How to File a Car Insurance Claim

How to File a Car Insurance Claim

 

An accident can happen to anyone – even to the most careful driver especially if you drive along the roads in the Philippines. In Metro Manila alone, 299 road mishaps happen daily. That’s why having car insurance is reassuring knowing that you are covered financially in case of an unfortunate event.

While you’re prepared for road mishaps with your car insurance, it’s also essential to know what to do should an accident happen and you are involved in the collision.

With the stress that comes with being involved in a car accident, knowing how to file an insurance claim can help you ensure a smooth claims process.
 

car insurance


When it comes to making an insurance claim, there are different car insurance claim type.

So, before we head to the claims process, let’s get familiarized with the different types of claim in the Philippines:  

Types of car insurance you can claim

When you contact your insurance provider, the insurer will ask you to state the claim type before proceeding with the claims process.

In the Philippines, there are eight (8) common types of car insurance claim:

  • Own Damage Claim – This is a type of claim where the damage of the vehicle is your fault.  

  • Excess Bodily Injury and Death Claim – This is a type of claim when the car accident results in bodily injury and/or death towards other party involved.

  • TPL Claim – This is a type of claim under the compulsory Third-Party Liability (TPL) policy.

  • Third-Party Property Damage Claim – This is a type of claim that provides cover for the damage you caused to someone else’s car or property.

  • Theft Claim – This is a type of claim you can make when your vehicle is stolen.

  • Acts of Nature Claim – This is a type of claim you can make if your car is damaged due to natural disasters such as flood, typhoon or earthquake.

  • Riot, Strike or Civil Commotion claim – This type of claim provides cover for damages caused by riot, strike, and civil disturbance.

  • Towing Reimbursement Claim – This type of claim offers roadside assistance or towing coverage.

With so much risk out on the road, knowing which type of claim to make beforehand can make the ordeal more comfortable to deal with.

Let’s explore the types of insurance claims in detail along with the steps to take immediately following the event.

What to do after the accident

STEP 1: Call for medical and police assistance

Call for an ambulance and police assistance and start checking yourself and the parties involved for injuries. The next important thing you should do is take photos of your car and the car that bumped into you, including damages and plate numbers.

It’s best to gather as much information as you can because car insurance companies will need them for investigation purposes. If there are witnesses, you might want to get their contact numbers as well.

 

car insurance

STEP 2: Document the event of the crash

At the scene of the accident, take a photo of the damaged vehicle with the plate number and the whole vehicle with the permit. You must also take a photo of the other car involved in the accident. This is to have proof of what actually happened.

STEP 3: Collect relevant documents 

Take note of important details such as the following:

  • Names, contact details and address of the people involved, the registered car owner and witnesses
  • Date, time and place the where the accident occurred
  • Car model and plate number of the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Driver’s license of the involved driver
  • Details of the insurance policy of the involved driver

You must also go to the police station to file a Police Report. This can help protect you against lawsuits and is vital in filing a car insurance claim.

If you’re injured, undergo a medical examination and secure a medical certificate that indicates the extent of injury you sustained and the required treatment or medication. This is one of the documents your insurance may require should you file a claim for bodily injury.

For the next steps when filing car insurance, your insurer will walk you through what to do with your car. If you need to repair shop, they will also provide a list of certified car repair shops and the necessary documents you must submit.

How to file a car insurance claim for each type?

Most car insurance companies will require different documents. Here are the necessary general documents required by insurers depending on the type of claim:

On filing an Own Damage Claim

When you damage your own car on the road, you will need to file an own damage claim. You will be covered for the repair cost and replacement of the damaged parts of your car with your insurance.

If you’re filing an own damage claim, you must contact your car insurance provider to request for a representative to inspect the scene of the accident.

Car insurance companies have their own list of authorized auto repair shops where you can take your vehicle for an estimate on the repair expenses. After the estimated amount is specified, the insurance company will issue a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to begin the repairs.

At most, you can file a personal damage claim on the following cases:

  • Damage to the car while driving due to a collision to another vehicle, electric post or anything that damages your vehicle under normal and legal circumstances.
  • Damages to the vehicle due to fire such as external explosion or self-ignition.

However, there are also some cases where you can’t file a claim. Here are a few conditions wherein most car insurance companies will not allow you for making own damage claims:

  • Damages caused by natural disasters such as flood or earthquake (unless you have an act of nature coverage).
  • Stolen car accessories or stolen items inside the car.

