Crashes; they’re like breakdowns – they happen when you least expect when you’re at your worst, and at the most inconvenient moment. Then again, when is a convenient moment to be involved in an accident?
Being involved in an RTA (Road Traffic Accident) can be a very traumatic and distressing situation, even more so once you become entangled in a complex and lengthy claims process afterward. The claims industry is a minefield, with insurance companies being hypervigilant to ensure they are not being exploited by fraudsters, or unnecessarily covering costs that should be handled by the third party. This can be frustrating for an innocent driver who is already inconvenienced and disadvantaged by the situation, perhaps even injured, and feels they are being forced to jump through hoops for the compensation they are entitled too.
The UK is the third largest insurance industry in the world, and the largest in the EU, and yet insurance companies are not as flush as the general population thinks, especially when you consider the following statistics:
- In 2014 the UK motor insurance market made a £31,000,000 underwriting loss.
- The UK motor insurance market hasn’t made an underwriting profit since 1994.
- In 2015 £1,300,000,000 was detected in fradulent claims.
- In 2015 £14,560,000,000 was paid out for motor and property claims.
- In 2015 £370,000,000 was paid out for travel insurance claims.
- In 2014 £12,000,000,000 was paid to the UK Government in taxes.
- The average bodily injury claim is over £10,000.
These tips should help to minimise the confusion and speed up the time of settling a claim:
- Collect the other drivers details including their full name, address, telephone number, vehicle details such as registration, make and model, and also their insurance details such as company and policy number.
- Take photographic evidence to assist the insurance company with proving who was at fault. Ensure the photos display vehicle positioning (over white lines, in the wrong lane, mounted kerbs); the damage to the vehicles (bumpers, lights, windows, body panels); any property damage in the area (walls, fences, bollards); the area of the collision (hills, blind corners, roundabouts); the weather (fog/glare/flooding).
- Record witness details where possible of anybody present who can validate your side of the story. Ensure you record the total number of passengers in both vehicles (to prevent exaggerated personal injury claims), and ask if anybody is injured. If any passenger claims to be injured, call the police to attend the scene. Collect names, addresses and telephone numbers of passengers, and record the details of any emergency services who attend the scene of the incident.
- Offer the other driver your insurance details. If you have an accident card supplied from your insurer the provide this for their reference, otherwise advise the third party of your insurer name, policy number and contact number.
- Report the claim yourself. Always ensure you report the claim in a timely manner, as some insurers may demand an increased excess if the claim is not reported within a short window (often 24hrs). Provide the insurance claims company with the vehicle details, registration and your policy number.
For more information on Connect Insurance Brokers Claims Procedure, please click the following link: Our Claims Procedure.
Source: ABI Insurance Key Facts 2015