Repairing Your Vehicle
Repairing your Vehicle after an Accident
Once the police have left the scene after an accident, you are typically able to leave with your vehicle, provided no major road traffic offence has been committed. Should your vehicle be damaged you will need to get it repaired. Here is what you should do in this situation:
- Take your vehicle to a garage or the dealership where it was originally purchased.
- Obtain a quote for the cost of any repairs than need to be made.
- Send the quote to the insurer/broker with a completed claim form.
In order to make a claim for any repairs that may need to be made on the vehicle you must return the original completed (front and back) claim form along with the repair quote and good copies of your drivers license and identity card (front and back) or passport, and the Vehicle Registration Document (VRD). If you initially supply the insurer with a faxed copy of the claims form this will enable the insurance company to send a loss adjuster to look at your vehicle and assess the damage.
It is extremely important that you do not authorize any repairs to your vehicle until the loss adjuster has completed his assessment.
Garages and dealerships in Hong Kong will typically provide a repair quote that is 30% above the normal cost if they know it is an insurance claim. It is the loss adjuster's job to come to an agreement with the repair facility over the costs of any repairs. Once the loss adjuster and the garage have come to an agreement over the costs of the repairs to the vehicle, a document will be provided to the policy holder showing the repair costs minus any excesses and betterments that may be applicable to the policy. This document must be signed by the policyholder and returned to the insurer before repairs can be made. All costs of the repairs (minus excesses and betterments where applicable) will be paid directly by the insurance company to the garage.
When the repairs have been completed, the policyholder must then sign a discharge form, provided by the garage that states all work on the vehicle is done before it is allowed to leave. The insurer may allow a garage to start repair work based on a fax copy of the claims form, even if they do not have a copy of the police report. If all the documents are provided in a timely manner and the process goes smoothly, then repairs can typically start 7-14 days after the claims form has been completed.
Notes on Dealerships and Garages in Hong Kong
Named dealerships and 'High Profile' garages will typically charge HK$500 a day for leaving the car with them while waiting for repairs. If the repair work is completed with them then this 'housing' fee is normally waived, however if the policyholder (or the insurer) decides not to proceed with the repair work through the garage, then the fee is usually applicable. It is important to note that the insurance company will not pay this fee.
Non-authorized dealers and garages will typically charge up to 50% less than a named dealership or high profile garage. It is important to note that even non-authorized dealers will over price the repairs if they understand that it is insurance related, due to the fact that the loss adjuster will bring the cost down.
If you initially tell the garage that you will be paying for the repairs privately, or in cash, then you may be able to receive a significant discount on the costs of the work.
If you would like to learn more about the repair process, please contact our insurance experts today.