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The Detailed Guide on How to File a Car Insurance Claim in Australia

Making an insurance claim for your vehicle can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s your first time going through the process. This article gives a comprehensive guide on how to effectively submit and settle a car insurance claim in Australia.

Written by Thelearnvine

Making an insurance claim for your vehicle can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s your first time going through the process. We’ll cover the step-by-step method, documents needed, tips for getting your claim approved and how payouts work. Follow these steps and you’ll have what you need to get the best result when claiming on your car insurance policy.

Step 1: Analyze and Document the Effects of Damage

• If your car is involved in an accident, assess the damage and take pictures from all sides. This makes a record of the condition of your car that you can look back to.
• For events like theft, vandalism or storm damage, take pictures of the aftermath and any proof like broken glass.
• Make notes of damage and loses. This can include car parts, personal things stolen if the car was broken into, or injuries suffered.
• Get a price from a repairer for the repair costs. This will help your insurance decide if the car should be repaired or written off.

Step 2: Lodge Your Claim

• Call your insurance as soon as possible to make a claim. There are usually tight dates, so don’t wait.
• Have your policy information ready, as well as specifics of the incident like place, date and time. Provide information about the other people involved if relevant.
• Ask what papers you need to send and if your insurer requires the car to be inspected.
• If at fault, make at-fault claims with each insurance (yours and the other parties’).

Step 3: Complete The necessary paperwork

• Fill out your insurer’s claim form in full and return it immediately with the listed below documents:
• Copy of driver’s license
• Proof of authority of the insured car like registration papers
 • Quotes for car repairs
 • Photos describing damage, losses and injuries
 • Police report number if one was obtained
 • For accidents, also give the registration, insurance information and driver’s license of the other party/ies involved.

Step 4: Have Your Car Inspected

• Your insurer will usually check your car themselves or send an assessor.
 • The evaluator will check the car and evaluate the damage against your pictures and repair prices.
• Be present at the review if possible, or provide thorough notes to the assessor ahead of time if not.
• Answer any questions about already present damage honestly.

Step 5: Negotiate the Settlement Offer

• Your insurance will provide a settlement offer after checking your paperwork and inspecting the car.
• Negotiate nicely if the offer seems unfair compared to your evidence and repair quotes.
• Provide supplementary paperwork like additional repair quotes to help support a higher settlement.
• Be prepared to settle, as insurers won’t definitely pay out the full amount you ask for.

Step 6: Get Repairs Done and Pay Excess

• Once you accept a settlement offer, you can get fixes done by your chosen repairer.
• Pay your insurance extra to the repairer when you collect your car. This must be paid before the insurance will release the settlement funds.
• Check the fixes thoroughly before accepting the car back. Immediately inform the repairer of any poor work.

Step 7: Collect Reimbursement of Other Losses

• For minor losses like rental car fees or stolen personal things, send proof like receipts to your insurance.
• Be sure to claim before the deadline, usually 30 days from making the claim.
• You’ll be paid for accepted amounts as part of your total settlement.

Step 8: Follow Up on Any Additional Claims

• If injuries were suffered, follow up with a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s required third party (CTP) insurance.
• Your insurer can’t help with injury claims, as this must be directed to the at-fault party’s CTP insurance.
• A personal injury lawyer can help get you the highest payout you are eligible to.

How the Claim Payment is Calculated

Insurers will determine settlement amounts based on: •
Your insurance coverage and excesses. Damage that goes under your restrictions will not be paid out.

• Quotes from your repairer vs their own assessor’s report.
• The estimated market value of your car if it is written off. This takes into account the make, model, age, condition and miles traveled.
• The highest amount covered under your policy for incidental costs, lost personal things etc.
• Deductions for any pre-existing damage, missed payments or excesses.
• Negotiations with you and the result of any independent assessments if there is a disagreement over worth.


Tips for Getting Your Car Insurance Claim Approved

Follow these tips to avoid trouble and get the best payout:
• Read your insurance so you understand exactly what is covered and the claims process.
• Take thorough records of the event, damage and losses straight away.
• Make sure your car is covered for its current market value, to avoid under-insurance.
• Lodge your claim with your insurer quickly, even if not at fault.
• Be truthful when answering questions from your insurer to avoid scam claims.
• Get multiple quotes and show realistic proof to back your claim.
• Negotiate nicely but strongly if you feel the settlement offer is unfair.
• Avoid making repairs, taking payouts or disposing of your car until your claim is settled.
• Be thorough when checking fixed cars before re-taking ownership.
• Follow up with the at-fault party’s CTP insurer about damage claims.


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