Dos and don’ts of mak­ing a claim on your car in­sur­ance pol­icy in the Emi­rates Do Don’t

The National - News - - BUSINESS MONEY - Raaed Sheibani works at RAEED SHEIBANI

Ac­ci­dents hap­pen no mat­ter how care­ful you are on the roads in the UAE. So, the pri­or­ity is to en­sure you are ad­e­quately pro­tected by in­sur­ance when you are in­volved in a car crash.

Here are the do’s and don’ts of mak­ing a claim on your pol­icy if the worst should ever hap­pen: Know what’s cov­ered

Not know­ing the de­tails of your in­sur­ance cov­er­age can be a ma­jor cause of dis­tress. When you sign up for a new pol­icy, thor­oughly dis­cuss what your pol­icy cov­ers with the agent so that you are fully pre­pared if you ever have to make a claim. The most com­mon types of prob­lem with cars fol­low­ing from ac­ci­dents in­cludes dam­age to front bumpers, rear bumpers and fend­ers.

Con­tact in­surer im­me­di­ately Call­ing your agent as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter the ac­ci­dent is essen­tial. If you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a se­vere ac­ci­dent, make sure all par­ties have been at­tended to and it is pos­si­ble for you to make the call. If you’re in­jured as well, then ask a rel­a­tive, friend or spouse to in­form the agent. Wait­ing to file your claim may de­lay or might even re­sult in de­nial of the claim.

Take pho­tos of the dam­age Af­ter tak­ing ev­ery­one’s safety into con­sid­er­a­tion, take pic­tures of the scene of the car ac­ci­dent. It can help make a strong case for your claim. It can also be part of the process of re­port­ing an ac­ci­dent in the UAE, such as via the Dubai Po­lice app. In Abu Dhabi, the Saaed App can be used to re­port a crash, and in Shar­jah, it’s the Rafid App.

Gather con­tact in­for­ma­tion Gather­ing as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble will make your claim even more sub­stan­tial. Af­ter re­port­ing the in­ci­dent to the po­lice, get the con­tact in­for­ma­tion of the other par­ties in­volved. Ad­di­tion­ally, get­ting in­for­ma­tion from any eye wit­ness may help your case.

Keep re­lated doc­u­ments Make sure to keep a record of your med­i­cal bills, es­ti­mated re­pair cost, ac­ci­dent re­port and of course your in­sur­ance pol­icy. Ad­mit it was your fault Nat­u­rally, an ac­ci­dent may leave you in shock. You might think that it was your fault, though once the ex­am­i­na­tion is done and dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives have been taken into ac­count, that may not be the case. If you ad­mit fault early on in the process and the re­sults show oth­er­wise, you might cost your­self a sub­stan­tial pay­out.

Ac­cept im­me­di­ate com­pen­sa­tion

The in­sur­ance com­pany will try to com­pen­sate you for less than the ac­tual cost. So, in­stead of quickly ac­cept­ing a pro­posed pay­out, get le­gal ad­vice and gather more in­for­ma­tion about your in­sur­ance pol­icy to en­sure you se­cure the right amount of com­pen­sa­tion.

Sign an un­ver­i­fied doc­u­ment If you’re pre­sented with any doc­u­ment to sign, be sure to read it thor­oughly first. In ad­di­tion, make sure you are aware of the es­ti­mated com­pen­sa­tion that you have a le­gal right to claim. Do not sign any­thing hastily. If you’re con­fused, take ad­vice from your lawyer.

Take too long to file a claim In­sur­ers set a time limit on how long you have to file a claim, so make sure you know how long this is. Ask the agent how long you have to get your af­fairs in or­der and get that claim in be­fore that date. How­ever, if there are ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances and your pol­icy has not ex­pired, then the in­surer may still al­low the claim af­ter the ini­tial time limit.

Buy the cheap­est pol­icy Sign­ing up for the most wal­let-friendly car in­sur­ance op­tion may seem a good idea when all is go­ing well, but it can be a disas­ter if you have a crash.

A pol­icy’s fine print of­ten jus­ti­fies a higher pre­mium, giv­ing you bet­ter cov­er­age and care when it all goes wrong

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