Car-insuranceMotorists are waiting an average of 11 days before reporting accidents, according to figures released by AXA Car Insurance – despite insurance companies urging motorists to notify them as soon as possible.

Amazingly, some motorists wait up to 300 days before getting in touch with their insurers, with one customer leaving 276 days before filing a claim for vandalism and another waiting 154 days to report the theft of their car keys.

One can only assume they had a spare set of keys, but panicked when they lost them, leaving them with no way to unlock or operate the car.

Analysis of over 100,000 claims revealed that 51% of motorists are putting their insurance claims at risk by waiting a week before getting in touch with their insurance company, with AXA warning that this could have a negative impact on an eventual settlement.

Speaking on behalf of AXA, Christine Mathews said: “Try to call your insurer from the scene of the accident as this can affect how much they can help – but please make sure when you call that you are in a safe place, as an accident scene can be dangerous.

“Always get full details of those involved, drivers, passengers, and witnesses, names and addresses, telephone numbers, registration numbers, take a photograph of the reg numbers and the scene if you have a camera with you.

“Calling two or three weeks later means that you or your insurer may miss vital information which could make it difficult to prove that you weren’t at fault.”

The most commonly delayed claims are for windscreen damage, reversing accidents and damage caused by an occupant opening a car door. Claims for fire or theft have the fastest turnaround times.

AXA Car Insurance has produced a helpful accident guide, which can be downloaded here.