Car insurance policy is a necessary document for every car in India. Having a car insurance policy when the vehicle has met with an accident or a mishap will save you from spending money personally for the repair expenses. Car insurance policy also provides financial protection against the damages caused to the vehicle due to third-party damage, natural calamities like flood, storm, lightning, etc., and man-made calamities like riots, attacks, protests, theft, burglary, etc.
A car insurance policy is available in two options, third-party liability and comprehensive policy. However, as per the law, the third-party cover is the bare minimum requirement coverage for every vehicle. Driving without a car insurance plan is an offence and the owner of the car can be penalised and the registration of the vehicle will be temporarily cancelled until the owner purchases a proper vehicle insurance policy. Car insurance is all that you need when the vehicle has met with an accident or stolen or totally damaged or you want to renew the policy to further enjoy the benefits provided by the same.
During such situations, inspection of the car is a mandatory procedure, and only after this step, the insurer will process your claim or renew your policy. Hence, it is important to know for which instances you should get the vehicle inspected and when is it not required.
Situations when vehicle inspection is needed:
- After completion of every policy year, when the car insurance policy has to be renewed, the vehicle has to be inspected by a survey inspector.
- If there is a gap in the policy coverage time, i.e. if you have not renewed the policy on time and it has expired, or when you switch to a different insurance provider after the expiry of the current car insurance policy, vehicle inspection is needed.
- When you decide to upgrade the policy cover from a third-party policy to a comprehensive policy, car inspection is mandatory.
- If the owner of the car decides to sell the vehicle to another person, the ownership of the vehicle is also transferred. Once the ownership of the vehicle has changed, the car insurance policy will also be transferred in the name of the new owner. Under such an instance, the vehicle inspection is vital. Even if the new owner decides to buy a fresh policy by cancelling the current policy, inspection has to be done.
- The one time when you cannot avoid vehicle inspection at all, is when you make a claim. If you have left the vehicle at any of the network garages of the insurer, an authorised surveyor or any official sent by the insurer will inspect the vehicle to know the extent of damage and suggest an estimated cost of repair. This estimation will be sent to the insurer for approval post which the company will release the claim amount.
- When you decide to jazz up your vehicle with addition of accessories like anti-theft device, bumpers, CNG kit, infotainment upgrade, etc. You can seek a cover from the insurer for accessories as well. If the accessories installed in your car are not insured, then it will affect the car insurance premium calculation.
Car inspection is not necessary when:
- You have only third-party liability car insurance policy.
- There is no gap in the policy coverage as the policy is renewed on time.
- A new policy has been purchased from a different insurer, during the cancellation period of the old policy from current insurer.
Vehicle inspection process:
- The surveyor will inspect the vehicle for physical damage and to check the vehicle health and maintenance. During this process, if there are any pre-existing damages, the surveyor will make a note of it.
- An authorised survey inspector will be sent by the insurer to observe the vehicle damages, if any, and will make a record of the vehicle chassis and registration number.
- To record the same, as an evidence, the surveyor will click a few pictures of the vehicle, especially where the damage has been caused. This holds true at the time of claiming the policy as well.
- A complete inspection of interior and exterior parts of the vehicle will be made and noted in the form of a report for future reference.
- This report will be sent to the insurer who will then do the needful.
Hence, whenever, you make a claim or renew the policy, make sure that you get the vehicle survey for process convenience.