Reporting Incidents Early

Let’s look at three different scenarios.

1. You report the incident within 24 hours

As with most things, it usually pays to act early.

Let’s say you call the incident line and report the collision on the day it happened. You remembered to take photos at the scene, and you swapped details with the other driver.

Because your insurer was notified straight away, they were able to get the damaged car into an approved garage for the repair work. This kept the labour costs low.

They were also able to arrange a free courtesy car for the other driver to use while the vehicle was being repaired. No expensive hire car required.

And because everything was sorted quickly, the driver decided not to pursue a personal injury claim.

So what might some typical costs be?

Vehicle repair: *£2,850
Legal costs: *£0
Replacement car: *£0
Personal injury claim: *£0

Total: *£2,850 + VAT

2. You report the incident a week later

Let’s say you wait a week until you call the incident line. You didn’t take any photos at the scene, so you can’t provide any evidence. And you didn’t share any information with the other driver.

It was too late to book an approved garage for the repair, so the other driver contacted an accident management company. They make a claim for the work to be carried out by a more expensive garage.

And because no courtesy car is provided, they have to hire a vehicle to use while their car is being fixed — 23 days in total.

They also hire a solicitor and start a claim for suspected whiplash.

How much could all of this cost?

Vehicle repair: *£3,250
Legal costs: *£2,250
Replacement car: *£5,336
Personal injury claim: *£2,850

Total: *£13,686 + VAT

That’s 480% more than if you’d reported the collision within 24 hours.

3. You report the incident a month later

Let’s say the incident is finally reported after a month has passed. You didn’t take any photos or details at the scene, and because so much time had passed, you denied being involved when asked by the insurer.

It was too late to use an approved garage, so a claim was made for the repair work to happen at an even more expensive workshop. And the ongoing liability investigation meant a replacement car was needed for 90 days.

No information was taken at the scene, so there’s no opportunity to contest it.

The driver’s solicitor had plenty of time to prepare the personal injury claim, instructing an orthopaedic surgeon to help strengthen the case. They now have the best chance of winning.

*The figures are for illustrative purposes only.

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