6 tips for avoiding overinflated car insurance claims
Getting into a traffic accident is indeed a frustrating experience, but dealing with inflated car insurance claims is even worse. We all know the kind of driver who makes a big deal about the smallest of scrapes and lodges extortionate motor insurance claims to your insurer.
Our advice is that you shouldn’t rely on your insurer entirely in these circumstances since insurers may not have the resources to thoroughly investigate every claim that they receive. After all, it is not just the matter of your insurer – if they’ve paid out on a large amount of compensation to third parties, they will most likely increase your premiums during the next policy term, so eventually you’ll also have to pay the price.
What’s even worse is that, sometimes the damages can be so minor that they could’ve been settled between the drivers themselves, without anyone having to submit a claim or lose their No Claims Discounts (NCDs).
To that end, this week’s Kwiksure Singapore article provides the following tips on how to protect yourself against overinflated motor insurance claims.
1. Make sure your camera phone has enough space and power
We will start off with how you can be better prepared. In case of a car crash, it’s important to use your mobile device to take as many pictures as possible. If your phone is running out of juice or doesn’t have enough memory, it’ll be hard for you to collect important evidence to protect yourself.
Usually, you should at least take the following pictures after an accident:
- Accident scene – take pictures of all vehicles involved as well as the surrounding environment such as rainy weather and skid marks, which can help the insurer determine who’s at fault during the investigation.
- Your own vehicle – take pictures that properly show any damages to your own vehicle. Make sure that your license plate is clearly visible.
- Other vehicles involved – take pictures that show damages to other vehicles, with their license plates clearly visible as well. You should also take pictures of the undamaged parts of the vehicle so that you won’t end up being sued for damage that you didn’t cause.
Even if it’s a minor crash, you may not be able to recall every detail especially when you’re nervous. A photo is worth a thousand words and can help you remember how the accident happened so that your insurer will only compensate the other driver for the damages he/she sustained.
2. Install an in-car camera
Nowadays, it’s extremely rare to find a vehicle on the road without an in-car camera. Why? One reason is that these cameras can prevent overinflated or even false motor insurance claims. It’s a small investment that all drivers should make.
An in-car camera, in most cases, provides undisputed proof of the time, direction, location, and speed of impact during the accident. A clear camera footage can aid the insurers in determining how the accident took place and who’s to blame, so you should ascertain that the camera resolution is high enough.
You may even consider purchasing two cameras, one for the front and another for the back, just to collect as much evidence as possible in the event of a dispute.
3. Draw a bird’s eye sketch
Camera footages can’t show the accident from above. That’s why you should draw a bird’s eye sketch, which can indicate details like the positions of vehicles involved, as well as anything significant such as road dividers or road signs. And you should definitely get the other parties to sign off on your sketch to avoid any subsequent dispute.
4. Get details from other parties
It is crucial that you exchange particulars with other involved driver(s), including their name, NRIC, address, contact number, car registration number, and the name of the insurer.
One special point to note here is that you should never admit fault or decide liability at this stage. While you may feel guilty and believe that it’s your fault, the subsequent investigation carried out by the court might prove otherwise, or that the other driver is also partly liable so that you can have a 50/50 split on liability.
Also, there may be witnesses whose testimonials are powerful evidence so you should make sure you’ve obtained their particulars and contact numbers.
5. Report the accident as soon as possible
No matter how small the accident is, and whether you decide to submit claims later or not, you should make a report to your insurers as soon as possible, which means that you should have the hotline of your insurer ready. The easiest way is to save it on your mobile phone.
While it is stipulated by law that drivers should report the case within 24 hours, here at Kwiksure Singapore we advise you to do it the earliest you are able to, as other parties involved may get into further accidents and exaggerate their claims.
6. Get assistance from professionals
In order to tackle the rising concerns over false or overinflated car insurance claims, the General Insurance Association (GIA) has set up a helpline 1800–44–37283 for investigation. You can also call this hotline if you’re suspicious that you’re paying for a higher premium due to a previous scam accident.
Kwiksure Singapore is a professional motor insurance brokerage with solid experience in matching clients with the insurance plans that best match their interests. Our team of specialists draws on our relationships with other insurers to fight for the best terms and prices, and streamline the claims payment process for you. Call us today to get unbiased advice, an obligation-free quote, and a plan comparison!