How to choose an insurance company during the war and what to do in case of an accident abroad

How to choose an insurance company during the war and what to do in case of an accident abroad

What should a quality insurance service include and why do we need an emergency commissioner

How to choose an insurance company during the war and what to do in case of an accident abroad
Photo: depositphotos.com

How to choose a trustworthy insurance company? It was a question that car owners faced even in peacetime. However, since the outbreak of the war, it took on a new meaning, as for many people, a car became a means of not only transport but also a rescue. Some were forced to suddenly go abroad for an indefinite period of time, others had to take their families to a safe place to "drive" between Ukraine and Europe. Most Ukrainians had never had such an experience before, so some things came as a surprise to them. Especially for those who had to get into a car accident and faced the need to restore the car abroad. Tetiana Shchuchyeva, Director of Express Insurance, tells Mind how to insure a car in these circumstances and what features of insurance companies' work to look for.

It is clear that any unpleasant situations related to an accident, car repair or theft are easier to resolve with the help of professionals – car insurance experts. And the war did not cancel this principle in any way, but only reinforced it.

It turned out to be quite easy to deal with the "green card", an analogue of the Ukrainian motor third-party liability insurance, which is essential for travelling abroad. It is the same for all insurers and has a single limit for third-party damage. However, when concluding a motor hull insurance contract, which should protect a car, especially in the context of increased risks, there are many nuances. Therefore, it is the choice of the insurer and the optimal hull insurance policy that requires close attention.

If you already have a motor hull insurance policy, be sure to check its coverage before travelling abroad. It should include the countries you plan to travel to. If not, you can change the geography of the insurance by purchasing extended coverage. As a rule, the surcharge depends on the territory of coverage and its validity period and is calculated individually for each client.

If you don't have motor hull insurance and don't want to take any risks before a difficult trip, you need to find a reliable and experienced insurer. And here the question arises: how to choose a company you can rely on? What should you focus on: advertising, a well-known name, friendly recommendations or feedback on forums?

Ukrainians most often rely on their own experience and the recommendations of friends and acquaintances. However, if you don't have such an experience and your friends' opinions differ, here are some recommendations that may be helpful.

Firstly, trust the leaders. There are a lot of risk insurance companies in Ukraine. According to the NBU, there were 127 of them as of 01.09.2022. Most of these companies have a certain specialisation. So, when it comes to insuring your own car, look at the ratings of hull insurance companies on various portals. I would recommend choosing from those in the top ten. You can also check their rating on the Forinsurer website, and the validity of their licences on the NBU website. It will not hurt to visit the websites of the companies themselves, as well as read customer reviews on the Internet.

Secondly, check the company's attitude towards the client. It is quite simple: send requests to the websites of several selected ICs. You will see how quickly and professionally they will respond. Believe me, customer focus is a very important factor.

Compare the commercial offers you receive by such parameters as insurance rate, deductible, and contract terms. If you have any questions, write to the website or call the hotline – this way you can easily assess the degree of accessibility of experts and the quality of the advice provided to you.

Look at the list of additional services, including evacuation, technical assistance, and 24/7 information support – all of these services can be useful.

Thirdly, find out whether the company has experience and expertise in handling insurance claims abroad. Do not hesitate to ask how the system of communication with clients located in Europe is organised: whether you can count on assistance with car evacuation and repair, what are the terms and procedures for paying insurance compensation.

In many cases, for instance, insurance events that occurred abroad can be settled via any messenger. The client simply needs to call the customer support line, record the insured event, and then send all the documents, photos, and videos from the scene to their personal emergency commissioner.

From our company's experience, the role of the emergency commissioner is very important, so we do not deliberately replace them with any "bots". After all, this is an expert who can provide the client with any advice (for example, whether a European protocol is enough in this case or whether it is worth calling the police). They help with the translation of documents into Ukrainian, agree on the automobile repair station where the repair will be carried out, and the amount charged for the car's restoration.

Each insurance company has a different procedure for making payments abroad. Most often – in two tranches: 60-80% in advance and 40-20% upon completion of the repair and submission of the relevant documents and photos. Thus, the client receives 100% of the insurance payment only after submitting a certificate of completion and an invoice.

In many cases, when the client's situation and the condition of the damaged car allow it, the emergency commissioner may recommend returning to Ukraine and having the car repaired at one of the official service stations. After all, experience shows that repairs abroad can be a complicated, time-consuming and much more expensive procedure.

However, the most important problem that clients face in an accident abroad is confusion caused by a lack of knowledge of the language and misunderstanding of the procedures for processing an insured event and the requirements of the legislation of another country. Therefore, the emergency commissioner often plays the role of a psychotherapist or even a guardian angel – whatever you prefer.

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