Having a car accident can be a very harrowing experience, even when no one has been seriously hurt, or neither car greatly impacted. In Australia, it is illegal to drive your vehicle on the road if you do not have comprehensive third party car insurance.
While this insurance doesn’t help you cover the cost for your car or medical treatment, it does help cover the medical expenses of the person in the car not at fault — which can be very helpful.
While third party is a good start, it’s often a good idea to increase your insurance, if possible, so you can cover damage to the other vehicle (or anything else affected) or to your own car.
Most insurers offer third-party damage and theft, or comprehensive insurance which covers you whether you’re at fault or not — a big relief if your vehicle and the other vehicle are both quite damaged.
If you have unfortunately had an accident, remember to follow these three points to make a claim correctly:
1. Always stay at the scene
If you have had an accident that has damaged your car, the other car, or property, remain at the scene until all relevant details are recorded.
Ensure you not only record the other person’s full name, drivers license number, address, and phone number, but also the details of the accident. Take the time to write down your own account of what happened, as soon as possible are the accident, so the details remain clear to you.
2. Make it official
If you are concerned that conflict will arise, or your account differs to that of the other driver, go to the police station and fill out an accident report.
This gives you a statement, on record, of what you believe occurred.
Be as detailed as possible in your account. It is helpful to draw a diagram of the accident, including both vehicles, that best shows where any damage has occurred.
3. The documentation
There are a few pieces of documentation that will be necessary throughout the process. First, make sure you have your license and registration papers on hand, should a police officer require it.
When you get home, it is wise to locate your insurance policy information, not just so you know your policy number, but what you are covered for.
When initially getting insurance, it is good to get several car insurance quotes so you know you have the best policy.
4. Make the claim
Call your insurance provider and inform them that you have been involved in an accident. You will need to give some initial details within the phone conversation, so the insurer has a basic understanding of what has happened.
Following this, you will be required to fill out paperwork explaining the accident, perhaps also drawing diagrams to illustrate it — this is where your initial account and drawings will help you out.
From here it is mainly up to your insurer, they will process the claim and advise you of the result. You will then need to pay the excess and have the repairs done