5 Things To Know Before You Make A Car Insurance Claim
Most vehicle-owners would agree that when it comes to repairing damaged vehicles, your car insurance policy is your best friend. It makes the cost of these repairs — both in terms of time and money — easily manageable, and all you have to do is file a proper car insurance claim.
But how much do you actually know about the process of making car insurance claims, and can you confidently say that your claims will always be successful?
In the list below, we’ve identified five key elements that you need to keep in mind when making a claim, so that you can reduce the chances of it being rejected. If you’re familiar with them, treat this read as a quick refresher course; if you’ve never heard of some or all of them before, start your learning engines!
5 Important things to remember
1. Type of coverage
You may have signed up for a motor insurance policy only because it is mandatory for vehicle owners to do so in Malaysia, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay close attention to the kind of coverage your policy provides.
Car insurance policies in Malaysia generally fall into three categories of coverage: Third Party cover, Third Party, Fire and Theft Cover, and Comprehensive cover.
The types of damage that each category covers are different, which is why your claim for vehicles damages caused by a fire will most probably be rejected if your policy only provides Third Party cover, for example.
This is also where some of your policy’s add-ons — such as additional coverage for windshield damage, floods, or even riots — come into play, as car insurance providers will not approve claims for damages caused by these specific circumstances unless the required add-on has been purchased when renewing or buying your car insurance policy.
2. Insurance and police report problems
When it comes to reporting damages suffered by your vehicle and submitting your claims, speed is key.
Insurance companies strongly recommend that you inform them of any damages experienced by your vehicle as soon as these damages are discovered. The suggested timeline is as follows:
Notifying insurance provider of damages
24 hours from the time of damage discovery or accident
Filing a police report regarding damages
24 hours from the time of damage discovery or accident
Filing insurance claim without hospitalisation of vehicle owner
7 days from the time of damage discovery or accident
Filing insurance claim with hospitalisation of vehicle owner
30 days from the time of damage discovery or accident
The only situation in which a delayed submission of your claim is acceptable is if you are hospitalised or physically disabled by the incident that damaged your vehicle. Any other circumstance would require quick measures to be taken.
If you submit an insurance claim without providing the initial notice, or use a police report that was made beyond the permitted time frame to support your claim, or both, there’s a high chance that it will be rejected on the grounds of being invalid.
3. Circumstances of damage
Were you using your car in a legal and appropriate way when your vehicle was damaged? For instance, were you driving without being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you almost totalled your car?
If your answer to both questions is a solid ‘no’, get ready to be rejected! Keep in mind that your policy is only obliged to protect you in the event that you encounter damages while using your vehicle safely and as it should be used, instead of illegally and in a risky and extremely dangerous manner.
You may also be charged higher premiums for your motor insurance policy if you are a regular practitioner of risky and dangerous driving habits, as the Bear explains in this little guide.
4. Unauthorised drivers
A named driver is someone who is recognised by a car insurance policy as a user of a vehicle, aside from the owner of the vehicle.
Motor insurance providers will commonly allow you to include up to two named drivers for free in your vehicle’s protection policy, and every additional named driver beyond this limit will be included in exchange for a one-off payment of RM10 per name.
Some policies — like Zurich’s Z-Driver — allow you to attach as many named drivers as you’d like to your policy, so keep an eye out for these if your vehicle is usually used by numerous drivers.
How is this relevant, you ask? Well, if your vehicle is damaged while being used by someone who isn’t one of its named drivers, your motor insurance policy provider can reduce the amount of your insurance claim by up to RM400 — or even reject your claim entirely.
This is why it is a good idea to constantly maintain and update the list of named drivers associated with your vehicle’s motor insurance policy.
5. Required documents
Above all else, before making a car insurance claims for any damages, be sure that you have all the documents which are needed to support your claim.
This may sound extremely repetitive and cliched, but a car insurance claim does not involve only one or two documents — and because the list of necessary documents is long, there’s a higher chance of us forgetting something or making a mistake along the way.
According to the Motor Claims Guide by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), here’s the basic list of documents that you need to file a proper claim:
- Claim Form (Provided by motor insurance policy provider)
- The original copy of the police report you made
- A copy of the IC of the vehicle’s driver
- A copy of the Driving Licence of the vehicle’s driver
- The vehicle’s registration card
- A copy of the bill or the invoice for the vehicle’s repairs
- Photos of the damages
This list changes according to the kind of damage that you’re submitting a claim for, as well as the type of claim you’re trying to make. For illustration, the documents needed to support a claim from a third party’s insurer will be slightly different from the list above, and making claims for damages caused by theft will require a varied set of documents.
After informing your policy provider that you would like to make a claim, do collect details on what documents will be needed for your specific claim.
The claim game
Making a successful motor insurance claim can be a long and trying process, but it also promises to be a rewarding one that is guaranteed to give you a great deal of relief.
Always remember to pay attention to all the details of your claim, and prepare as much as you can beforehand so that you can greatly decrease the chances of your claim being rejected due to the smallest discrepancies.
After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!