Requirements for filing own damage claim in the Philippines

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the accident from the insurance company or
    Traffic-accident investigation report for accidents in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, or Metro Davao
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • The estimate of the repair work
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration

On Filing for Excess Bodily Injury and Death Claims

If you are in a car accident that results in bodily injury and/or death to other parties, your third party insurance can help cover for the cost of the involved party’s medical expenses.

You must call your car insurance provider and ask for a representative to assist you in organizing all the needed documents.

Most car insurance companies will take care of the reimbursement up to the exceeding limit of your policy. Some insurance policy does not provide cover for drivers and passengers involved in the accident.

Requirements for filing excess bodily injury and death claims

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • The estimate of the repair work
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration
  • Medical certificate
  • Medical bill
  • Police sketch plan
  • Photocopy of your insurance policy and official receipt of premium payment
  • In case of death: Certified true copies of a death certificate and funeral bills
  • Notice of claim from the insurance party or third-party

On filing TPL claim

Compulsory Third Party Liability (TPL) insurance policy is a type of car insurance required by the law to all car owners in the Philippines. TPL provides medical expense cover up to Php 100,000 for injuries sustained by the third party in which you are at fault.

With TPL comes limitations in the policy. Here are situations where TPL does not provide cover to the insurers:

  • The driver and passenger in your car during the car accident.
  • Damage or loss of other party’s property

Requirements for filing TPL claim

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • The estimate of the repair work
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration
  • Medical certificate
  • Official receipts of a medical bill (medicine and treatment)
  • Police sketch plan
  • Notice of claim from the insurance party or third-party

 

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On Filing Third Party Property Damage Claim

If you’re at fault and held legally responsible for the damage you incurred to someone’s car, you can claim for a Third Party Property Damage claim.

Instead of paying out of your pocket, your third party insurance acts as your liability and cover the cost of the other party’s repair cost.

Requirements for filing TPL claim

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • The estimate of the repair work
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration of the insured and the third party
  • Official receipts of a medical bill (medicine and treatment)
  • Police sketch plan
  • Notice of claim from the insurance party or third-party
  • Proof of ownership of the third-party property (for non-vehicle damage)

On Filing Theft Claim

Theft claims can be made when your car is stolen, or some parts of your car were stolen if you have comprehensive car insurance that provides cover for theft.

With a theft coverage, you will be compensated for a replacement at fair market value. When this happens, report the incident immediately to the police station nearest you.

Then, you or a representative from your car insurance company must go to Camp Crame to process a formal alarm.

Requirements for filing theft claim

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration of the stolen car
  • Deed of Sale
  • Certificate of Encumbrance (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of the authenticated inspection report with a stencil of engine and chassis numbers
  • Original car insurance policy
  • Keys of the car
  • Valid ID

Secure an original copy of the Certificate of Non-Recovery, along with the documents mentioned above. Lastly, you must settle the deductible first before the insurance company can process your claim. 

On Filing Acts of Nature Claim

Aside from collision, there are other reasons why you need to file a car insurance claim. Depending on your insurance coverage, you can file a claim when your car is damaged by floods, typhoons, earthquake, and other Acts of Nature.

 

car insurance

 

Filing car insurance claim especially if the damage is caused by Acts of Nature is fairly easy as insurance companies have concrete proof of a natural disaster. They will just require you to bring your car to their authorized repair shop to be evaluated. 

Requirements for filing Acts of Nature claim

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration
  • The estimate of repair work

On Filing Riots, Strike & Civil Commotion claim

With a Riot, Strike, Civil Commotion coverage, your car is covered for damages resulting from a riot, strike, and civil disturbances. Some insurance offers cover for acts of terrorism.

This type of insurance coverage is usually an add-on which you have the option to purchase or not.

Requirements for filing Riots, Strike & Civil Commotion Claim

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration
  • The estimate of repair work

On Filing Towing Reimbursement claim

Roadside assistance and towing services are essential to every driver in the event of a vehicle mishap. Towing reimbursement coverage helps you reimburse tow truck bills.

You can request for a reimbursement claim if you have it under your policy. However, you must avail the tow service and pay it yourself first before getting the reimbursement.

Requirements for filing Riots, Strike & Civil Commotion Claim

  • Filled out claim form (provided by your insurer)
  • Police report or notarized affidavit of the car accident from the insurance company
  • Photos of the damaged car and plate number
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Photocopy of your official receipt and certificate of registration
  • The estimate of repair work
  • Official receipt of tow service
car insurance

What happens after you file a claim with your insurance company?

