May 19, 2017
Here’s a guide to make a claim from your car insurance if your car is stolen, involved in an accident, or suffered damages caused by unfortunate events such as a flood.
Your eligibility to apply for a claim if your car has been stolen will depend on:
Coverage for theft of your vehicle is covered under a Comprehensive cover, and third party fire and theft cover. But if you purchased a basic third party insurance policy, theft of your vehicle will not be covered, because the policy will only cover claims from third parties for bodily injury, death and loss or damage to their property.
If you willingly handover the car to someone else and the car was stolen, the insurance company will not pay you for the loss. For example, if you send your car to car wash or handed it to a car jockey and it gets stolen, it will be considered as an act of negligence on your part as the car owner.
Do take note that the claim process for car theft will take longer, about 6 months from the date of notification of the theft, or when official police investigations have been completed. This is because the insurer would have to conduct a thorough investigation and assessment for claim in relation to theft.
There are two ways to claim for damages if your vehicle was involved in an accident:
When claiming from your insurance company, you will claim under Own Damage (OD) Claim or Own Damage Knock for Knock claim.
Remember, when you claim from your insurance company, you will lose your No Claim Discount (NCD) entitlement. You should also check your insurance policy and look at the part where it states “excess”. ‘Excess’ is the amount of loss you have to bear before your insurance company will pay for the balance of your claim. For example, if your car insurance excess is RM200, you will have to pay the first RM200 of any claim you make. You will not be entitled to claim for an accident that results in damages below RM200. Excesses helps insurers reduce the number of small claims made.
There are two types of “excess”
i)‘Compulsory Excess’ of RM400. This means you have to bear the cost of RM400 every time you make a claim if during the accident your car was driven by a person:
ii)‘Other Excess’ is an amount applicable at the discretion of the insurance company
You can also claim from the other party’s insurance company in the event of an accident, which is known as third-party claim. Usually, this is applicable if the accident was the other person’s fault. The steps to claim are as below:
There are pros and cons to both types of claims. If you claim from your own insurance, you will lose the NCD entitlement. If the situation allows you to claim from the third party’s insurance, and you choose to do so, it can take a long time. This is because it involves a longer process compared to if you were to claim from your own insurance. You may find that the amount offered by the third party’s insurance is inadequate. In that case, you should engage a lawyer.
Your lawyer will ask you to sign a warrant to act. This is a document appointing him or her as your lawyer, to authorise the lawyer to act on your behalf. Your lawyer will:
If you cannot reach an agreement with the other party, the accident case will be brought to court. The court will have to decide liability, which means deciding who is responsible for causing the accident. The court will also decide how much the injured person (if any) should receive as compensation. The person who is found to be responsible for the accident will be 100% responsible.
But there may also be instances when another party is also partly responsible for the accident. In such situations, the court will assess the degree of the responsibility in percentage terms in causing the accident. So each party that is found to be partially responsible for the accident will then have to pay compensation according to the percentage terms decided by the court.
Depending on your insurance, the coverage may differ. For example, you may have opted for extra coverage which are add-ons to your insurance, such as windscreen coverage, damage due to flooding and more. Damages which you can claim for are:
These are claims for specific expenses for example transport, repairs to vehicles, hiring another vehicle or medical expenses as a result of the accident. Special damages deal with specific monetary expenses that you have to incur as a result of the accident.
These are compensations for pain and suffering as a result of injuries caused to a person. If you and /or a passenger in your car was injured in the accident, you may claim compensation for the injuries sustained from the insurer of the other vehicle that caused the accident. But, the other vehicle’s insurance will only pay out compensation to you if the other driver is found to be at fault for causing the accident. If you are partially responsible, you and your passenger will receive a partial compensation.
In the event of theft, the claim process will take a longer, about 6 months from the date of notification of theft, or when official police investigations have been completed. This is because
See also: How Does Car Insurance Work in Malaysia?