Reporting incidents early

Written by Steven Cook

Published on

Why you should report incidents early

Picture the scene:


You’re driving along a busy road. You look down at your phone for just a second. Then the car in front of you stops suddenly.


With no time to react, you crash into the back of it.


There are a hundred things going through your head. One of which is how you’re going to sort this with your insurer.


You know you need to let them know what’s happened. But how long should you wait before you report it?


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.


Costs?


Vehicle repair: £3,250
Legal costs: £2,250
Replacement car: £20,880
Personal injury claim: £2,850

Total: £29,230 + VAT


That’s 1,025% more than if you’d reported the incident within 24 hours!

So the earlier you report, the less it costs

By reporting any incidents within 24 hours, you’ll save time, stress and £1,000s in unexpected costs.


You’ll also pay less when you come to renew your insurance.


Report early, save money. Simple.


Find out more about reporting incidents and how to keep your fleet safe.