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What you need to do to make a car insurance claim in Singapore

A car accident is a traumatic experience. Most drivers who encounter one will find themselves in a state of shock and unsure of what to do.

While no one plans to get into an accident, these things do happen. There is a good chance you may need to make a car insurance claim. At any rate, you will have to inform your car insurer about the accident.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you should ever find yourself in such an unfortunate situation:

1. No matter how small the accident, you must stop your car, turn off your engine, turn on your hazard lights and check if any of the passengers have been injured.

2. If there is any personal injury, call 995 for the ambulance. If there have been any injuries or deaths, or any government vehicle/property, foreign vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist is involved in the accident, you will need to call 999 for police assistance. You should alert the police if you think the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or if you think he caused the accident deliberately.

3. Then, make sure you take down the following information and particulars of the other parties involved (including that of witnesses):

– Vehicle Registration Number

– Name/Address/NRIC

– Contact Number

– Insurer

-Contact detail of witnesses

4. Assess the damage that has been done immediately after the accident. Make a note of the make and model of all the vehicles involved, the date and time of the accident, a description of weather conditions and the state of the road, as well as details of any injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

5. If you can, take photographs on your phone of the accident scene and the damaged vehicles/property before they are moved. This will help support your car insurance claim.

Here is where your selfie skills can come in useful. Get as many angles of the accident scene as you can. Take close shots as well as wide-angled photographs, so that you gather details like dents and scratches on the car as well as information about the surroundings in which the accident took place. Shots of the surrounding environment will give investigators a picture of what the road conditions were like at the time of the accident, as for example if it was raining and the roads were slippery.

6. Make a note of the following:

Colour, make and model of all the vehicles involved
The date and time of the accident
A description of weather conditions, the state of the road and any street lighting
A list of damage done to any vehicles and property
Details of any injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians
7. Do not admit any liability, either in writing or verbally at this stage. This is because if you admit responsibility for the accident and it turns out that you are not to blame, it could complicate the car insurance process.

8. Don’t move your car unless necessary, especially if there are personal injuries involved.

9. You ought to contact your insurer within 24 hours of the accident. Most insurers expect to be informed about the accident even if you don’t intend to make a claim. Not informing them within the time frame may put you in breach of the policy’s terms and conditions and affect your claim. Also, a third party may put in a claim and your insurer would want to have all the relevant information regarding the incident.

10. Give your insurer the full facts. Remember that if you are not honest about what happened, you could be charged with insurance fraud.

Should you make a claim?

You may be wondering whether you actually need to lodge a claim. The general advice is that if the damage to your car comes to a significant amount, then clearly you should do so. If the amount is not substantial, then you might want to foot the bill yourself.

The main considerations here are whether lodging a claim will hike up your premiums, and whether it will affect your no-claims discount. Your no-claims discount will be affected if you are at fault. Even if it is protected, your renewal quote could still increase. In the event that your premiums are raised significantly, you may want to shop around for a new car insurance policy.

For more details about making a car insurance claim click here.

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