What should I know when I claim from my insurance company?
When you are involved in an accident, as the injured party you have three options available:-
1. Lodging a claim with your insurance company
2. Lodging a claim with the third party’s insurance provider, or
3. Pursuing the third party personally
In circumstances where you, as the injured party lodge a claim with your own insurance provider, keep the following in mind:-
1. As soon as you lodge your claim, all your legal rights and recourses transfer from you to the insurance provider. This is called subrogation and it allows the insurance provider the right to recover the damages from the third party on your behalf. You benefit by not having to spend money to recover damages but it takes away your right to decide how to recover the damages.
2. You will have to pay your excess. Remember your excess is your uninsured portion that you voluntarily agreed to pay in the event that you would lodge a claim with your insurance provider.
3. Your excess may be recovered from the third party should your insurance provider undertake to pursue the third party legally. There is however no guarantee that your excess will be successfully claimed.
4. Should your insurance provider decide to recover the damages, they will proceed to institute a claim for the entire damage together with the excess paid by you, from the third party. Where the insurance provider is of the opinion that recovering the damages is not feasible, they will give you the right to recover your excess via the small claims court.
Be mindful of the claim process and excess payable when taking out insurance as this will determine the handling of your claim.