By: Simon B
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Claiming from your insurance company
As soon as you have an accident, contact your insurance company (don’t waste time on this, do it ASAP). If you have a fully comprehensive insurance policy, you can claim from your insurer for your own loss, damage, and injury, no matter who caused the accident. You may be sent the usual pile of forms to complete, but many insurers handle this process online.
Make sure that you’re honest with your insurers as to what happened. They decide, along with the insurance companies of any other motorists involved, who’s to blame for the accident or whether the blame is shared. Between them, they will decide which company should payout for the damage and injury claims being made. You make your initial claim to your insurer, and your insurer will pay your claim. If you aren’t to blame, your insurer gets that money back from the insurer of the person who was at fault.
In some cases, the other person may not have insurance, so you may have to take separate legal action for compensation.
Even with a fully comprehensive insurance policy, you can be out of pocket. If you claim on your insurance policy and are found to have been at fault for an accident, you may lose some of the no-claims bonus you’ve built up over the years because you haven’t made a claim. Even if your no-claims bonus isn’t affected, you’re likely to find that your premiums will go up in future. If you have an excess on your policy, you’ll have to pay that amount of the repairs yourself.
If you have just the basic third-party insurance that covers other people’s injuries, they may still claim compensation from you for their loss, damage to their vehicle and other property, and/or injury if the accident was your fault. Without insurance, you’ll have to pay out of your own assets. If you refuse to reach a settlement with the people who’ve been injured, they can take you to court.