Car Insurance 101: Making a Claim Many reputed car insurance firms lay great emphasis on ensuring that their claims processes are as simple and smooth as possible. This guide provides a simple set of steps that one should try and follow in order to increase the chances of having one’s claim resolved faster and with a minimum of fuss. Do check the exact procedure with your car insurance company for best results! Step 1: Get in Touch with Your Insurer Most car insurance companies have a special number through which you can reach them at any time of the day or night. Additionally, in the event of an accident, it is recommended that you steer clear of discussing liability. Above all, remain calm and make sure that those around you are fine. Contact the emergency services as well if required. Step 2: Essential Information Your car insurance company will usually require you to get certain details from other drivers, passengers and eyewitnesses. The checklist of this required information usually includes: Names Registration numbers NRIC (or other relevant ID numbers) Address Contact information Insurance particulars Step 3: ‘Capture’ the Accident Scene Make a note of the exact location of the mishap. Take photographs and record a video of the accident scene if possible. Ensure that your footage captures the crash site and the vehicles involved from various angles. The presence of quality photographic or video evidence greatly increases the chances of your car insurance claim being resolved quickly and fairly. Step 4: Submit ALL the Required Documents A checklist of the documentation that your motor insurance company will usually ask for includes: 1. Claim form –only for windscreens 2. Accident report 3. Police report –required by law if anyone has been hurt, the situation is a ‘hit-and-run’ or if the incident involves a government vehicle, state property, foreign vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian. 4. Medical reports –required for all people who have been injured 5. Appropriate bills and invoices – these are needed as proof of expenses related to the accident (overseas towing, medical charges and so on). 6. Other documents that support your claim – this could include relevant medical certificates, video footage, photographs and so on 7. Names and particulars of witnesses A Few More Important Points… 1. If you have been injured Your insurance company will send someone to assist you at the crash site. Do seek medical attention and ensure that you obtain your copy of the medical report. 2. If there are others who have been injured Call 999 before getting in touch with your insurer. Do not move those who have been injured to avoid aggravating their injuries. 3. Towing Contact your motor insurance company, who will arrange for an approved tow-truck operator to transport your car. Using ‘non-approved’ towing services could hamper the smooth settlement of your insurance claim. 4. Windscreen/ Window Damage Most insurance firms have a list of approved glass repairers to repair or replace the windows and windscreen of your car. 5. Car Repair Workshops Your car insurance company will usually arrange for an approved repair workshop to fix your vehicle (unless you have chosen to use a workshop of your choice). 6. Report the accident within 24 hours According to regulations put in place by the General Insurance Association of Singapore, it is mandatory to report an accident to your car insurance provider within 24 hours (or the next working day if applicable). Your No Claim Discount could be affected if you fail to report an accident, regardless of how minor it may be. 7. If the dispute is amicably settled If you amicably settle your dispute with the other driver, then it is not necessary to make an insurance claim. However, you must report the incident to your car insurance provider. 8. If a claim is made against you Ensure that you keep your insurance company updated with any and all developments related to the incident. All written communication from third parties about the accident should be forwarded at once to your insurance provider. 9. For accidents outside Singapore You must obtain a copy of the police report at the location of the mishap within 24 hours. Your insurer will usually be able to arrange to have your vehicle towed. You will have to pay the towing operator at that point, but you can claim it from your policy when you return to Singapore.