How to make a car insurance claim

Mechanic inspecting damage on a car


Posted March 13, 2024

A step-by-step guide to making and managing a car insurance claim if your motor vehicle is damaged in an accident or by an unexpected event.  

Depending on the type of cover you have, insured events can include a minor car accident, major collision, car theft, vandalism, or an unexpected weather event.  

If your motor vehicle is damaged in a collision or another type of unexpected event, it’s important to know how to make a car insurance claim.  

Navigating a car insurance claim with RACV Insurance is a structured process that prioritises your safety and the efficient resolution of your claim. 

In this guide, we take you through the process of filing and managing a car insurance claim with RACV Car Insurance, to help you have a smoother experience during a challenging time.

Person taking photo of damage to car

If you can, take photos of any damage at the scene to document the event.

How to respond if your car is damaged in an accident

  1. Priortise safety
  2. Exchange information
  3. Record details of incident


Priortise safety
In any emergency or incident involving your car, prioritise safety above all else. If you're involved in an accident, and it is safe to do so, move your car to the side of the road or another safe location, turn off your car engine and, if possible, turn on your hazard lights.

All RACV Car Insurance policies cover towing to a repairer or a safe place, and this can be arranged by calling 13 19 03.  

Never attempt to assess damage or handle the situation in an unsafe environment. If there is major damage to your vehicle or to another vehicle, or if someone is injured, call 000 for help from emergency services. 


Exchange information
If another party is involved, you must exchange details. The more details you have, the more accurately you can describe the incident and the damage if you make a claim.  

The details you should get from the other parties involved are: 

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

If there are witnesses, you can also ask them for their names and contact details.


Record details of the incident
Before starting a car insurance claim with RACV Insurance, make sure you have these details: the time, date, and location of the incident, along with a description of what happened.  

Other details that will be useful for your claim include the number plate of the other vehicle/s involved, the other driver's licence number, and any photos that you were able to take of the accident.

You can provide details of any damage and describe how the damage occured when you make your claim online. You can also upload pictures online after your claim is lodged.

If another driver is found to be at fault, you may not have to pay the excess.

Person on phone and laptop

You can make an RACV Car Insurance claim online or call between 7am and 11pm. 

How to make a car insurance claim with RACV Insurance

Lodge your claim 

It’s best to lodge a claim as soon as possible. The easiest and quickest way to start your RACV Car Insurance claim is online. 

If you have questions or you'd rather chat to someone on the phone, you can also call 13 10 03 between 7am and 11pm. 

You’ll need:

  • your personal information
  • your policy number (you can find this on your renewal notice 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 of any witnesses.

RACV Insurance also has interpreter services and hearing impaired services, with information about how to access these services via this link.

Manage your claim online

You can opt to receive updates on your claim progress through email, text message, or both.  

The RACV Insurance team may request additional information to support the claim, which can also be provided to them online.  

An RACV partner repairer will inspect the vehicle to determine repair costs and, if applicable, provide a quote for any damages or repairs. 

Pay the insurance excess

After your claim is assessed, you may have to pay an insurance excess before the claim is finalised, and the repairs can go ahead.

Your current Certificate of Insurance shows the amount and types of excesses that apply to your individual policy.

You will be told who to pay, and can make this payment online. The type of excess you need to pay depends on what your claim relates to and who was driving your vehicle.


Person talking to a mechanic in auto repair centre

All RACV Motor Insurance policies include access to RACV’s extensive partner repairer network. 

Access to RACV's partner repairer network

If your claim is approved and your vehicle can be repaired, RACV Insurance will manage the repair process on your behalf through one of its 90-plus trusted repair centres.

What are the benefits of using RACV Partner Repairers? 

  • RACV Partner Repairers use genuine parts (with some exceptions, including radiators and glass).
  • Taxi fares to and from any RACV Partner Repairer (up to $80 each way) to drop off and pick up your vehicle.
  • The workmanship on all authorised repairs carried out by an RACV Partner Repairer is guaranteed for as long as you're the owner of the vehicle.

If you have selected the Any Repairer Option or hold a Complete Care motor insurance policy, you can choose your own repairer. However, if you have chosen to use a licensed repairer of your choice as part of your policy, that repairer must have all the necessary equipment, skills, capabilities, licences and authorisations required by law to complete the repairs to your vehicle.

What happens if your car is written off?

If your car is determined by RACV Insurance to be a total loss, or write off, the outcome will be dependent on your policy.

For Comprehensive and Complete Care policies you may be paid the agreed or market value of your vehicle (with any premium, excess or unused registration fees deducted), the damaged vehicle will not be returned to you, and your policy will end.  

With some RACV Insurance policies, you may be eligible to have your vehicle replaced. See the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for more information.

Review your car insurance policy to check your level of cover

It is good practice to review your car insurance policy each year, particularly when you receive your renewal notice, to make sure you understand your level of cover.  

Check what you can claim for and if there are any exclusions to your cover. If you are unsure, you can easily log into your RACV account online to check your level of cover, the amount of excess you’ve chosen to pay, standard inclusions and any optional extras you may have added.

You can also refer to your Car Insurance Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).


Be prepared for the unexpected.
Get a quote with RACV Car Insurance →

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 issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.