• Car Insurance Claim

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    If you have purchased a new car or any used car, ensure that you insure the car with right kind of insurance that fulfils all the requirements of the car. Purchasing insurance before you move out of the showroom, is mandatory under the law. The traffic conditions today are such that, your vehicle may get damaged even if it is not your fault. In such times a proper car insurance like a comprehensive car insurance is your savior.

    No matter what the damage is, a comprehensive car insurance covers a wide range of situation like, accident, third-party liability, theft, robbery, vehicle damage, natural calamities, man-made calamities, etc. Nowadays, the dealer generally provides you the bumper to bumper policy also known as zero depreciation cover, which will help you in future claims as the depreciation value of the car will not be considered under zero depreciation cover.

    If you are claiming for one and it is for a small amount, please refrain from doing so as this will seize the no-claim bonus. Claim only for big damages or for repairs which are expensive like, any part replacement, engine problem, dent removal and painting, etc.

    Here are the steps and procedures to follow for car insurance claim:

    Own damage claim:

    • Intimate the insurer immediately about the damage before sending the vehicle to the garage for repair. You can also repair your car from the insurer’s network of garages, wherein you can avail cashless claim facility. The insurer will directly contact the garage for the repair expense and pay for the damage repair directly.
    • Even if the car is drivable, do not drive it to the garage. It is better to tow your vehicle from any professional services, or you can get roadside assistance from the insurer. A part of the towing expense is covered in your policy.
    • Submit a duly filled form claim mentioning every minute detail about the incident and the damage.
    • If you are getting it repaired through the insurer’s network of garages, then a survey inspector will be sent to the location to assess the damages and the cost of repair, post which the repair work begin.
    • The quote will then be sent to the insurance company for approval along with the survey inspection report. On completion of the repair the amount will be released and paid directly to the garage personnel.
    • If you have not availed cashless facility, then collect the surveyor’s report and arrange for repair work. Once the garage provides you all the bills, make sure it is signed by the garage personnel and submit it to the insurer. On verification, the insurer will reimburse the amount.
    • Make sure you submit them before you drive your vehicle from the garage, else there will be more inspections and verifications about the repair. So sooner the better.

    Third-party claims:

    • If a third-party person or property has been damaged or injured by your car while you were driving, immediately inform the insurance provider and mention the incident in detail. Lodge an FIR at the nearest police station. Obtain a copy of the FIR.
    • Arrange for the medical attention if needed. The insurer can help you with that as well.
    • Submit a claim form attaching the police report and FIR copy with other necessary documents like RC, DL, and personal IDs etc. Do not make out-of-court settlements or deal yourself without intimating the insurer.
    • The insurance company will also investigate the report and if the documents and evidence are satisfactory, the insurer will assign a lawyer to you.
    • Once the honorable court directs you to pay for the third-party damages, the insurer will pay the compensation amount directly to the third-party.
    • In case of death, the family of the victim are liable to get death benefit on your policy.

    Theft claims:

    • File an FIR at the police station stating the incident and obtain a copy.
    • Inform the insurer and the RTO about the same and submit the FIR copy and the RTO transfer certificate along with the claim application with vehicle details and your car insurance policy number.
    • If the police is unable to find your car after a certain period usually 6 months, the police will provide ‘No-Trace Report’. Submit this report to the insurer.
    • Once the documents are all in place the insurer will release the claim amount.

    Maintain a good driving record, avoid collisions in traffic, maintain safe distance and follow other essential traffic rules which will help you avoid accidents so there will be no need to claim the insurance policy. For more details you can visit any trusted third-party website or contact the insurance company for further queries. Be aware of the formalities and procedure for claims. The customer care helpline is available 24*7 so you can contact them anytime.

    Car insurance partial claim settlement

    It’s quite often that one hears about car insurance companies disbursing the coverage amount less than what’s expected by the policyholder. Such an instance is known as a partial claim settlement - when the policyholder receives a car insurance payout that what he/she estimates. When settling claims, car insurance companies take into consideration a number of factors before disbursing the payout to take care of repairs or replacement of car parts that are damaged following the accident, and coverage for medical expenses. When disbursing the car insurance payout, the car insurance company assesses the damage caused to the car, the Insured Declared Value of the car, the sum assured of the policy, etc.

    Most often, policyholders estimate the cost of the damage of the car whereas the estimate of the insurer does not meet their estimate, and hence, the claim amount disbursed by the car insurance company is considered as a partial claim settlement. Also, the insurer would have set the Insured Declared Value of the policyholder’s vehicle lower than it actually is, hence there will be a lower payout following a claim. Keeping this in mind, while one might be overwhelmed by the low premium cost of the car insurance policy, they should keep an eye out for the Insured Declared Value that has been set by the car insurer.

