It can happen to anyone – car damage can happen just like that and is extremely annoying. “There are many different kinds of damage,” says Nicola Schraven, Head of Bodywork Support & Innovation at AMAG. “We repair all kinds of vehicle damage in our workshops.”
Dents and scratches on the car body are the most common, according to the expert. Last summer, many cars were also affected by storms. “Many of our customers had to deal with hail damage or even fallen trees,” says Schraven. “Such storm events have become more frequent in recent years.” He says that, in general, summer is the main damage season – the days are longer in summer, and there are generally more people out and about than during the shorter, colder winter days, and this is reflected in the frequency of claims. In winter, on the other hand, there are fewer accidents – despite the precarious road conditions. “This contradicts the common assumption to some extent; however, the poor conditions encourage people to drive more cautiously.”
More caution when manoeuvring
The expert always urges more caution in road traffic and when manoeuvring, however. “It sounds simple and very logical, but this is what’s most often lacking in reality, unfortunately.” Take parking, for example. “Some drivers become stressed, inattentive or even distracted in this moment – by their mobile phone ringing, for example”, he says. “A collision with a post or another car can happen so quickly.”
Misjudging the dimensions of one's own (large) car or rental vehicle also frequently leads to damage, especially if the chosen parking space is too narrow. “When cars are parked too close together, parking damage can happen very quickly. It's better to take your time and look for a more suitable parking space.” And here again, it’s better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough. Your car's bodywork will appreciate it.
“A lot of the damage we encounter in our garages could actually be prevented quite easily,” states Schraven in summary. “This also applies to the battery, by the way. It makes sense to keep to the regular service appointments in order to prevent sudden battery failure.” During these thorough checks, a weak battery is detected immediately and gets recharged or, if necessary, replaced – so that you don't end up grinding to a halt unexpectedly on a chilly winter's day.
But regardless of whether it was avoidable, and whether or not you were at fault, once the damage has occurred, the first step is to fill in the claim form. At AMAG, this can be done quickly and easily online. An expert will then assess the damage and choose the best way to repair it. i.e. Can the damage be repaired, or does a part need replacing? This is especially true in the case of glass or minor damage. “We apply the resource-saving Clever Repair method whenever possible,” says AMAG’s Schraven. “This saves costs and is sustainable.”
Each type of damage has its own insurance cover
Schraven says the most important thing of all is to repair any damage as quickly as possible – not least for insurance reasons. “If hail damage on a leased car is not repaired, for example, the lessee has to pay the costs incurred when the car is returned.” If, on the other hand, the damage is repaired without delay, the fully comprehensive or third-party insurance will settle the bill, as these are natural events.
● Collision damage with another vehicle
● Collision damage with an object
● Parking damage
● Hail damage
● Glass damage
● Minor damage
● Wheel damage
● Mechanical defects
How the damage happened is also relevant to the insurance company. “The damage pattern on my car may be exactly the same, whether I hit something or another vehicle collided with my car,” says Schraven. “From the insurance company’s point of view, however, it’s an important distinction.” If a driver has caused damage to their own car, the fully comprehensive insurance will cover it, assuming a policy of this type has been taken out. If someone else is at fault, their third-party liability insurance will pay. It's a different story again if a polecat has caused the damage – that's covered by third-party, fire and theft insurance. And if my car suffers parking damage without me knowing who caused it, my parking damage insurance will pay. If I have it. “That’s because it’s not simply included with fully comprehensive insurance by default.”
This all sounds a bit confusing – which is why it’s worth paying attention to the insurance mix when buying a car. It should also be borne in mind that the excess varies, and a courtesy car is not always covered.
The good news for AMAG customers, however, is that, in the event of a claim, they at least don’t have to deal with mountains of paperwork. The AMAG staff not only take care of the vehicle repairs, they also handle all communication with the insurance company. “As soon as the customer has filled in the claim form, we take over,” says Schraven (see box for more details). The expert advises customers to keep the QR code for the online claim form with them in the car. “It's best to put it in the log book – or behind the sun visor.”
Report a claim now
To report damage, click on the type of damage involved and then follow the instructions. We will make a record of your request and then contact you to discuss the claims process with you. We will also be happy to handle the claim with your insurer.
Having the right things at hand in the car is also crucial if you break down. These items vary from country to country; in Switzerland, for example, the warning triangle is compulsory, but the high-visibility vest and an emergency first-aid kit are not; however, it is advisable to carry these useful items in the car as a rule. Because it’s important to keep a cool head if you break down, no matter how shocked or angry you are. The following checklist can help.
A special note for drivers of electric cars: the last item on this list is of additional importance. In the event of a breakdown, an electric car must never be towed conventionally with a rope, as high induction voltages can occur due to the regenerative braking current in the motor. This could damage the control electronics. So it is imperative that experts be charged with this task.
1. Keep calm.
2. Secure the accident site: first switch on the hazard warning lights, then put on the high-visibility vest and finally position the warning triangle. The rule of thumb is that it must be placed at least 50 metres before the breakdown site in built-up areas and at least 100 metres on A roads and motorways.
3. Get a complete overview of the situation.
4. Provide assistance and ask for support if necessary. The number for the Swiss emergency call centre is 144, "Rega" air rescue is 1414 and the fire brigade is 118.
5. Inform the police in the event of injury or major damage to property. In Switzerland call 117, Europe-wide call 112.
6. Record the details of the accident and the course of events – use the European accident report for this, take photos of the situation, the vehicle documents and driving licences with your smartphone, and note down the contact details of any witnesses.
7. Now it’s time to organise roadside assistance for the vehicle. For AMAG customers, Totalmobil assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. See box below.
8. Finally, there is the official damage report. AMAG takes care of the entire claims settlement process with the insurance company and the repairs in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
Totalmobil roadside assistance
When buying a new or used vehicle, AMAG customers can expect not only sheer driving enjoyment, but also great peace of mind on the road. Be it a breakdown, an accident or theft, no matter what happens to your Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, CUPRA or VW commercial vehicle on the road, Totalmobil assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling the helpline on +41 848 024 365.