Motor Claims Guide

Claims Guide

Important Information

If your vehicle has been involved in an incident, please tell us about it immediately.

Motor Claims Guide

Your policy document will explain precisely what is and is not covered.
Please read your policy, motor insurance certificate and schedule in detail before making a claim.

No matter who you are or what you drive, an accident can happen at any time. For many people it is a new experience, the first time that they will have thought about their insurance policy and tested the product that they had hoped never to have to call upon. This guide explains the main steps along the way and deals with what happens next to you and your vehicle and anyone else involved.  It tells you what we can do to help and which of our trusted partners you can expect to hear from.

We can't stop accidents happening but we will do all we can to make sure that:

  • The consequences are as hassle free as possible
  • You have an understanding of what comes next
  • You get the maximum benefit from your insurance cover

For more information about Islands Insurance motor claims process, here are the answers to some of your frequently asked questions.

What to do if someone else is involved

Don't apologise or accept responsibility at the scene, even if you think that you may be to blame.

Do collect the following information about the incident:

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers of all other drivers and their vehicle registration numbers
  • Take a note of their policy numbers and insurance company names which will be shown on their Windscreen Insurance Display ("WID") for local vehicles, if possible take a picture of the WID.
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers of all passengers and which vehicle they were in
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of owners of damaged property
  • Details of the injuries suffered
  • Details of any property damaged
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses
  • Police officers' details and incident reference number
  • Take photographs of the scene and any damage where it is safe to do so

This information is important because it will help us to contact anybody else involved in the incident.  If you are not at fault, having all this information will give us a much improved chance of recovering any money we have paid and help you recover any losses not covered by your policy such as the excess. It will increase the likelihood of the claim not affecting your No Claims Discount.

If you are at fault for the incident, it gives us the opportunity to contact the other driver and make sure that we do all we can to keep their claim costs to a minimum.

Whether you are at fault or not, this information is extremely valuable as it helps us to manage costs effectively - which ultimately helps to minimise the impact of claims on your premium.

Report the accident to us

Please report the accident to us immediately even if you do not have all the information to hand.

If you were not at fault, the sooner we start to pursue the recovery the more likely we are to successfully recover our costs, and you will be more likely to recover any losses not covered by your policy.

If you were at fault we will use the information to try to contact the other party and manage their repair and courtesy car costs.

So, whether you were at fault or not, both the pursuit of the responsible party and the management of the costs involved in looking after the innocent party are important ways that you can help us to contain the rising costs of motor insurance - not only for you but for everyone.

Claim forms - the most commonly used forms are available to download or we can send them to you

What the Law says

  • Stop - if anyone is injured or other vehicles or property are damaged
  • Provide your (or the vehicle owner's) name, address and insurance details to anyone with good reason to need them
  • Report to the police, preferably immediately, but certainly within 24 hours if anyone else is injured or you have not exchanged details at the scene

What happens if the Damage is repairable?

Glass / Windscreen only

Our approved glass repair and replacement service is provided by Autoglass, call them direct on 0800 363636. Autoglass will explore whether your glass is repairable or needs replacing and then book you in at a time and place to suit you. The only charges you will have to pay are the excess (replacement only - repairs are free!). Autoglass will send us the bill and that should be it.

Approved Repairer Scheme

Using our Approved Repairer Scheme comes with many advantages for you:

  • Repairs can start straight away and will be completed as quickly as possible to minimise the inconvenience
  • You do not need to worry about getting estimates
  • Repairs are guaranteed for 3 years
  • You will be provided with a loan car to keep you mobile while your vehicle is being repaired. Remember, this a courtesy car and not a like for like replacement for your damaged vehicle
  • Your vehicle will be collected and returned to you cleaned inside and out

All these benefits are free of charge and part of your cover provided that the damage is covered by your policy and you report your claim to our Claims Department. They will find the nearest Approved Repairer, give you the details and let you know when to expect a call from them to book your vehicle in for repair and arrange the loan car.