    What to keep in mind if you’ve received a partial claim settlement

    If the policyholder feels that injustice has been done to him/her with the partial claim settlement granted by the insurer following an accident, he/she should keep the following points in mind:

    • As soon as you’ve got the claim amount from the insurer and you feel that it’s a partial claim settlement, write to the insurer asking on why the claim amount was lower than expected. Also, to strengthen your case, read the policy document before you choose to take the insurer to task.
    • Now, submit the claim amount invoice, the policy document, and any other evidence to support your claim to the Internal Dispute Resolution department of the insurer.
    • Ask the Internal Dispute Resolution department for a written report of why the claim was lower than expected.
    • It’s important that at this point you have an argument to state this case, and check for any flaws in the Internal Dispute Resolution department’s report.
    • When the insurance company approves the claim and it is ready for disbursement, read the document carefully. Do not sign the document if you feel that the payout is less than what you expect.
    • State your complaint to the Internal Dispute Resolution department and address the inconsistencies of their reason to hand you a lower claim amount.
    • If the insurer does not reach a resolution of your case, you can raise your case with the Insurance Ombudsman service.

    Car Insurance Claim FAQs

    1. What will happen if I fail to intimate the car insurer following an accident?

    If you fail to inform the car insurer as soon as you meet with an accident, for example, if there is a delayed intimation of the claim, and if you do raise a claim, it will be rejected by the insurer. In such a case, you will have to meet the expenses of the damages caused to your vehicle following an accident and medical expenses as well, if the accident has led to an injury or any sort of disability. In addition, if the accident was your fault, then you would need to cover the expenses of the damage caused to the third party and medical expenses if any, from your own pocket. However, by informing your insurer as soon as the accident has taken place, you can file for a cashless claim if you get your car serviced from any of the network garages of the insurer, or can opt for a reimbursement claim if you get the car serviced at a non-listed service station.

    2. Are there any cases where I should refrain from raising a car insurance claim?

    Raising a car insurance claim is left up to the choice of the policyholder. If he/she wants to avail the coverage of the car insurance policy, then he/she can raise a claim and save some money, if not, he/she doesn’t have to raise a claim. By raising a claim, the No Claim Bonus of the policyholder will be affected, and he/she will not be eligible for a premium discount the following policy term. If the policyholder wishes to protect his/her No Claim Bonus, then he/she can refrain from raising a claim. However, the policyholder should make the decision based on whether the damage caused to the car is small or big. If the damage caused to the car is minimal and the policyholder is confident of covering for the damages, he/she should avoid raising a claim and having the No Claim Bonus withdrawn. That said, if the damage caused to the car is more and if the expenses are beyond what the policyholder can afford at that moment, he/she should rather raise a claim and have the insurance company cover the damages caused to the car.

    3. Should I opt for a cashless claim settlement or a reimbursement claim settlement? Which one is more beneficial?

    You can opt for a cashless claim settlement if you inform the insurer on time and if you decide to get your car repaired and the parts replaced at any network or listed garage of the insurer. In the cashless claim settlement, as the name suggests, the expenses to repair your car will be settled directly between the insurer and the network garage, however, this is up to the Insured Declared Value of your car. If the damages are beyond the IDV of your car, then you will have to cover the balance from your own pocket. In addition, you will have to pay the compulsory deductible amount. That said, if you have serviced your car following an accident at a garage that is not listed by the insurer, then you will have no choice but to opt for the reimbursement claim settlement. Here, you will have to cover the expenses from your own pocket and then send the invoice of the service to the insurer, the insurer will reimburse the amount you’ve spent subject to the Insured Declared Value of your car.

    4. What documents should be submitted when raising a car insurance claim?

    When raising a claim, be it for a cashless claim settlement or reimbursement claim settlement, you will have to submit the below-listed documents:

    • The policy document number
    • The insurance claims form
    • The registration certificate of your vehicle
    • FIR from the local police station
    • Statements from both involved parties
    • The estimate of the damage caused to your car
    • The invoice and payment receipt in the case of a reimbursement claim

    5. Should I carry my car insurance at all times?

    Yes, by law, it is mandatory for vehicle owners to carry their insurance certificate at all times. The policy document, registration certificate, pollution under control certificate, and driving license have to be carried at all times. Now, instead of carrying around physical copies of their certificate, car owners can upload a scanned copy of the aforementioned documents on what is known as a DigiLocker. At all times, the certificates can be accessed using the smartphone of the car owner.

    News About Car Insurance Claim

    • CNG kit does not make the insured eligible for claim

      The consumer court in Ahmedabad said that a customer despite installing CNG kit in his/her car is not ineligible for a claim in case of any damage to the vehicle. However, the customer will have to inform the insurance company of the changes made to the vehicle so that there are no claim-related issues in the future.

      The Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad stated that if a customer installs CNG kit and does not inform the insurer about the changes, then as per the rule it is a violation of the conditions stated in the policy. However, the insurance company cannot deny the customer the claim using this ground as it is not material and fundamental deviation.

      2 April 2019

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