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How to Claim on Your Car Insurance

Car insurance may be a legal requirement, but nobody wants to ever have to use it. Not only does it mean you will have been involved in an incident, whether it was your fault or not, it also means it could affect your premium when it comes to renewing your policy.

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When should I claim on my car insurance?

Whenever you are in a car accident or your car is criminally damaged your insurers should always be informed, whether you make a claim or not. A claim can be processed no matter what policy you have, whether it’s third party only, third party, fire and theft or fully comprehensive.

If the accident is deemed to be your fault, a third party only policy provides cover for the expenses of the other drivers and passengers only. Any of your own damages must be paid for by yourself. You can add extra cover for non-accident claims, for example, accidental damage and theft of your vehicle with a third party, fire and theft policy. However, if the collision isn’t your fault, it will be down to other driver’s insurer to cover your loss.

Comprehensive cover allows you to make a claim if you have been in an accident even if it was your fault. The insurer will cover the expenses of the other driver’s vehicle repairs and compensation for any injuries they sustained, as well as property damage and any expenses for your own vehicle and injuries.

A claim can also be made if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Anyone with comprehensive cover that collides with a driver who failed to take out car insurance can make a claim with their own insurer. The no-claims bonus may be reduced and voluntary excess will still have to be paid, but you should receive help from the insurance company. Those with other car insurance policies can also make a claim from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau for any personal injuries, but their excess can be as high as £300.

How to cut down car insurance costs

Using the factors listed above to your advantage (if possible) when calculating a new insurance quote can help lower your costs, however we have a few extra pointers for those who are looking to score cheaper car insurance.

  • Vehicle and driver details


    the registration number, make and colour of any vehicles involved, the names and contact details of other drivers, passengers and witnesses
  • Any additional information


    for example, the weather conditions, the state of the road and the time are added details to provide the insurer with a full picture of the incident
  • Evidence of damage to the vehicle


    take photographic evidence of the extent of the damage
  • Gather witnesses


    If there are any witnesses around, get their details to pass on to the police.
  • Location of where it happened


    area, street name, and even the exact location along the street if possible
  • Crime reference number


    if the police were contacted, particularly in a non-accident claim, make a record of any police contact and the crime reference number

Contacting your insurer

Car insurance often isn’t cheap but there are many things that can increase your car insurance quote including the value of the car. The more expensive the car, the more expensive the premium can be. This is something to consider when buying a vehicle. But, there are ways to lower your car insurance.


The insurance company should be contacted as soon as possible after the incident. This doesn’t necessarily mean at the scene of the accident, but some insurers do cap a time limit so it is advisable to call within 24 hours.


Each insurer will have a different procedure to follow when making a claim. But, on most occasions, the procedure would start with a phone call to inform the insurer of what happened. A claim form will then be sent to you, in which you would need to include any photos and other evidence to support your case. It may take a while before you hear back again, so be patient.


If your insurer insists on visiting the car to inspect the damage, don’t get it fixed beforehand or you may be refused a pay out. Insurance companies will often request the car to be repaired at an approved local garage. If you do not abide by this, then they may refuse to pay out. Some insurers may even provide a courtesy car while your car is being fixed.


If your car has been written off you could be provided with a pay out that is equal to the value of the car before it was damaged or stolen.


One last note, make sure you tell the whole truth to your insurer. If you are found to have misled them, you could be charged with insurance fraud.

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