How to successfully file a Car Insurance claim?

How to successfully file a Car Insurance claim?

Every car owner needs insurance, it’s not just a formality that one needs to fulfill but a practical and legal requirement. Car insurance compensates expenses when a vehicle is damaged or stolen, or when one accidentally damages someone else’s vehicle. Therefore, car insurance is more than a statutory requirement. The process of buying car insurance is fairly simple. However, when it’s time to request a claim, the procedure and formalities involved can be confusing or even intimidating for first-time customers.

In this blog, we will share some tips to make your claim process smoother. For starters, let’s first understand the types of claims you can make:

Cashless Insurance Claim

If you have a car insurance policy, you can choose to settle your claim without paying extra from your pockets. You need to take your vehicle to a network-approved registered garage and your insurance provider will pay your bills directly. However, you should be aware that you might have to pay for any optional or mandatory deductibles you must have chosen while purchasing your car insurance.

Reimbursement Insurance Claim

If you want to take your car to a preferred garage or don’t have access to garages where you can get cashless claim settlement, you need to file a reimbursement claim. You have to settle your bills personally and make a claim request for reimbursement. To make this process smooth, make sure you keep a record of all original bills and other information relating to your car’s repair.

Now let’s make your claim settlement process smooth, here are the top 6 things that you should keep in mind:

1. Notify the Insurance Company

Call your insurer right away and let them know about the accident. Due to limited time, you must notify the insurance of the accident within 48 hours or seven working days (time limit varies from policy to policy), failing which your claim settlement period will be considered lapsed. Make sure you provide all the necessary documents such as softcopies of your driver’s license, car registration certificate, FIR, and the first two pages of your insurance policy to file a claim. A thorough letter submitted to the Road Transport Office (RTO) may also be required.

S.No Documents Accident Theft Third Party
1. Copy of policy Yes Yes Yes
2. Copy of Driving License along with original for verification Yes Yes Yes
3. Copy of registration of vehicle along with original for verification Yes Yes Yes
4. Original bills of the parts replaced & repaired Yes Yes Yes
5. Police report No Yes Yes
2. Determine the Type of Claim you’re making

When a third party is involved in an accident, you have two choices: File a third-party claim against the other party’s insurance or file a claim against your policy (only if you have comprehensive coverage). It is best to file a claim on the third-party policy, which will protect your no-claim bonus and allow you to keep receiving premium discounts in the future. If you happen to cause damage to your car yourself, you have no choice but to file a claim with your insurance company.

3. File a Report at the Nearest Police Station

In the case of car theft, fire or road accident, including third-party damage, notify the police and submit an FIR. This is an important step in any car claim settlement procedure. In cases where the accident caused minor dents and scratches, the FIR can be avoided. You should go for FIR when there is serious physical harm or a third-party accident, it is necessary in such cases. The police will visit the accident site to assess the issues and decide whether or not the accident was caused by any mechanical failure. The FIR will also include all important information about the driver, the vehicle, the passengers and any witnesses or other relevant information.

Note: Whenever a third party is involved, it is necessary to file a case with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in the jurisdiction area where the accident occurred.

4. Photographs for a Valid Proof

When customers lodge a reimbursement claim, capturing the accident scene is beneficial. You can take a few pictures of the accident scene, including your car damage and body injuries (if any) and use them as proof during the claim settlement process. You can also write down the names, phone numbers, and addresses of your witnesses and third parties (if any) so that they can assist you throughout the process.

5. No Trace Certificate from Police

In case of any theft or robbery, you might be asked to get a No-Trace Certificate as well as a copy of the police report. This certificate is provided by the police to indicate that the vehicle has been reported stolen and cannot be located. The No-Trace Certificate is an important document in the settling of theft claims.

6. Raise the Claim

When you have done all the above tough grind, it’s time to file the claim! When your insurer gives a green signal that your claim is valid, you will be compensated according to the terms and conditions of your policy. However, the amount you’ll be reimbursed and the events you’ll be insured for will be determined by the type of car insurance you have.

According to the Motor Tariff Act of 2002, third-party insurance is required in India, and it will only cover the cost of damages caused by the involvement of a third party. The comprehensive car insurance policy provides a greater range of coverage under a single policy umbrella, and you may top up it with additional add-ons. So make sure you choose the right plan for yourself.

Lastly, as this claim settlement procedure is a little tricky, policyholders should carefully study the policy details that their insurer sends. Here, all information on inclusions and exclusions will be detailed and you will know what you can expect from your car policy. Hope we have made things easier for you, just follow the steps outlined above and your car insurance claim will be settled smoothly.

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