How to File a Car Insurance Claim in the Philippines
Here's how to file for a car insurance claim in the Philippines.
Ok, so the worst has come and you get into a car accident. The new car isn't spotless nor shiny, and the bills will surely pile up, right? But wait, you have a car insurance policy. Let's put it to good use.
Types of Car Insurance
First of all, you need to know if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, or a Third-Party Liability policy (TPL). TPLs are a requirement for vehicle registration, so chances are, you have this already.
In additional to a TPL however, comprehensive insurance policies are available to protect not just you, the car (and owner) you are in an accident with, as well as your own vehicle. While TPL premiums often cost PHP 900 - 1,100, comprehensive car insurance policies are generally more expensive, being as high as a few million Pesos, depending on the value of your vehicle. As an example, a Toyota Vios or Geely Coolray in the PHP 800,000 - 1,200,000 price range should have a comprehensive insurance premium in the range of mid PHP 10,000s - low 20,000s.
If you remember paying that much for an insurance policy, congratulations, you probably have comprehensive insurance coverage. Just to be sure though, check your insurance certificate of cover.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim
Now that you've determined that you have comprehensive car insurance, let's put it to good use. Here are the steps:
- Take pictures of the accident: When it is safe to do so, exit your vehicle and take pictures of the accident from multiple angles.
- Pull over to the side of the road: Should your vehicle still be in running condition after the accident, pull over to the side of the road. There's little reason to obstruct the road for an extended period of time – and even less reason to argue with the driver of the car you hit (or hit you). Let your insurance do all the heavy lifting and negotiations. This is a great time to exchange information with the other party. Take pictures of each other's driver's licenses, and OR/CRs. Also exchange contact details in case your insurance company will need it.
- File a police report: Once you've collected yourself and recovered from the shock of the situation, you would need to report the incident to the nearest police station as soon as possible. If possible, do try to convince the other party involved to accompany you to the police station, so that both parties will be able to give their sides to the story. Take note: not all police stations would work for this. Some require you to go to a traffic division. Nonetheless, the nearest police station's staff should be able to guide you as to the traffic division's whereabouts.
- Notify your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and inform them of the incident. Provide them with details and photos of the accident, and furnish them a copy of the police report. God forbid any injury also happens, make sure to keep all hospital bills and medication receipts.
- Complete a claim form: Your insurance company will provide you with a claim form that you need to fill out. The form will require details of the accident such as the extent of damage to your vehicle, and any other relevant information. Be as truthful as possible when filling out the form.
- Assessment of damages: Your insurance company will send an assessor to evaluate the damage to your vehicle. Based on the assessment, the insurance company will determine the amount of your claim. From here on, you will be required to pay a small fee called a "deductible" or a "participation" fee. This is made so to prevent insurance fraud, as owners have a "stake" in any insurance claim. Don't worry, this would normally only cost PHP 2,000 - 3,000 (could be higher or lower depending on your insurance policy), while your insurance company will cover the rest of the bill.
- Receiving the claim: If (hopefully when) your claim is approved, you will receive payment from your insurance company either in cash or directly to the repair shop if your vehicle needs to be fixed.
There you have it! Your vehicle is back to tip top shape after all the repairs. Thank goodness you bought insurance right?
Expert's note: Not all insurance companies are made equal. Some insurance companies will be nowhere to be found when the time comes for a claim. Some cheap out and send your vehicle to a sketchy repair shop with at best, semi-decent work.
Best case scenario: your vehicle looks patched up, and looks nothing like how it did before the accident. Worst case scenario: the repair was just a quick fix or "ginawan lang ng paraan," and your vehicle is now unsafe to drive.
Because of this, we highly recommend you only deal with trusted and reputable insurance companies and agencies. If you're looking for one right now, consider Assurance.PH!
Assurance.PH is one of the fastest-growing insurance agencies providing various non-life insurance products. They provide home, business, and travel insurance, as well as both TPLs and comprehensive car insurance policies!