FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR CLAIMS PROCESS

You want to be confident that your insurance will pay out when you need it. For most people, it’s only when they come to make a claim that they find out how good their insurance company is.

If you have a genuine claim we will look after you every step of the way. Our claims team is based in the UK and we will assign an individual claims handler to you so you have a dedicated point of contact throughout your claim. Our aim is to try to make, what can be a stressful experience, as easy as possible for you.

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked every day.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN MAKING A CLAIM?

You can expect your claim to be checked, and for any information upon which your policy was quoted to be validated for accuracy. Those checks, along with our counter fraud measures, are done quickly. Once verified, we will deal with your claim without delay. At all times we will treat you fairly, and provide you with the benefits available under your policy in accordance with industry best practice.

WHEN CAN I CONTACT YOU?

You can report an incident 24 hours a day 365 days a year on our dedicated number 0330 024 8000.

Should you need to speak to a claims handler, you may do so between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. You will be provided with the name of your dedicated claims handler and a direct contact number when we first write to you within 2 working days of the first notification of your claim.

You may email us at any time, although we will only respond between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday

For full contact details please click here.

Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. If phoning from a mobile please check with your mobile operator. All our calls are recorded for training purposes.

IF MY CAR IS STOLEN, WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

If your vehicle is recovered and repairable, it will be recovered to an approved repairer or repairer of your choosing and repaired in accordance with the terms and conditions of your policy.

If your vehicle is not recovered or is damaged beyond repair, we will require you to complete a claim form and send us the following documents:

Vehicle registration document
Purchase receipt
Evidence of payment
Vehicle photographs
We will require original documentation, which we recommend is sent to us by recorded delivery. Copy documentation can be sent by email or uploaded to our website to speed up the process. We will send you a link if you wish to upload documents directly to our website.

Please do not send the vehicle keys to us. We will collect these from you in the event that we need them. Do, however, keep them safe for inspection as we may refuse to deal with your claim if you are unable to provide us with these.

It is likely that we will then need to interview you at your home address and take a statement from you about the circumstances leading up to and including the discovery of the theft. If we intend to do this, we will write to you with the name of the investigation company carrying out the interview.

If you are a genuine claimant, you have no reason to be concerned about this. Subject to your availability, we would expect this to take anything between one and two weeks.

Once our investigation has finished we will pay you the market value of your vehicle at the time of the theft. If there is finance secured on your vehicle, we will need to pay the finance company first and any balance will be paid directly to you. You will be responsible for the balance of any finance agreement if the amount owed is higher than the value of the vehicle. If you have purchase GAP insurance from the dealer that sold the vehicle to you, you will need to ask them about the operation of that policy.

When we settle your claim, the vehicle becomes our property and you must notify us immediately if it is recovered.

MY CAR IS A TOTAL LOSS, HOW IS IT VALUED?

If your vehicle is a total loss, the vehicle will be assessed by an independent qualified engineer. This may involve a physical inspection of the vehicle or it may be undertaken remotely using images of the vehicle taken by the approved repairer. The vehicle is valued by reference to Glass’s Guide and other trader publications. The condition of the vehicle will be taken into consideration, as will any pre-existing damage and vehicle mileage. The vehicle is valued on the assumption that it has a valid MOT certificate where one is required and that it has been serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

The amount that we offer you will be based upon the engineer’s valuation. It is intended to be a sum of money that will put you in a position to purchase a replacement vehicle with one of similar make, model, year, specification, mileage and condition from the market in which you are likely to purchase the replacement. Whilst certain insurers may have had a reputation for making low offers, we offer the full amount of the valuation. Although we are happy to review any valuation on request, you should not expect this to result in an increase in the offer, as every care is taken to ensure that we get it right first time.

If you are not happy with the valuation, you should do some research to see whether vehicles advertised for sale in your local area support your view. If you still think that our valuation is low, telephone your dedicated claim handler and ask for the valuation to be reviewed.

