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Car and vehicle insurance claims

Everything you need to know about making a car or vehicle insurance claim

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How it works

If your vehicle has been involved in a collision, theft or fire, we’ll help by making your claim as simple as possible. From determining who’s at fault to arranging vehicle repairs, we’ve detailed the claims process and your next steps.

  • Stop and secure the area

    Turn off the engine and turn on your hazard lights. If you need emergency services, call 000.

  • Exchange information

    Take down the details of the people involved and take photos of the incident scene and damage.

  • Make a claim

    It's best to lodge a claim as soon as possible. Log in to make a claim online in around 10 minutes, or call 13 19 03.

  • Manage your claim

    Stay up to date on the progress of your claim by logging in and using the online tracker.

What to do right after an incident

Towing your vehicle

All RACV Car Insurance policies cover towing to a repairer or safe place, so please call 13 19 03 to arrange a tow truck if your car isn’t drivable. This might be because:

  • the brakes or lights aren't functioning
  • getting in or out of the car is difficult
  • it’s unsafe to drive
  • you’re injured in any way
  • you see signs of engine damage or leaking fluids.

When to call the police

You should call if:

  • you don’t feel safe
  • the incident is creating a traffic hazard
  • you suspect drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident.

If it’s safe to do so, the best way to document damage is to take photos of the vehicles involved in the incident.

You should also exchange details with other people involved, and collect the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. You can take them down as notes in your phone or write them down.

Collecting this information can help you provide an accurate description of how the incident occurred and details of the damage later if you decide to make a claim.

We'll usually need these details about you and other people involved:

  • full name
  • residential address
  • contact number
  • driver’s licence number
  • registration number and car model
  • insurance details.

Deciding whether to make a claim

When you should claim

It depends on the type of incident you were involved in and how it happened.

If you’re unsure, you can always call RACV Insurance to chat through your options.

Log in to start a claim online or check your cover, plus hire car and repair options. You don't need to go ahead with the claim if you don't want to.

Things to consider

  • Your type of cover
  • How high your excess is
  • Who is at fault
  • The extent of the damage

You can find what you’re covered and your excess details in your Certificate of Insurance and Product Disclosure Statement.

An excess is the amount you contribute toward the cost of a claim. There are three types of excess: basic, age and special.

You'll need to pay an excess if:

  • you or the person driving your vehicle was at fault in an incident
  • the incident wasn't your fault but you don't have the details of the party at fault
  • the damage is caused by collision with an animal
  • your car was damaged by an event (such as hail during a storm).

When you start a claim online, you can find out whether or not an excess is payable. If you have an excess to pay, you can pay it online.

For more detailed information, see the Premium, Excesses and Discounts Guide (PED)

It’s not always obvious who is at fault in a collision. Lots of factors can come into play, so RACV Insurance will rely on evidence and the road rules to determine who is liable.

Evidence can include:

  • accounts from involved drivers and witnesses
  • photos of the damage and the location
  • dashcam footage of the event
  • physical proof of damage to the vehicle 
  • police reports.

Types of fault

Completely at fault 

Sometimes, you’ll know right away that you or the other driver were responsible. 

A common example is accidentally hitting the back of another vehicle because a safe distance wasn’t maintained.

Partially at fault 

There will also be occasions where both drivers share a level of responsibility for an incident. 

For example, when two cars reverse from opposite car parks at the same time and hit one another. In these cases, a percentage of fault will be determined by the insurer by analysing all the evidence available.

When there’s uncertainty or a dispute around who caused an incident, RACV Insurance will review all the information that has been provided – such as photos, statements and police reports – together with the road rules to determine who was at fault.

If you’re found to be at fault, you’ll need to pay the excess.

If you provide the details of the driver at fault, then you may not need to pay the excess.

Here are your options if you’ve had a collision with an uninsured driver:
  • Call RACV Insurance on 13 19 03 to report the damage, so we can handle all the paperwork, quotes and chasing on your behalf
  • Alternatively, you can settle the issue privately with the other driver. Provide a few quotes from different mechanics for them to consider and agree to. If you go with this option, you should still report the accident to RACV Insurance as soon as possible to ensure you’re fulfilling your ‘duty of disclosure’.




