Every one of us who are driving a vehicle out there are exposed to the risk of getting involved in an accident. As we mentioned in the previous article, as careful as we are, many factors can put us in the situation.
That being said, if at all you are involved in a road accident, do you know what to do?
Do you know what should be done if you are injured, or if you have damaged your vehicle or another person's vehicle in the process?
The following guideline, which will take you through the dos and don’ts during an accident, will come in handy, especially if you're new on the road.
What do you do in the event of an accident?
If you ever meet with an accident, whether it’s you at fault or the other party, just don’t panic! This is what you need to do so that the process runs smoothly:
i. At the accident scene:
- Take down the other vehicle’s registration number, make, model, and colour. If it’s a hit and run, you can do a JPJ search later to ascertain their identity.
- Snap photos of the damaged vehicles, front and back. Look out for the exact location of the incident together with road name and nearby landmark.
- Exchange particulars with the third party driver(s) including name, phone numbers and if possible, their IC number. Should the other party appear unsafe, especially if they are hostile towards you, skip this part!
- Call either your insurer’s roadside assistance service (if provided) or Accident Assist for assistance. If necessary, a tow truck shall tow your vehicle to the nearest panel workshop.
- Make a police report at the police station within 24 hours (any delay will be fined). It’s advisable that both parties make police report together, especially to ensure that the party at fault really makes a report.
ii. Make a police report
- Be ready with your IC and driving license.
- A police officer will interview you. Be prepared to report exactly what happened, with precise details such as the road name, landmarks, time of accident and vehicles involved. The police officer will write your statement in the system and print a copy for your record. Your case will then be assigned to an investigation officer / sergeant to investigate who was at fault.
- The investigation officer will then direct you to the next section where photos of your damaged vehicle needs to be taken.
- Request for a copy of police report, investigation result and the photos of the damaged vehicle from the counter, which would be ready for collection within 1-2 weeks. A reference number for your report will be given and you can check the status by dialing in the designated phone number. Do note that there is a nominal fee payable during collection.
iii. Claiming from the insurance company
- Notify your insurance company on the accident as soon as possible. Your insurance policy states the period to report an accident and otherwise, your claim will not be entertained.
- Send your vehicle to the panel workshop for repair, approved under Persatuan Insuran Am Malaysia Approved Repairers Scheme (called PIAM Approved Repairers Scheme (PARS). If it is a major damage, the vehicle should be towed to workshop. Damage to your vehicle will be assessed by assessors from the insurance company.
- There are two types of insurance claims that you could make in the event of an accident. Depending on the nature of the accident, the claims involved are either:
1. Claimed from your own insurance company
- If the investigation result shows that you are at fault, you will lose your no-claim discount (NCD) which you get every year if there is no claim incurred in the preceding year.
2. Claimed from the other party's insurance company
- If the investigation result shows that you are not at fault, your NCD will not be affected as the party at fault will lose their NCD.
- If you are injured, get medical attention immediately and keep a copy of your medical report.
- Pass the police reports, investigation result and photos of the damaged vehicle to the panel workshop for insurance claim processing.
When you make an own damage claim under your comprehensive insurance policy, your insurer may include these charges:
- Excess: Portion of total repair cost that you need to bear per the terms & conditions of your motor insurance policy.
- Endorsement 2(f) (private cars only): You will bear RM 400.00 for each claim you make, if, at the time of the accident, your vehicle was driven by someone:
- who is under the age of 21 years old
- who is a holder of a Provisional Driving Licence (L-Licence)
- who is a holder of a Probationary Driving Licence (P-Licence)
- who is not named in the motor policy
- who is not named in the motor policy under the age of 21 years old who holds either a Provisional Driving Licence (L-Licence) or the Probationary Driving Licence (P-Licence).
- Betterment: For vehicles of more than 5 years old, betterment may apply. It occurs when an old part is replaced with a new OEM part while repairing. This is in line with the principle of indemnity where you will have to bear the difference in costs as you are in a better position after the accident with the new part. Should your insurance company apply betterment, it will be in accordance with the standard scale of betterment adopted by the industry.
Your insurance policy doesn’t really cover everything
Do note that even the comprehensive motor insurance does not cover everything. You may need to add-on or buy another insurance coverage to fully cover your losses. Here are the items which your motor insurance doesn't cover:
- Your own death or bodily injury due to motor accident.
- Liability against claims from your passengers.
- Theft of non-factory fitted vehicle accessories e.g. car stereos, leather seats, sports rims etc.
- Consequential loss, depreciation, wear and tear, mechanical or technical breakdown failures or breakages.
- Loss/damage arising from an act of nature e.g. flood, landslide.
Now that you have a clearer idea on what to do in case of an accident, there will be no need to panic. Plus, you prevent yourself from being manipulated by irresponsible parties who are always present at accident scenes to confuse and con victims.
This series on Car Insurance 101 is brought to you by Tune Protect.