How to File an Automobile Insurance Claim in 5 Easy Steps in South Africa

Insurance is something we should all have. It protects you against losses, unforeseen expenses and ensures you are compensated for inevitable events. If you don’t have automobile insurance yet, you should explore and compare car insurance quotes online.

Being in an accident and experiencing loss or theft are awful things to deal with. But trying to navigate your way around making an insurance claim can be even more daunting if you don’t know how to do it. How long do you have to claim? What are your obligations? Who do you even call?

Having insurance is great to ease the mind, however, one still hopes they never end up in a situation where they do need to file a claim. But these situations still happen to the best of us. It’s best you know the in’s and out’s of the insurance claim process and how to claim insurance with confidence and ease.

Stressed african man on bridge

Automobile Insurance Claim: What Can You Claim For?

So what does your insurance offer you? Well, it depends on who you are insured with and what type of plan you have. It is also vital to keep safe by having medical insurance for any injuries as well.

Having insurance for your automobile will protect your assets in the case of road accidents, theft or damage of your automobile. Here are some types of things you can claim for:

  • Your automobile being stolen
  • Fire damage to your automobile (whether it’s from riots, lightning strikes or engine problems)
  • Damaging someone else’s automobile
  • Damaging someone else’s property with your automobile (like driving into someone’s wall)
  • Vehicle vandalisation
  • Damage via natural disaster (ie, floods, hail or tornadoes)
  • Something has been stolen out your vehicle
  • Damage due to accident or collision (whether it’s your fault or not)

 

What is filing a claim?

If any of the above happen to you. You have the right to claim money back from your car insurance company. There is a specific process that needs to be followed in order to successfully make an insurance claim.

Filling a claim lets your insurance company know something has happened and you need to be compensated. The insurance company then needs to value the claim and the extent of the loss or damages in order to compensate you for the correct amount.

The claim will consist of the incident report, photos of damages and the value calculation of how much it will cost them to rectify. Once the claim is approved your incident will be rectified, damages will be repaired, and you will be compensated to the value of the damages/loss.

headlight damaged automobile

How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim?

It is important to know that if you are claiming for theft or damages done by another, you need to get a police report within 24 hours of the incident in order for your claim to be successful. Be sure to go to the nearest police station to where the incident occurred and keep the case number to hand over to your insurer.

There are legal deadlines you need to meet in order to claim back your money from your insurer. The longer you wait to claim, the less of the chance you will win the case and receive compensation. It is best to start the claim process immediately after the incident happens to ensure the best chances of a successful insurance claim.

 

Automobile Insurance Claim Process

The Insurance claim process starts from the moment you report your loss and ends with the resolution of your claim. It is advised to start gathering important documentation to have ready when your claim is being processed.

Some important documents include your receipts, proof of vehicle ownership, insurance reference, police report (if necessary), photos of incident and damages and written report.

Get to know the 5 easy steps on how to make an insurance claim.

 

Step 1: Contact Your Broker

It’s in your best interest to contact your insurance broker first and let them deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Your broker is fluent in the language of insurance claims and will act as the middleman between you and your insurance company.

Once all the requested documentation is given to the broker, a loss adjuster will be in contact with you to follow through the rest of the insurance claim procedure.

Step 2: Claim Investigation Starts

Next, the loss adjuster will investigate the loss and damage of the reported incident as well as contact relevant third-parties involved. You can aid this step by providing the adjuster with any third-party or witness information and contact details so the claim can be further investigated.

Step 3: Policy is Reviewed

This part of the procedure involves the loss adjuster going through your policy and checking what you are and aren’t covered for in your premium. The adjuster will inform you about any discrepancies, uncovered features, payable amounts or insurance excess that you owe.

Step 4: Damage Evaluation is Conducted

The loss adjuster needs to evaluate the value of the damage or loss to your automobile in order to know how much your payout will be. They will more than likely hire mechanics, engineers or anyone who is necessary to value the damage.

Once this has been done you will receive a list of recommended vendors to carry out the compensation or repairs of your vehicle. You don’t have to use the vendors on the list, but it will save you time and research if you do. These vendors are prescreened to ensure they are reputable.

Step 5: Payment is Organized

Once your loss has been replaced or your damages repaired, the loss adjuster will contact you again to organize settlement for the claim. Please note that the time it takes to receive final payment will vary depending on the severity and extent of the claim.

happy man in minivan automobile

 

Final Procedures

By familiarizing yourself with these 5 easy steps, making an insurance claim will be a walk in the park. As every insurance claim is unique, the loss adjuster will walk you through the process unique to your situation, give time and detailed attention towards your claim, giving you one less thing to worry about.

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  1. […] cover claims won’t have the same impact on your record as a collision claim. However, a storm damage claim will still increase the monthly […]

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