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Should you lodge a car insurance claim?
To claim or not to claim? It’s totally up to you! But considering a few common scenarios might help you make your decision.
1. Your excess is higher than the repair costs of your car
Sometimes – especially after a minor car accident – your excess may cost more than the actual repair costs. If you make a claim and your excess is higher than the total claim cost, we will reimburse the difference.
What’s an excess?
It’s the amount that you’ll pay out of your pocket when you make a claim. If the cost of repairing or replacing your car is higher than the excess, AAMI will pay the rest (up to the amount covered).
Excesses may be annoying, but they help keep your premiums low.
Ever wondered what car insurance excess is and how it affects you?
Let's find out.
Car insurance excess is a payment you may need to make if you make a claim on your car insurance and your insurer accepts that claim. The money goes towards the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. You confirm the amount you agree to pay before you take up or renew your policy. So it's important to be familiar with the different types and whether they could apply to you.
At AAMI, there are six types of excess; standard excess, unlisted driver excess, flexi-premium excess, age excess, inexperienced driver excess, and driver history excess.
First we have standard excess. A standard AAMI car insurance excess is the base amount you would pay for a claim covered by your policy. Not every claim you make will require it. For example, if you weren't at fault and you can provide the name and address of the at fault driver and the registration details of their vehicle, you probably won't have to pay an excess.
Second, some excesses are increased for unlisted drivers. If you have AAMI comprehensive car insurance, let us know when someone is driving your car regularly as an additional driver. A higher age excess or inexperienced driver excess will apply to unlisted drivers. A regular driver might be anyone who you expect to drive your car more than once during your policy period. Learners don't need to be listed because you or another experienced additional driver will be in the car with them. Though, the age or inexperienced driver excess will apply if they're driving at the time of an insured event. Don't forget to let us know when they move on to their P-plates.
Third, we have have AAMI age excess. An AAMI age excess will apply if you or another person under 25 has an accident while driving your vehicle and you make a claim. Similar to the age excess, we have inexperienced driver excess. If the driver is 25 years or over and has had their licence for less than two consecutive years, or is a learner driver, you'll need to pay an inexperienced driver excess. The age or inexperienced driver excess are in addition to the standard excess and any other excess that applies. On top of that, if they're not listed on your policy, a higher inexperienced driver excess applies. If you do have someone else using your vehicle, add them to your policy.
Next, we have flexi-premiums excess. At AAMI, voluntary excess is called flexi-premiums excess. This allows you to pay a higher amount in the event of a claim in exchange for a cheaper premium. That means you'll pay less overall if you don't have any accidents, but you'll pay more if you do get into a scrape and an excess is payable. You can choose how much excess you want to pay from our options when you're getting a quote or renewing your policy. If you choose a higher excess, you'll usually pay a lower premium and vice versa. The flexi-premiums excess is available for AAMI comprehensive car insurance, but not AAMI third-party insurance.
Lastly, we have driver history excess. A driver history excess applies to people who have had their licence cancelled, suspended, disqualified, or restricted in the three years prior to the start of the current policy period. We may not offer insurance to someone with this driving history. Additional excesses only apply if the relevant driver was driving, using or in charge of the car at the time of the incident. They will always apply in addition to a standard and flexi-premium excess.
With all the different surprises life can throw at us, it's important to be ready. AAMI comprehensive car insurance provides cover for accidental loss or damage to your car from incidents like flood, collision and impact, liability for accidental loss or damage to another person's car or property up to $20 million, malicious damage or vandalism, hire car after theft up to 21 days, two years new for old replacement, following write-off or theft, after claim expenses like emergency accommodation and more.
Conditions and exclusions apply, so check out the relevant product disclosure statement for more info. You can save up to $50 when you buy a new car insurance policy online. Head to our website to find out more.
What if only the windscreen or window glass is damaged?
Are the glass sections of your car – which includes your sunroof – the only damaged parts of it? Good news! We’ll replace them without you having to pay an excess if you have Windscreen and Window Glass optional cover added to your Comprehensive Car Insurance.
For info, read the PDS.
Damaged your car's windscreen, window glass, or sunroof? Here's how you can have it fixed if you have comprehensive insurance.
First thing to do is decide if you need to lodge a claim or not. Your Standard and Flexi-Premiums excess applies when you make a claim. But if you have added the optional windscreen and window glass cover to your comprehensive car insurance policy, you have one excess-free glass claim per policy period.
Chips that aren't repaired can turn into cracks, so it's best to lodge your claims sooner rather than later. After you have lodged your claim, we will refer you to a specialist glass supplier. They will contact you to arrange the next steps. Our glass supplier will determine if the glass can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced.
They are also able to arrange recalibration of windscreen centres and replacement of window tint. If your windscreen needs to be replaced, our glass supplier will use glass that meets the Australian Design Rules, as well as the Australian standard ASZS2080, which are the same rules that all manufacturers must meet for vehicle glass.
