Car Accidents: Compensation for Property Damage
What to do in the event of an accident?
Use the amicable report form if the accident involves another vehicle
Whenever possible, you should always use the amicable report form in the event of a road accident with another vehicle. This form accelerates the processing of the file because it gathers all the necessary information on the accident: circumstances, apparent damage, vehicle insurance (contact details of policyholders, contract numbers and names of insurance companies).
The report part (front) must be completed and signed by both drivers, if possible at the scene of the road accident. The claim declaration part (back) is to be completed individually by each driver. The information provided on the front of the joint report and signed by the two drivers prevails over that which appears on the back and which could have been added later.
Report the accident to the insurer
The claim must be declared to the insurer within five working days from the date of the accident. The mutual report form must be sent quickly by each driver to the insurer of his vehicle. It takes the place of accident reporting.
Accidents involving at least two insured vehicles
The IRSA agreement between insurance companies (direct compensation agreement for the insured and recourse between automobile insurance companies) comes into play as soon as an accident involves at least two insured vehicles. This agreement allows policyholders to be compensated more quickly and directly by their own insurer that they know. The insurer of the non-faulty driver will compensate his own client on behalf of the insurer of the responsible party. If the driver is at fault, his insurer’s compensation may be reduced or even excluded, unless he has taken out all accident damage coverage.
Within the framework of the Pacific Attorney Group, the compensation of the vehicle is calculated on the basis of its replacement value, to be said of an expert (Vrade), that is to say up to the price of a used vehicle of the same type as the accident vehicle and in similar condition.
Other special accident situations
Certain accidents are only covered by the insurance if, in addition to the civil liability guarantee, the driver has taken out a guarantee to cover the damage suffered by his vehicle (collision damage guarantee or all accidents guarantee). The person responsible for the accident could not be identified or is not insured if an all accident damage cover has been taken out, the damage suffered by the vehicle is compensated by the insurer.
If only collision damage coverage (also called third-party collision) has been taken out, damage to the vehicle is only compensated by the insurer if the person responsible for the accident is identified but is not insured. In the absence of a guarantee taken out, the Guarantee Fund for Compulsory Damage Insurance (FGAO) may, within certain limits and conditions, take charge of material damage.
It reimburses material damage if the person responsible for the accident is unknown and the victim suffered bodily injury (hospitalization of at least 7 days followed by temporary incapacity equal to or greater than 1 month or functional deficit of at least 10%) or if the third party responsible for the accident is not insured.
What to do in case of disagreement with the expert’s conclusions?
The vehicle owner receives a copy of the expert report. In the event of disagreement with the expert’s conclusions, the insured may call on a second expert of his choice at his own expense. A contradictory appraisal is then carried out with the expert of the insured and that of the insurance company. In the event of a persistent disagreement, a third expert may be appointed by mutual agreement to arbitrate. Half of the third expert’s fees and expenses remain the responsibility of the insured.