How does insurance compensation work in a multiple-vehicle collision?

【車保小知識】串燒連環車禍會點賠?追撞、推撞有咩分別?

Last week, there was a multiple-vehicle crash involving six cars heading towards Kowloon on Tolo Highway. The pile-up of cars involved was about 5 kilometres long! Today at Kwiksure, our experts will take a look at how car insurers will handle claims for a multiple-vehicle collision. 

Police investigation and court decision determine who is liable

Whether it's the usual car crash or one involving multiple cars, once an accident happens, drivers will fight over who is liable. Most of the time, they won't be able to settle in private. It’s often up to the police and the court to identify the liable party. The driver whose vehicle has been crashed into can claim compensation from the other party in accordance with the court’s judgment.

Rear-end collision vs. vehicles being jolted forward

When investigating, the police usually ask drivers of the vehicles in front to recount the number of colliding sounds they've heard. This is to help determine whether the crash was a rear-end collision or vehicles being jolted forward. 

A rear-end collision happens when a vehicle stopped, but the one behind it didn't brake in time and collided with the car in front. As an example, let's say there are four cars: A, B, C, and D. In a traffic accident, A stopped, but B didn't stop in time and rear-ended A. C didn't step on the brakes in time either and rear-ended B. Lastly, D did not halt and rear-ended C. 

Your car is seen as being jolted forward when it was not in motion, but was crashed into and then pushed forward to collide with the car in front. Using the four cars (A, B, C, and D) as an example, A, B, and C stopped, but D couldn't brake in time and collided with C. This led to a chain reaction of C crashing into B, and B crashing into A. 

Compensation for rear-end collision and being jolted forward

Depending on whether your vehicle was in a rear-end collision or was simply jolted forward, the compensation method differs.

The below scenario is how compensation typically works for vehicles involved in a rear-ended collision: 

Car

Damage to the front of the car

Damage to rear

A

B's third party liability coverage (if the car behind rear-ended into your car, which caused you to crash into other objects) 

B car's third party insurance coverage

B

B's comprehensive insurance coverage 

C car's third party insurance coverage

C

C's comprehensive insurance coverage

D car's third party insurance coverage

D

D's comprehensive insurance coverage

No damage 

 

The below scenario is how compensation typically works for vehicles that were jolted forward in a multi-vehicle collision: 

Car

Damage to the front of the car

Damage to rear

A

D's third party liability coverage (if the car behind jolted forward and into your car, then propelled you to crash into other objects) 

D's third party insurance coverage 

B

D's third party insurance coverage

D's third party insurance compensation 

C

D's third party insurance coverage

D's third party insurance compensation 

D

D's comprehensive insurance coverage

No damage 

 

Here, as you can see, there's a chance D's third party insurance will need to compensate for the damages to cars A, B, and C in front. This is a hefty sum. If there's an expensive vehicle ahead, such as a Ferrari, the compensation amount will be sky high. As a result, it's crucial to buy a third party plan with adequate coverage. If you believe your third party coverage amount is insufficient, you can even ask for an increase. 

Continue reading: 

What to do in the event of a car accident

The car insurance claims process in Hong Kong

Contact Kwiksure for more insurance solutions 

Kwiksure has more than 20 years of experience in the car insurance industry. Besides car insurance (third party and comprehensive), we also provide home insurance, motorcycle insurance, Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) insurance, and more. Get a free quote now with our online quotation tool! For a free plan comparison, contact our team of expert insurance advisors today.