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Monday, March 9, 2020

4 Tips When Claiming on Car Insurance

Recently, we had to make a claim with RAC for damage to a vehicle. It was an interesting experience and one which we learnt a few lessons..

1. Do your homework. Don't assume insurer will put you through to the best repairer
2. Some insurance companies no longer automatically process claims immediately (call back later)
3. Personal items in a car can hardly be considered "covered" when the limits and excess are almost the same.
4. Windscreen excess is probably worth paying for ($100 with RAC) as opposed to windscreen cover

When we called up, it was late at night and they said you need to call back in the morning to put in the claim. The alternative was to get the window fixed, pay for the repair and get it reimbursed from RAC. We chose the latter but leaving the window like that was probably not a good option as the crack worsened overnight.

When we called RAC in the morning, they said that company X would be in contact within two hours to repair the window. I did some quick googling and got worried, because the reviews were not good at all, with some waiting a few days for the repair and some having issues with the rubber seals falling out etc. Last time we had to make a similar claim, they immediately put O'Briens on to the job, but not this time. I suspected RAC was using this company because it was cheaper and it seemed to go with my other suspicions that RAC was on a big costcutting exercise in every area. I already decided that I would probably go to another insurer when my renewal is up. Nevertheless, I gave them a call and asked if they can put me on to Obriens and they said they will switch it for me. No credit to them because clearly most people would not question it, RAC would save a few bucks going with the cheaper option. Later, speaking to someone that is familiar with the industry, they said that RAC has switched because it was cheaper to go with X. Something to keep in mind the next time you make a claim.

Also regarding personal items in the car, they only cover up to $500 worth of personal items in the car. If your excess is $500 for example, and you can only claim up to $500 worth.. it is probably not worth claiming and having your insurance premium increase the next time you renew.

Windscreen excess - One thing that RAC has is a different excess for window claims. This is $100 on our policy which you only pay when you claim for damage to a window. When the cost is about $500 to repair a car window, plus the tinting, it's probably worth going for an insurer that provides windscreen excess.

Windscreen cover - The alternative is paying for windscreen cover. Another insurance provider charges about $75 extra for windscreen cover. This means that if your window is damaged during the period of cover, then you don't pay excess. But like all insurance, if your window doesn't break during your cover, you paid $75 for nothing.