KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATIONCOVID-19 RESOURCE PORTAL
FANews
FANews
RELATED CATEGORIES

Accidents happen. It pays to be prepared

14 September 2020 Vickey Swanevelder, Executive Head: Claims & Client Experience at Momentum Short-term Insurance

With the move to level 2 lockdown, many restrictions have been relaxed to allow greater personal freedom and to open-up our crippled economy. More people might be returning to work and also with interprovincial travel permitted this will result in more cars on the roads and an increased likelihood of accidents.

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience that we all wish we could avoid, but unfortunately it is an unplanned event that has inconvenient or undesirable consequences.

For this reason, it is important that we equip ourselves with knowledge of how to prepare for such an unfortunate event.
Here’s some Dos and Don’ts that will help guide you in an event of an accident to make the claims process as easy and convenient as possible:

Do’s
• Stop immediately: Aside from the fact that leaving an accident scene is illegal, it is important to stop as civil consequences may arise from the accident such as claims for damage to property or personal injury. A complete and accurate account of the accident is therefore of critical importance.
• Call emergency services: If someone is injured or killed it is important to get emergency services to your location as quick as possible. You can also make use of emergency alert functions provided by your insurer, such as Safety Alert, from Momentum Short-term Insurance to get access to emergency personnel. The police or traffic officer at the scene of the accident will take down a statement and compile a report, especially if someone is injured or deceased.
• Get detailed information: Get as much information as you can of all other motor vehicles involved in the accident such as:
o driver’s names
o identity numbers
o addresses
o telephone numbers
o description, sketch and/or pictures of the vehicles
o registration numbers and any relevant details from the license discs
o the date, time and address of the accident
o the weather and road conditions
o details of tow truck drivers
o details of police and emergency medical personnel
• Keep notes: Keep extensive notes about all conversations and receipts for all expenses pertaining to the accident. Having a paper-trail will assist with your claims process.
• Notify your insurer: It is important to understand, even before you are in an accident, what your insurance cover entails and to contact your insurer as soon as possible. Ensure that you have your insurers’ emergency services telephone number readily available on your cell phone or via an App.

Don’ts
• Don’t panic: Panicking will only cloud your judgement. We know it is a tough ask when you find yourself in such a situation but try and remain calm so that you can think clearly and contact emergency services and your insurer.
• Don’t move your vehicle: Members of the public are not allowed to move vehicles until the police arrive at the scene especially if people were injured or killed in an accident. Moving your vehicle could also impact you negatively if there are civil consequences.
• Don’t negotiate: It is best to let your insurer communicate directly with the other party(ies) involved and/or their insurer.
• Don’t allow your vehicle to be towed until you have insurer authorisation: Contact your insurer as quick as possible is to arrange for an authorised towing company to assist you. Most insurers include this service as part of the cover plan. If you do not have towing cover with your insurance, ensure that you have details of the towing company and the tow truck driver.
• Don’t delay: Contacting your insurer as soon as possible is important. If you need to submit a claim, it is best not to wait and kick start your claims process while the incident is fresh in your mind.

It is of critical importance to read your policy document thoroughly, know your rights and responsibilities and most importantly what you are covered for should the unfortunate event of an accident occur. This will help you in understanding the insurer’s claim process and to avoid finding out at claim stage that you are not covered for what you thought you were covered for.

 

Quick Polls

QUESTION

The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?

ANSWER

No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
Yes, South Africa bought enough time to make a significant difference. We saved lives and have passed our peak. The worst is over
fanews magazine
FAnews August 2020 Get the latest issue of FAnews

This month's headlines

Ethical behaviour - are you toeing the line?
Latest business interruption developments raise more questions than answers
Brokers remember: You are accountable...
A sustainable pension - How to manage living annuities in uncertain times
Claim stats… life can change in a heartbeat
Are South Africa’s income protection benefit providers ready for COVID-19?
Subscribe now