En­su­re your in­su­ran­ce claim gets paid out

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

Being in­vol­ved in e­ven a mi­nor car ac­ci­dent is trau­ma­tic e­nough - the last thing you want is to ha­ve your in­su­ran­ce claim re­jected. Par­ti­cu­lar­ly if it's due to so­mething that could ha­ve been pre­ven­ted me­re­ly by ad­her­ing to your po­li­cy's re­qui­re­ments.

"In the vast ma­jo­ri­ty of ca­ses, car in­su­ran­ce claims are re­jected for per­fect­ly va­lid re­a­sons," says Lou­is Hay, he­ad of short term in­su­ran­ce pro­po­si­ti­ons at S­tan­dard In­su­ran­ce Li­mi­ted. "If you ad­he­re to so­me ba­sic ru­les the­re should be no re­a­son for your in­su­ran­ce claim to not be success­ful."

Hay pro­vi­des the fol­lo­wing ad­vi­ce to pre­vent your claims from being re­jected:

Main­tain your vehi­cle

One of the big­ge­st re­a­sons for vehi­cle in­su­ran­ce claims being re­jected is that pe­op­le don't ad­he­re to the pro­per main­te­nan­ce of their vehi­cle by keeping it ro­ad­worthy. Ty­res need to be kept in good con­di­ti­on and re­pla­ced w­hen the mi­ni­mum tre­ad depth spe­ci­fied by your po­li­cy has been re­a­ched.

O­bey the law

If you're in­vol­ved in an ac­ci­dent whi­le bre­a­king the law you may not be co­ve­r­ed. The pri­me in­stan­ces of this are dri­ving un­der the in­flu­en­ce of al­co­hol and dri­ving at ex­ces­si­ve speed, both of which may in­va­li­da­te your claim.

En­su­re the re­gu­lar dri­ver is spe­ci­fied

A­not­her si­tu­a­ti­on that fre­quent­ly re­sults in re­jected claims is w­he­re the re­gu­lar dri­ver is not the per­son spe­ci­fied on the po­li­cy. Hay points out that if a 45-y­e­ar-old pa­rent in­su­res a car in his or her na­me, but the re­gu­lar dri­ver is that pa­rent's 18-y­e­ar-old son, an in­su­ran­ce claim would li­ke­ly be re­jected.

This is be­cau­se the risk pro­fi­le of the pa­rent is com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent to that of an 18-y­e­ar-old with far less dri­ving ex­pe­rien­ce, me­a­ning the pre­mi­um would ha­ve to be ad­jus­ted hig­her to re­flect the hig­her risk as­so­ci­a­ted with the youn­ger dri­ver.

"You can't try and get a­way with a low pre­mi­um de­sig­ned for a low-risk dri­ver w­hen the re­gu­lar dri­ver is ac­tu­al­ly a hig­her risk in­di­vi­du­al," says Hay. "Pro­vi­ded they ha­ve a li­cen­ce, it isn't an is­sue if your 18-y­e­ar old u­ses your car to go to the shops. But if he or she is the re­gu­lar dri­ver of the vehi­cle, that needs to be spe­ci­fied. The main les­son is to be o­pen and ho­nest with your in­su­rer."

If you are tru­ly dis­sa­tis­fied with the re­a­sons for a claim being re­jected, your first port of call should be the in­su­ran­ce pro­vi­der. Try and lod­ge a com­plaint with the pro­vi­der to see if the mat­ter can be re­sol­ved. Ho­we­ver, if you are unsuccess­ful and your in­su­rer has not been a­ble to pro­vi­de a re­a­so­na­ble or le­gal­ly sound re­a­son for re­jecting your claim, you can seek re­cour­se by re­por­ting the mat­ter to the om­buds­man for short-term in­su­ran­ce. "A lot of pro­blems can u­su­al­ly be a­voi­ded by just being o­pen and ho­nest with your in­su­rer from the be­gin­ning," says Hay.

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