Car Insurance Claims - Five mistakes you should not make
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A carelessly filed car insurance claim is an easily disputed insurance claim. Avoid delayed settlements and zero pay-outs by knowing what you should or should not do to make a good claim.

Category: Car Ownership Advice

If you're wondering how to file an insurance claim, you're in good hands. Here are the top five things you shouldn't do when making a claim.
  • Moving your vehicle
  • Determining fault
  • Acting slow
  • Unauthorised services
  • Delayed settlements and missing documents
Get the most out of your mandatory (and not very cheap) car insurance!
 
 
Moving your vehicle

Moving your car before the accident is documented gives insurance companies a chance to dispute your claim
When it comes to car insurance claims, moving your vehicle before documenting evidence is like touching a crime scene with bare hands. You can be accused of tampering with evidence and have your claim report disputed. You might even have to even pay for all the damages.

If you're paying for all the damages, chances are you've jeopardised your No-Claims Discount (NCD) with your insurer. Your NCD is affected when your liability goes above 20% - there goes your cheap car insurance premium for the following years. Here's all you need to know about NCD for your car insurance.
 
 
Determining fault

Equipping your car with an in-car camera is a good way of capturing your innocence
Angry parties might point fingers and try to shirk responsibility. While unpleasant, that's normal. The amicable parties may willingly negotiate, only to change their story and turn it against you when claiming for car insurance pay-outs.

To ensure your claim report remains credible, do not agree to any private settlement. Gather as much evidence as possible and look for eyewitnesses. Take down their accounts, get their signed admission and contact information so you can to look for them if needed. Do take note, however, of the four types of car accidents in Singapore that car insurance might not cover.
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Acting slow

You need to make a report to any of the accident reporting centres in Singapore. If there are any injuries sustained, you'll also have to report ot the police
You need to make a police report if there's damage done to a Government vehicle and/or property, a foreign vehicle, a pedestrian or cyclist, a hit-and-run case, or an injury requiring hospitalisation or medical leave.

You also need to make a report to an accident reporting centre (like IDAC) within 24 hours, or by the next working day. If you fail to do so, you might not be covered and your insurer has the right to reject your claim.

Do note that not all insurers require you to declare all accidents, like Aviva car insurance for example. This is one of the common car insurance myths that drivers aren't aware of. Time to read through your insurance policy documents carefully!  

So before you opt for car insurance renewal, remember to make comparisons between your existing plan and the new ones. This ensures that you're not getting ripped off on car insurance and won't miss out on getting the best car insurance policies in Singapore for 2020.
 
 
Unauthorised services

Be sure to check your insurance policy as not all workshops are approved by your insurer
Unless your car insurance policy covers repair works from any workshop of your choice, avoid using other tow truck services and workshops. Otherwise, you're complicating the claim and this lower your chances of getting a pay-out from your insurer.

To avoid complicating your claim, seek advice of your insurer at their hotline and check if they've got a tow truck services available. AIG car insurance has an auto-assistance hotline available 24/7 while FWD car insurance will dispatch an emergency assistance team if their clients need immediate help.

Alternatively, you can kill two birds with one stone by visiting workshops that do repair works and claims for you.
 
 
Delayed settlements and missing documents

Don't be afraid to sit down with your insurer to fully understand the claiming process and timeline
Check on your claim once its filed to avoid delays. Sometimes, your claims process may be held up if your insurer needs additional information from you, like an extra document.

The general timeline for car insurance claims process looks like this:
  • Filing claim report to insurer
  • Claim investigation begins 
  • Insurer reviews your car insurance policy
  • Access the damages
  • Payment
Should you feel like the claim is taking particularly long at any point of time, feel free to check up on the process. Direct Asia car insurance prides itself on providing personalised claims services to assist clients wherever possible, while NTUC Income car insurance has a one-stop service centre that aims to make the procedures seamless and easy - your insurers will be more than glad to help you out.
 
 
Conclusion

Now that you know what makes a difference between a badly-filed claim and a carefully-filed one, you're all set file your very first car insurance claim – though, touch some wood and hope you won't ever need to!
 
 
Here are some car insurance-related articles that might interest you

Ultimate Guide to Car Insurance in Singapore

Best car insurance policies for 2020

9 ways to lower your car insurance premiums 

Don't get caught without proper car insurance coverage 

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*This article was updated by Alexandra Cheung on 23/10/20

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