What to Remember When Claiming on Car Insurance Part Two

In the previous part to this article I explained that I’d recently had a car accident and covered the tips and information you should know if you’re ever in a car accident and what you need to do in order to claim on your car insurance. This second part will look in to what you need to do when calling the insurers.

Now you are back home and a few hours may have passed since the accident it is time to begin letting your insurers know about your crash. Before calling you should know that they are likely to ask a question about almost anything, so get your story straight, don’t lie as they will find out, maybe write down a list of points that you remember about the accident. When calling the insurers I was asked everything and was quite tough as I hadn’t made that kind of phone call before, fortunately the person on the other end of the line was very friendly and supportive.

Once you’ve given them all the details of both yourself and the other driver then they’ll want to know how much damage you think has been done, now you may not be a mechanic and so if you don’t have an idea of how much money it will cost just give a brief description of how bad the damage is, I actually took the phone outside and took a good look at the car and detailed the damage to the agent on the phone.

At the end of the call you may get offered to book a valuation with a local repairs shop, they will call the shop and let them know you’re coming and the process normally takes 20 minutes at most, they’ll be able to get a good idea of the value of damage you’ve got and can report it to your insurers. In some cases if the damage is only small it may total less than the excess you’d have to pay if you made a claim through your insurers. In this case your insurers may suggest you pay for the repairs yourself and save your no claims bonus. In my case the damage was surprisingly more than the excess considering the visible damage done so I had to go ahead and make a claim.

Now that the car insurance company know the damage costs they will now get you to send the car to the mechanics for repairs, quite often it will be the same place you got the damage valued at since insurers tend to have affiliations to local mechanics. Now you are faced with the prospect of having no car for up to two weeks, unless you added a courtesy car to your car insurance quote, in my case I did have a courtesy car since I need my car to drive to work every day. It wasn’t too bad, did the job and even had half a tank of petrol already in it which was nice!

Within a few days you should get the car back good as new, it is normally at this point that you’d have to pay the excess, the initial costs of each repair that you nominate to pay, normally between ?100 and ?500, you will pay this directly to the repairs shop who’ll notify the insurers. One point when it comes to car insurance excesses is that you can get cheaper premiums by choosing to pay more in the event of a claim, which is all well and good if you are a very safe driver and unlikely to have an accident, in my case I had a higher excess since I still class as a young driver, with my insurer that meant an extra ?120 on top which was unfortunate.

So now you have your car back safe and sound and probably a new resolve to drive more carefully but remember that when it comes time to renew your car insurance then you will have lost your no claims bonus and will likely receive a noticeable rise in your premium. This may mean you should look at other insurers to see if changing your provider will help ease the pain.

So hopefully this article and my experience have helped you better understand what to do when you need to claim against your car insurance, no one likes having to claim against their insurance but it has to be done form time to time. The main thing to remember that at the end of the day if the car is the only thing damaged and you are safe then that is all that matters and your car has done its job in protecting you and your passengers.

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