If you are unlucky enough to have an accident in the UK, you will need to know some of the basics ins-and-outs of how to make a claim on your UK car insurance.
The first thing you should do following a car accident is to check and see if anyone in your car or any of the other cars has been injured. If they have, you should immediately call for medical assistance (ambulance). Once you have done this, keep in mind that you may need to include a medical report as part of the accident claim.
Call the police
Depending on the seriousness of the accident, you may know need to call the police.
By law you should have a copy of your car insurance certificate with you in your car at all times. Included in this will be a 24-hour hotline contact number that you can call if you happen to be involved in an accident. You need to ring this number and ask them what the procedures are you should take. Remember, in the UK you can have one of several different classes of car insurance (for example, third party or fully comprehensive), so the steps you will need to take will vary depending on this and the procedures put in place by your specific car insurance policy provider.
While on the phone with your car insurance company, remember to ask them to send you an accident report form. The accident report form should be fairly self-explanatory, but if you have any problems completing this, then it is a good ideal that you call your insurer and clear up any misunderstandings before you submit this form.
Collect evidence of the accident
Having called your insurance provider and asked for assistance, it is a good idea to collect some evidence about the accident. This can include taking the names of any eye witnesses and/or taking photographs of the accident (mobile phone cameras are useful for this purposes).
Repairs to your car
It is very important that you understand that any costs you incur with respect to your car following an accident are for your own account (i.e. you pay) unless you have agreed these beforehand with your insurance company. As such, it is not a good idea following an accident to just take your car off to a garage and have the repairs done – as you may well find your car insurance company will not agree to reimburse you. Far more sensible is to phone the car insurance company first and ask them if there is any specific garage in your area where you need to take the car for repairs.
Keep receipts for all expenses
Even if you think that it is unlikely you’ll be reimbursed for the cost, if you have an accident and are going to make a claim with your car insurance company then it is vital that you keep a receipt of all the expenses incurred. Keep in mind that if you do not have a record of the expense, it is highly unlikely that your car insurance company is going to reimburse you.