Handling a vehicle property damage claim

Motor insurance is compulsory. However many people do not bother to revert to their insurers when their vehicle is damaged on the assumption that the process for collecting their due claims is too long and tedious.

However general (non-life) insurance companies in Ghana are very willing to meet genuine claims on the motor insurance policies they underwrite, without fuss. The process is fairly simple.

When you file a physical damage claim, an insurance adjuster will inspect your vehicle and estimate how much it will cost to repair the damage. You will then receive a cheque from the insurance company that takes into account the terms of your policy.

If your vehicle has been damaged, follow these steps in order to have your car insurance claim processed effectively:

  • Report the damage to your vehicle to your insurance company immediately.
    • Depending upon your insurance company’s policies, you can do this online, by calling your insurance agent during regular business hours, or by calling the company’s claims division.
  • If another driver was involved, exchange insurance information.
  • Allow your insurance company to inspect the vehicle before repairs are made.
  • Protect the vehicle so no further damages are caused and losses are limited.
    • For example, if the accident causes the fender to rub against the vehicle tire, you should have this repair made immediately so the tire is not further damaged. If you don’t make the repair, your car insurance company can refuse to pay for any additional damages.
  • Save all receipts and any other documentation you receive to give to your insurance company as part of your claim.
  • Provide any requested information the insurance company needs as part of its investigation. If you refuse to cooperate, your claim could be denied.

Making smart decisions about how to move forward with your claim, and making sure you document all damage, will go a long way toward a fast and smooth settlement of your claim.