Old Mutual Insure Assist

 

Emergency tips and advice– Including a step-by-step guide on what you should do after a car accident and hints on how to deal with home emergencies.

Questions and Answers – We answer your questions on a variety of insurance related issues, and define the meaning of some of the more complicated insurance words and phrases.

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If you have a question or need advice on something we may not have covered in this section, click here to submit your query.

No matter how careful you are, accidents do happen at home, at work and especially on the road. In this section, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on what you should do if you are involved in a vehicle accident, and some guidelines to follow in the event of an emergency at home.

  • What to do after a vehicle accident – Following these guidelines will help you stay calm and in control in the event of an accident on the road.
  • Home emergency tips – We give you advice on what to do if you have an emergency at home from dealing with a burst geyser to protecting yourself in case of a fire.

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If you have any hints or advice from your own experiences that you’d like to share with us, click here.

Car accident tips and advice

As anyone who has ever been in a vehicle accident will tell you, it is a shocking and stressful experience especially if you have been injured, or have injured someone else and it’s not always easy to think clearly. That’s why we’ve put together this guide that you can print out and keep it in your car’s glove compartment. This way, if you are involved in an accident, you will know what steps to follow to ensure the best possible outcome.

  • Stop your car immediately – if you think there may be injuries, or damage to other vehicles or property, stop straight away. It is an offence not to stop.
  • Make sure the scene is safe – switch your car off and turn on your hazard lights to alert oncoming traffic about the accident.
  • Stay calm – try to remain calm and not panic while you wait for help to arrive.
  • Don’t accept liability – Be careful not to take the blame for any incident until you have spoken to your insurer. Instead of saying ‘Sorry, this was my fault’ – first speak to your insurance partner, submit the relevant documentation and let them investigate the incident.
  • Call the police – if someone is injured, the collision has caused a dangerous situation, or someone leaves the scene without exchanging details, call the police immediately. If the accident was minor and there were no injuries, but you have damage to your vehicle, it must be reported to the police within 24 hours. You will not be able to claim from your insurer unless you have a police case number.
  • Exchange information – by law, all parties involved in an accident must exchange details. Ask the other driver for their name, ID number, address, telephone numbers (try to get a home number as well as a cellphone number) and their insurance details. You must also provide this information to them. In addition, record any other details you think may be relevant e.g. if you think the driver of the other vehicle was using a mobile phone, or appeared to have been drinking, etc. Make note of the details – always make sure you have a pen and paper in your glove compartment so that you can write down the details of the accident, including:
    • Date, time and place the accident occurred
    • The other vehicles’ make, model and colour, registration number/s
    • Details of the owner of the other motor vehicle, if not the driver – i.e. name, address and telephone numbers (home/work/cell).
    • Name, address and telephone numbers (home/work/cell) of any witnesses.
    • Name of police or traffic officer, if present, and their police station.
    • Name/telephone number of the towing operator.
    • If you can, make a sketch of the scene, or, if your mobile phone has a camera, take pictures of the road layout, the position of the vehicles, skid marks, collision points and the damage caused.
  • Notify your insurance company – you must notify your insurance company immediately of any accident you have been involved in, regardless of whether or not a claim is to be made or whose fault it was. Give them all the details, notes, photographs etc.
  • If you are not able to drive your car, call Swiftcare on 0860 24 7 365 and we will arrange for your vehicle to be towed to a Old Mutual Insure approved repair centre. If your car is drivable, phone one of our Multi-purpose Assessment centres to make an appointment for an assessment.

Third Party insurance covers you against claims made by others against you. For example, if it is proven that you were the cause of an accident involving another vehicle (third party) your Third Party insurance will cover any costs you may be liable for.

These include costs relating to death, injury and damage, as well as any legal costs that could be claimed from you. If you do receive any claim from a third party, please pass the correspondence on to us immediately, so that we can deal with it on your behalf (in accordance with your policy contract and provided that the terms of your policy have been met). We have a dedicated team available to deal with third party claims. This team also specialises in the recovery of the cost of repairs, including your excess, should the accident have been caused by the other driver.

It is important that you not accept any liability until you have reported the incident to us.

Once we have established that your vehicle cannot be repaired, a Claims Negotiator will contact you with the details of what to do next and what documentation is required to settle your claim.

If we are unable to recover your vehicle, our Claims Department will let you know what to do next and what documents we need in order to settle your claim as quickly as possible.

If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident you can expect a host of tow trucks to arrive, all clamouring to be the one to tow your vehicle away! Worse still, you could find a police officer advising or insisting that you choose a particular tow operator to clear the accident scene.

Here’s what you should know:

  • No towing operator or police officer has the right to force you to make use of a specific towing operator.
  • Should a police officer attempt to force you to make use of a particular towing operator, a charge can be laid against the officer at the nearest police station. In this case, make sure you take note of the officer’s details.
  • The responsibility for moving any obstruction to traffic rests with the police department, not the towing operator.

What should you do?

As an Old Mutual Insure comprehensive motor vehicle policyholder, you automatically have access to Swift Accident Management Solutions’ 24 hour towing service. If your car is not drivable, you should call them immediately on 0860 24 7 365. (Note: even if your motor vehicle is only insured with us for Third Party, Fire and Theft or Third Party only, our management help-desk will continue to assist you.

However, the towing costs will be for your own account, subject to your Old Mutual Insure policy terms and conditions).

