There comes a time when we ask ourselves, what should we do in regards to insurance claims when our vehicle is involved in an accident? While we hope we will never have to go through that experience, we are always curious to find out and be prepared for such an incident. And unfortunately, I am involved this time. So let me share my experience with you guys.
On 5th Oct 2015, I visited my client in Tuas and arrive at his premises at around 950am. I park along the side of the road just opposite my client’s factory. I went in to look for my client and upon returning, I was stun (like a vegetable) to see a big dent and damage on the driver side door. The damage was bad enough that I could not open the door from the outside. Here’s how the damaged look like:
So the only action that came to my mind is to use my phone and snap a picture for evidence, and of course not forgetting uploading it to social media to vent my frustration. Then it came to my mind, what’s next? The car who hit mine was not there, and there isn’t anyone that I can talk to. I took out my Certificate of Insurance (yes please put one copy in your car) to see if there are any instructions. However, I only saw a list of authorised workshop and their telephone numbers. So next thing that I know is to search for the insurer’s website (in this case China Taiping Insurance) to look for further advice. Thankfully I saw a set of instructions that I can follow (you can see it here). So as my situation is sort of a ‘Parked and found damage’ or to make it sound more serious ‘Hit and Run’ case, I have to make a police report. And at that point in time, I took out my phone and dial 999.
The TPs (2 of them) came within like 15 mins and they started to assess the situation while I gave them my particulars. I must say they are quite good at what they are doing as one of them managed to investigate around the premises and found one of the company’s cctv in that area that captures the scene of the accident. So it was verified in the cctv video that this particular lorry that allegedly came out from my client’s neighbour unit, hit my car while trying to reverse and drove off subsequently. The TPs then contacted that company’s boss and requested for the driver to come back to assist in investigation. At this point, one of the TPs informed me to head to the nearest police post to lodge a report, unless I choose to negotiate with the alleged culprit for private settlement, which its unlikely that they will admit.
So I left the scene and head over to the nearest NPCC and once done, I check the list of authorised workshops that is near my area and decided to send in my car for repair and to claim insurance (please check if your policy is purchased under authorised workshop scheme or any workshop scheme, if its the latter you can go to any workshop you prefer. For mine it will be under authorised workshop scheme as I am entitled to a discount for my car insurance). While at the workshop, I submited all documents to make a claim and here comes dilemma. I was told that as the other party sort of did not admit to the accident, nor did they make a accident report, I am not allowed to claim under that party’s insurance. So either I wait for the police to finish their investigation to determine the outcome or I can choose to claim under my own insurance first, and should the police find that the other party is at fault then I can ask my insurance to claim all damages from them.
AND ANOTHER DILEMMA, if I choose to proceed o claim under my own insurance first, the excess will kick in, which means I have to pay $500 (excess different from each policy) upon the repair is completed. AND YET ANOTHER DILEMMA, because the ownership of the car that I drove is under my mum’s name, and also because I didn’t add my name as one of the named drivers, I have to pay an additional excess of $500, which adds up t $1070 after GST. So in the worst case scenario, if the police fail to conclude that other party is at fault, I will have to absorb this excess cost. Should the case be favourable to me, then this excess will be refunded back to me by my insurer( since all damages will be claimed from the other party’s insurance).
Well seems I cant really wait that long, I choose to claim my own first so as to start the repairs asap. So if you are reading this post, I hope you have learned something through my bad experience, and please remember to add in your name if you are driving a car that is not under your ownership! ALSO, please INSTALL CAMERAS IN YOUR CAR (sigh)