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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

The do's and don'ts of making a claim on your car insurance

Being involved in a car crash can be devastating but these steps can help you deal with the consequences

Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle after an accident as it will help your claim. Pawan Singh / The National
Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle after an accident as it will help your claim. Pawan Singh / The National

Accidents happen no matter how careful you are on the roads in the UAE. So, the priority is to ensure you are adequately protected by insurance when you are involved in a car crash.

Here are the do’s and don’ts of making a claim on your policy if the worst should ever happen:

Do

Know what’s covered

Not knowing the details of your insurance coverage can be a major cause of distress. When you sign up for a new policy, thoroughly discuss what your policy covers with the agent so that you are fully prepared if you ever have to make a claim. The most common types of problem with cars following from accidents includes damage to front bumpers, rear bumpers, and fenders.

Contact your insurer straightaway

Calling your agent as soon after the accident as possible is essential. If you've experienced a severe accident, make sure all parties have been attended to and it is possible for you to make the call. If you’re injured as well, then ask a relative, friend or spouse to inform the agent. Waiting to file your claim may delay or might even result in denial of the claim.

Take pictures of the damage

After taking everyone’s safety into consideration, take pictures of the scene of the car accident. It can help make a strong case for your claim. It can also be part of the process of reporting an accident in the UAE, such as via the Dubai Police app. In Abu Dhabi the Saaed App can be used to report a crash and in Sharjah, it's the Rafid App.

Gather contact information

Gathering as much information as possible will make your claim even more substantial. After reporting the incident to the police, get the contact information of the other parties involved. Additionally, getting information from any eye witness may help your case.

Keep copies of related documents

Make sure to keep a record of your medical bills, estimated repair cost, accident report and of course your insurance policy.

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Don’t

Admit it was your fault

Naturally, an accident may leave you in shock. You might think that it was your fault, though once the examination is done and different perspectives have been taken into account, that may not be the case. If you admit fault early on in the process and the results show otherwise, you might cost yourself a substantial payout.

Accept immediate compensation

The insurance company will try to compensate you for less than the actual cost. So, instead of quickly accepting a proposed payout, get legal advice and gather more information about your insurance policy to ensure you secure the right amount of compensation.

Sign an unverified document

If you’re presented with any document to sign, be sure to read it thoroughly first. In addition, make sure you are aware of the estimated compensation that you have a legal right to claim. Do not sign anything hastily. If you’re confused, take advice from your lawyer.

Take too long to file a claim

Insurers set a time limit on how long you have to file a claim, so make sure you know how long this is. Ask the agent how long you have to get your affairs in order and get that claim in before that date. However, if there are extenuating circumstances and your policy has not expired, then the insurer may still allow the claim after the initial time limit.

Buy the cheapest policy

Signing up for the most wallet-friendly car insurance option may seem a good idea when all is going well, but it can be a disaster if you have a crash.

A policy's fine print often justifies a higher premium, giving you better coverage and care when it all goes wrong.

Raaed Sheibani is a growth Hacker at CarSwitch.com