A Comprehensive Guide to Car Insurance Claims in the UK (Part 2)

Having completed your checklist at the accident scene, there are still a number of other considerations that must be dealt with to help your car insurance claims process run more smoothly. These must be recorded in full if you, or any other driver who was injured as a result of a road traffic accident, are to receive any compensation for their injuries or for damage to their vehicle and property.

Non-Medical Damage Expenses

Non-medical damage expenses are often difficult to clarify but generally, these will include any financial costs incurred by first or third party drivers in the immediate wake of a road traffic accident. It is important to be very concise with these costs because your car insurance company may refuse to reach a settlement if information isn’t particularly clear. Non-medical damage expenses can include:

  • Time and earnings lost from work in the wake of an accident
  • Loss of accrued holiday pay or sick pay in the wake of an accident
  • Travelling costs accrued if your vehicle is unusable or if you have incurred any other transport costs for getting to hospital or to a general practitioner
  • Household help costs during any period of invalidity
  • Child care costs during the recuperation period 

Loss of Earnings

You are obliged to record any time lost from work even if you do not incur any loss of earnings. You may be insured for incapacity through your workplace and your employee may need to transfer this information to your car insurance company so that both providers can reach an agreement on who is responsible for compensation. There are a number of specific situations that will have to be considered and settled if you are employed on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Property Damage Losses

There are a number of considerations that car insurance companies will review when it comes to the cost of repairing or replacing property belonging to first or third party drivers. Some of the more common ones are listed below:

  • Agreed Repair Costs are the figures agreed between car insurance adjusters and repair industry specialists and policyholders should request a written copy of any agreements reached
  • Collision costs are likely to incur an initial excess payment but these can be claimed back at a later stage if the accident wasn’t your fault
  • Property damage liability will cover the cost of repairs or replacement to third party vehicles and property but you will lose any excess payments once a settlement has been made
  • A total loss may occur if a vehicle is damaged beyond the point of reasonable cost and repair. In this instance, a settlement will be reach based on the current market value of the car
  • Other property damage losses can include towing costs (for which you can be reimbursed) and damage to other items to include clothing, jewellery and sunglasses  

Medical Information

Medical information can go some way to helping reclaim costs that you may have incurred as a result of a road traffic accident and your car insurance company will need to know as many details as possible. Your general practitioner will need to make allowances for any medical conditions you were suffering from that may have been aggravated by the accident and will also have to provide information regarding any treatment you have undergone and any potential medical care you may need in the future.

Settlements

Unfortunately, it can often take months and, in some instances, years before a settlement can be reached. This is especially so in cases where severe injuries have been sustained by either first party or third party motorists. Thankfully, most road traffic accidents are relatively minor affairs and work on damaged vehicles can usually be completed within a few short weeks.

Policyholders should remember that they are not obliged to take their vehicle for repairs at an approved body shop recommended by the car insurance company. However, if you wish to take your work elsewhere, you may need to provide valid reason for doing so, particularly if the repair costs at a different outlet are significantly higher than those that the car insurance company incur at one of their preferred repair specialist centres.

If your Car Insurance Company doesn’t Co-Operate

There may be times when your car insurance company refuses to reach a settlement. If this occurs, policyholders should remember that they have the right to appeal and seek legal redress at any time.