Minor car accident? Don't panic! Here's what you need to do
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So you've got into a minor car accident, and you're in a state of shock. Snap out of it! If you want compensation, the next 24-hours are going to be busy.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice

While the chances of getting into an accident are slim, it's always good to know what can cause a car accident and how to avoid getting into one.

However, if you've had a bout of bad luck and got involved in a minor car accident in Singapore, don't panic. Here's what you do.
Step 1: Assess the situation

Assess the situation to see whether you need to call for assistance or if it can be resolved privately
You should lodge a police report within 24-hours in these cases:
  • There is an injured/unconscious party
  • It's a hit-and-run accident
  • Accidents with government vehicles or property (car plates QX and MID)
  • Collision with vehicle(s) not registered in Singapore
Call an ambulance (995) for any injured parties that require immediate medical attention and don't move the vehicles involved in the accident unless someone needs an emergency evacuation.
Step 2: Ensure safety

If the car accident causes a traffic obstruction, snap a quick picture of the scene before moving your vehicles to the roadside. Place the hazard sign (that orange triangle usually located in the boot of your car), at least 50m away from the rear of your car.

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Step 3: Exchange information

Never ever say that it's your fault. Exchange information, take pictures of the accident and go on your merry way
Exchange particulars with involved parties and refrain from discussing liability of the car accident. The other party may use it against you in their car accident reports to the police and insurer.

You will need:
  • Full Name of involved parties and witnesses
  • NRICs of involved 
  • Contact numbers
  • Home Addresses
  • Insurer Details
Refusal to divulge personal information violates the Road Traffic Act. In such cases, make a police report. These car accidents will be classified as 'hit and run' and it's one of the four types of car accidents in Singapore that car insurance might not cover.
Step 4: Gather evidence

Whip out your camera and document evidence of the car accident. Take more photos, so you have a bigger room for error in the event you take some bad shots. Poorly documented evidence is one of the reasons for delayed claim pay-outs.

You will need to take photos of:
  • The car accident scene and surrounding areas. (include lane markings, debris or prominent damage to structures)
  • The licence plate numbers
  • The car accident damages
  • The time, date and location of the car accident
  • The weather and road conditions of the car accident scene
While driving in the wet is no rocket science, wet weather conditions can contribute to the severity of car accidents. If necessary, include a sketch detailing the kind of circumstances you were in when the car accident happened.  
Step 5: Assess damage

When in doubt of anything, call your insurer to answer any queries. They will best advise you on what to do next
Decide if you're claiming against your insurer or the other party's. Not sure what to do? Here's how to make a car insurance claim after a car accident in Singapore.

For more details on authorised tow services and repairs, do contact your insurer. If your insurer is a member of Independent Damage Assessment Centres (IDAC), your vehicle will have to assess the damages before any repair work.
Should I report the car accident to insurance?

Yes, you should. Failure to disclose accident history compromises on your No-Claim Discount (NCD) if you get caught.

Insurers like AIG, Budget Direct and AXA expect policyholders to make car accident reports within 24-hours or by the next working day. 
I've made a private settlement. Should I still inform my insurer?

Unless you're sure the other party won't file a claim against you, you should inform your insurer to play safe.
What to do if the car accident is your fault

Wait for your insurers to get back to you. Local insurers determine fault via the Barometer of Liability Agreement (BOLA). 
What to do if the car accident claims outcome isn't satisfactory

File a complaint to your insurer with supporting documents. They should contact you within 15 days. If you're still unsatisfied with the outcome, appeal to the Chief Executive of the insurer in writing.
Only when you've exhausted all other options, should you then seek help from the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd (FIDReC). Complaints can be lodged free-of-charge in person, by fax, post or email.
What to do when you witness a car accident

Pull over at a safe spot and decide if you should call the police or ambulance after accessing the situation. Feel free to help out and give a witness account – don't touch anything unnecessarily!
Here are some car accident-related articles that might interest you

Ultimate Guide to Car Insurance in Singapore

Got into an accident? Here's how to ensure a smooth insurance claim process

Crucial points you need to know to drive safely in the rain

Car accidents in Singapore. Some insurers cover more than your car 

Don't get caught without proper car insurance coverage!

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*This article was updated by Alexandra Cheung on 30/10/2020

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