Once your claim is reported, the insurance company will conduct a thorough investigation and assessment on the vehicles and documents you have submitted if the claim you provided is valid.

The appointment for the inspection will take 1 to 3 days to complete. The process of filing an insurance claim can take as long as a month for some insurance company.

When your claim has been approved, your insurance company will provide a Letter of Authority (LOA). This means you can now take your car to your car insurance’s accredited repair shop as they only accept repair requests once you have your LOA.

The compensation you will receive will depend on the market value of the sum insured, whichever is lower. It’s essential that the sum insured should be enough to cover the cost you need to get a replacement for the damaged parts or car.

Keep in mind that when you file a claim, your car insurance provider will not pay for all the damage. You still need to pay for the losses and depreciation as well – called the deductible or more commonly known as participation.

A deductible is imposed in your comprehensive, collision or theft/own damage policy. This is usually an out of pocket cost before the insurance company pays for the rest based on your car’s type, make, and market value. This helps insurers minimize small claims or fraudulent claims made that will cause a financial problem to the company.

In the case of a theft claim, if the settlement is lower than your vehicle’s market value at the time of the theft, you may file an appeal to your insurance company with the necessary documentation (classified ads, newspaper clippings, written quotations from trusted car dealers) to support your request. The appeal will be subjected to further deliberation.

If your vehicle is recovered, and you have already filed a claim, but it has not yet been settled, you can opt to withdraw the claim. However, if the claim has been resolved, the insurance company will keep ownership of the vehicle.

Possible reasons your claim got denied

Having car insurance is convenient when an accident happens since you have something to cover for the damages and injuries you may have sustained.

However, there are cases when insurers do not provide LOA and reject your claim. Here are a few of the possible reasons why you got rejected:

  • The type of vehicle damage is not covered under your car insurance policy
  • When the damage to the vehicle is intentional
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Having unpaid premiums
  • Doing illegal activities such as driving without a driver’s license or not following traffic rules
  • The policy is not under the person making a claim
  • The vehicle has damaged parts before the accident
  • Insurance fraud was committed (e.g., fake documents to support claims)

Before filing a car insurance claim, check the inclusions and exclusions of your policy. It helps when you know what your policy is supposed to cover and when you can file an insurance claim to avoid getting denied. It’s a good idea to understand the possible reasons why your claim got rejected so that you don’t get caught off-guard.

What happens if your insurance claim is denied?

There are cases where the claim is rejected or the insurance company’s settlement offered may not be agreeable to you.

Whenever an insurer rejects a claim, they will provide an official rejection letter detailing the reasons why they are unable to proceed with your claim.

If you are not satisfied with the reasons the insurance company provided, there are some things you can do to make the next steps more manageable, so you don’t have to scramble to pay the damages yourself.  

Check your policy documents

At this point, you will need to review the letter provided to you carefully. You can check the details of your policy documents to see if facts fit the reason for the rejection:

  • Confirm if you provided all the correct details in the beginning.
  • Note down the exact policy wording of every coverage you are entitled to.
  • Look for ambiguous or unclear policy wordings. If there are some, note them down. Your insurer is duty-bound to provide you with clear information.

Contact your insurer

If you have found that the company’s decision for rejecting your claim is incorrect, get in touch with your insurer and file a dispute and request for a review.

Once the dispute has been filed, the insurance company will review their decision, and they will assess their actions and investigations for any errors.

Get Government assistance

If, after filing a complaint to the insurance company your denial has not been overturned and you still feel wrongly denied, you may seek assistance from the Insurance Commission, a government agency that supervises and regulates insurance companies in the Philippines.

The Insurance Commission help in settlement of any claim dispute between you and the insurance company. The agency will consider both sides of the story, and attempt to find a fair conclusion.

You can file a complaint through email ([email protected]) or visit their offices.

If they determine that the claim was unfairly rejected, the insurance company will pay the compensation or take appropriate steps to change the outcome.

Final Thoughts

When making an insurance claim, always review your policy documents to see what it does and does not cover and make sure to provide all the necessary materials needed and follow the instructions carefully.

No matter how much safe you are as a driver, accidents can happen. Being prepared can make the claims process less daunting, by understanding your coverage and knowing the best steps you need to take after a crash.  

With GoBear, you can compare car insurance quotes so you can find the right coverage for your needs and lifestyle.