Car Insurance Claim
March 21, 2023
Having your own car is such a dream come true. The first time you get in and start it, you let it idle for a few minutes, in pure awe that you finally got to own it. And you never want anything bad to happen to it. You take care of it, send it for regular servicing, and get a good Car Insurance policy to protect it. However, despite the many precautions you might take in order to prevent the chances of a road accident, such an unfortunate event can still happen.
According to the Ministry of Interior, UAE, in 2021, road accidents caused the deaths of 381 people and injured 2,620 others. The number of crashes also increased in 2021 — to 3,488 up from 2,931 in 2020. Distracted driving, speeding, and failing to maintain a safe distance between vehicles cause the majority of traffic accidents in the UAE.
If you are involved in an accident, there are certain steps you need to follow to initiate the car insurance claim process.
What is a Car Insurance Claim?
A claim is a formal request made to your insurer to claim or cover the losses incurred - as mentioned in the policy terms.
Let’s understand this better - with the help of an example.
Ahsan insured his car with a comprehensive policy. When he was going to the office on a rainy day, his car started skidding and accidentally hit another car. In this case, he can contact his insurance company and raise a claim to cover the repair costs. If approved, the repair costs shall be covered under the policy.
How to raise a Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?
The following steps will guide you through the whole process -
1.Inform the police
●In case of an accident, the first and foremost thing you need to do is inform the police. A car insurance claim cannot be filed without having lodged a police report.
●Take pictures of the damages caused to your car, as well as of any bodily injuries caused to the driver and the passenger(s).
●The police will inspect your car, the place of the accident, and the photographs taken by you.
They will also help you with the police report, which will contain the details of the ‘At Fault Party’ as well as the ‘Not at Fault Party’ and a detailed summary of damages caused to the vehicles involved in the accident.
👉‘At Fault Party’ is the one responsible for the accident and needs to make the payment for all others involved in the accident.
👉’Not at Fault Party’ is the one who was involved in the accident, but is not at fault for causing the same.
●In case of any minor accident, you can also report the incident using the UAE Police e-services and apps.
2.Get in touch with your insurer
●After obtaining the police report, call your insurer and inform them about the accident.
●For a smooth and speedy claim settlement, ensure you give all the correct details pertaining to the accident to the insurance company.
3.Submit the necessary documents to the insurer
Here’s a general list of documents needed -
●Car Registration Document (Mulkiya)
●Duly Filled claim form
●Car modifying certificate (if any)
4.Wait for the claim to get assessed
●After receiving your claim request and all the relevant documents, the insurer will evaluate your claim and verify the documents submitted.
●Once the verification is done, the insurance company will ask you to go ahead with the repair work.
5.Take the car for repairing
●Once you get the go-ahead from the insurance company, you may take your car to the authorised dealer/garage.
●The dealer/garage will evaluate the damages and generate an estimate of the repair. They will then share the same with your insurance company.
●The repair work will start on your vehicle only when the insurer gives its approval.
●Once the repair work is complete, you can collect your car from the dealer/garage.
How to raise a Third-Party Insurance Claim?
A Third-Party claim can be categorised into 2 types:
1.Third-Party Property Damage (TPPD)
This type of claim arises when you damage a third party’s vehicle.
●If the Third Party has a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy: In that case, if you hit their vehicle and are at fault for the accident, the third party (whose vehicle got damaged) may contact their insurer for the claim processing. Their insurer will then initiate the recovery from your insurer.
●If the Third-Party has a Third-Party Car Insurance Policy only or no insurance policy:
In that case, they will have to visit the claims office of your insurer and process the claim directly.
2.Third-Party Bodily Injury (TPBI)
This type of claim arises when you injure a Third Party person, or if they lose their life due to the accident caused by you. Such claims are completely handled by the court.
The general steps that are followed are -
●If there are major injuries or death, the driver of the vehicle (if alive) will be arrested by the police. This is done to protect the recovery rights - as per the Shariah Law.
●Under certain provisions, the court may ask for a “Letter of Guarantee” from the insurance company. Along with that, they may also ask for an undertaking, mentioning that the insurer will represent the insured person in the legal proceedings to release the driver.
●The “Letter of Guarantee” is a document issued by an insurance company - guaranteeing the payment of any damages caused, or the compensation awarded by the court. It is presented to the court in the case of an accident. The letter acts as proof of insurance for the vehicle involved in the accident.
●There are also provisions to release the driver. However, their passport and Emirates ID will be confiscated until the case is ongoing and the settlement is made.
●The Public Prosecution Court will judge the criminal negligence. If the insured's criminal negligence has caused the Third-Party individual’s death, then as per Shariah - Diya Money (Blood Money) of a minimum of AED 200,000/- will be awarded to the victim’s family. Along with that, fines and imprisonment may also be imposed on the insured who’s found guilty.
●Beyond this, the legal heirs of the injured or deceased Third Party can initiate a further court case to seek appropriate additional compensation.
Reasons why your Car Insurance claims may get rejected
After you raise a claim, the insurer investigates it thoroughly and decides if they will settle it. Know the following reasons for claim rejections, so that such situations can be averted.
➔Misrepresentation of facts
Your insurance coverage is based on the information you provide to the insurer. Non-disclosure or misrepresentation of facts can lead to rejection of the claim. If you don’t disclose all information related to the car or provide incorrect details during the policy purchase, your claim will not be taken up.
➔Driving without a valid licence
As per the law, a driving licence is mandatory if you drive a car on public roads. If you drive without carrying a valid one, the insurer is not liable to pay for your damages, and the claim will get rejected.
➔Missing on your renewal
Every car insurance policy comes with an expiry date, and it’s generally valid for 13 months. You have to renew the policy to remain covered. If you miss an insurance renewal and meet with an accident, the insurer will not be liable to pay for your claim.
If the insurer finds that the accident was caused by you intentionally, they will not make any payment against the claim.
➔Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs:
Drunk driving is a legal offence. If the insurer finds you were under the influence of alcohol or any substance, there will be dire consequences. Not only will the claim be rejected, but you will also be asked to pay hefty fines. Besides that, you will get black points on your driving licence. In the UAE, black points are applied when a person commits a dangerous offence on the road.
It is important to own a car insurance policy, yes, but owning one isn’t enough. You need to understand the most important facet of it, i.e., the claims process. We hope this article helps you navigate the journey, and makes it a lot smoother for you.