In a previous article, we talked about the different aspects of a Car Insurance and what you need to do in case of an accident. We will now look at what happens when you need to make a claim.
The all-important Notification of Loss
A very important part of the claims procedure is the “Notification of Loss”. No matter what the claim, when there is an accident you need to give a “Notification of Loss” to your insurance company straight away or at least within the time frame stated in your policy, both for damage to others and for own loss. Also if you are not a car driver but a pedestrian for instance. There is case law where the insurer has actually refused to pay, solely because there was no Notice of Loss given in the required time frame (Cassel v Lancashire & Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company). Again, we cannot stress enough how important it is to report losses immediately.
The legal breakdown
Formally it does not necessarily need to be the insured party that actually does this themselves (unless the contract says otherwise) but can also be others like the police, however, we recommend not to take that path and ensure proper notification yourself. It is also good to know that unless the place of notice is specified in the policy it is sufficient that notice is given to an underwriter or any agent with usual authority to receive such notice instead of to the actual insurer.
With regards to motor insurance claims, the Insurers in Singapore have agreed on a Motor Claims Framework (MCF) and will require policyholders to register any car-related incident with specified “Incident Reporting Centres” within 1 working day, usually punishable by a deduction of 10% NCD in case of non-compliance.
Make sure you get your proof
As [link discussed in the previous article] it is important to collect evidence after an accident including getting photo’s, video and/ or signed and dated eye-witness accounts whenever possible. During the claim procedure, the insured may be asked to provide evidence of the loss. Inability to provide this may allow the insurer to deny liability.
Best tip: Read Your Policy
We cannot emphasise this enough and hope that by giving some examples we have stressed the importance of always reading your policy or, if it’s too technical for you, to ask your underwriter, broker or agent to explain it to you. Your policy wording will be final in almost all cases of dispute between you and your insurance company. More information on motor claims can also be found at the General Insurance Association’s website.
We are here to help you, read more about ways an insurance company can deny their liabilities under a policy and what happens when a dispute arises between you and an insurance company.