Getting into a car accident can be a real nightmare for any driver. Not only is your safety a concern, but you also have to worry about your car. Knowing how to make a car insurance claim is essential so damages and losses arising from the accident can be taken care of.
In this guide, you’ll learn the different types of car insurance claims in Malaysia, and how to make a claim. If you own car takaful, this information applies to you too.
Types of Car Insurance Claims
There are three types of car insurance claims for accidents. They are:
- Own Damage Claim
- Own Damage Knock-for-Knock Claim
- Third Party Claim
The claim you can make depends on your insurance or takaful coverage: Comprehensive (or First Party), Basic Third Party or Third Party Fire & Theft. In brief, all three coverages cover damage, death and injury to third parties in an accident involving your car.
Comprehensive Coverage goes beyond this by also covering loss or damage to your vehicle caused by fire, theft or an accident. Meanwhile, Third Party Fire & Theft Coverage offers higher protection than Basic Third Party Coverage by also covering loss or damage to your car due to fire or theft.
Let’s now look into the three types of claims.
Own Damage Claim
Own Damage Claim is a claim you make on your own car insurance to cover your car damage or loss after an accident, typically where you are at fault. This claim is only available to policyholders or takaful participants with Comprehensive Coverage.
For instance, imagine accidentally hitting a road divider and damaging your front bumper. With Comprehensive Coverage, you can make an Own Damage Claim to cover the repair or replacement cost of your bumper.
Own Damage Knock-for-Knock Claim
Own Damage Knock-for-Knock Claim is when you claim on your car insurance for an accident caused by another car. This claim is also only applicable if you have Comprehensive Coverage.
For example, you can make an Own Damage Knock-for-Knock Claim if your car gets rear-ended by another vehicle.
Third Party Claim
A Third Party Claim is when you make a claim against another driver’s insurance company or takaful operator for causing your car accident. If you have Basic Third Party or Third Party Fire & Theft Coverage, this is the claim you make in this situation.
Compared to an Own Damage Knock-for-Knock Claim, a Third Party Claim will take longer as it may involve lengthy legal and insurance claims processes.
Another difference between the two is that for a Third Party Claim, you’ll need to pay for the repairs and other associated costs first. You’ll then be reimbursed by the third party’s insurer after your car is repaired.
Will You Lose Your NCD When You Make a Claim?
This depends on the type of claim you make and whether you are at fault. You will lose all your No Claim Discount (NCD) if you make an Own Damage Claim or are at fault. On the other hand, you will keep your NCD if you make an Own Damage Knock-for-Knock Claim or Third Party Claim as another driver is at fault.
However, there are situations where you’ll lose your NCD when you make a claim:
- The offending vehicle is not identifiable, such as in a hit-and-run accident
- The offending vehicle is used for carriage of passengers for hire or reward, such as a taxi, hire car or bus
- The offending vehicle is not insured or covered
- The accident results in death or personal injury claims.
If you’re at fault or find yourself in any of the above situations, it is advisable to compare the cost of repairing your car with the NCD that you have to forgo if you make a claim. If the repairs cost a lot less than losing your hard-earned NCD, it may be better to pay for the repairs yourself.
Can You Claim for Travelling Expenses While Your Car Is In the Workshop?
A standard insurance policy or takaful certificate (including Comprehensive Coverage) does not cover any expense that you may incur while your car is in repair (referred to as Loss of Use). As such, you will not be able to claim for the cost of renting a car or using ride-hailing or public transportation while your car is in the workshop.
However, you are eligible to claim for applicable expenses in the following situations:
- You are not at fault. In this case, you can claim for Loss of Use or Compensation for Assessed Repair Time (CART) from the insurance company of the at-fault party. CART is based on the insurance adjuster’s recommendation on the number of days required to repair your car. Depending on your car engine capacity (cc), you may be compensated between RM30 to RM50 a day.
