Image via Flickr user William Murphy
As of 1st June 2008, the Motor Claims Framework (‘MCF’), has been introduced by the General Insurance Association of Singapore (‘GIA’) and is intended to be a policy condition which motor insurers will enforce. The MCF sets out procedures for motorists to follow when their vehicles meet with an accident. Under the MCF, all accidents, regardless of how minor, and even if the damage is not visible, must be reported to your insurers within 24 hours or by the next working day. It does not matter if you intend to claim from the insurers or Third Parties; you must still lodge a report with your insurers. With this new policy, all insurers will operate a 24-hour hotline. Even if you enter into a private settlement with the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, you must still report the accident to your insurers. You may wish to visit the GIA’s website at www.gia.org.sg for more information.
What to Do at the Accident Site
- You should take down the following particulars:
- registration numbers and name of insurance companies of all vehicles involved in the accident;
- names, NRIC Numbers, addresses and telephone numbers of the drivers, passengers, injured pedestrians and witnesses.
- You should also give your particulars to the other parties involved in the accident.
- Contact your insurers for a tow truck in the event you need one to move your vehicle after an accident, or if you need advice about the accident. You should not engage any unauthorized tow truck operators.
- If it is a serious accident e.g. where someone is injured or has died, call the police. As the police need to draw a sketch plan, do not move the vehicles or dead bodies.
- If possible,
- make a sketch plan or mental note of the accident site, position of vehicles, any landmarks; and
- take photographs of all damage caused by the accident and the scene of the accident, whether or not anyone has suffered injuries. You must keep the negatives of those photographs if you are using a film camera..
- This is important. Many do not realize how essential and helpful sketch plans, photographs of the scene of the accident and photographs of damage sustained are to parties who are trying to resolve the accident claim, be it pre or post writ.
- Note:Should you, as a vehicle owner, fail to report to your insurers within 24 hours of the accident, then you may find yourself prejudiced. That is, your insurers will have the right to reject your claim or to claim from you any sums paid by them for a third party claim made against you or your driver. This may result in a loss of your No Claim Discount when you review your policy next.
What to Do Immediately After
You should make a written police report as soon as possible at any police station or Neighbourhood Police Post. If you are hospitalized as a result of the accident, make your report as soon as you are discharged from hospital.
You have to give all the information mentioned in the paragraph ‘What to do at the accident site’.
The report must be made in English. If you have difficulty, ask someone to help you write a report or you can explain the accident to the police officer who will translate it into an English written report for you.
The police report is important because it is the official written record of the accident. Your insurance company, the police and lawyers will refer to it if you make any claim for compensation.
If you delay making a police report or General Insurance Association of Singapore (‘GIA’) report after an accident without good reason, there may be adverse inferences drawn against you. You must make a report of the accident to your insurers within 24 hours of the accident.
Damage to your vehicle
You should arrange for your damaged vehicle to be removed to the approved reporting centre for a survey to be conducted and for repairs, within 24 hours of the accident or by the next working day. Again you should avoid any unauthorized repair workshops. If, however, you wish to claim against the insurer of the other vehicle, you may wish to give the other vehicle’s insurer an opportunity to inspect your vehicle within a reasonable time (e.g. 48 hours).
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