Do you know that your Third Party Car Insurance Certificate in Nigeria has a N1,000,000 property damage cover on it? Do you also know that the life cover on it is unlimited? If you don’t know, now you know. Your Third Party Car Insurance Certificate is more than ‘Police-let-me-pass’ as it is commonly called in Nigeria, it is a valid piece of paper!

The issue of whether Insurance Companies pay claim is no more an issue presently because the Insurance Industry has been revamped. Please feel free to read Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims. Now how do you make a Third Party Claim?

 

How To Make A Third Party Car Insurance Claim

A Third Party Only Car Insurance covers your legal liability (as a holder or insured) to third parties in respect of any damage to their properties (minimum of N1m) and for any injury or death(unlimited) to them from the use your motor vehicle. It also covers your legal fees for defense of a claim in court.

To make a Third Party Claim follow the steps below carefully.

1. NOTIFICATION

Once an accident, loss or damage occurs and it was decided that you are at fault by the officer or people on the spot, contact your insurer immediately. Note that you are not supposed to admit liability on behalf of the insurer; it is the duty of the third party to prove liability or be determined in the court. Call your insurer on phone and for documentary purpose write a letter of notification or email to your insurer. The letter should give a very brief description of the incident stating the date and time of the loss. Since this is a third party claim thus any impending prosecution, inquest or fatal inquiry in respect of the occurrence should be communicated to the insurer with your letter or in subsequent letters. Also, any claim letter from the third party, writ summons and process should be forwarded to the insurer immediately.

 

2. ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

After your notification has been received, the insurer writes to sympathize with and assures you of handling the claim or to reject the claim if you are not covered. If the claim is not repudiated, the insurer’s letter will be accompanied with a claim form for you to fill. The claim form asks detailed questions relating to the claim. The form helps to get a clear description of the claim. Ensure you complete it accurately without misrepresenting anything. The information you put down in the claim form should be the same as those in the Police Report. The insurer will request for some claim substantiating documents which include:

For Property Damage Claim

  • Estimate of repairs
  • Photographs of the accidental vehicles
  • Third Party claim letter
  • Driver’s statement of loss
  • Police report
  • Driver’s license of the driver in charge of the vehicle prior to the accident

 

For Death or injury claim

  • Writ summons or court order
  • Police Report
  • Third Party claim letter
  • Photographs of the accident
  • Hospital bill
  • Death certificate
  • Corona’s report
  • Driver’s statement of loss
  • Driver’s license of the driver in charge of the vehicle prior to the accident

After you have gotten the documents, attach them to the Completed Claim Form and forward to the insurer (originals should be forwarded to avoid unnecessary delay).

 

3. INVESTIGATION

 After forwarding the documents, the insurer uses them to carry out investigations on the claim. If it is a court appearance they make representation for you or instruct you to go ahead with your own lawyer and they pay the legal fees. If the claim results in the damage of the third party’s car, the insurer will send their engineer to adjust the claim. The engineer will check the estimate of repairs and meet with the third party’s garage or engineer to negotiate for a better figure. After that, the engineer writes his report and forwards same to the insurer. The insurer will use the report to issue a settlement offer or offer letter with a discharge voucher attached and send to you. If you agree with the amount append your signature and send it to the insurer with a postage stamp. But if you do not agree return the offer with a letter explaining your reasons.

 

4.  SETTLEMENT CHEQUE

The insurer upon receiving your executed discharge voucher will issue their cheque using the figure in the discharge voucher and forward it to you. With the cheque you can then settle the third party. For legal fees it will be issued to you too. Please note that for a Private Car, there is only N1m property damage liability on it. This means that if the damage is more than N1million, you will only get N1million and you will have to make up the balance. Also, if your car was at fault in multiple accidents case (say 2 vehicles), the insurer will only pay N1m regardless of the total value of the claim. You are to make up the balance.

If you paid your premium, there is not much to getting your claim paid if you are able to follow the process with patience and cooperation. However, you could utilize a broker when purchasing your cover so that he could help you during claim.

Read: How To Detect a Fake Third Party Car Insurance

 

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