Making an Insurance Claim 

It's important to know how to make an insurance claim if you've been involved in a car accident. This will help the claims process go more smoothly.

First steps - Contacting your insurer

Contact your insurer as soon as you can after an accident - depending on your insurer, there may be a time limit imposed for making a claim. Check your policy wording if you are in any doubt. If you have comprehensive insurance and your own car is damaged, the sooner you report your claim the sooner you'll be back on the road. 

Even if you decide not to make a claim on your insurance, or if you only have third party cover, you should still inform us of the accident as soon as you can. If another driver makes a claim against you, it's important for your insurer to be aware of all the circumstances.

Useful information to give your insurer

  • The date and time of the accident and the weather/visibility conditions at the time
  • Details of any other drivers, vehicles (and the registered keeper, if not the driver) and their insurance information
  • A description of any injuries to drivers or passengers, and any damage to vehicles or other property
  • A brief description of how the accident happened, together with any sketches or photographic evidence you collected at the scene
  • Contact details of any independent witnesses
  • If the police attended the accident, have their contact details handy and a Crime Reference Number, if relevant. (If your insurance claim is the result of theft or vandalism, a Crime Reference Number is essential)
  • Make a note of any other useful information, such as whether headlights or indicators were used.

What to do if your vehicle isn't driveable after an accident

Many insurance companies have 24 hour helplines for policyholders. If your car isn't driveable after an accident and you have comprehensive insurance cover you can call them for help right from the scene if you want; they'll take some initial details and help you make arrangements for your car to be taken to an authorised repair centre.  

Don't make your own arrangements to have your car repaired without the agreement of your insurance company as this could affect your claim - they may want to assess the damage themselves and agree to any quotes for repair.

Once the costs are agreed with your insurance company, your car will be repaired under the cover provided by your insurance policy - you'll have to pay any policy excesses, the portion of the claim not covered by your policy.

If other people were involved in the accident, your insurance company will contact them or their insurers to settle any claims.

Also see:

What to do after a car accident

First steps after an accident. What should you do and what information do you need to get?

How third party insurance works after an accident

What steps to take if you've had an accident and your insurance cover is Third party Fire & Theft