How to Claim on Car Insurance When Not at Fault

Find out the process of making a car insurance claim when you aren’t at fault in Savvy’s handy guide.

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, updated on July 24th, 2023       

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Car Insurance Banner - Woman sitting on the couch making a car insurance claim on her laptop

Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful experience, especially when you aren’t at fault. While dealing with the aftermath of the collision, knowing how to navigate the car insurance claim process can make a significant difference.

Understanding your rights and responsibilities when filing a claim can provide you with greater confidence about what you can and can’t claim for. In Savvy’s guide, we'll walk you through the steps to claim on car insurance when not at fault in Australia.

How do I make a car insurance claim when I’m not at fault?

Making a car insurance claim when you aren’t at fault can be an involved process, but understanding what you need to do can make it much smoother. Here are the steps you should take before and during the claims process:

After the incident and prior to filing your claim

  • Ensure safety: after an accident, prioritise safety. Check for injuries and call emergency services if needed. Move your vehicle to a safe location, and get any other other parties to do the same, to help prevent further hazards.
  • Collect information: it’s crucial to exchange names, contact details, driver's licence and registration numbers and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved. Also, gather contact information from any witnesses at the scene who may be able to reinforce that you weren’t at fault to your insurer.
  • Document the accident: take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road conditions and any relevant traffic signs or signals. This documentation can be crucial evidence during the claims process.
  • File a police report: you may also need to contact police and file an accident report, especially if there are injuries, significant property damage or disagreements about fault.
  • Check your insurance coverage: before starting the process, double-check your insurance policy’s PDS to ensure what you’re looking to claim for is actually covered. For instance, if personal effects in your vehicle were damaged, you may only be able to claim for this if you have comprehensive car insurance.

During the claims process

  • Contact your insurance provider: notify your car insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details, including the other driver's information and the police report number (if applicable).
  • Cooperate with your insurer: work closely with your insurance company throughout the claims process. Provide all requested documentation and information promptly.
  • Have fault determined: your insurance company will investigate the accident to determine fault. If you aren’t considered to be at fault and your claim is covered and approved, your insurer will try to recover costs from the at-fault driver's insurance.
  • Repairing your vehicle: if your vehicle requires repairs, your insurer may recommend an approved repairer. Alternatively, you may have the option to choose your preferred repairer, subject to your insurer’s approval, but you’ll need to confirm this option beforehand.
  • Temporary transportation: if your vehicle is undrivable, your insurance may cover the cost of a rental car or other temporary transportation during repairs.
  • Keep detailed records: maintain a record of all communication with your insurance company, the other driver's insurer, and any involved parties. Keep receipts for expenses incurred and follow up regularly on the progress of your claim.
  • Have your claim settled: once your insurer has all the information required and has conducted all relevant checks, you’ll be informed of the outcome of your claim. If approved, your insurer will cover the cost of your claimable expenses, minus any excess and up to pre-determined limits as set out in your policy.

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