If we can identify suitable vehicles offered locally for a similar amount than we have offered, we will not increase the valuation.

If similar vehicles cannot be found advertised in your locality, a nationwide search will be undertaken to identify the likely sale value of the vehicle if one were available in your area.

If the advertisements cause the handler to believe that the valuation is inadequate, the matter will be discussed with an engineer and you can expect a decision within 48 hours.

If you remain unsatisfied with the valuation, we will refer the matter to an alternative engineering firm who will contact you within a week to discuss and agree the valuation with you. We will also issue an interim payment in the sum offered. Please note that you are free to bank any payments that we make to you in respect of your vehicle and continue to escalate the matter further. We will send you an additional payment in the event that an increased settlement is agreed.

If you are still unhappy with the valuation you have the right to pursue the matter through our complaint procedure which is described in your policy documents and on our website. The matter will then be reviewed at a senior level and a final decision relayed to you, which you may then refer to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you choose to.

WHEN MAY I HAVE A COURTESY CAR OR HIRE CAR?

If you choose to use one of our approved repairers, you will be provided with a small courtesy vehicle for the duration of the repairs. This will typically be a small manual vehicle. It should be presented to you in a clean and tidy condition and should be less than 3 years old. The vehicle will be fully insured under your own policy of motor insurance held with us at no additional expense to you and will be subject to the same terms and conditions of that policy.

You should exercise the same degree of care when using the vehicle as you would with your own and you should return the vehicle on completion of the repairs in the same condition and with the same amount of fuel as it had when you got it.

Whilst specific requests, e.g. automatics, will be considered, we cannot guarantee that it will be possible to meet the request. If you are disabled and require particular assistance, please contact your dedicated handler who will be able to make the necessary arrangements for you.

All courtesy vehicles are provided by the approved repairer under the agreement that we have with them. If you choose to use a different repairer, you will need to speak to them directly about courtesy vehicles.

A courtesy vehicle is not available if your own vehicle is a total loss. If it is a borderline decision, the repairer might not provide you with a courtesy vehicle until the work has been estimated and it is determined that they will be undertaking the repair.

A courtesy vehicle is provided as a convenience for social domestic and pleasure purpose only. If it is covered by your policy, you may also use it to travel to and from a permanent place of work. You may not use the courtesy vehicle in connection with any business and you may not take the vehicle out of the country.

If you are involved in an accident that you do not consider was your fault and you require a vehicle of similar specification to your own damaged vehicle, we will refer you to our business partner, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to see whether they can assist you. If they agree to accept your case, you will be provided with a hire vehicle for the duration of any repairs and the hire costs will be recovered from the responsible driver’s motor insurer. They will also consider providing you with a vehicle if your own vehicle is a total loss and is not driveable following an accident.

Please note that a vehicle will only be provided in the event that Enterprise considers that you have reasonable prospects of recovering the costs of hire from the third party. If Enterprise will not accept your case, they will explain why and you will remain entitled to a courtesy vehicle as described above.

HOW DO YOU ESTABLISH WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR AN ACCIDENT?

When you report an accident, we give careful consideration to the information you provide and we aim to give you an early indication of the likely outcome.

Some accidents are easier to determine responsibility for than others. It is important, therefore, that you provide us with as much detail of the accident as you can. This might include your statement, a sketch, photographs or video evidence. The more factual information that you are able to provide, the better.

Where you provide us with details of witnesses to the accident, we will write to them and ask for a statement if necessary. In certain circumstances, we may need to interview you. We might also interview witnesses or visit the scene of the accident to prepare diagrams and take further photographs.

Where it is felt that it is necessary we might also obtain a copy of the police report, if they attended the scene of the accident.

Once we have gathered together all of the evidence that we consider is needed, we will make a decision and settle the claim on that basis.

WILL MY NO CLAIMS DISCOUNT (NCD) BE LOST?

If you make any claim where we make a payment that we are unable to recover, your NCB will be lost. If you have chosen to protect your NCB, you are permitted a maximum of two losses in any consecutive period of 5 years without loss of your NCB.

