How to avoid having your car insurance claim rejected

When accidents occur it can be a stressful time, making it easy to forget pieces of information that could be the difference between your car insurance claim being rejected or approved.

If you have been involved in an accident there are some easy steps that you can follow to make sure you get all of the right information so that your claim is processed smoothly and reduces the chance of it being denied.

Cover all your bases

As soon as you’re involved in a car smash and after you have checked that everyone involved is not seriously injured you can start with the following checklist.

  • Call the police. You will need an incident report number to reference the accident for your insurance company. They can also help direct traffic and assist with the details and procedure requirements. Also ask the police for their name and contact details so you can contact them if you require additional information.
  • Speak to the drivers of all cars involved and swap licence, registration and contact details. Also write down the make and model of all cars and any other details, such as the time of the accident and where it occurred.
  • Determine whether the person that caused the accident has car insurance and swap the details of your insurance providers.
  • Speak to any witnesses and ask them for their contact information in case they need to give evidence later down the track. Or if required, ask them to stay until the police arrive so that they can give a statement.
  • Draw a diagram of the incident, showing the direction vehicles involved were travelling, where impact occurred and the position of street lights, signs, witnesses or anything else that is relevant.
  • Take photos of the scene, cars and any injuries.

How to make the claim
Once you have the police report and all the details of the accident, contact your car insurance provider if you need to make a claim and notify them of everything. Include details of the other drivers and cars or property involved, time and location.

If the other party was at fault they will need to make the initial claim, then you can contact their insurance company if needed to notify them of your details and your version of the event.

The insurer will then process the claim and notify you of the outcome. Depending on the situation, your insurance company may ask you to send over the photos, diagrams and other information, but at least you have all your bases covered and are ready if they do.

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Learn more about car insurance

Can you insure your car for 6 months?

Most Australian insurers won’t offer you a 6-month car insurance policy, so you may need to buy a policy that covers your car for damages and cancel it after six months. You will need to purchase comprehensive car insurance to protect your car from accidental damage, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.. 

Consider checking whether your 6-month comprehensive car insurance will cost more if you pay monthly or six-monthly premiums instead of a one-time annual premium. Another question to ask the insurer is whether you’ll need to pay administration or cancellation fees when you cancel the policy.

Alternatively, you can look for a suitable ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy, which usually offers you the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance policy but only requires you to pay for the distance driven. Such a policy may not be the ideal 6-month car insurance plan as it is based on how much you drive rather than for how long. If you need to drive a lot, you may end up paying more than you’d pay for regular car insurance. 

Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were in the car?

A car insurance policy that covers the theft of your car, such as third party fire and theft insurance, usually covers a stolen car, even if the keys were in the car’s ignition.

However, your insurer may deny the claim if you live in an area where there have been several car robberies reported recently. They will see you leaving the keys in the car as a case of negligence. In such cases, your insurance provider may even expect you to have installed anti-theft security measures in your car. 

You may need to confirm whether or not you left your keys in your car, and if they had been stolen or misplaced, before filing your car insurance claim. The loss or theft of your car keys may be covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy, but usually as an optional item.

If you can confirm that your car keys were stolen, mention this in your claim as this will help establish that your car was not stolen as a result of your negligence.