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How to recover an excess

If you were in an accident and it wasn’t your fault, there’s a chance you may be able to get your excess back or at least a portion of it. However, only your insurance company can recover this money; you can’t go directly to the guilty party yourself. This only applies if you weren’t the cause of an accident though. If you were at fault, the other party’s insurer may attempt to recover their costs from you and your insurer.

When is excess recovery unlikely?

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to recover your excess, such as in these situations:

  • If you cause an accident
  • If you’re the only person involved in an accident (that pillar might have jumped out at you, but we can’t claim from it)
  • If you don’t get the complete details of the person at fault
  • The guilty person doesn’t have income or assets with which to pay
  • The costs of recovering the money outweigh the money that can be recovered

Tips to improve excess recovery

Class 101 of what to do after an accident involves gathering as much information as possible, such as the personal and vehicle details of all the other people involved (this includes witnesses), the weather conditions, and the time and date. We know it’s a lot to remember, but your budget will thank you later for getting all this info:  

  • Full name
  • ID number
  • Contact number
  • Address
  • Vehicle description
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Photograph the accident from several angles
  • Photograph the vehicle’s license disc
  • Note the weather, road conditions, date, and time
  • Report the accident at the nearest police station to open a case

It’s important to follow the rules of the road at all times. If you cause an accident, for example by speeding, you are considered to be at fault no matter what the other circumstances might be. In this case, your insurer will not be able to recover any money and you won’t get your excess back.