The repairs and costs will be monitored by our team of motor engineers to ensure that repairs are carried out properly. The only charges you will have to pay are the excess (which your claims handler will tell you about). The Approved Repairer will send us the repair bill which we will pay and that should be it.

Non-approved repairers

Whilst we would encourage all our customers to use our Approved Repairer service, you are of course free to choose your own repairer if you wish. However you may find that:

  • You have to get an estimate or estimates
  • Repairs will not start until one of our motor engineers has approved the repair method and costs with your repairer. Sometimes the damage may need to be inspected
  • Your repairer is unable to provide a loan car
  • Your repairer is unable to guarantee the repairs. We will not provide any guarantee on repairs
  • Your repairer may not be able to provide a collection and delivery service or clean the vehicle inside and out

What if the damage is not repairable?

Total Loss Process

It may be immediately obvious that your vehicle is not going to be repairable either because the damage is so severe or, especially with older vehicles, simply not an economic proposition.

Our Claims Department will make an initial assessment when you report your claim to them. If they assess your vehicle to be beyond repair they will arrange for your vehicle to be collected by our local salvage contractor Copart for safe storage whilst we settle you claim.  In some cases we may need to have your vehicle inspected by an engineer.

Before your vehicle is collected by Copart, it is important to remember to remove all your personal possessions from the vehicle - not forgetting the Windscreen Insurance Display "WID". You will need to supply us with your vehicle documents ( Registration Document, original purchase receipt, keys etc) so it is a good idea to find them and have them ready.  We will let you know where they need to be sent.

If your vehicle has special number plates you will need to make that clear to the claims handler and follow the correct processes as laid down by the Vehicle Licensing Authority to make sure that your interest in the plates is protected so that you can transfer the plates to your replacement vehicle. If the vehicle is the subject of a lease or hire purchase agreement it will help to locate the agreement and provide details when you send in your documents.

Once we have made all the necessary checks (eg finance company) and one of our engineers has assessed the value of your vehicle we will contact you to discuss settlement of your claim. We will notify the Vehicle Licensing Authority that your vehicle has been written off and once we have agreed the settlement figure and sent you the payment, the vehicle belongs to us and will be disposed of by our salvage contractor. Where there is an outstanding balance on any finance arrangement we are obliged to pay the finance company this amount, and you will be paid the remainder up to the agreed value of the vehicle less any excess and outstanding premiums.

Valuation

If your vehicle is stolen or a total loss we will settle your claim by paying you the market value of your vehicle unless you are entitled to new vehicle replacement.

To establish the market value of your vehicle we use a number of sources including Glass's Guide, AutoTrader adverts and dealer websites. The market value will take into account the exact model of your vehicle and any optional extras as well as the overall condition of your vehicle allowing for the recorded mileage and any pre-accident damage for example.

When we discuss the market value with you it will help if you have done some research of your own and we recommend that you take a look at similar vehicles for sale in your area.

New Vehicle Replacement

If your policy provides this benefit and the vehicle is stolen, beyond economic repair or the repairs will cost more than 60% of the manufacturer's list price within the new vehicle replacement period, then we will pay the cost of replacing your vehicle with one of the same make, model and specification. You have to own the vehicle or be buying it under an agreement where the vehicle becomes yours. If a replacement is no longer available then we pay you the amount you paid for your vehicle.

What do I do if my vehicle is stolen?

The first thing to do is to report it to the police. Make a note of the crime or incident reference.

Next report the claim to our Claims Department.

Depending on the circumstances of the disappearance, further investigations may be required. You will be told what those enquiries will entail, who will be contacting you, and when.

You will be provided with a courtesy car for a period of 14 days whilst we carry out enquiries.

You will need to supply us with your vehicle documents (Registration Document, original purchase receipt, keys etc) so it is a good idea to find them and have them ready. We will let you know where they need to be sent. If your vehicle has special number plates you will need to make that clear to the claims handler and follow the correct processes as laid down by the vehicle licensing authority to make sure that your interest in the plates is protected.

