A claim in insurance is the occurrence of the eventuality(ies) insured against upon which the liability of your insurance policy is engaged. In other words, it means you have suffered a loss from the use of your vehicle which requires your motor insurance policy to come into operation.
Usually, this happens when
- Your vehicle has been damaged or stolen or
- You accidentally damaged another person’s property or injured another person with your vehicle.
All other factors held constant, you have a right to your claim.
Steps to take in the event of a claim
- Obtain a Police Investigation Report. You should immediately report to the nearest police station. In a theft case, lose of life, injury to a third party or major damage to your vehicle by another party, a police investigation report is very crucial. However, where the damage is minimal, your insurer reserves the right to waive the police report.
- Immediately notify your insurance company. Your motor insurance policy does have a “Claim Notification Clause” which requires you to do so or within a stipulated time frame (Usually 30 days). Failure to do so constitutes a breach which could invalidate your claim.
- Obtain an estimate of repairs. For the damaged car or third party property. In a case of bodily injury to another or death, medical bill and or medical certificate.
- In a theft case; where your vehicle was stolen, your insurer would usually wait to give the police some time to conduct and conclude their investigations. There has been cases where a stolen vehicle is recovered. Therefore there might be need for you to obtain two police reports; an interim report and a final report. An interim report tells that the police have started with their investigations while a final police report tells that the efforts made by the police in recovering the vehicle and the outcome.
- Document your claim: He who alleges must prove therefore onus of prove lies with you. It is your duty to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you have indeed suffered a loss and you have the right to be indemnified. You therefore would need to provide the following;
- Pictures of the accident, even the ones taken with your phone’s camera.
- Completed claim form (blank copy would be provided by your insurer)
- Police investigation report
- A copy of your drivers’ license
- An estimate of repairs
- Obtain medical bills and or medical report (where there has been an injury)
- Await your settlement offer; Your insurer would want to verify your documents and also investigate your claim. Where they are satisfied with their investigation, you would receive a settlement offer. An offer is a proposed settlement deal from your insurer and it usually comes with a discharge voucher. If you are satisfied with the amount proposed, you would be required to complete the discharged voucher and return to them in exchange for your settlement cheque.
- An offer is not binding on you until you have executed (filled) the discharge voucher. If you disagree with the amount offered you have a right to reject it stating your reasons. If you have a strong case, your insurer might reconsider their position and review the offer.
Thank you for reading. We would like to have your view and also know if this post has been of any benefit to you. Kindly leave a comment.