Over the last couple of months, we have been pulling apart the Product Disclosure Statement and elaborating on circumstances and events for which you are NOT covered. We received great feedback from all of you on the openness and transparency of that series and they were the most popular articles in the Campfire believe it or not!
Please be aware, these articles intend to give commentary and practical examples for claims time, but should not be viewed as a substitute for appropriately looking through your PDS before deciding to take up coverage with Club 4X4.
Following this feedback, we will now turn our focus to dissecting the claims process and trying to give you a clearer understanding of what you can expect. Ultimately, you pay us for the product to take care of you when you need to claim right? We find most of the anxiety comes from not understanding what the claims process looks like, so hopefully we can clarify things over the next few weeks.
This week we look at what we may require from you throughout the claims process.
We may require you to:
- Undergo interviews and appear in court and give evidence under oath:
Where required, we may ask you to attend an interview held by us, or a third party. To give context, vehicle thefts often go through a more rigorous investigation process in comparison to other incidents. Obviously a theft is heartbreaking for the owner, but it will often result in a total payout of the policy. As such the processes enlisted by many insurers include provision of statements and other supporting documentation. It’s not about making the claimant feel uncomfortable, but a process, which needs to be conducted.
- Arrange for any driver of your vehicle to give us full co-operation in all respects and provide us with the same assistance that you are required to:
Basically, if someone uses your vehicle with your consent and is involved in an incident, they are required to co-operate in accordance with the requirements of your contract with us. Remembering that if the driver didn’t have your consent to drive, there are specific conditions, which we dissected in a prior article.
- Help us manage the claim by answering our questions and/or providing written statements to us under oath;
Generally, this would be required in claims where legal action has been taken against you or you have taken legal action against a third-party. This does also have relevance to the first point regarding theft claims.
- Allow us to inspect your vehicle or any damaged goods you are claiming for:
Depending on the claim, we may inspect your vehicle or damaged goods. The main purpose of this is to determine the extent of the damage accurately and ensure that the correct decisions are being made with respect to what is repairable and what to be written-off. A long-winded way of saying when you’ve had damage, you need to allow us to assess it in the process of arranging repair – simple right?
- Take your vehicle to or allow it to be towed to a place nominated by us;
As you should know, our policyholders have a choice of repairer so long as they are suitable for the repairs and their quote comes through at a market comparable rate (because inflated repair costs only mean higher prices at renewal – and everyone wants that right??). This clause applies if the vehicle requires a specific type of assessment, if your preferred repairer is not suitable for the work that needs to be done, or in the rare occasion that the repairs are quoted unreasonably. By no means do we expect your repairer to come in cheapest, in fact the average repair cost for our portfolio is above market averages. As the old saying goes; “good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good”. However if it is particularly unreasonable we may be forced to look elsewhere.
- Allow us to take possession of the damaged property that we have replaced. Such damaged property becomes our legal property;
But what if you want your property back? After we have replaced or repaid you after a loss or damage, the damaged property becomes ours. However, unlike many insurers you will ALWAYS have the first option to buy it back at a price that we determine. Our feedback showed this was critical to many of you so we just had to make sure our policy allowed for this. After all, we are THE insurer for the 4X4 enthusiast.
- Immediately send us copies of any communication, demand or claim you may receive arising out of any incident for which cover is provided under the policy;
This is a very formal way of saying that every bit of communication you receive relating to the incident, which has given rise to the claim needs to be sent to us. It just helps us manage your claim more efficiently.
- Provide us with proof of previous motor vehicle insurance;
This may be necessary if there is a discrepancy as to whether you were insured with us at the time of the event. This is a common one in the insurance landscape but not used very often.
- Provide us with evidence of ownership and value of all property covered under this policy;
In certain circumstances, we may ask you to provide evidence of ownership for items covered under this policy. This could be for the vehicle itself, contents, accessories or any other damaged goods. Given the fact that we insure all your modifications and accessories this becomes quite important. In recent claims we worked with a client who at first said that they didn’t have any evidence. In putting multiple heads together we had a combination of receipts that the client was able to get from ARB, photos and videos off his phone and even warranty/manuals on the items.
- Advise us of any person that is charged by the police arising from the incident for which cover is provided under this policy;
This comes back to the legalities surrounding when you are and are not covered, and applies to anybody involved in the incident. For example, if you were charged for something such as reckless driving, you need to notify us as that may affect the outcome of the claim.
- Tell us about any other policy of insurance that may be relevant to the claim;
If you are claiming through another insurer for the same incident, we will require this information to ensure each item is only being covered once.
- Assist us to negotiate, defend or settle any claim made under the policy and to exercise for our benefit your legal right to recovery from you or any monies already paid under the claim;
For example, if someone else was at fault and we were recovering the costs from the third-party, we may require you to assist in this process by providing any necessary information. This links back to a previous point in this article where you may be asked to answer any questions or provide statements under oath relating to the incident. This is just another measure to help us maintain an effective claims process, which leads to manageable premiums year on year!
So there you have it. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions regarding the above.