How to Claim Your Car Insurance
Accidents can happen even to the most careful amongst us; you might already have car insurance, but it’s also essential to know how to make a car insurance claim in Malaysia. After all, insurance is the kind of topic that you can’t see what's going on until you need to use it.
So, what do you do when the unexpected arises and you were involved in a collision?
When making an accident claim in Malaysia, there are two types of insurance that people can make. Here’s a concise guide on the important steps when making an Own Damage claim and a Third Party claim.
Making a claim with your insurer
Firstly, with a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can file an own damage claim or a no-fault damage claim if it’s not your fault.
Victims make an own damage claim when their own car is damaged due to an accident. If you have a comprehensive policy, and the accident was your fault, it’s only essential to do so.
When you make an own damage claim, you claim from your insurance company. You will have to make a claim under Own Damage. The risk when making an own damage claim is that you will lose your No Claim Discount (NCD) entitlement.
Step-by-step guide to Own Damage claims process:
- Contact the insurance company as soon as possible
In the event of an accident, notify your insurer immediately. They will inform you what you are required to do and even suggest which panel workshop to send your car to, in case it needs repair.
- Make a police report
Insurance companies will need a police report and an original copy of the investigation results by the police, so it’s best to make a police report as soon as you can. By right, you are required to lodge a police report within 24 hours of the accident if you want to avoid paying a RM300 fine for filing a late police report.
- Document the accident
At the scene of the accident, take photos of the damaged vehicles including licenses of affected parties and the vehicles with their respective car number plates. It’s all about keeping track of the entire incident.
- Gather relevant documents for the car insurance claim
The panel workshop will require the following papers:
- Original copy of police report
- Original copy of investigation result by police
- Motor accident report form
- Claim form from insurance company
- NRIC of the driver
- NRIC of the policy holder
- Bill of the repair work
- Submit the relevant documents to your insurer or panel workshop
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, submit them to your insurance company. An appointed insurance adjuster will assess the damage and cost to fix your car. After the assessment, the panel workshop will start the repair on your vehicle.
Note that when you make a claim to your insurer, they don’t pay for all the damages, you are still required to fork out a sum towards the damages as well – called the excess. It can be either policy excess or compulsory excess. Some insurers can opt out of applying excess if the repairs were undertaken at their panel of repair workshops.
Here's how it works, if your excess is RM200, and you make a claim for RM1,000, your car insurance provider will pay out the RM800. This helps insurers minimise the number of small claims made.
The compulsory excess is fixed at RM400. This is the excess you must pay for when you make an insurance claim, and if your vehicle was driven by:
- An “L” license holder
- A “P” license holder
- A person under 21 years of age
- A person who’s not a named driver in the car insurance policy
Some insurers can opt out of applying excess if the repairs were undertaken at their panel of repair workshops.
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Making a Third Party Claim
A Third-Party insurance policy is the minimum required for every motorised vehicle in Malaysia. This policy protects you against third-party claims for injuries or death caused to them during an accident. It also covers against losses or damages to the third party’s vehicle caused by your car.
If the accident is not your fault, you can make a third-party claim where the third-party pays for the damages made to your car. The good thing about making a third-party claim is that you don’t lose your No-Claim Discount.
When making a third-party claim, you have two choices: submit a claim directly to the company of the third party, or if you want to go to the less-hassle and faster process, provided that you have a comprehensive cover, you can directly submit a claim to your insurer.
Step-by-step guide to Third Party claims process:
- Make a police report within the day
When the accident has taken place, it’s best to make a police report within the 24 hours; again the RM300 fine is applicable here.
- Prepare the documents needed for the third-party claim
In the event of the accident, take a photo of the damaged part with the car’s license plate and the whole car with the car number plate.
- Send your car to the panel workshop of third party’s insurance company
You are advised to send your car immediately to the panel workshop of the third party’s insurance company.
- Get a licensed adjuster to assess the loss
Get an appointed licensed adjuster on your own or through a workshop to help determine and evaluate the total cost of the damages, and Compensation for Assessed Repair Time (CART). CART is normally based on the number of days required to have your vehicle fixed, however insurance companies may authorise an additional seven working days in case there are unforeseen events that might cause delays. You can refer to PIAM's website which provides a standard gauge of daily CART.
- Submit the necessary documents to the third party insurer
After you have gathered the documents, send them to the insurance company of the third party. The documents you must submit are as follows:
- Copy of your NRIC
- Copy of your driver’s license
- Original copy of police report you made
- The Keputusan report issued by the police department
- Car registration card
- Report by the appoint licensed adjuster including bill of repair cost for your vehicle (or your damaged property)
- Photos of the damaged car
There are circumstances where the amount offered by the car insurance of the third party is insufficient. You may want to get a lawyer if this happens.
If you engage the services of a lawyer, you will have to sign a warrant to act – a document which appoints him or her as your lawyer – and to consent the lawyer to act on your stead. Having a lawyer will help you on the following things:
- Assess all the documents and information you have
- Request a copy of the police report from the police station
- Obtain medical reports from the hospital (if you or your passenger was injured and did not get the medical reports)
- Contact the third-party’s car insurance company for compensation
- File a civil suit if no sufficient compensation is obtained. (No need to go to the court if both sides agree to settle)
If an agreement cannot be reached with the third party, the case will be brought to court. The court will decide who is responsible for causing the accident and how much the injured person should receive as compensation. The person deemed responsible will be 100% responsible for the accident.
There are also instances where there is another party involved and responsible for the accident. The court will determine the level of responsibility in percentage terms. The parties that are found responsible for the accident will then have to pay the compensation depending on the percentage decided by the court.
| See also: 9 Dos and Don'ts When Filing a Car Insurance Claim |
What can you claim?
You need to understand that you can only claim what you have been insured for. Car insurances have different coverages that they offer. For instance, you may have add-ons such as a windscreen coverage, car accessories, and more. You can claim the following damages:
Special damages are claims for specific expenses such as repairs to vehicles, transport, hiring a car rental (while car is being repaired) or medical expenses due to the accident. These are the specific expenses that you will have to pay for because of the accident.
These are compensations for bodily injuries caused to a person. If the accident is not due to your fault and you and/or your passenger are injured, you may claim compensation for the injuries from the third party’s insurer. If you’re partially at fault, you and/or your passenger will receive a part of the compensation.
When making a car insurance claim, always check what the insurer requires for your specific claim and make sure you complete ALL the necessary documents and follow the instructions carefully.
No matter how safe you are as a driver, accidents can still happen. Knowing how to file a car insurance claim can be extremely helpful at the time of the incident. Knowledge is reassuring and you can help ensure that the car insurance claim process is a hassle-free experience. Now that you've got yourself a free course on how to claim your car insurance, have you checked if yours is due for renewal?