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If you've been in a car accident in Singapore, you'll know that there are specific rules you need to follow to make a car insurance claim. Here's a quick and handy guide on what to look out for.
Category: Car Ownership Advice
Unfortunate enough to have been involved in an accident? The last thing you'll want to face after such a traumatic experience is having to deal with difficulties seeing your claims go through.
But doing things right also means that you'll have to face a myriad of strict instructions in the process of submitting your insurance claim. In this article we look at why insurers expect you to do all these things by the book, so you can better remember what is expected of you, and can have a smoother insurance claim process in the future.
You know, knowing your enemy and all that...
First things first
If you are reading this right after getting into an accident, the first thing you will need to do before all else is to make sure everyone is ok. If people have been injured as a result of the traffic accident, be sure to contact the emergency services first.
Furthermore, the police will also have to be contacted if the accident involves an injured pedestrian or cyclist, is a hit-and-run incident, or involves vehicles belonging to the Government or are not registered in Singapore.
The next thing you will have to note is to secure the safety of all involved following the accident - this means installing the triangular emergency sign 20m before from the accident site.
If the accident has occurred on the highway, you will need to move your vehicle onto the road shoulder as soon as possible so as not to endanger other road users, otherwise make sure you take pictures of the accident before you move the vehicles.
Now that everyone is safe…
Communicate and get information
Want to ensure that you have everything covered for your insurance claim? First off, you'll need to exchange contact information with those involved in the accident. Essential things to note down will include:
- Their name(s) and NRIC/FIN Number(s)
- Their addresses and telephone contact numbers
- Their vehicle registration number and name of their Insurance Company
- And if the accident involves a company owned vehicle, then also take note of their company name
All this information will be necessary so that your insurer will know who to file a claim against. If your insurer can prove that the accident was his fault, they will make a claim against his insurer, and you will not lose your No Claim Discount.
When exchanging information with the other driver, another important thing to note is that the insurers typically issue this bit of advice: Always ensure that you do not admit liability for the accident or sign any promissory note agreeing to pay for damages or allow any other towing service to take your car away.
You do not want to do the first two, since they will complicate the claims process if it is eventually discovered that you were actually not at fault for the accident.
As for the third, this is to make sure that all repair transactions are conducted along the arm's length principle, so that both you, and your insurer only pay a fair market price for the repairs. More about this is explained below.
Of course, this means that some assessment will also be needed in order to know who is at fault in any accident. So what you will also need to do is to…
Take photos of the accident
With smartphones aplenty, this should be rather easy yet people commonly receive feedback from reporting centres that their photos are insufficient. This happens because people will usually take photos of the damage on their car, and while that certainly can aid the repair process, your insurer is more interested in finding out how the accident happened.
So how exactly do you show how an accident happens after the fact? By taking photos of the positions of the cars following the accident, of course.
This means taking a step back from the road and capturing in the photo not just the post-accident positions of the cars, but also any useful information that might aid in the assessment of the accident.
Essential things to photograph at any accident include the licence plate numbers, the time, date, location of the accident, as well as the weather and road conditions at that time.