Know how to claim short-term insurance

Cape Town - Let's face it: no one likes filling in forms, and even less so when you have to cope with the trauma of a car accident or burglary.

But if you don't follow the correct procedures when you file a short-term insurance claim it can cost you money, cautions Christelle Fourie, managing director of MUA Insurance Acceptance.

Simple mistakes can leave policyholders suffering a loss, so it is important to consider a few basic steps when you fill in an insurance claim form. Being aware of what is expected from you and knowing how the claims process will be handled can only be to your advantage, says Fourie.

She offers the following tips:

Know what your are covered for

You really need to read your insurance policies to understand exactly what you are covered for, as the policy and type of claim may have a big impact on the outcome. 

It is also a good idea to speak to a broker who can explain what stipulations the policy may contain before you file a claim. The more you know ahead of the claim, the better.

Act quickly

File your claim immediately, while the incident is still fresh in your memory.

The claims process can sometimes drag on, so the sooner you get started, the sooner your claim will be settled and you can receive the financial benefits you are entitled to.

In any case, most insurance policies also require that you report a claim within a certain time period. If you miss this deadline, you may not be covered.

Pay attention to detail

Take note of everything that happened before and during the incident.

Do take photographs if applicable, as well as writing down the details to ensure that you are able to provide all the information needed to your insurance provider.

If a third party is involved, make sure you also take down all of their personal information to ensure they can be reached for further discussions.

Never say it was your fault

When you are involved in an accident with another party, don’t admit liability - even if you believe you were at fault.

Rather take down all the other party’s insurance details, provide them with yours and submit your claim to your own insurance company as quickly as possible.

Report a car accident to the police

If you are involved in a traffic accident, it is important to phone the nearest police station to report it, even if no one was injured in the incident.

Be honest

It is vital  to be completely honest about how an accident occurred and who you believe is in the wrong. Even if you were not at fault, you must also remember not to say anything that can be interpreted as an admission of culpability. And if you are the guilty party, it is extremely important to be honest.

If you file a claim the smart way, the process will be far smoother and you will be ensured of the maximum benefit from your insurance policy.
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