If the vehicle is the subject of a lease or hire purchase agreement then it will help to locate the agreement and provide details when you send in your documents. We may need you to contact the lease or hire purchase company as they often require authority from you to allow them to discuss your finance agreement details with us.

Once we have made all the necessary checks (with the police and/or any finance company) and one of our engineers has assessed the value of your vehicle, we will contact you to discuss settlement of your claim.
We will notify the vehicle licensing authority  that your vehicle has been stolen and once we have agreed the settlement figure and sent you the payment, the vehicle belongs to us if it is ever found.

For information about how we value your vehicle and the new replacement vehicle benefit see What if the damage is not repairable?

How do I stay mobile?

Courtesy Car

Once your claim has been acknowledged and cover confirmed, if you use our Approved Repairer service they will provide you with a small courtesy loan vehicle whilst they carry out the repairs.
If your vehicle is stolen or is declared to be beyond repair then we may provide you with a loan vehicle for up to 14 days. It may be possible to have the vehicle delivered and collected. Please note, this is not a like for like replacement for your damaged vehicle.

We cannot guarantee that vehicles with special features such as tow bars, dual control, automatic gearbox, roof bars, child seats etc will be available. Our nominated supplier may be able to assist you with these for an additional charge.
The courtesy car must be driven by someone covered by your certificate of insurance. These options apply whatever the circumstances of your claim and whether you were an entirely innocent victim or not.

How do I recover my excess and any other losses?

Your policy cover automatically includes legal expenses cover provided by DAS, and they are there to provide you with a range of legal services in connection with your ownership of a motor vehicle.

One of the services they can provide is the recovery of any losses not covered by your policy; such as injury, your excess or car hire. If you report your claim to our Claims Department they will provide DAS with details of your claim and they may contact you before you hear from us.

DAS will assess whether you have a case against another party, and if they conclude that you do, they will make contact with you to see if they can help you.  

DAS help us to pursue claims against other motorists and their insurers, and also to chase outstanding debts where other motorists or their insurers have agreed to pay but are then reluctant to do so.

Why am I receiving nuisance calls or texts?

Ambulance Chasers

If you were not at fault for an incident, and the other party or service providers took your details at the scene particularly if the accident happened in the UK, then it is quite likely that you will be approached by a number of companies anxious to secure your case. . This will probably relate to any claim you may have for personal injury but you may also be contacted totally at random by text, e-mail or phone call, when they have no idea whether you have had a previous claim or not. This is simply an attempt to deceive you and is known as phishing, it is totally beyond our control and has not been prompted by Islands Insurance or any of our service providers.

The promoters of these schemes have one of two motives: either they are able to make money by selling your details to a service provider who will pay them a referral fee (most likely), or they will be trying to manage the costs. Islands Insurance, and the insurers that we place your business with, neither pay nor receive referral fees. We actively encourage all our customers to take advantage of their policy benefits and avoid these arrangements which serve only to increase motor insurance premiums generally.

You are not obliged to take up any of these offers which may leave you with some financial risk in spite of any assurances you might be given to the contrary.

Under the terms of your policy you have the automatic benefit of legal expenses cover provided by our partner DAS. Where the loan vehicle from our Approved Repairer or under our 14 day arrangement does not meet your needs, then DAS may be able to provide a vehicle and recover the cost from the other party.

How long will my claim take?

We aim to settle all claims as quickly and as fairly as possible. However, delays may occur where we need to contact you for additional information, or where a claim is complicated, or where a third party is involved. If you need to check on the progress of your claim do not hesitate to contact us.

What if I would like to give feedback or have a complaint?

We welcome your views on any aspect of our service and if we fail to meet your expectations, in the first instance please contact us on the number given on your claim acknowledgement. More details on our complaints procedure are given in our Terms of Business.


Reminder, this guide is not a substitute for the policy wording and should not be relied upon as containing all the terms and conditions.  It is intended as a helpful outline of some of the main features of the claims handling process.

We have a network of Approved Repairers throughout the Channel Islands and the UK