Making a claim

Make your claim

Log in to make your claim online. You’ll need:

  • your personal information
  • your policy number (find this on your renewal or Certificate of Insurance)
  • information about the other driver, including their name, home address and insurer (if they have car insurance)
  • details about the cars involved, such as make, model and number plates
  • supporting photographs of the damage
  • contact details any witnesses

Manage an existing claim

Log in to manage an existing claim or check your claim's progress online, including lodgement, repairs and finalisation.

Plus, you can pay your excess online.

Otherwise, you can call the claims team on 13 19 03.

If you don't have all their details when you start your claim, you can add them later.

If you have no way of getting them (for example, after a hit and run incident), you'll need to pay the excess towards the cost of your repairs.

After you’ve made your claim

Vehicle repairs

We’ll arrange for an RACV Partner Repairer to inspect your vehicle and determine repair costs after you’ve lodged a claim. 

After the quote has been assessed and accepted, you can book at one of our trusted partner repairers to fix your car at a convenient time. 

We may also need to arrange for part of the repair to be carried out by a specialist service provider - like a windscreen repairer.

If you chose the ‘Any repairer’ option for your policy, you can also choose your own licensed repairer. In this case, you’ll need to provide us a quote and allow us to inspect your vehicle before repairs.

Keep in mind, if choosing your own repairer, any faulty workmanship won’t be covered in your policy. 

You’ll be asked to pay your excess directly to the repairer when you collect your car. If the damage was caused by the other driver and you’ve provided their details, you may not need to pay an excess.

Here’s why we recommend using an RACV Partner Repairer:

  • We consider they have the skills and technology to provide a high-quality repair service, with genuine parts and trusted mechanics
  • You can choose from 90 locations across Victoria
  • There’s a lifetime guarantee on authorised repairs for as long as you’re the owner of the vehicle
  • Depending on your policy, you may get taxi and hire car benefits whilst repairs are completed
  • The entire repair process is managed on your behalf.

A vehicle is considered a total loss when the damage is so significant that the cost to repair the vehicle is more than its value. The outcome of how this is settled will depend on your policy. 

Generally, this is what happens:

  • You’ll be paid the agreed or market value of your vehicle, minus any unpaid premium, applicable excess, or unused registration fee
  • Your policy will end
  • The damaged car won’t be returned to you and will be recorded on the Written-Off Vehicle register.

With some RACV Insurance policies, you may be eligible to choose to have your vehicle replaced. Certain conditions need to be met, like the damaged vehicle was in its first 24 months of registration (or 36 months for Complete Care®) at the time of the incident, and the same vehicle (make, model, engine, paint type) is available in Australia.

For full terms and conditions, see your Certificate of Insurance and relevant Product Disclosure Statement.

The first step is to speak with the repairer about your concerns. If you're still unhappy, please call RACV Insurance on 13 19 03 to discuss next steps.

For RACV Insurance authorised repairs, a lifetime guarantee on workmanship applies for as long as you are the owner of the car.

Hire cars

It depends on your policy. 

With both RACV Complete Care® and RACV Comprehensive Car Insurance, you may be eligible for a hire car after a not-at-fault collision - where you can provide the details of the other driver RACV Insurance agree is at fault.

We’ll make every effort into arranging a car that meets your needs. To discuss your vehicle requirements and ensure a suitable car is arranged, call 13 19 03.

If you have Third Party Fire and Theft, you may be eligible for a hire car after a theft or attempted theft incident, otherwise a hire car would be an out of pocket expense (regardless of fault). 

If you have Third Party Property Damage, a hire car would be an out of pocket expense (regardless of the incident type).

For more information on what is covered in your policy, read the Product Disclosure Statement.

If you’re not at fault, you can keep the arranged hire car for the duration of your car’s repairs or until your claim is settled, whichever is the shortest period of time. 

If you’re at fault and haven’t chosen the ‘Hire car’ option, and you’d like to arrange your own hire car, call RACV Insurance on 13 19 03 to make sure the cost is covered. 

If you’re at-fault and have chosen the ‘Hire car’ option, the time you can keep the hire car for will depend on the circumstances of your claim. 

For more information on the duration and other conditions that may apply for Complete Care® or Comprehensive Car Insurance, see the Product Disclosure Statement.

Not at-fault accidents

In this case:

  • you may be provided with a hire car for the duration of your car's repairs
  • smash repairs may be arranged for you through the RACV Partner Repairer network

Call us on 1300 763 324 to discuss.

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.