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Car insurance: Steps to take when a car accident occurs in Singapore

The inevitable does happen on the roads from time to time. In a split second one can find themselves entangled in a crash, be it by their mistake or by a third party. It is natural for emotions and anxiety to run high during such scenarios. However, trying to remain calm is also of utmost importance.

Taking time to ensure everyone is okay is the first thing to do after an accident. Following the listed steps below, after ascertaining everyone is okay, is a sure way of minimising liabilities.

Step 1: Take Photographs

Taking photos of the accident scene is the first thing one ought to do after an accident. Given that representatives of insurance companies may not be at the accident scene, photos will form the basis of an insurance claim.

One should take detailed photos of the scene concentrating on the vehicles involved. And while taking pictures, you will have to pay attention to image angles to ensure they capture finer details. The rule of thumb is to make an effort and document each event or subject with at least three shots.

While taking photos, you could zoom in to damaged areas, dents and scratches on both your car and the third parties car.  One should also take the time to capture the environment and context of the accident with a medium shot.

A wide shot of the accident scene should also come into play to give the viewer a sense of what happened. Taking license plates of all cars involved is also a must.

Step 2: Get Drivers Contact Details

When it comes to accidents involving more than one car, then taking details of the other car driver is essential. Some of the features that one should ascertain before leaving the scene include driver’s full names, NRIC Numbers and contact numbers. Information about car insurance company of vehicles involved are also relevant as well as drivers address.

When filling a personal accident insurance claim, you will need the information mentioned above.

Step 3: Call the Police

Police reports are also critical as they form the basis of most insurance claims. Such statements are especially important if an accident resulted in damages to government property, foreign vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.

Also, do remember to take the details of the police officer at the accident scene as he may be of importance while settling claims.

Step 4: Have Your Car Towed

In case of an accident that inflicts severe damage on the vehicle, engaging the services of a towing is essential. However, it is essential to give your insurance company a call before towing the car from the scene.

Some insurance companies require individuals to use their tow trucks. Using another towing car company could result in some complications or claims being void. 

Step 5: Report the Accident to Your Insurer

Informing an insurance company that an accident did indeed occur is of utmost importance. A report should be made whether one intends to claim from the other driver’s insurance company or their own insurance company.

One should also inform their insurance company regardless of whether there is damage to their car or not. According to some insurance providers, one must report an accident within 24 hours.

Failure to report within 24 hours could give an insurance company a reason to reject a claim. One may also lose their NCD when renewing a policy on failing to report such incidences.

Step 6: Claim For Personal Injury/ Property

Once you have gathered all the information at the accident scene, towed the vehicle, and reported to the insurance company the next step is settling the claims. In case of serious accidents, you may consider hiring a personal injury lawyers to oversee the claim process.

*The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified adviser.

Sim Kwang Meng

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Sim has more than 40 years’ of experience in General Insurance. He joined Pana Harrison since 2003, and specialised in Property and Casualty. Prior joining Pana Harrison, he was AGM for Commercial Union Assurance Pte Ltd.