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Claims for vehicle repairs - tips to ease the process

The claim process for a vehicle repair can feel tedious and stressful at times, but this does not need to be the case, says Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).
Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation
“Taking out a mechanical breakdown insurance policy is a great way to assist a vehicle owner financially in the case of a mechanical failure on their motor vehicle. The secret to a smooth and stress-free claim process lies in understanding the process and using the right repairer,” he says.

Generally the insurer requires a claim be logged and validated prior to work being carried out on the vehicle. “In order to validate a claim, the nature and extent of the damage needs to be assessed. All claims must be logged as soon as possible and all failure reports, quotes and service records need to be submitted. The terms and conditions of a warranty normally require that approval of the claim be obtained prior to commencing with the repairs. With the exception of emergency repairs, a claim may be invalid if repairs are done without the necessary claims authorisation,” says Anton Botha, chief operations officer at MotoVantage.

He adds that mechanical breakdown warranties in structure are very similar. “The major differences between the various policies that are available on the market relate to the components that are covered and the benefit limits of the covered components.”

Customers who take their vehicles to repairers who are not adequately equipped to conduct the repairs often cause delays. “It is important to take the vehicle to an RMI or administrator approved repair centre which has the required equipment i.e. diagnostic equipment to do diagnostic tests especially on electrical failures,” Olivier says.

Here are top tips for vehicle owners to ensure the claim process is easy:
  • Log the claim as quickly as possible when a failure is impending or has occurred.
  • Have your policy number and vehicle details on hand when logging a claim.
  • Ensure you have your vehicle’s service history as this will be requested at point of claim.
  • Take your vehicle to an RMI or administrator approved repair centre.
  • Ensure that the repair centre provides the administrator with a full failure report, diagnostic reports and photographs at point of logging the claim.
  • Ensure the repair centre provides a detailed quotation with accurate pricing and parts listing at point of claim.

“If vehicle owners take care of their vehicles and service them as required, keep service history and follow the prescribed claims process there should be no hiccups at claims stage,” he says. “Motorite has a team of qualified motor technicians that evaluate and authorise claims. The more information we have available, the quicker and easier the process will be.”

Olivier says it is also very important for vehicle owners to understand the warranty they purchased and the specific provisions. “Don’t be afraid to contact your insurer or the administrator when a claim or possible claim occurs. They will be able to guide you if you are uncertain.”

Vehicles require routine servicing and maintenance to prolong their life span and to mitigate the probability of mechanical failures occurring on major serviceable components like the engine, turbo, gearbox and differential as well as the cooling system which requires regular checks for leaks and coolant pressure. “RMI members including the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) and the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) are accredited repairers. By using these workshops to service and repair your vehicle you can be assured of a professional service and efficiency in the claim process. If this is not your experience then there is recourse through the RMI’s dispute resolution process. It’s important for vehicle owners to understand that by using an accredited service provider they are protected,” he concludes.
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