Planning to file a claim in case your car sustains damages after an accident? Here are some things you should know before making your next move
- You crashed into someone else’s vehicle or property, but have no idea who they are
Accident might look like an accident at first glance, but if you’ve taken a peek at the other vehicle or property, and the person’s identity is unknown, your car insurance may not cover you.
What does it mean? If you’re spotted by a stranger, avoid any contact with them as much as possible after an accident. Insist that they make their way to your insurer for processing—then let them take the driver’s seat. Unless of course, they provide you with their information and take down your personal details, in which case it’ll be easier for both of you to file a claim once the insurer has insured the other party involved.
- You called an ambulance after your accident but didn’t get any treatment at the hospital—so no medical bills to show for
If you’re involved in a minor accident, and you decide not to receive any medical attention after the incident, that doesn’t mean your car insurance will cover you fully if there’s significant damage to your vehicle. Make sure you take it (and yourself) to a hospital as soon as possible after an accident so you can prove to your insurer you actually visited a medical facility. You’d be surprised how often people don’t bother doing so because they had relatively minor injuries, and then end up having their claim rejected.
- It was dark when you hit the object or another car (in this case, it’s considered ‘negligent driving’)
Assuming that you’ve come to a complete stop at an intersection, and are ready to make your turn, being “middle-aged” shouldn’t be a valid excuse for not seeing the truck on your right. Never mind if you’re 20 years away from hitting retirement—if another driver or pedestrian is involved in an accident with you, your insurer will still require evidence of negligent driving, such as photos of the street light damage (it might have been broken when the accident occurred) and vehicle degradation. You should also get medical attention even if it’s just for precautionary purposes.
- The damages on your car are more than the policy excess amount that was set before taking out insurance
Sometimes accidents happen when we don’t expect them, and that’s alright—as long as you’re financially prepared. But what if you get into a serious accident in which the damages are significantly higher than your policy excess amount? If this is the case, then it’s highly likely that there will be no way for your insurer to reimburse 100% of the repairs done to your car. So before filing an insurance claim, make sure you always set aside enough cash just in case (at least 10-20% more than what your car insurance requires) because otherwise, you might have to pay extra out of pocket fees!
- Your vehicle was on private property when it was damaged
It’s generally safer driving within public grounds—especially since they’re monitored by security cameras—but accidents can still happen. So what should you do if your car gets damaged while you’re on private property? Make sure that the owner of the premises is a responsible one because otherwise, it’ll be tougher for your insurer to claim, and they may end up paying less than 100% to repair damages. And in some cases, they might even refuse to pay out at all!
You should also avoid parking your vehicle in secluded areas if possible—even if it’s just behind shops or restaurants—because this makes them vulnerable to opportunistic thieves who will be able to get away with them faster. And in case someone does steal your car from a parking lot, make sure you have evidence such as footage taken by CCTV cameras.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone! I’m sure that there are many people who have had the same experience as you. Enjoy the above list of five reasons why your car insurance policy might not cover an accident.