- You have opted for Loss of Use or CART as an add-on coverage to your Comprehensive Policy or Certificate. Regardless of who is at fault, you can claim for Loss of Use or CART if you have added either optional coverage to your policy. With Etiqa, you’ll get up to RM200 daily for a maximum of 10 days for Loss of Use. If you have CART added, you’ll receive up to RM200 daily for up to 21 days.
If you’re not at fault, you can claim for more than just travelling expenses. You can also claim for Excess, a set amount that you have to pay before your insurer will cover the rest of your claim cost.
How Do You Claim Insurance for a Car Accident?
Before we dive into the claim procedure, the first step after a car accident is to ensure everyone’s safety. If anyone is injured, seek medical help or call an ambulance as needed. If it’s possible, move your vehicle to a safe location to avoid blocking traffic. Once everything is clear, proceed with the following steps:
Exchange Information with the Other Driver(s)
If your accident involves other drivers, exchange important information with them. This includes:
- Name, NRIC and driving licence number
- Contact number and address
- Vehicle model and registration number
- Insurance policy or takaful certificate information (alternatively, you may key in the third party’s vehicle registration number on MyCarInfo to get this information, for free).
Document the Accident
Take clear photos of the accident scene, vehicle registration number, position of the vehicles, damages and physical marks to both vehicles. Note as well the accident time, road name or landmarks in the area.
If you have a dashcam installed, you may share the accident footage with the police when you lodge a report. This documentation will serve as evidence in the police investigation and insurance claims process.
Notify Your Insurance Company or Takaful Operator
Contact your insurer or takaful operator as soon as possible to report the accident and request help, such as towing and roadside assistance. If you’re an Etiqa policyholder or takaful participant, you can request immediate help via the Etiqa Smile app, seamlessly without logging in.
Report the Accident to the Police Within 24 Hours
Lodge a police report within 24 hours as any unreasonable delay may affect your insurance claims. Provide the police with accurate and comprehensive details of the accident, including the date, time, location, parties involved and a description of what happened.
The assigned investigation officer will investigate the accident and determine the party at fault. Request an original copy of the police report and investigation results (if applicable) as these are necessary for your insurance or takaful claims.
Send Your Vehicle to a Panel Workshop
Send your vehicle to your insurance or takaful panel workshop or any repairer approved by Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM). They will assess and repair your car and help with your claims process.
Submit Documents Required for Insurance Claims
Liaise with the workshop personnel to provide the necessary documents to your insurer or takaful operator. The documents include:
- Copy of policyholder and driver’s identity card & driving licence
- Copy of your insurance policy/cover note
- Copy of your vehicle’s registration card/vehicle ownership certificate
- Original copy of the police report
- Photos of the accident and vehicle(s) involved
- Additional documents for Own Damage Knock-for-Knock & Third Party Claims:
- Copy of the third party’s identity card & driving licence
- Copy of the third party’s police report
- Original copy of the police investigation results.
Depending on the damage extent, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to assess your car damage and estimate the cost and duration to repair it. If your car is beyond repair or the repair amount exceeds the sum insured or sum covered for your car, you will be compensated either according to your car market value at the time of the accident or agreed value specified in your policy.
If you’re making a Third Party Claim, liaise with the workshop to appoint an insurance adjuster to assess your car damage and estimate the repairs. The workshop will then submit the adjuster report along with the documents listed earlier to the third party’s insurer or takaful operator for approval.
Additionally, if you’re claiming for Loss of Use or CART against the insurer of the at-fault party, remember to submit all related receipts. Keep in mind that the third party’s insurer will reimburse you only after the repair work is completed.
Finally, once your car is done with repairs, inspect its condition and sign the vehicle release form if you’re satisfied with it. If you find any issue with the repairs, do raise it to the workshop so they can fix it.
We hope this guide will help you with your car insurance claim if you ever get into an accident. Ensure that your car insurance or takaful remains active so you are protected at all times. If it’s expiring, renewing it takes just minutes with MotorTakaful by Etiqa! Head on over to our website to get a quote and renew your car takaful online, hassle-free!
The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as advice on any matter. Etiqa accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in the article. This information is correct as of 3rd August 2023.