through the claims experience

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    How Long Does A Car Insurance Claim Stay On Your Insurance Record

    When taking out car insurance, you will usually be asked to disclose details of any accidents youve been involved in over the past five years. This includes those where you were not at fault.

    If you are not honest about your claims history, your policy may be invalidated and any future claims would be rejected.

    With A Car Accident That Was My Fault What Happens

    Even if you know the accident was your fault, dont say sorry or admit guilt at the scene as your insurer might have a clause about it.

    Exchange details with the others involved and get in touch with your insurer to report the incident. Youll need to pay an excess, but if you buy car insurance through us, well refund up to £250 of your excess after your claims been settled.

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    Being Prepared For A Car Accident: Items To Have In Your Car

    Keep reflective triangles or other safety warning devices in your trunk so you can help make your car more visible on the roadside following an accident. Other items to keep in your vehicle include:

    • Your current insurance ID card
    • Your vehicle registration

    Finally, to document important accident information, you can use your smartphone, or keep a pen or pencil and a notepad in your car.

    Have Questions About How To Report An Accident To Insurance Ask An Attorney

    Auto Hail Claim – Should You Let Insurance Agent File It?

    Even if you’re not filing a lawsuit to recover car accident damages, you should consider speaking with an experienced car accident attorney in your area. An attorney who specializes car accident cases can maximize the amount of damages you recover and potentially expedite the insurance claims process.

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    What To Expect If You File A Claim With Mandatory Coverage Only

    In Ontario, your mandatory coverage includes Direct Compensation-Property Damage . Depending on the extent to which you were found at fault, you may be eligible to receive costs for:

    • A temporary rental vehicle
    • Damaged personal contents inside the vehicle

    Note that if you were found 50 per cent, or more, at-fault for your accident, and therefore 50 per cent not-at-fault, your company will pay 50 per cent of any loss, less the deductible.

    When Is A Car Considered Totaled

    It depends on the insurance company and where you live. Each state sets the threshold for declaring vehicles a total loss but carriers may choose to use a lower threshold. In many cases, the insurance company will total a car even if the repair costs are less than the vehicles actual cash value sometimes a lot less. Thats because it can be difficult to determine the full extent of the damage before repairs begin.

    For example, in Arizona, the state threshold for totaling a car is 70% of its ACV. Lets say you have a vehicle thats worth $10,000. Under state law, the insurer must declare it a total loss if the cost of the damage is $7,000 or more. But if the insurers threshold is 60% of the ACV, it will be totaled when repair costs are $6,000 or more.

    The reason that some carriers is because when youre adjusting a vehicle, and youre looking at it after a loss, its still together. And all you can see, for the most part, is the exterior of the vehicle and the undercarriage. When the body shop takes the vehicle apart and pulls the panels back, they typically find more damage, said Josh Damico, vice president of insurance operations at Jerry, a car insurance comparison service.

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    What Do I Need To Do After A Car Accident

    At the scene of any general accident, first of all make sure you get to a safe place off the main road and away from any oncoming traffic. Avoid staying in the vehicle if you’re on a motorway or any other type of main road. If anyone is badly injured in the accident and requires urgent medical attention, phone the emergency services.

    Once you’re in a safe place, try and collect all the details of the other party/parties involved. Stay calm and polite, but don’t admit you were at fault for the accident, even if you think you were.

    You’ll need:

  • Full names, contact telephone numbers, insurance details including the policy number, car registration details and the car make and model. Remember to make a note of any passengers in the other vehicle, include details such as their age
  • Most people have a phone with a camera which makes it much easier than it used to be to gather photographic evidence at the scene. If possible and safe to do so, take a photo of the damage to all cars involved, any property that was damaged and the scene as a whole including road markings and signs
  • Gather any information you can from any witnesses and ask for their details, including an address and telephone number. An independent witness can be useful to prove who was at fault in an accident
  • If your car is blocking the road, try and move it to the side. Only do this if the car is safe to drive and don’t put yourself in any danger. If you’re at all unsure, don’t attempt to move it.

    What To Do In An Accident

    Damage Report Template

    Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 section 170, if you’re involved in an accident and you’re the driver, you must stay at the scene for a reasonable time.

    You must provide the following details to anyone with reasonable grounds for asking:

    • your vehicle registration number
    • your address,
    • the name and address of the of the vehicle owner

    If you don’t exchange these details at the scene, you must report the accident at a police station or to a police officer as soon as you can, and in any case, within 24 hours.

    Key Information

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