What Is a Vehicle Damage Report?
A motor vehicle damage report is used by drivers and fleet managers to assess necessary repair work and justify insurance claims. The report documents the vehicles and persons involved, details of the accident and the extent of the damage.
This article deals with:
When Is a Vehicle Damage Report Required?
A motor vehicle accident must not only be reported to the police if people have been injured. A damage report should also be submitted immediately to the respective insurance company. Failure to report a motor vehicle accident within the prescribed period can reduce the expected benefits or they may not be paid at all.
In the following situations, anyone wishing to receive benefits from an insurance company is obliged to report a car accident to the respective insurance company:
- The company’s liability insurance in the event of a self-inflicted accident with damage to other parties involved.
- The liability insurance of the person causing the accident as the injured party.
- The comprehensive insurance for a self-inflicted accident with its own damage.
- The accident insurance, if a car accident has happened during work or on the way to work.
According to the General Terms and Conditions for Motor Vehicle Insurance (AKB) 2015 of the German Insurance Association (General Association of the German Insurance Industry), a motor vehicle damage report must be received by the insurance company within one week of the damage event. However, the insurers may set their deadlines. Therefore, insured persons are always well advised to report the damage immediately after it has occurred.
The reporting period only obligatory, i.e. the insurer cannot legally force its insured persons to meet the conditions, such as when paying the agreed premiums. However, a motor vehicle damage report that is not submitted on time can mean that an insurance company cannot pay for the entire damage. The complete refusal of benefits is rather seldom since it is not assumed that the insurance company has deliberately waived the timely notification of the claim.
Elements of a Perfect Vehicle Damage Report
In addition to gathering general information on time, location, vehicle and parties involved, a good car accident report sample should include factual details of the accident and the extent of the damage in the form.
- Details of the Accident
A damage report for a motor vehicle should cover all the circumstances and possible factors that caused the accident. The details should be as factual and impartial as possible. Opinions should be supported by evidence or explicitly clarified. The perspective of the person causing the accident should be supported by sketches, testimony, and photographic documents.
- Extent of the Damage
Vehicle damage is mainly caused by collisions, weather influences and unintentional scratches/bumps. It is important to identify all damaged areas on the vehicle for the damage report. The most important damage areas should be documented with a sufficient number of photos. It is also important to take photographs of the surrounding vehicles and/or surroundings when a damage report is to be written. A good motor vehicle damage inspection form supports the reporting of insurance claims and good fleet accounting with facts, photos, and witness statements.
The Paperless Vehicle Damage Report
Filling out a damage report for a motor vehicle on paper is time-consuming and tedious for fleet managers. Besides, there is the risk of paper loss, which can endanger insurance claims. However, the biggest hurdle is that it is not possible to capture and combine photo files and sketches easily. This makes it more difficult to identify the extent of a loss.
A digital solution like Lumiform replaces the paper-based vehicle damage report with the use of a mobile app. Lumiform is easy to use, allows you to capture unlimited photo files and write a car damage report in real-time at the scene of the accident.
Lumiform makes it easier to comply with damage control requirements by documenting everything via the mobile app using a smartphone or tablet. The system guides the person taking the minutes through all documentation steps. Clean, transparent documentation helps to maintain complete services and meet deadlines.
The digital solution offers many more advantages, which are helpful for the car damage report with form:
- The flexible form construction kit helps to convert paper-based forms for motor vehicle damage reports into digital checklists within minutes.
- Lumiform offers prepared templates for the damage report, so that the digital startup can be carried out quickly and safely.
- Real-time data about the accident and the damage. This ensures that deadlines are met, and losses are made measurable and that insurance benefits are checked based on data.
- Get an overview of everything that happened on site.
- The very simple operation offers no room for error by the protocol engineer on site. The app offers less complexity in documenting or filling out checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.
To make it easier to get started, we have created templates for vehicle damage reports that can be downloaded free of charge. All forms are 100% adaptable to the insurer’s specifications – no programming knowledge required.
Try Lumiform for free