Car accidents can happen in an instant – but the hassle of getting your insurance claim sorted out can go on much longer. If your beloved vehicle is damaged in an accident, knowing what to do can save you time, trouble and money. Whether it’s the other driver who has caused the accident or you’re making a car insurance claim my fault, read on to discover our tips on what to do next:
Gather the information you need to make a car insurance claim
Even though you may well be feeling shocked or scared after an accident, it’s vital to collect the information necessary to make a claim:
- The other driver’s name and address
- Their insurer and policy information
- Their car registration number, make and details
- Statements and contact details from any witnesses
It’s a good idea to take some pictures at the scene if you can.
Notify your insurer or the other driver’s insurer
Keep to the basic facts; if you are unsure as to who is at fault, you should not admit liability for the accident and let the police or insurance companies help decide who is to blame. Even if you think the accident was minor you should still notify your insurer so that in case the other driver tries to claim against you your insurer will have to protect you against any actions the other side may bring.
When should you not make an at fault car accident insurance claim on your policy?
If the damage to your car is only minor and the cost of the repairs would be lower or equal to the amount you have to pay as excess, you may consider not making an at fault car accident insurance claim. Making a claim might also affect your no claims bonus and the cost of your future premiums. If the other party is at fault, it is a better option to pursue your claim through their insurer.
Getting your car repaired
In theory, with a car insurance claim not my fault, you should not have much to worry about as all liability falls on the other party and their insurer so you shouldn’t have to worry about much else besides getting your car repaired and organising a replacement vehicle whilst yours gets fixed.
Are you entitled to a rental car while yours is being fixed?
Under Australian law, when making an insurance claim “not my fault”, you are entitled to a ”right to drive” replacement car, the cost of which should be paid by the insurer of the driver at fault. Insurance companies often try to cut costs by telling drivers that they will only reimburse a certain amount per day for a courtesy car rental but you are entitled to a replacement rental car of the same quality as your own vehicle, paid for completely at the expense of the “at fault” driver’s insurance company, if you have been truthful.