How to make a claim after a minor car accident
4 May 2018
For most people, your car is more than a machine that gets you from A to B. It is a tool that gives you freedom. Your car allows you to take the kids to school, it gets you to work and carries you on those glorious holiday road trips.
That’s why, when you hear that ‘thunk’ when another car has hit you – or you hit that pole, tree or misplaced shopping trolley, it can be disheartening and a little bit scary.
But there’s no reason to get overwhelmed. We have collated a step-by-step guide to help you through a minor car accident– including how to get it fixed.
After you’ve hit that pole you thought you could clear or you’ve been hit by the person texting while driving. The first thing to do is keep calm and breathe. You’ve already hit the pole, or been hit by another car. It’s done and you can’t turn back time. There’s no need to get angry or worked up.
If the accident has occurred in a parking lot, a road or anywhere there might be traffic, keep your eyes on the road and make sure you aren’t creating a hazard for other motorists.
It’s important to make sure you are safe before checking on your passengers, avoiding another accident and further potential injury is the highest priority.
Once you know you and your passengers are safe, then check on them to make sure they haven’t sustained any injuries. If another vehicle has been involved, check the other driver to see if they need medical attention.
If someone is injured or has stolen, attempted to steal or maliciously damaged your vehicle, call the police on 000 immediately and record the time, date, report number and the name of the recording officer.
Once you have ensured that you and all others involved are safe, you can request the details of the other driver. Take the approach that the more information you have, the better.
You may be emotional at this point in time, so use your phone to take a photo of the other drivers’ license – you don’t want to accidentally write down the wrong number.
Write down or take a photo of the other drivers’ registration plate and then note the make and model of their car.
Take plenty of photos of the accident from different angles to best illustrate the nature of the incident and the damage incurred. This is not the time to be artistic, these photos are going to be used as evidence for your insurance claim, so be objective.
Also photograph any of your car’s debris.
Whether the accident has involved another car or a stationary object, write down the street name and take note of any landmarks or features of the location that may help explain the situation – like a roundabout, a pothole or obstacle.
Organise a tow
Once you have the information you need, consider whether you need to be towed or not. Make sure that all of your car’s parts are intact and not at risk of falling off – if parts are looking shaky or unstable, be safe and get it towed.
If towing is required, we will help arrange the towing of your vehicle to one of our assessment centres or repair facilities, or another location nominated or agreed to by us – such as a repairer. Refer the the PDS for what costs we will pay for towing.
Be wary of the condition of your car as well. If your bumper has been damaged for example, make sure nothing is protruding onto your wheels before trying to drive again to avoid further damage as further damage may not be covered.
How Suncorp Insurance customers lodge a claim
In order to lodge a claim, regardless of which method you choose, you will need your Suncorp Insurance policy number, details about when the event occurred and what happened, and details of the other people involved.
Option 1: use the Suncorp mobile app
Upload the photos of the accident directly from your mobile and add the details of the accident. The process is laid out as an easy step-by-step checklist to make it as easy as possible for you.
Option 2: lodge a claim online
Similarly to the process of using the mobile app, a step-by-step checklist makes it easy for you to complete. If you are using a desktop, you will need to transfer the photos you took at the scene to your computer to complete the process.
Option 3: give us a call
Call one of Suncorp Insurance’s friendly Claims Representatives on 13 25 24 who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The representative will be able to guide you through the process.
Whichever option you choose, you will be able to track your claim online.
Once your claim has been processed and approved, Suncorp Insurance customers have access to more than 500 recommended repairers to choose from to fix your vehicle.
Off to the shop
Once you have chosen the repair process that suits you, organise a time with them to have your car fixed. The repairer will give you a guide as to how long it will take to repair and when to pick your car up for collection. Refer to the PDS for details of which repair process suits you.
Collect your car
Depending on your level of coverage and the nature of the car accident, you may be required to pay an excess for your insurance. An excess is the amount you have to pay for each incident when you make a claim. The amount and types of excess that apply to your policy are shown on your certificate of insurance. Depending on the circumstances, you might have to pay more than one type of excess when you make a claim.
All you have to do now is pick up your car and get back on the road.
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Information provided is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision regarding this product.