For more info, visit aami.com.au.
2. Your vehicle seems like it would be a total loss
In some situations, your car might be declared a total loss or ‘write off’. For example, if:
- it’s unsafe to repair, or
- the estimated cost of repairs exceeds the value of the car.
Our Comprehensive Car Insurance may provide a payout in total loss claims. If you’re eligible for new for old replacement, and you’re the first registered owner of a car that’s less than two years old, we’ll even replace your car with a similar make and model.
Check out the PDS for more info.
3. There is no damage to your car, but you’ve hit someone’s car or property
Your excess will cover the cost of repairing the other person’s vehicle and property, as well as towing, assessment fees, the hire car, and other incurred costs.
4. You’re in an accident but not at fault
Your excess may be waived in car accident claims like these. You’ll also retain your AAMI Safe Driver status. Just remember to get the at-fault party’s full name, address and vehicle rego.
Always read your PDS for the full list of T and Cs.
5. You’ve received demands from a third party
What happens if you get into a collision with someone who demands that you pay their repair costs? In situations like these, always speak to AAMI first – even if you’re unsure whether you’re at fault. It’s often tricky to tell who’s at fault right after an accident, especially if you’re too close to the scene. For example, the other party may have broken a road rule right before the collision.
So, to be on the safe side, don’t enter into any agreements without all the info at hand.
What about the legal costs?
If you decide to lodge a motor claim, the necessary legal costs will likely be covered if they are incurred after making the claim. You’d have to pay out of pocket for this however if you don’t claim through AAMI.
You’ve just had an accident.
So… you might be feeling a little stressed, which is totally fair. Even a minor accident can give you quite the scare.
Whether your vehicle has sustained major damage or has just left a scratch, the next question you might be wondering is, ‘Should I claim?’
Whether you lodge an AAMI claim or not is entirely up to you.
But let us walk you through 6 scenarios to help you choose whether to make a claim or not.
1. Your excess is higher than the cost to repair your car
When you lodge a claim with AAMI, we consider the total claim cost, which can include; repairs, assessment fees, towing and hire car. With most AAMI recommended repairers, repairs are automatically approved, so work can start straight away and prevent any delays.
After your repairs are completed, we review the claim and if your excess is higher than the total claim cost, be reassured, we will reimburse the difference.
At fault claims may affect your AAMI Safe Driver status. You may also consider this when deciding whether or not to claim.
You are able to obtain your own quote from a repairer and use this when deciding whether or not to claim.
2. Your vehicle could be a total loss.
If your vehicle is unsafe to drive, it’s important you don’t continue using it.
If you’re an AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance customer and your vehicle has been written off, you may receive a cash settlement.
If your car is less than two years old and you’re the first registered owner, and have been continuously insured with AAMI, we will replace it with a new car of the same make, model, and series if available, or similar if not. Otherwise, you’ll be paid the amount covered on your certificate of insurance, less any deductions. In this case, claiming may make sense for you.
Head to our website to compare levels of cover and what might be right for you.
3. When there is no damage to your own car, but you have hit another car or property.
While no repair may be needed on your own vehicle, your excess will cover the repairs to the other vehicle or property, and include other incurred costs like towing, assessment fees, and hire car costs with Third Party property damage, Third Party Fire and Theft, and Comprehensive Car Insurance.
We are here to assist and give you peace of mind, so it may be worth claiming in this scenario.
4. You’re in an accident but not at fault.
Whilst stopped at a set of traffic lights a car behind rear ends your vehicle. Should you claim? If you are found to be not at fault, you’ll retain your AAMI Safe Driver status once the claim is settled.
Your excess may also be waived. It’s very important for you to provide the at fault party’s full name, address, and registration of the vehicle.
5. You’ve received demands from a third party.
You got into a car collision involving another party, and they’ve requested you pay their car repairs and associated costs.
What if you’re concerned about being able to afford the excess?
With AAMI, if you are concerned about being able to afford your excess we are there to talk to you about your options
I’m not at fault, but I’ve already paid the excess
If you pay an excess upfront and later learn that you weren’t at fault, we’ll refund you accordingly, if you can provide the name, address and rego details of the at-fault driver.
What if repair costs are lower than expected?
Sometimes the total claim cost can end up costing less than the excess charged. In these cases, you’ll be refunded the difference.
Claim 24/7 through a simple, guided process
Where can I make a claim?
How do I make a claim?
1. Sign into your AAMI My Account and choose the policy you’d like to make a claim for. Select ‘make a claim.’
2. Follow the guided prompts. Supply photos, docs and details where required.
3. Once you’ve submitted the form, you’ll be prompted to pay an excess (if applicable), book repairs and a hire car (if eligible).
It’s as simple as that!
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. Go to aami.com.au for a copy. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.