It's one thing to make a claim against your own car insurance policy, but what's the process if another driver decides to make a claim against you - and your insurance policy?

Before considering questions of insurance, it's critical that everyone at the scene of an incident is safe. If need be, call the police and/or ambulance.

Next, you should exchange contact and car registration details with the driver(s) of the other involved vehicle(s).

 

Third party claim against your insurance: when it was your fault

Following an accident, the other driver(s) may decide to make a third party claim against your insurance. This means they believe the collision was your fault, not theirs. If you agree that the incident was indeed your fault, your insurer will handle everything moving forwards - there's nothing else for you to do.

Your insurer will then discuss the incident with third party representatives - such as solicitors and insurance employees - collect relevant documents from these parties and ensure the statements of what happened concur. If everything is as it should be, the claim will be paid when your insurer receives the bill.

 

What if you believe it wasn’t your fault?

If the other party(s) say it was your fault, but you disagree, a "liability dispute" will be raised.

Among the evidence collected and scrutinised will be:

  • Policyholder's verbal statements
  • Similar accidents (case laws)
  • Satellite maps - to see exactly where the incident took place
  • Nearby CCTV footage
  • Highway code
  • Vehicle damage
  • Statements from witnesses

A decision will then be made about liability. In some cases there could be a liability split, e.g. your insurer pays 70% while the other party pays 30%.

 

Will I pay more for my car insurance if I am at fault?

Yes, this is quite possible, since statistically you are deemed more likely to be involved in an incident in the future.

It's important to be open and honest with your insurer.

 

Will I have to pay an excess?

No. You would only have to pay your car insurance excess if you yourself were making a claim on your own policy. This applies to both voluntary and compulsory excess sums.

 

What will happen to my No Claims Bonus?

If you are deemed "at fault" your No Claims Bonus will be impacted. However, you might not lose the entire bonus: For example, if you had three years’ No Claims Bonus, you might lose one year of that, giving you two years’ No Claims Bonus.

In the event that you're deemed not at fault, your No Claims Bonus won’t be affected.

 

What if I have No Claims Bonus Protection?

If you have No Claims Bonus Protection, your bonus will be protected. However, while you'll receive the same discount as before, your insurer may decide to increase your premium - since it is based on the number of claims made, and the number of years without a claim. In such situations, No Claims Bonus protection may be worth the cost from a certain perspective. However, the additional fees for bonus protection can add up year after year, meaning you could be out of pocket in the long run.