Making a Claim on your Car Insurance

If your car is involved in an accident

After an accident get as much on the spot information as possible. Get hold of the names and addresses of independent witnesses before they lose interest and leave the scene.

If you have a video or camera in the car, get pictures before vehicles and property are moved. Also, make a sketch plan of the accident while the details are fresh in your mind.

Ask the other drivers involved for their names and addresses and make a note of their car registration numbers together with the make and model.

Ask for the name of their insurers and also, if possible, their policy number or certificate number.

If anyone is injured, produce your certificate of insurance. If you cannot do this at the scene you must produce it at a police station within 24 hours.

There may be injury to people or animals or damage to vehicles or property. If so, you are required to give your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the car you are driving and its registration number to anyone with reasonable grounds for wanting them.

Tell your insurers about any statement made at the scene by any of the parties. Do not discuss whose fault it was. If you do, you could create problems for you and your insurers in the handling of your claim.

You must tell your insurers as soon as possible - even if you don't intend to make a claim. This is a condition of your policy.

Ask your insurers for an accident report form. When completing the form include as much information as you can.

If your car is stolen

Tell the police immediately then tell your insurer and ask for a claim form.

Be prepared to wait a while in case your car is recovered. A great many cars taken without the owner's consent are soon found abandoned.

If property is stolen from your car tell the police immediately and then tell your insurer.

Most comprehensive policies protect you against loss of or damage to rugs, clothing and personal belongings that are in your car. Policies set a limit on the value of such property. Check your own policy for details. See back page for advice on beating the car thief.