No matter how careful you are on the road, accidents can still happen. And we know damages from road mishaps are stressful enough, but processing claims can be way more stressful! Even if your car insurance policy covers for the damages, insurers still take their time verifying your claims because that’s their job! They need to go into all of the details before finalising your claims.
There’s a simple smart hack, however, if you want to speed up the process of your claims. And that is to prepare everything that your insurer needs before filing your claim! Here’s a step-by-step claim process of most car insurance companies in New Zealand.
This is the most basic protocol when processing an insurance claim. As your primary contact to your insurance company, they need to know your side of the story before proceeding with your claims. Be as honest as possible in reporting what really happened in the accident. If you can narrate every relevant detail, the better.
Give them some hard evidence like a photo or a video taken at the scene. This will help insurers to assess your claims easily. Plus, this will also help your broker to justify your claims if the insurance company needs further validation.
If you don’t have a broker, simply fill out the claim form of your insurance company. You don’t have to go physically to your insurer’s office; you can usually find one on their website. Simply enter your policy number, basic information, and the details of the accident. Similarly, attach some photos and videos to help with your claims.
Once your insurance company acknowledges your claim, the investigation will begin. This is a protocol that all insurers need to do to assess the amount of damages as per your policy, as well as determine who’s liable for the accident.
They may ask any witness’ contact information, the other parties’ side of the story, footages in your dashcam, and more. Just in case, prepare all the relevant pieces of evidence that can help your insurer in assessing your claims.
If you suspect that your car was stolen or intentionally damaged, consult the police about it. The insurance company will need an incident reference number to proceed with your claims. They may also coordinate with the police to verify your story, and ask their expertise about it.
The insurance company will start reviewing your policy after the investigation is completed. What damages are covered under your policy? What are the deductibles that apply in your account? These questions will be assessed accordingly with the help of experts such as assessors, appraisers, engineers, and contractors.
Once the evaluation is finished, the insurer will arrange a list of shops to help with the repair or replacement of your vehicle. You’re not required to go to these shops, but it would be advantageous as they accredit these shops. Get your car fixed, and wait until further instructions from the insurance company before taking it to a drive.
After completing every process, it’s time for you to get paid under the terms of your policy. It usually takes some time for your payment to be processed because they need to process it with the bank as well. The smaller the amount of the settlement, the faster you’ll receive your payment.
Before finalising your claims, ask about the changes in your plan. Will there be new terms? How much can you be covered in the future? Enquire about these relevant questions, so you also know the conditions the next time you process a claim (but hopefully, not!).
If you want to add more coverage in your policy, simply contact your broker for extras and add-ons that they can offer. Add coverage for your windshield, windows, fire, vehicle breakdown, and more — just take note that it may increase your premium.
Now that you know the process, here’s a quick rundown.
General information and files you need to file a car insurance claim in NZ:
Note that required documents may vary depending on your provider, and the type of damage on your claim. Lastly, check if your provider offers online claims processing, so you have an easier option.
If your current car insurer doesn’t offer coverage for what you need or your policy is expiring soon, it’s time to switch to another provider! Compare different providers and get the right car insurance for you here at CompareBear!
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