30 Mar 2017

Parked and Damaged: What Should You Do?


Parking in Singapore can be challenging as we manoeuvre our vehicles into small and tight parking spaces. Even if we manage to park our vehicles without incident, there is always a risk of our parked vehicles getting damaged by other motorists. When that happens, here's what you should do:

Find evidence

Check your windscreen for any note by a witness or the person who damaged your car. Otherwise, walk around the area and look out for witnesses as well as other vehicles that are damaged. If the area is equipped with CCTV cameras, approach the car park management for a copy. If you have installed an in-car camera, play back the recordings to see if the other party's vehicle registration number is captured. Also, take down the date and time you discovered the damage plus the car park lot number your vehicle was parked in.

Report the accident

If there is no note left behind by the other party, lodge a police report at the nearest police station. Otherwise, drive your vehicle to the nearest IDAC or your insurer's authorised workshops to lodge an accident report.

Note: An accident report is required regardless if you have lodged a police report.

Contact the other party's insurer

If you have sent your vehicle to your insurer's authorised workshop, let the workshop notify the other party's insurer to get an indication of liability. Alternatively, you may contact the other party's insurer directly and submit any evidence you may have.

What if the other party did not report the accident?

If an insurer receives a claim against their policyholder but have yet to receive the accident report, the insurer will contact their policyholder to lodge a report. If the policyholder fails to report the accident despite his insurer's reminders, the insurer has the option to involve the Traffic Police to remind the policyholder to file the accident report.

Failure to do so by the policyholder is a breach of policy conditions where the insurer is entitled to repudiate liability.

What happens if the other insurer repudiates liability?

If there is a breach of policy conditions such as non-reporting, the other insurer has no choice but to repudiate liability against their policyholder despite available evidence. This also means the insurer is unable to handle your claim against them and will have to direct all claims to their policyholder.

In such cases, you may submit a claim for your vehicle repairs against your own comprehensive motor insurance policy. However, please check your policy as some insurers will have a timeframe for you to submit an own damage claim. Please also check for any applicable policy excess and if the No Claim Discount (NCD) will be affected.

No matter how careful we are in protecting our vehicles, we are also subjected to the actions of other motorists. Although comprehensive motor insurance is more than what is required by law, it is beneficial in the event a claim against another party is not feasible.