App takes the hassle out of car insurance claims

App takes the hassle out of car insurance claims

The Finance Ministry hopes to make dealing with accidents and auto thefts easier and less bureaucratic

Illustrative photo of a police roadblock. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a police roadblock. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A new app, called Insured on the Road, will make it easier for Israelis to deal with the aftermath of traffic accidents or car thefts, government officials hope. The Finance Ministry is responsible for the Hebrew-only app, which supplies information about initial steps to take in case of an accident, tips on how to deal with insurance companies, and official forms that should be filed with insurance companies.

For a driver reliant on their vehicle to get around, few things are more traumatic than when they “lose” their vehicle, either to a thief or to the garage for repairs. On a daily basis, said officials of the Capital Markets, Insurance, and Savings Division of the Finance Ministry, officials in their office and others get many calls from confused drivers who have little idea how to proceed with a claim.

“Today, most Israelis use direct insurance purchased over the phone or the Internet, and not from an insurance broker, and they are often very confused on how to make a claim, because the companies don’t always make it clear,” said Dorit Selinger, director of the group. The Finance Ministry was working on legislation to make it easier to file claims, said the spokesperson, but until that legislation is passed into law, the app could serve as a good temporary solution. “For the first time, we are supplying objective information on how to deal with theft and accidents that applies to customers of all insurance companies,” she said.

Drivers involved in accidents or thefts meet many new people — insurance adjusters, tow truck drivers, police, traffic inspectors, firefighters, and taxi drivers — depending on the incident and, in the case of accidents, its severity. The app includes a useful FAQ on the role of each of these figures (except for taxi drivers) in an incident, presented in an easy-to-read format with relevant phone numbers for government agencies and insurance companies.

The app can record the location of an accident and includes a camera function that takes photos from different angles, a form to record witness information, and a flashlight function for nighttime incidents. All the information can be recorded in a single folder, which is compressed and can be sent by e-mail to insurance companies or anyone else.

The ministry said that the app is for informational purposes only, and that it was not recording any of the information on how it was used.

According to the ministry, there are 2.5 million insured vehicles on Israeli roads, 370,000 of which are involved in accidents each year. About 1,000 claims were filed daily for accident or theft with insurance companies, the ministry added.

Insured on the Road is available for free in the App Store and Google Play. Selinger encourages all Israeli drivers to download it. “The app can help drivers in real time, ensuring that they have the opportunity to ensure that companies and authorities fulfill their obligations to them,” she said.

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