Car Insurance Claim Process in South Africa
When you are in a vehicle accident or when someone steals your car, you will enter the car insurance claim process. It is a time most policyholders don’t like to think about. And this is despite the car insurance claim process being the time that justifies all the monthly premiums they have paid.
A friend may have told you how tedious and bureaucratic the car insurance claim process was. Even if you don’t want to think about paperwork and admin, it is important to know how to navigate this process. Acting properly when the time comes improve your chances of getting compensated promptly.
Car Insurance Claim Process Steps
Here are some important steps to take when making a claim:
Call your insurer:
As your first move, phone your insurance company. Be sure to have your policy number close at hand before you make the call. Most insurance companies will have a 24-hour support centre for this purpose. After you have explained the details of your case be sure to note the name of the support assistant and the reference number of your call. During this, call you should obtain all the instructions you need for the claims procedure from start to end.
Call the police:
When someone steals your car you need to report the incident to the police. When you do, this you will be given a case number. You will need this number when you’re pursuing your claim with your insurer. You are required by law to report the incident within 48 hours. Also, you must write an account of the event that leads to you making the claim. The earlier you write it out, the better as you will be able to remember more details. Be sure to keep this along with all other documentation about your claim carefully.
For cases of theft, the insurer will send along an assessing agent to collect details of the theft. Their mission is to ascertain these details and establish if there are any inconsistencies in your claim. The assessor looks for evidence that might lead to doubts as to its authenticity. Your interview with this assessor may feel like an interrogation. However, try and cooperate with them as much as you can and give the facts honestly. If the assessor oversteps his boundaries in trying to establish the truth, you have the right to complain to the insurance company.
If your claim is for damages rather than theft, the insurance company will give you a list of approved mechanics or repairers. Get repair quotes for the damage your car has suffered. Then submit the quotes to the insurance firm. Only after insurer approval should you proceed to do the repairs.
Receiving your claim:
When you have sent all the paperwork to the insurance companies and once your interviews are complete, the company will pay the cash equivalent of your claim. That is if all the paperwork is in order. Beware that the insurance company may take long to process claims in the event disputes arise, especially if they result in court proceedings.
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