You should inform your insurance company immediately after any road traffic accident, regardless of the seriousness of the accident.
All insurers state that in the event of a motor vehicle accident which may lead to a claim you must inform you insurer immediately.
In the event of an emergency situation the emergency services should of course be called, and you should inform your insurer as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.
In most cases you should not move the vehicle(s) and certainly when there is another party involved you should call the police to the scene. If no one else is involved and it is a minor accident with minor damage to your vehicle you may obtain the police report number later by reporting the accident at any local police station. In some cases you may be able to leave the scene in your vehicle if it is safe to drive.
Each situation is different, and so the best way to proceed if in doubt would be to call your broker or insurer directly for advice.
Most insurers will apply a deadline for reporting an accident of 7 days, and 30 days for submitting the required documents, however each insurer will have their specific deadlines and so you should always read your policy wording carefully.
Any and all subsequent police correspondence or other relevant correspondence should be forwarded to your insurer straight away without being answered, and the insurer will inform you of the next steps.
Section (II) Insurance – Liability to third parties covers you, your driver or at your request any person (other than the person driving) in or getting into or out of your insured vehicle against all sums including claimant’s costs and expenses which you, your driver or such other person shall become legally liable to pay, and all costs and expenses incurred by you with the insurer’s consent in respect of:
A. death of or bodily injury to any person; and
B. damage to property; Up to the policy limits.
In order to adhere to your policy terms and conditions and to keep open the option of claiming under your third party insurance, you must not admit liability or make any private agreements with any other party involved. Under certain circumstances it may seem that this is unavoidable – for instance, you accidently drive in to a stationary vehicle in a car park – however the insurers will still need to receive the court outcome finding you at fault for the accident before you can claim under your Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance.
In this case, you must not admit liability until the other party has requested that the police prosecute you and you are found guilty. Your insurer will then take the claim process forward on your behalf with the other party’s insurer or the other party directly.
Claims under Section (I) Insurance against loss of or damage to the motor vehicle - for own-damage (accidental damage to your own vehicle) tend to be more straightforward although depending on the extent of the damage the process can still take a while to finalise. In the event your vehicle requires repairs you may obtain the quotation from your chosen garage, however you must not start the works until you have obtained authorisation from the insurer. Before this is provided the insurer may appoint a surveyor (which is the case in the event of total loss) to determine the reasonable costs for the repairs, as well as calculating any depreciation and subtracting any excess payable. They will then provide their settlement offer.
For more information please click Comprehensive Car Insurance in Hong Kong.
In the event of a claim for theft, the police must complete their investigation and the insurer must receive the final police report declaring that the vehicle has not or cannot be found, before the claim is taken forward.
Each claim is different, and the extent of the own-damage, third party property damage and whether any third party bodily injury is involved are all factors which effect the time it takes to finalise a claim, along with disputes relating to settlement offers. The process in Hong Kong can be frustrating, particularly if it is not clear what is required and what the next steps are. Therefore we are here to help make your life easier and ensure clear communication between yourself and the insurer to make the process as smooth as possible.
All insurance policies exclude cover for illegal activity which invalidates the insurance. This can include driving without a valid driving license, driving an unregistered or unlicensed vehicle, or using a vehicle for purposes other than those insured under your specific policy (for example, using a private motor vehicle which is insured for social domestic purposes for commercial gain). Therefore it is important that you make sure you obtain a valid Hong Kong Driving license before driving in Hong Kong and keep this up to date, as well as registering and renewing your vehicle license correctly and in a timely manner. The validity of your insurance notwithstanding, if you do not comply with Hong Kong legislation you may face legal consequences.
For more information on other legal requirements for driving in Hong Kong please contact the Hong Kong Transport Department directly: http://www.td.gov.hk/en/home/index.html
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Alternatively, you can Contact Us and speak to one of our advisors directly about Car insurance in Hong Kong, how to make a claim, and the coverage options on offer.