Drivers risking rejection with late insurance claims

15 Aug, 2014 7:00am Joe Finnerty

AXA Car Insurance reveals risk of rejection if drivers take too long to make an insurance claim

Thousands of motorists are putting their claims at risk by not notifying their insurer straight away if something has happened to their car, according to AXA Car Insurance.

Auto Express can exclusively reveal the average delay between an incident occurring and a claim being submitted is 11 days, although some accidents weren’t reported until nearly a year later. 

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Analysis of 100,000 claims found 51 per cent of drivers had waited more than a week, which AXA said was putting their claim at risk. Christine Matthews, of AXA Car Insurance said if it was safe, it’s best to call from the scene. She explained: “Calling two or three weeks later means that you or your insurer may miss vital information, which could make it difficult to prove if you were or weren’t at fault, for example.”

The most commonly delayed claim was windscreen damage, with motorists taking an average of 17 days to report it. Cases of fire, damage or theft usually have the fastest turnaround times and are most likely to be reported the next day. 

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However, AXA found that some claimants were still taking months to alert their insurer about criminal activity. One customer delayed calling for 276 days before filing a claim for vandalism.

There’s no standard time limit on claims, although the British Insurance Brokers’ Association said some policies have timescales in their terms and conditions.