WHAT ABOUT REPAIRS?
If your home is damaged and temporary repairs have to be made to stop further damage (such as from rain coming in through a damaged roof or window), arrange for these to be carried out straight away. Keep the bills as the costs may form part of your claim. For permanent repairs to the building or contents, get estimates and send them to your insurance company. The company must have an opportunity to see the damage and approve the estimates before work begins. Depending on the work involved and the cost, you may be told you can go ahead and get the work done.
If there is serious damage, the company will send someone to see you. This may be one of their own officials (claims inspector) or an independent loss adjuster appointed by the company. The caller’s job is to advise you what to do immediately and to tell you what further information will be required. When all the necessary information is available, the claims inspector or loss adjuster will agree with you the amount payable under the policy.
In a motor accident where your car is considerably damaged, the first step is to ascertain whether your policy covers damage to your vehicle. If yes, take your car to a PIAM-authorised repairer and inform your insurer immediately that you have done so. If your insurer recommends or requires that repairs be done at a specified workshop, then take your car there as advised. Any estimates should be sent to your insurer for checking purposes.
Alternatively, the insurer will send an insurance loss adjuster to assess the damage to your vehicle, after which the insurer will authorise repairs. The insurer will authorise repairs subject to a satisfactory claim form being submitted together with the relevant documents.
If you have an ‘excess’ on your policy, you must pay the amount of the “excess” direct to the repairer. The “excess” is that part of the claim that you have agreed will be borne by you. Check your insurance policy for this “excess” amount. The excess is payable irrespective of who is to blame.
If your policy does not cover damage to your car and you make a claim against a third party, you would need to notify the other driver in writing of your intention to claim from him and ask him to notify his insurers.
If possible, write to his insurers if you have details – quoting his policy or certificate of insurance number and send an estimate of damage as soon as possible.
The other driver should tell his own insurers of the accident as his insurers will only be able to deal with your claim if they have been asked to do so by their policyholder. Lastly, you should inform your own insurers that you are claiming against the third party.