Nobody likes to break down. Sometimes, however, the unexpected does happen and you can end up stranded at the side of the road.
With breakdown cover, one simple phone call can bring reliable, experienced recovery to help you get back on your way.
Here at CompareBreakdownCover we have put together a handy claims guide for you, to help you understand the process.
Please also read our Breakdown Advice article for more details on what to do at the roadside when you have broken down.
Making a Claim
If you break down at the side of the road, your first priority should always be ensuring the safety of yourself and your passengers. You then need to call your breakdown insurer, using the emergency telephone number provided in your Policy Wording, which was emailed to you along with your Policy Schedule. You can also find the details in our Make A Claim section.
Whilst making this call you should be aware that you will normally be asked to provide details of your name, policy number, details of where you are, and possibly a claim reference number (if stated in your policy wording).
The more detail you can give about your location, the easier it will be for the recovery operators to find you. Look out for any signs or landmarks that you can give to help them find your location.
Once help arrives, they will either be able to repair your car at the roadside, in which case you should be able to continue your journey, or they will have to recover your vehicle to a nearby garage for further repairs.
If your vehicle is taken to a nearby garage for further repairs, please bear in mind that this may take some time to complete, depending on the workload of the garage concerned and the availability of parts.
Your policy will often give you several options, for example rather than waiting with the vehicle you may be able to arrange to be taken to your destination, returning later to collect the car. Make sure to read your Policy Wording in advance to review the options available.
Whatever repairs your vehicle needs to get you on your way again, please bear in mind that the actual cost of spare parts and labour are generally not included in your CBC Breakdown Cover.
So, when planning your trip try to ensure that you have some funds available for any emergency repairs you may need, be it a new battery or a replacement fan belt. Most insurers will not pay to have a vehicle repatriated if you are not able or willing to pay for repairs locally if parts are available.
If the parts you need are not available locally, you will usually be able to have them delivered to you. Some of our policies may include the cost of delivery for spare parts, but do check your Policy Wording to confirm this as it does vary from policy to policy.
If for any reason your vehicle needs a lot of work doing or you need to wait for parts, you may have the option to have overnight accommodation through your motor vehicle breakdown insurance.
Alternatively, if repairs or supply of spares may take several days, you might have the option of a hire vehicle. Please remember that normal hire company restrictions will apply, such as minimum age and driving license requirements. If there is no eligible driver then this cover will be unavailable.
It is important to remember not to arrange any work or repairs before speaking to your insurer. If you do arrange for repairs there is a chance that your assistance provider will not validate or support the claim, and you may not be able to claim back your expenses in this case.
If you are not sure, always speak to your insurer using the claims number provided in your Policy Wording.
Paying for Repairs
In certain situations you may have to initially pay for aspects of repairs or services relating to your breakdown. For example, certain European motorways are private roads, and are only serviced by the police who will send a local recovery company to recover your vehicle without contacting your assistance provider.
In these situations you will need to pay for these services yourself, but keep hold of the receipts as you may be able to claim a refund of these costs back later through your policy.
Sometimes you can also claim back the costs of phone calls, though if covered there is generally a limit on this section of cover, especially for mobile phones.
If you have made a claim and are awaiting feedback, or you need to clarify some details, you will need to call your assitance provider.
Once you have made a claim, the details for that claim are held with the insurer and the breakdown service provider, not with CompareBreakdownCover. The Compare Breakdown Cover team will only be able to help with general queries and amendments to your policy; we do not normally receive full details of claims.
As well as keeping hold of any receipts so that you can claim back expenses, you should also keep hold of any correspondence you receive from your insurer or any repairer or recovery operator.
This will help to speed up the claims process. If you need to send any of these documents off to your assistance provider, remember to take a photocopy for your own records.