NCB is not lost where a claim is made under any windscreen cover that may be available under the terms of  your policy.

WHY TO I HAVE TO PAY AN EXCESS?

The policy excess is the first amount of any claim for damage to your vehicle that you are required to pay.

Policy excesses are applied by insurers to encourage care on the part of the customer regarding property covered under the policy and to dissuade trivial claims and thereby  reduce the premium that you pay.

If an accident is not your fault, your excess will be your responsibility until we are satisfied that we will be able to recover the full costs from the responsible party’s insurer. In the event that we are unable to recover the full costs, you will remain liable for the policy excess.

HOW LONG WILL MY CLAIM TAKE?

A straightforward claim where no other party is involved will most probably be settled within a very short period of time. Claims with multiple parties involving liability disputes may take considerably longer. Claims involving significant injury can take many years to settle.

We will endeavour to settle your claim as quickly as possible and to update you where necessary.

WHY MAY YOU WANT TO MEET ME?

In certain circumstances, we will instruct a professional firm to arrange for somebody to come and see you and possibly take a statement from you. We only instruct reputable firms who we take through a rigorous vetting process before they are appointed. Once appointed, they are subject to regular review to ensure that they are performing professionally and to an acceptable standard.

Where such a firm is instructed, you will be notified by us beforehand. Do not allow anybody into your home unless we have told you of their appointment. The appointed firm will contact you by telephone or letter and identify who they are. They will make an appointment convenient to you and you can expect the representative to be professional, polite and courteous throughout.

The representative is there to help us understand your claim so that we deal with it in the most appropriate way and as efficiently as possible, so it is in your interests to meet with our representative as soon as you can and provide your fullest cooperation.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO INSPECT MY CAR?

We will arrange an inspection of your vehicle if you are claiming for repair or for the total loss value of the vehicle. Inspections are routinely carried out whether the repair is undertaken by one of our approved repairers, or a repairer of your choosing.

Depending on the nature of the inspection and the extent of any damage, the inspection may be a physical inspection or it may take place remotely by digital imaging.

In all cases, where an inspection is necessary, we would normally expect this to take place within 3 working days of the engineer being instructed.

I AM NOT MAKING A CLAIM, MUST I STILL REPORT THE INCIDENT?

Any incident that might give rise to a claim under your policy must be notified, whether you intend to make a claim or not. This includes all accidents or other incidents such as theft, fire, storm, vandalism or any other cause of damage to your vehicle.

It is of particular importance that you report any accident or incident that results in injury or alleged injury to any vehicle passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, even if you believe that the accident was not your responsibility. It will serve to protect your interests if we are given the opportunity to investigate such claims as early as possible to ensure that the evidence is fresh and still available. Claims can be brought against you for up to three years after an accident, or longer still where children are injured or the claimant is without capacity.

You may prejudice our position if you do not report these claims as soon as you can and, if this occurs, you might not be entitled to the protection of your policy.

If you report a claim for information purposes only, it will be recorded as such and your No Claim Bonus (NCB) will not be affected if we are not ultimately required to make a payment. The costs that we incur in investigating any claim will not in themselves affect your NCB.

WILL I NEED TO ATTEND COURT?

You may need to attend court if the other party disputes responsibility for the accident and agreement cannot be reached.

We will notify you if this is likely and inform you of the identity of any solicitor appointed to act on your behalf.

You may also be required to attend court if you pursue a claim and the amount of your claim is disputed by the other side.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT?

Firstly, you should make certain that you and everybody else involved in the accident are not injured and are safe. You should also consider the safety of other road users and, where necessary and possible, and only if it does not place you in a position of danger, move the vehicles to a position of safety.

If anybody is injured or you are causing or likely to cause danger to other road users, the emergency services should be contacted immediately by dialling 999.

If you are unable to move your vehicle and it is presenting a danger to other road users, consider whether any action is possible to warn approaching motorists of the danger without placing yourself or others at risk.

