The myriad of car insurance companies and policies are enough to confuse anyone, let alone simplify or answer some simple frequently asked questions. The jargons, the complex definitions and procedures only complicate things further. Trivial questions remain unanswered for many of us and as a consequence we fail to realize certain benefits that are deservedly ours.
Here is the first set of them.
Do I need to contact the police on the spot of accident?
Of course yes. You will need police on the spot for more than just clear the road or arrange medical aid. The police file a report of accident which forms a basis of your claims with your insurance company. This important report contains information on the damaged cars/properties, drivers and insurance of parties involved. Without this report you may find it an uphill task to convince your insurance company. Now, you can’t over emphasize its importance in the event of a dispute or lawsuit.
You can obtain a quasi report called as incident report by the police if the attending officer lacks jurisdiction.
What happens to my car if it is stolen?
You will be definitely compensated provided you have the appropriate cover and the car is proved irrecoverable; but first, there are a couple of immediate things you must do. Report to the nearest police station and obtain a number called crime reference number. Contact the personal claims advisor of your insurance company with this number. That’s all; and from here, the company will check their records and follow-up with you and police as and when it becomes necessary before they assess your loss by appointing a loss assessor.
My insurance company insists on a repairer but I know of a better mechanic. What should I do?
Your insurance company can’t force you on this issue; however the company has certain positions to safeguard. The company bears the repair cost only to the limit of amount assessed by the adjuster or loss assessor; so any excess repair amount needs to be borne by you. Next, you will loose the right to claim repair guaranty if your preferred mechanic isn’t enlisted with the insurance company.
I had an accident six months ago. Can I claim damage now under comprehensive insurance?
You must have been either misled that making a claim will increase your insurance premium – which is only party true – or you must have waited to fix it at your own cost to save on the no claim bonus. Whatever the case, theoretically you have the right to claim now but the reality is you must be able to conclusively prove that the claim is genuine which is a big ask so late and without evidences. This is still harder if you hit parking lot pillar in the night and a door panel damaged when there was no one watching it. Ultimately, your claim will not be, in all probability, admitted for one untold reason – your insurance underwriter has no way to claim back this cost.
My vehicle is a total loss. What will be my settlement amount?
There are 2 scenarios here. First, you have a cover for replacement cost. This compensates you to buy a new car similar to your lost one. If you don’t have this coverage, your reimbursement will be an amount equal to its cash value before the accident. You can buy a similar used car with this amount.