Wednesday, April 24

How to Make a Claim on Your Car Insurance?

A car is one of the biggest investments. It provides pride of ownership. When you own a car, it is your responsibility to ensure its safety. This is the time when a car insurance policy comes to light. When you buy a car, it is essential as well as mandatory to buy car insurance. In the case of contingency, a car insurance claim helps to compensate for the financial loss. 

Types of Car Insurance Claims

Advantages of Car Insurance 

Car insurance protects the car against the financial loss that might occur in an accident or any unfortunate event. It lowers the cost of damage or the repairs of the car. Car insurance is a contract in which the insurance company agrees to protect the policyholder’s interest against losses due to car damage. The list of advantages of having car insurance includes

  • Loss or Damage to Insured Car

Car insurance protects you, in case your car damages due to fire, self-ignition, or an accident. In case the car bears losses due to theft, riots, strikes, or burglary, the policy covers these. Moreover, it covers damage or loss while in transit by road, air, rail, or lift.

  • Personal Accident Cover

Another benefit is that it provides personal accident cover for a specified amount. The personal accident cover offers protection against the permanent total disability and even death caused due to car accidents. Moreover, this cover could be taken for the other passengers in the car for a predetermined amount.

  • Third-Party Liabilities

In case a car accident results in loss or damage to property of a third party, the insurance covers it. Moreover, if there are any legal liabilities due to an injury or death or third party, car insurance would provide protection against this.  

Apart from these benefits, there is one more advantage, no claim bonus. In case you do not make any claim, you can avail the discount on the premium that makes insurance affordable.  

Kinds of Car Insurance

There are two kinds of car insurance i.e. Comprehensive and Third Party.  Comprehensive car insurance ensures car protection against the risks or damage due to theft. This would also provide the cover for the accident as well as damage by the third party. Usually, it would offer cover against man-made and natural calamities like theft, riots, floods, earthquakes, etc. This policy might also offer personal accident cover for the driver and other passengers in the insured car.

The third-party insurance provides cover only for the damage done by your car to the vehicle or property of the third party. This would not cover thefts, damages, or accidents. It would provide cover against legal liabilities arising out of accidental damages. The damages would include personal injury damage to the property and even the death of the person. 

Car Insurance Claim

Car insurance claim refers to a process where the policyholder requests the insurance company to pay for the damages caused due to a car accident.  The extent as well as the amount of the insurance claim depends on the car’s IDV (Insured Declared Value) and type of policy. The type of insurance influences the amount of claim to a great extent. 

Kinds of Car Claim Settlement

There are two ways to settle car insurance claims i.e. cashless claims and reimbursement claims. 

  • Reimbursement Claim

After an accident, if you visit a workshop or garage of your choice for car repair, you enter the process of reimbursement claim settlement. In this, you would need to make the payment of the car repair cost at the workshop or garage. Later, the insurance company reimburses the repair cost (subject to claim amount). After subtracting the applicable deductibles, the insurance company reimburses the total claim amount.

  • Cashless Claim

The name of the claim is self-explanatory. The entire process of this claim is cashless. It allows you to get your car repaired at the specified garages without paying cash. Possibly, there could be tie-ups between the insurance company and the garages. You need not pay any money to the authorised garage for your car repair. The insurance company would make the payment directly to the garage (subject to the claim amount). You would need to pay only compulsory deductibles as well as voluntary deductible if opted while purchasing a policy. The best thing about availing of the cashless claim is that it provides peace of mind. Moreover, the authorised garages (network garages) are more reliable in comparison to local garages and provide better services.  

Documents You Require for Car Accident Claim

In order to raise a claim for a car accident, the policyholder needs to submit a few documents to the insurance company. These documents play a vital role in the validation. The list of documents that you need to submit for the claim settlement process includes

Documents for Car Insurance Claims

  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Police FIR (In case of theft claims and third-party claims)
  • Copy of car’s RC book and driving license
  • Original repair bills provided by garage (for the reimbursement claim)
  • Copy of photo ID proof of policyholder such as passport, Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, etc. 
  • Medical receipts (In case of physical injuries)

Along with these documents, you would need to submit the claim form with all the required details. 

Steps to File Claim for Car Insurance 

For getting maximum benefits from car insurance, it is important to inform the police and insurance company. Ensure you inform both immediately about the car accident as well as the intensity of the car damage. In case the insurance company finds the claims genuine, after inspecting the car and other aspects, it would reimburse the amount. Here are the steps that can help you make claim for the damages successfully

    1. Inform Insurance Company

The first and crucial step for a car accident claim is to inform the insurance company about the accident immediately. The reason behind this is the restricted timeline. You need to inform the company about the accident within a specified time. Failure or delay could lead to claim rejection. For raising a claim, you need to provide copies of vital documents like car registration certificate, driving license, FIR with insurance policy. 

    2. Lodge an FIR

In order to make a car insurance claim, FIR is mandatory. Whether it is a road accident, fire, or theft, inform the police and file an FIR. In case of personal injury as well as third party accidents, FIR is a must. The police would visit the accident spot and find if the accident occurred because of mechanical failure. The police would also record the significant details of the car, driver, passengers as well as witnesses. 

    3. Take Photos as Proof

Few car owners prefer to opt for reimbursement claims. In such cases, taking photos of the accident spot as well as the surrounding environment can be helpful. You can take photos of the damages to your car, physical injuries, road conditions, etc. These photographs would serve as proof and make the claim settlement process easier. Along with taking photographs, ensure you note the name as well as contact details of the witnesses. 

    4. Submit the Documents to the Insurance Company 

Once you get the FIR, the next step for a car insurance claim is to gather all the required documents. The claim can be initiated only when you submit the necessary documents to the insurance company. Ensure you submit the copies of prescribed documents. 

    5. Request for Sending Surveyor

Along with filing a claim from the insurance company and request them to assign a surveyor for the inspection. In case the insurance company provides the facility of raising claims online, you can do this by visiting their website. In the cashless claim settlement, the insurance company would send a representative for assessing the car damage.

The representative would also assist with the garages where you can get your car towed down. Towing the car by the insurance company would ensure that the car would not be damaged further. Typically, the survey takes place in one or two working days after the intimation of a car insurance claim

    6. Car Repair

There are two ways of settling the car accident claim. In case you opt for a cashless claim, you need not bear the cost of repairing. In these types of cases, all you need to do is take your car to any network garage prescribed by the insurance company. You would need to pay only for the deductibles and the insurance company covers the remaining cost. 

If you proceed with the reimbursement claim, you would need to pay the repair cost of all damages from your pocket. You would need to submit all the original bills, medical reports, photographs, receipts, etc. to the insurer. After withdrawing the deductibles, the insurance company would reimburse the repair amount. Moreover, you can get your car repaired from your preferred garage.

The process of car insurance claims can be a bit complicated. No matter whether you make a small claim for a minor accident or a major claim for theft, knowing procedures makes the claim easier. In order to avoid the problems, it is advised to read the documents of the policy carefully before buying. In case you have any doubt, ensure you clear it with the insurance agent and ensure a smooth car accident claim process. 

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