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Motor Insurance
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Be prepared

About one in four insured vehicles in South Africa will be involved in an accident, according to statistics from Lana-Lee Ross, the senior claims manager at Alexander Forbes Personal Services.
It means you need to know what to do in case you have the misfortune to be in that 25%. She has some tips that may save you money, time and hassle and help prevent costly mistakes. Here’s her five-point check list:
1. First and foremost, the driver needs to move the vehicle to safety, provided there are no serious injuries or fatalities.
2. Get the details. Obtain vital information such as the name, address, telephone number, ID number and vehicle details (registration number, make, colour) of other parties and witnesses. If possible, take photographs and make a detailed sketch of the accident scene.
3. Check the towing company carefully. Ensure that the operator is approved by the insurance company. Rather than be intimidated by numerous towing companies on the scene of an accident, negotiate towing, storage, pound and other associated costs.  Some insurance policies may stipulate that a vehicle may only be towed to manufacturer approved panel beaters. It is important to be cognisant of terms and conditions specified in your insurance policy.
4. Report the accident to the police within 48 hours and submit an insurance claim as soon as possible. Make sure the information provided is accurate and fully detailed. This will expedite and facilitate the claim.
5. The repair work and process. Understand the quote and what exactly it covers. Enquire whether new, used or alternative replacement parts will be used in the repair. Understand the duration of the repair work. If possible, examine the area and security of the panel-beaters, and check the part repair method. Discuss guarantees on the workmanship. Inspect the vehicle after repair and ensure the quality is satisfactory prior to leaving and signing off acceptance.

She advises insurance policyholders to talk to their broker. “An experienced insurance broker will assist and provide invaluable guidance with the procedures,” says Ross.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:18.5 1st October, 2005
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