Nobody wants to have an accident. but if you are unlucky enough to be involved in one, would you know what to do?
If the accident is serious, you’ll definitely want to notify your car insurer, make a car insurance claim, and have them take care of any resulting expenses. But what if the accident is minor? Should I still file a claim?
Under certain circumstances, it would make sense to avoid filing a claim and pursue a private settlement instead.
Under a private agreement, the parties involved agree to settle the matter amicably without suing each other.
In cases where the damage to your car is estimated to be below or even slightly above the deductible, you should choose to handle repairs out of pocket.
But first, you want to make sure you get an accurate estimate of the cost of repairs. All too often, the cost of repairing even minor damage can be more than you might expect.
You may want to take the car(s) to an authorized workshop and get a written estimate of the costs before making your decision.
You should do this because if the final bill is higher than your estimate, you may not be able to claim the costs from your insurance company. This is so because insurance companies have a time limit to claim for an accident. check your policy for this information. Whatever the case may be, motorists in Singapore must report an accident to their insurance company within 24 hours or the next business day after the accident, even if they are not claiming for it.
If you don’t, your no-claim discount (ncd) will be affected when you renew your auto insurance, and if you choose to file a claim later, it could be denied.
Even if you decide to settle privately, don’t agree not to report the accident. If the other driver decides to report the accident and you don’t, your auto insurance policy could be affected.
Also, you can’t be sure the other driver won’t file a claim against you later.
when you might want to opt into a private arrangement:
- the accident has no complications
- no injuries and minimal damage
- has requested other accidents
- affects your discount for not claiming
- you are paying a high excess
is an accident involving only your car.
If there are two cars involved, it should be a case where neither of you is injured and there is only minimal damage. Even in such a situation, it is preferable that you or someone you trust knows the affected party. In a situation where you do not know the other driver, you should proceed with caution. This is because he or she could back out of the agreement not to involve the insurance companies. this could happen for several reasons. they may have been in pain hours or a day after the accident or discovered that the damage to their car was much greater than they originally expected.
Filing a claim too many times through your insurer will cause your premiums to go up. In fact, in Singapore, if you file claims more than twice, you may experience difficulties when it comes to buying car insurance. A high claims history tells your insurer that you have a high-risk profile, which may make them reluctant to insure you.
is determined to protect your no claim discount (ncd). Your NCD is the discount on your premium if you have not made any claims on your policy during the current period of insurance. The discount you get from your annual premium can be substantial, so it may not be worth filing a small repair claim as it will jeopardize your driving record. however, remember that you can still get your ncd if you are not held responsible for the accident.
Some drivers choose to pay a higher deductible to lower their premiums. If your claim is small, it may not be worth filing a claim as you will need to account for the high excess in addition to incurring the risk of losing your NCD.
If you decide to enter into a private agreement, your agreement must be recorded in writing. Some insurers provide private settlement forms that you should take with you in the event of an accident.
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