Will damage to my car without an offender be compensated?
Any kind of car damage is annoying. Of course, it is important that you have good car insurance.
Damage always comes with a cost. It reduces the value of your car and having it professionally repaired is often a considerable expense. It is even more annoying when the damage is caused by another person whose identity is unknown. After all, you cannot pass on the bill to the perpetrator.
Always report to the police, even if there is no culprit!
Take photos and/or videos of the situation immediately. Clearly show the damage as well as the surrounding situation. Afterwards, the police will check whether your car was parked correctly, for example, and whether you could have done something to prevent the damage. The images can later serve as evidence and help the police to draw up a report. It is very important that you report the damage to the police. Sometimes there are surveillance cameras at the scene of the accident. The police can then see any images that may lead to the perpetrator. It is also important that the damage is registered in a police report. This is necessary for your insurance. It sometimes happens that witnesses do not come forward until much later. It is then useful that your damage is already registered by the police without the perpetrator. The police can make a good record of the situation in the report. To hold the perpetrator responsible, but also to have a chance of getting compensation from your insurer or another body, it is necessary to make a report.
When will my insurance pay for the damage to my car if there is no culprit?
If you have comprehensive insurance, the damage will most likely be covered by your own insurance. Depending on your policy and cover, you may have to pay for part of the damage yourself. This is the 'own risk', the amount of which varies per policy. So contact your insurer or broker even when there is no culprit. A damage without perpetrator does not always mean that you have to pay the costs yourself. When taking out insurance, think about the type of insurance that best suits your car and situation. For cars that are less than six years old, all-risk insurance is often the best option. Ask your agent or insurer for advice if you are unsure.
When do I make a claim on the Guarantee Fund?
If the damage is not covered by your own insurance without the perpetrator, you can submit a claim to the Guarantee Fund. Your request must meet a number of criteria. For example, the damage must have been caused by another motor vehicle or by a trailer attached to it. It must also be clear that an unknown party can be held liable and not you. You must make or have made an effort to find the perpetrator within 14 days. The police report is therefore important. An additional neighbourhood search or an advertisement also show that you have made an effort to find the identity of the perpetrator. If the damage was not caused by another vehicle (or trailer), you cannot make a claim against the Guarantee Fund.
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