When the towing operator dispatched and authorised by the Swift Accident Management Solutions help-desk arrives, he should be both professional and courteous. Should the service not live up to your expectations, please take the relevant name(s) and motor vehicle registration, and report your complaint to us. We will ensure that appropriate action is taken.

If you would like more information about any of the Old Mutual Insure Vehicle Insurance products and services mentioned here, call us now on 0860 22 55 63 or submit your details and we’ll call you back.

Emergency tips & Advice

Your home is the one place you should be able to feel secure, but unfortunately burglaries, accidents, fire and other damage can happen to anyone, with devastating and often costly results. Here we take a look at what you should do if you are faced with dealing with an emergency at home:

If you enter your property and notice anything out of place, leave immediately as the intruders may still be inside. Rather leave the premises and call the police from your cellphone, or from a neighbour’s home. In addition:

  • Don’t clean up or move anything until the police have had a chance to inspect the scene, or you could be damaging vital evidence. The police will want to take a statement from you, as well as photographs and fingerprints.
  • The police will also give you a case number. Keep this safe as you’ll need it for your insurance claim.
  • If your bank or credit cards have been stolen, call the bank’s emergency number and have them stopped. These services are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so don’t delay. If any important documents are missing, such as your passport, report that to the police too.
  • Check your home for damage and make a list of all the items that were stolen before you contact your insurer. If possible include items’ model and serial numbers, how much you paid for them, as well as any purchase receipts, instruction manuals or photographs you may have. The more detail you provide, the more helpful the information will be to assist us in dealing with your claim quickly and efficiently.

Important: Make sure that you report your claim within 30 days of the incident, and have your policy number handy when you call to submit your claim. If you had previously prepared for the possibility of a loss by videotaping or photographing your possessions and filling out an Inventory Form, have this information available for the assessment. An Internal Claims Consultant, External Loss Adjuster or an investigator will be appointed and will contact you within 24 hours.

Burst pipes and geysers and the resulting water damage are common household emergencies. Here’s what you should do if it happens to you:

  • The first thing to do is switch off the geyser isolator switches on your main electrical distribution board. If in doubt, switch off your main electricity supply.
  • Then turn off the water at the geyser inlet valve to minimise further water damage to ceilings, walls, carpeting and furniture. If your geyser is inaccessible, or you are not sure where the valve is located, (or if you have a burst pipe) turn off your water at the mains.
  • Once the water and electricity have been switched off, open up all the hot taps – your bath, basins, shower, kitchen, etc. This will drain out some of the hot water from the geyser, but its main purpose is to release the pressure in the geyser cylinder thereby making it leak less.
  • If you have switched off the main water supply to the whole house, you can also open up all the cold taps, as this will sometimes drain all the hot water from the geyser instead of it leaking onto your ceiling.
  • If you have an Old Mutual Insure Houseowners policy, call our Claims Department immediately to report the damage and an External Loss Adjuster or an investigator will be appointed and will contact you within 24 hours.

One thing we have no control over is the weather. While we are relatively lucky in South Africa, we do occasionally have bad weather spells that can result in serious damage to property. If your home is damaged by storm, hail or flood, make sure you do the following:

  • In the event of a flood, dry up as much water as possible to minimise further damage (items like carpets and curtains can be saved if drying takes place promptly). Remove furniture and household contents from wet areas.
  • If the flood is due to a burst water pipe, turn off the main water supply.
  • If your home has been damaged during a storm (for example if a tree has fallen on the roof), or you have damage caused by hail, evaluate the damage so that you can describe it clearly to your insurer. In need, board up any broken windows or doors.

If you have an Old Mutual Insure Houseowners policy, call our Claims Department immediately to report the damage and an External Loss Adjuster or an investigator will be appointed and will contact you within 24 hours.

Experiencing a house fire is a frightening and upsetting experience. In the event of a fire, it is very important to know what to do to protect yourself and others from any possibility of harm.

  • Contact the emergency services in your area immediately or call 10111.
  • If you are inside the house when a fire starts, check where the fire is coming from. If there is smoke coming from under a door, do not open it. Even if you don't see smoke, there could still be fire on the other side, so feel the door and doorknob with the back of your hand to see if it is warm or hot.
  • If the door and doorknob are not hot, slowly open the door. If you can see an escape route, stay low to the ground – crawl on your hands and knees as fast as you can until you can get out of the house. Don't walk upright – since smoke rises, you're more likely to inhale smoke if you are higher up.
  • If you see smoke or fire coming from under a door, block the cracks in the door with towels, blankets or clothes so the smoke doesn't come in.
  • Open a window and shout ‘FIRE’ as loud as you can.
  • If you have water, wet a shirt or pillowcase and cover your mouth and nose so you don't breathe in too much smoke.
  • If your clothes catch fire, drop to the floor and roll around to put out the flames.
  • Do not re-enter the house or any other building that has been affected by a fire until you have been told it is safe to do so.

If you have an Old Mutual Insure Houseowners, Home Contents or Personal Goods policy, notify us as soon as possible that you have a claim. We have a system in place to deal rapidly with these types of substantial losses.

Do you have enough cover?

Having up-to-date insurance cover will help to ensure that you are able to cope financially in the event of loss or damage to your home, its contents and your personal valuables. If you are unsure about what level of cover you currently have, or you would like to find out more about the various types of cover available, call us now on 0860 22 55 63 or submit your details and we’ll call you back.

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