First of all, we hope this is a general question, but if you were recently involved in an accident, we hope you are safe and that no one was injured. Accidents can be traumatic and are a constant; even if usually very slight; possibility when driving. And this is why insurance is there in the first place: to offer protection and put you back in the position you were before the unexpected happened.
Let’s break this question and our subsequent response into two pieces: incidents and accidents.
The term “incident” is used to describe any event, regardless of size or severity, which may or may not give rise to a claim. An incident in motor insurance may or may not involve a vehicle: for example, hitting a pillar in a mall car park whilst shopping or the windshield screen breaking out of pressure in cold weather. Whether the incident then turns into a claim depends on the attitude of the person(s) involved. For some, if there is no or minimal damage, they would not pursue a claim: especially if claiming would mean the payment of an excess greater than the claim value.
Are events happening through unforeseen error or chance circumstances and usually mean collision, whether between multiple vehicles, or a single-vehicle. Accidents are often more serious and costly and as such, have a negative connotation in comparison to incidents.
Now to answer the question. The wise thing to do is always report all incidents or accidents you are involved into the Police so that first there is a record on file of the circumstance and second, to have documentation as evidence of your report and what happened to avoid serious future allegation and/or implications (imagine being a suspect for a hit and run for an unreported bumper dent!). Having reported the accident/incident to the Police you will also need to inform your insurance provider and discuss not claiming if you feel there’s no need.
Keep in mind…
- Not reporting any accidents/incidents to the Police may have legal consequences.
- Not informing your insurance provider shortly after the incident may result in them rejecting your claim or, in some cases, refuse renewal or even cancel your policy altogether.
Most insurance advisors advocate the principle “better safe than sorry”, and this is also applicable to reporting incidents or accidents. Paying an excess may be wiser than having your policy cancelled. More questions? Our expert insurance advisors at InsuranceMarket.ae will be delighted to help you. Safe travels!