Automobile insurance claim: 5 instincts
Published on December 17, 2019
Car thefts, vandalized vehicles, traffic accidents... Not exactly fun events! In the heat of the moment, what you should do next is not always obvious. Here's some useful information compiled by L'Unique General Insurance that will allow you to do the right thing at the right time and help make your auto insurance claim easier.
1. Always start by notifying your broker and insurer
As soon as you become aware of an incident and regardless of the damage, you must contact your broker and insurer to notify them of your situation. Your insurer will record the loss at the Automobile Claims Database (FCSA).
The FCSA is a database managed by the Quebec Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) in which a record is kept of all automobile losses occurring over the last six years. Your FCSA file can only be viewed by you or the insurers from which you ask for a quote.
Important: Reporting a loss is not the same as submitting a claim. If the damage warrants making a claim, however, your broker can be of great help.
2. Auto accident: Safety first
If you get into an accident on the road, you'll have to act fast, but also keep your cool:
- If your vehicle is not too damaged, move it away from traffic.
- If not, contact your roadside assistance service and if you don’t have one, call 911.
- If somebody is injured, call 911.
- Notify the Société d'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) at 1 888 810-2525.
3. Minor fender-bender? A Joint Report will do the trick!
A few scratches, minor damage to the body, no injuries, nothing serious? Don’t bother calling the police. All you and the other driver have to do is fill out a Joint Report of Automobile Accident.
Don’t worry if you don’t have one on hand. Use a piece of paper and note the following information, regarding each driver:
Your insurer will determine your share of liability and calculate any compensation you’re entitled to.
- Name as it appears on the driver’s licence
- Driver's licence number
- Licence plate
- Insurer and auto insurance policy number
- Description of incurred damage
- The names and contact information of all witnesses
4. After an accident, protect your vehicle from any additional damage.
- Take photos of the initial damage.
- Have the minor, urgent and necessary repairs done so you can get your vehicle back on the road. For example, don’t hesitate to have a broken window or damaged tire replaced.
- Hold on to your bills and receipts.
- Contact your broker. He or she will guide you through the claim process. You could also contact our claims department.
5. Was there any damage to the property of others? Report it!
Your vehicle caused damage to a pole, a home, a fence or another item that belongs to someone else? This would involve your civil liability.
Contact the police. Stay on site until the police arrive. They will file a report and notify the owner of the damaged property.
Whatever you do, don’t take off! Leaving the scene without talking to the owner of the damaged property or the police constitutes an offense. However, don't negotiate compensation directly with the owner.
Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!