The probability of getting into a car accident is often the last thing one would expect to happen and no one can predict the occurrence. It is this unpredictability that throws us off guard. Naturally, if you are unprepared for an accident, you wouldn’t know what are your next steps. We hope the knowledge you glean from this comprehensive guide will help you overcome the fear and panic after you get into a car accident in Singapore.
1. Stop your vehicle
Stop your vehicle immediately at the scene of the accident.
2. Remain calm and call for assistance if needed
If anyone is injured, the first priority would be to call for an ambulance and get professional medical help in case there are more serious unknown injuries on the victim. Do not move the injured person unless you are trained in first aid or the victim is at risk of burning in the vehicle. Moving the body incorrectly can aggravate the injuries. Inform the police about the accident and do not move your vehicles until you are instructed by the police to do so.
3. Warn oncoming motorists
Set up vehicle breakdown signs, lights or reflectors to divert the traffic from the accident scene. Do not move your vehicles until you are instructed by the police to do so.
4. Record information
Exchange personal particulars with the other driver(s), passengers, pedestrians and witnesses involved in the accident. Important information includes your name, identity number, home address, contact number, car registration number and name of the insurance company. Take note of all the details of the accident, including the car position at the time of the accident, the injuries and car number plate. If possible, draw a sketch of the accident or take photographs as this information can be useful in future when determining who is at fault.
For accidents involving injuries that require hospitalisation or more than three days of medical leave, death, pedestrian, cyclist, government, foreign vehicles and government property, you are required to make a police report as soon as possible. It is always advisable to make a police report regardless as it will serve as an official record of the accident.
All accidents should also be reported to the insurance company within 24 hours or by the next working day. Insurance companies will have their own 24-hour hotlines where they can provide further advice. They may advise you to call a tow truck if necessary, or bring your vehicle to an approved reporting centre or workshop.
However, take note that if you decide to settle the accident with the other involved party without informing your insurance company, they have the right to reject your claim or to claim from you if there are subsequent third-party claims against you.
As each car insurance company has their own work procedures, follow your insurance company’s instructions on where the damage can be assessed and repaired. You will be required to complete a Motor Accident Report (MAR) form. After repairs have been completed, you should check that it is to your satisfaction before signing a satisfaction voucher and taking delivery of the vehicle.
Third party claims
To claim against another person’s insurance company, contact their insurance company and allow them to assess the damage before you send your car for repairs. The third party insurer has up to two days from the point of contact with you to inspect the damage. Take note that they have to compensate you for the loss of use of the vehicle over the pre-inspection period.
After the investigation, the insurance company will make an offer to settle the claim if it is a legitimate claim. You will have to sign a claims discharge form indicating your acceptance of the settlement. If your claim is less than $3000, it will be directed to the FIDReC-NIMA Scheme.
Hit-and-run accident claims
In the event of a hit-and-run accident, you can claim from the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).
If you do need to get the other party’s insurance particulars but failed to do so at the time of the accident, you will be able to obtain it from the Land Transport Authority (LTA). There will be a small fee of S$5.35 (GST inclusive) involved. LTA is contactable via the hotline: 1800-553-5229.
One other useful piece of information to note when making claims is that you can apply for and buy a third-party motor accident report from The General Insurance Association (GIA) of Singapore. GIA is an association of insurance companies and they share a database of accident reports. However, this option will be useful only if the other involved party has made a report.
The following steps above are essential and crucial to understand so that you will be well prepared in the event you are involved in an accident. Above all, road accidents can be minimised if everyone plays a part by driving safely and following traffic rules. Last but not least, don’t forget to get a good car insurance plan; compare the best plans on GoBear!