Car insurance: What to do when
What to do when your car is damaged
Having comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle, but you still need to know how to handle and emergency situation. Rule 1: Don’t panic! It’s easier said than done, but take a breath and try.
Now let’s look at what you should do in the event of an emergency.
What to do if your car is stolen?
Here is what you should do if you find yourself looking at an empty parking space:
- Contact the police immediately to report your vehicle has been stolen. You can either contact your local station or the hotline number 10111 to make the report.
- Have copies of your vehicle identification documents on hand when you open a case with the police. The officers will need your registration number and VIN number, along with a description of your vehicle. Save the case number, you will need it.
- If you have a tracking device installed in your vehicle, contact them to let them know that your vehicle has been stolen. They will start tracking your vehicle’s movements immediately.
- Contact Virgin Money Insurance so that you can lodge a claim. If you have car hire as an option, we will start the process to get you mobile again then.
What to do if your car is hijacked?
Here are a few important tips that you should follow if you are involved in a hijacking.
- Firstly, just let the car go. You have car insurance for a reason. Your car can be replaced; your life can’t.
- Cooperate with the hijackers. Give them car keys, cell phones, etc. without hesitation and move away from the vehicle entirely.
- Once in a safe place, report the incident to the police. They will need all of the information of the vehicle, including registration and VIN numbers, so keep copies of these documents in the safe at home.
- Contact Virgin Money Insurance so that you can lodge a claim.
- Most comprehensive insurance policies have trauma counselling as a benefit; take advantage of this.
What to do in the event of an accident?
An accident can happen so quickly, and it isn’t something that can ever fully prepare for, but these are the basics:
- First things first, put your hazards on while pulling off onto the nearest shoulder or a side road.
- Check yourself, passengers and third party drivers for injuries immediately.
- Call emergency services on 10111 to report the incident and give a full statement of what happened, along with any injuries sustained.
- Start taking down names and numbers of any witnesses who could assist later on.
- Have pictures taken of the damage to the vehicles involved in the collision, as well as any major injuries that either party have sustained.
- Contact Virgin Money Insurance to arrange for roadside assistance so that your vehicle can be towed away. Don’t allow just any towing company to remove your vehicle from the accident site, and don’t abandon your vehicle either.
- Don’t try to negotiate with the other parties involved in the accident, simply take down all of their personal details as well as their vehicle details to submit to your insurer when you claim.
- You have 24 hours to file an accident report with the SAPS. This has to be done in person and is essential to the claims process, so make sure you have this done and keep the case number handy.
What to do if your car is vandalised or purposefully damaged?
- As with any claim, make sure that you report the incident with the SAPS. Get a case number from them for your insurer within 24 hours of the incident.
- If the damage was caused by a riot or strike, Virgin Money will lodge a claim through SASRIA to cover these damages for you.
- If you have car hire as an option on your comprehensive car insurance, we’ll arrange this for you while your car is being repaired.
What to do if you’re involved in a minor crash?
While not as serious as a vehicle accident, sometime your car can be damaged in a minor event, like a bumper bashing:
- If the accident involves a third party, follow the same steps that you would take if it was a major accident. You’ll find those under What to do in the event of an accident?
- If the incident only involves your vehicle and a pole or driveway, make sure you take photos of your damage and the damage to the property (if any).