Motor claims tips and trick

Many clients want to make sure that they’ve got as much of their risk exposures covered as they can. Few clients then go on to ask how to make a claim be paid quickly or achieve a more desirable settlement. In this article David Lamb, Claims Handler at County shows that a few minutes today can prevent hours of searching tomorrow.

Having worked in insurance for too many years to mention I’ve seen a large number of claims across my desk. While all the circumstances vary and no one claim is exactly the same, they do have common factors that if policyholders can prepare in advance will help the end settlement.

Some of the measures below won’t suit you but the lesson learned is the same. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

  • Keep a copy of your purchase receipt and V5 and in an accessible place. These will always be required if the vehicle is written off or stolen and not recovered.
  • If you’re involved in an accident, take as many pictures as possible, especially those of a third party vehicle. This can help claims determine the extent of damage both on your vehicle and the other parties, preventing erroneous claims for damage that wasn’t directly related to the incident.
  • If it is safe to take photos before the vehicles are moved from their positions at impact, these can be a big help in determining who is responsible for the accident. Make sure that you include any road markings and skid marks (if there are any), as these can be important indicators.
  • Write down your detailed recollections (including what was said by both parties) and a plan of the accident as soon as possible after it occurs, then sign and date it. Your thoughts at the time are often clearer and more valuable than a few weeks later when liability is, quite possibly, disputed.
  • Look around for any CCTV cameras in the area. Ask any nearby business if they have cameras which might show the accident. Contact local councils to see if they are aware of any CCTV cameras nearby.
  • Consider installing a dash cam in your vehicle. A dash cam video can nearly always determine who is responsible for the accident. It can save weeks and possibly months of argument over liability. I have seen a number of disputed claims settled quickly because dash cam footage was available.
  • Report the accident as soon as possible. Letting us know about the claim as soon as you can will help insurers to keep the cost of hire to a minimal which will help premiums in the long term. Even if you don’t think there will be a claim, let us know what’s happened so that we can advise on what you should do.
  • Always keep contact numbers with you. You can ring us during working hours, but if your vehicle is disabled as the result of an accident at any other time, insurers have a 24 hour help-line number to call and they will be able to arrange recovery of you and your vehicle. Make sure that you have the insurance company documents with you, just in case. The emergency number is usually on the policy schedule or certificate but could just be in the policy document. If you do contact the insurers direct, please let us know so that we can assist with the claims process.
  • Don’t assume that just because the other driver admits fault at the scene, that they won’t change their story at a later date. You still need to gather as much evidence as you can. I have seen numerous cases where someone has changed their position after initially saying that they were responsible for the accident.
  • Glass Claims – nearly all of our insurers use National Mobile Windscreens. 0800 373 171. You can pay your excess over the phone and arrange an appointment that’s convenient to you
  • Lastly, if you’re unsure something is covered, give us a call. The amount of times we hear “I didn’t realise we had cover for that” and we could have helped. Insurance isn’t just for renewal time. We’re here to make it work for you, throughout the year.