Accurate and comprehensive information should lead to faster claims settlement

March 09, 2021
Motor vehicle accidents are nothing to be desired, but a seamless claims process can make an unfortunate incident better. This is why Sagicor General is urging all motor insurance policy holders to provide as much accurate information as possible when submitting an accident claim. 

The advice comes from Leo Watson, Sagicor General Insurance (SGI) Inc’s Claims Manager – Barbados & The Eastern Caribbean, who outlined some of the details that individuals should pay close attention to, when in such a situation. 

“The first thing that individuals should do immediately after an accident, if safe to do so, is check on the physical health of all parties involved. This would help to determine the order of priority of the calls that should be made, these being to the Police, Ambulance Service, the insurance company’s accident response service, along with family”, said Watson. 

“Regardless of the final order, one call that should always be made to ensure that all the relevant post-accident information is gathered, is to the accident response service, because this guarantees that a representative from the insurance company would be on hand to accurately and comprehensively capture the necessary information to facilitate the claims settlement process.”, explained the Regional Claims Manager. 

Some of the critical areas he identified as having a significant impact on the timeframe in which a claim can be settled, includes details relative to the vehicle or vehicles involved, the policyholder and/or driver at the time of the accident, such as a valid driver’s license; along with information on any injured parties. 

“In instances where the accident response team is called to the scene, they will ensure that these details are captured. If individuals choose not to involve the response team, they can visit to download our claims form, gather the information themselves and submit it along with an estimate for repairs or medical receipts to be reimbursed.” 

He made the point however, that the safest approach is to have the accident response unit present whenever and wherever possible, especially as it relates to the impartial recording of statements of the parties involved and other witnesses, in addition to the comprehensive documentation of the accident scene through the use of photography and measurements where necessary. 

“Once everything is accurately documented and submitted, with no resulting disputes or anomalies that require further investigation, then the claim should be settled pretty easily. This is unfortunately not always the case, as disputes do arise with one or multiple parties not willing to accept liability and therefore be responsible for financing the settlement. It is for this reason that we would always recommend calling our response team to the scene. However, in the event that this is not possible, the policyholder should capture as much of the information on the claims form as they can before leaving the scene.”

Watson reiterated that the overall goal of these measures is first and foremost to determine who is truly at fault, followed by reducing any delay in the time it takes to settle the claim for the purpose of repairing or replacing the vehicle(s) involved; reimbursing the relevant parties medical expenses incurred, within the policy’s specified limits, along with the cost to repair or replace any damaged or destroyed personal items.