I often hear “but why must I report the accident? My car has no damage?”
My Car Has No Damage
Two weeks ago a client sends a Whatsapp “I just had an accident.” I Whatsapp back “get detail and take photos. I will email claim form.”
Later I receive another Whatsapp. “No damage to my vehicle. Other man says he will sort it out, because he is also guilty.” I respond that we will report the accident to the insurer and please report to police.
I collect the claim form from my client and submit the (possible) third party claim.
Two days later I receive a phone call. It is the third party. He expects my client’s insurance to repair his car. I explain to him that his best option is to leave that to his insurance company. (That is another topic).
From “I will sort it out, I am also guilty” to “You have to repair my car.” In a couple of days!
(As I am typing here, the third party’s insurer phones to find out where they can send the letter of demand! – So much for “I will sort it out!”)
Report To Police
You report an accident to the police. The law requires it. But your statement at the police also becomes evidence in the legal battle between the two insurers. Strictly speaking, if you drive into your own gate, you do not need to report it to the police.
You see, as in the above case, both parties could share the blame. Which means that the legal team can apportion the costs. One of the reasons you never admit guilt.
|Download A MVA Record Sheet to Keep in Your Car|
The Accident That Was Not Reported
Just after I started out in short term insurance, a colleague had a nasty experience. His client drove into a pole, but did not report it to the police. But there was damage to the car.
Then a third party claim comes in, claiming his client drove into the third party, caused damage and left the scene. It was a lot of trouble and lot of time wasted. Suffice to say it was a false allegation. Since then, I prefer to report all accidents to the police.
It Is A Strange, Strange World …
When I was a young boy, there was a song “It is a strange, strange world …” It is! Another client drives into the right rear of a parked vehicle. The impact is so soft, that only the lens of my clients indicator (left front) is cracked. It happens somewhere in Cape Town.
The third party claim comes in. The third party vehicle is hit on the right front. The damage is extensive. Fortunately there is a police report and a claim form submitted soon after the accident!
The the police report becomes very important!
Remember To Report To The Insurer
Please ensure that you know what your insurer’s time limit is to report a claim and stick to it. Some insurers expect claims to be submitted within 15 days, others within 30. Each insurer has its own procedure. Your broker will guide you.
Your insurer may repudiate a late claim, especially if they are prejudiced. I say “may” – why risk it?
And that is why must report all motor vehicle accidents to the police and your insurer.