Once you have dealt with any immediate emergency, you should exchange details with the third party. Please obtain as much information as possible to include the name and address and contact details (telephone numbers/email address) of the driver, the make, model, colour and registration number of the third party vehicle and the number of passengers carried in any other vehicles involved.

If the accident was not your fault, please obtain the name, address and contact numbers of any independent witnesses.

If the accident was your fault and there were no serious injuries, please provide the third party with our name and your policy number and invite him/her to contact us on 0330 024 8000. As soon as you report the accident to us, we will be able to assist the third party with vehicle repairs and a replacement vehicle whilst theirs is off the road. We will in any event contact the third party within 24 hours of your report of the accident to offer these services if he/she has not already made contact.

In all case, please take any photographs that might assist in the determination of liability and photographs of damage to the vehicles. If you were at fault, this may protect you against claims for additional damage at a later date or claims from passengers that were not there.

CAN I SEND YOU PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ACCIDENT?

Photographs can be emailed to claims@sabre.co.uk or to your claims handler.  Please ensure that you quote your claim number or policy number in the subject line of any email. If you do not have either of these, your registration will suffice.

ARE TELEPHONE CALLS RECORDED?

All incoming and outgoing calls are recorded.

HOW DO I CONTACT YOU?

Please refer to the contact us area of our website.

WILL REPAIRS TO MY CAR BE GUARANTEED?

Yes, repairs are guaranteed for 5 years.

MAY I GO TO MY OWN REPAIRER?

You may choose to go to your own repairer. Please ask the repairer to email a repair estimate to claims@sabre.co.uk. It would assist if the repairer is able to quote your claim or policy number, but we should be able to identify your claim from the vehicle registration number.

We will arrange an inspection, agree costs, and authorise repairs to your chosen repairer, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. In the event that we are unable to agree costs with your chosen repairer, we will give you the opportunity to use an approved repairer or accept a cash payment in lieu of repairs, allowing you to make your own arrangement for repair.

We will not pay for any work or other expense incurred without our prior agreement.

Courtesy vehicles are provided by our approved repairer, so we will be unable to guarantee a courtesy vehicle if you use your own repairer. You will need to arrange this with the repairer directly. Similarly, you will need to agree any guarantee with your chosen repairer and we will not be able to intervene in any subsequent dispute that might arise with the repairer about repair quality or any other matter.

I HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY THE POLICE THAT I AM TO BE PROSECUTED. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You should notify us immediately of any intended prosecution. We may, at our discretion, arrange and pay for legal representation for you.

I HAVE RECEIVED A LETTER FROM A REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE THIRD PARTY. WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH IT?

Any correspondence received in connection with any accident or claim should be passed to us immediately and unanswered. You may post correspondence to us, scan it and email it to claims@sabre.co.uk or take an image on your telephone or other device and email it to us. In all communications, please quote your claim or policy number.

THE OTHER DRIVER HAS SAID THEY ARE CLAIMING FOR INJURY, BUT THEY WERE UNINJURED AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT. WHAT WILL YOU DO?

All claims for personal injury are carefully scrutinised to access cause. This means that we will consider all the available evidence to determine whether it is likely on the balance of probability that a court will accept that the claimant is injured.

In all cases where you raise a concern or we have our own concerns, whether that is in relation to third parties, their passengers or your own passengers, the case will be referred to our counter fraud team.

The law has recently been changed to allow us to recover costs against the claimant where the claim is found to be fundamentally dishonest and, where this is the case, any legal expenses policy that is supposed to protect the claimant will not operate, meaning that the claimant is entirely responsible for our legal costs.

Where the evidence enables us to do so, we take a very hard line against claimants in these circumstances. In this way, we seek to protect you from paying additional premium to meet the cost of these fraudulent claims.

IF MY CAR IS A WRITE OFF CAN I KEEP IT?

If your vehicle is written off, you are permitted to retain the salvage, although we strongly recommend against it.

Where it is assessed that the vehicle is beyond economical repair, it is placed on the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register and the damage is recorded on Hire Purchase Interest. In the event that you wish to retain the vehicle or even if you withdraw your claim, these markers will remain against the vehicle and may make it difficult to sell or insure.

In the event that you or somebody else repairs the vehicle and returns it to the road, it may require a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) before it can be taxed. Full details can be found on the Gov website here. The Gov website also provides details of what happens to vehicles that have been written off. For more details visit the Gov website here.

Where a vehicle is incurring storage charges, it will be moved to a place of free storage, but it will be disposed of rapidly. You will receive a letter to advise you that this is going to happen. The value of the salvage is held to your benefit pending settlement of the claim.

If you wish to retain your vehicle, you must notify us as early as possible and we will make certain it is kept safe for you. If you do not designate a location to deliver the salvage to, we will store the vehicle at a cost to you of £5 per day + VAT.

IF MY CAR IS STOLEN OR WRITTEN OFF IN AN ACCIDENT, DO I HAVE TO KEEP PAYING MY INSTALMENTS?

If we pay you for the loss of your vehicle under the terms of the policy, the full annual premium is payable. You will have received the full benefits payable under the relevant section of the policy and the policy must be paid for in full.

If you have paid your full annual premium in advance, you will not receive a partial refund. If you agreed to pay by instalments, you must continue to pay the monthly instalments until the policy is fully paid. If you default on an instalment, the balance of the premium becomes payable immediately.

We do allow you to substitute a vehicle on to your policy in place of the vehicle that is lost or written off for the remaining period of the policy, provided that you do so within a short period of being paid. An additional premium may be payable based upon the age, specification and value of the replacement vehicle.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CAR HAS BEEN STOLEN/WRITTEN OFF AND MY MOT HAD EXPIRED?

You must ensure that your vehicle is maintained in a roadworthy condition at all times and that it has a valid MOT certificate where required.

If you do not have a valid MOT we will deal with your claim unless it is established that your vehicle was suffering from a fault that would have been identified in an MOT test and that the fault has contributed to the cause of the loss. If we agree to deal with your claim, you will be required to submit your vehicle for MOT following any repairs and you will be directly responsible for the costs associated with putting the vehicle through MOT. If your vehicle is a total loss, you can expect the value of the vehicle to be reduced to reflect the difference in value between a vehicle of similar specification being sold with a valid MOT and one being sold without.

MY CAR HAS BEEN STOLEN - HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I RECEIVE AN OFFER?

We endeavour to deal with all claims as quickly as possible to minimise any inconvenience to you.

Please see the section explaining what will happen if your vehicle is stolen. You can speed up the process by sending us the required documentation when you first tell us about your claim, instead of waiting until we ask for it and by cooperating with our representative and arranging an appointment as soon as it is offered or dealing with any other request made of you as rapidly as you can.

If you do everything you can to assist in the process, we would aim to be in a position to make you an offer within 2 to 3 weeks. If you do not cooperate in the process, or fail to provide satisfactory documentation, the process could take considerably longer.

We will keep you informed at all stages.

WHAT IF MY VEHICLE IS ON FINANCE?

If you purchased your vehicle on finance and there is a financial interest recorded against you vehicle, we are obliged by law to pay the finance company the entire balance of the finance up to the value of the settlement, before any balance is paid to you. You should contact the finance company as soon as you are advised that your vehicle is a total loss and ask them to provide you with a settlement figure. Please pass the settlement figure to us urgently, as we will not be able to pay your claim until we have this.

If the outstanding balance exceeds the sum due to you under the policy, you will remain liable to the finance company for the balance of the finance agreement. If you have purchased GAP insurance, this may cover the balance and you should make enquiries with the GAP insurer. GAP insurance is offered by motor dealers when the vehicle is sold. If you are uncertain whether you have cover, you should ask the dealer who sold the vehicle to you.