If you own a car, then having a car insurance is a must. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, every vehicle owner must buy motor insurance for his/her car plying on Indian roads.Before we get to the point, have a look at the type of car insurance. Car insurance is of two types. The first one is third-party liability and the second one is comprehensive insurance. The third-party liability is the basic type of insurance that is mandatory by the law. It provides coverage against the damages caused to the third party in case of an accident where the policyholder is at fault. Third-party insurance only provides benefits to the other person concerned and not the policyholder.Besides third-party insurance, insurance companies in India offer a comprehensive car insurance cover to the insurance buyers. True to its name, comprehensive car insurance offers more benefits than third-party insurance. It protects the policyholder against, theft, accident, damage, and repair. It covers offers third-party liability as well. Insurance experts recommend buying a comprehensive insurance in order to enjoy adequate insurance coverage.
Many people think that buying car insurance in India is just a waste of money. Some people believe that car insurance claims are not settled by the insurance companies. It is nothing but a misconception. Car insurance claims are settled by insurance companies on the basis of proper verification and terms and of the policy. Here’s a guide that will help you to know everything about car insurance claims.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim?
Owning a car brings in a number of extra costs with it. Buying a car is itself a costly affair, but its maintenance, operating cost and repair expenses added to the list of the on-going expense that cannot be neglected. The future is unpredictable, so are the situations that may lead to expenses.
To ensure your financial protection, in case of any unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, it is wise to buy car insurance. Car insurance will save you from incurred expenses in times of theft, accident etc. At the time of buying car insurance, it is imperative to understand the policy inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions, add-ons and also the claim settlement procedure.
Here are some points that will help you in order to file a car insurance claim. Additionally, it will ensure a smooth car insurance claim experience with your insurer.
Firstly, thoroughly read the process of filing the car insurance claim for your insurance provider.
In case you meet with an unfortunate accident, it is advised that you inform the insurance company as soon as possible. You should notify the concerned insurance company immediately irrespective of your location or fault.
Additionally, you can take help from the customer support regarding the procedure and documents required to file a claim settlement request. Clearly, understand the documents required to be submitted along with the claim application for a smoother and faster claim process.
Many insurance companies need a “proof of loss” form to be furnished at the time of registering a car insurance claim. Generally, documents such as medical bills, car repair bills as well as a photocopy of a police complaint report can be used as “proof of loss”.
It is recommended that you provide all the required information and documents for a hassle-free claim settlement process. Make sure you provide all the accident-related information to the insurer.
Maintain all the records of the expenses incurred during the accident as you would need to submit it along with the claim form.
Print multiple copies of all your documents and keep them in a safe place for a quick reference.
In case you meet with an accident, do not panic. Firstly, if you or any other person is injured, find help. Make sure you get medical help as soon as possible.
Also, inform the local police of the area. Assist the police will all the details that they require to file an FIR.
If possible, take pictures of the accident location on your phone; these can also be submitted as proofs.
At times, the insurance company sends their representative to inspect the accident spot, before they provide you the insurance claim benefits. It is your responsibility to provide assistance to the representative and fulfill all the claim-related formalities.
Though there may be some problems that arise at the time of registering a claim. It is a legal procedure and thus needs to be filed with patience. The claim filing process is quite simple and easy, but if not followed carefully, your claim could get rejected.
Types of Claim Settlement Process
There are 2 types of claim settlement process.
Cashless Claim Settlement- Under this, the insurance provider settles claim directly with the network listed garage.
Reimbursement of Expenses- Under this, the policyholder pays for the incurred repair expenses and the insurance provider settles the claim later on.
Reasons for Claim Denial by the Car Insurance Company
Though filing a car insurance claim is a simple and easy process, there are times when the claims get denied by the company. Such situations do not occur often, but when they do, it is imperative to understand what went wrong and why. Below are several situations in which your insurance company will deny claim settlement.
1. Accidents Caused due to Policyholder’s Negligence
Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Thanks to potholes and cracked roads, Indian roads are highly prone to accidents. That being said, if there were chances that you could have avoided the accident, the company can reject your claim. Even if the accident takes place because of your negligence the claim can be denied. Claims can be denied when the insurance company thinks that you have done something willingly that is beyond the policy terms. Such activities include drunk driving or invalid driving license. If an accident takes place when you are under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant, it is not only illegal, but the insurer also has to right to reject your claim application. Also, if your license is fake, expired or of a different category, then the claim will be denied.
2. No Medical Aid at the Hour of Injury
In case, you want to file a claim for to injuries due to a car accident, then it is important that you get medical treatment immediately. If you do not, there can be counter arguments from the insurance company. The insurance company may question that injuries were not caused due to the accident. But, if you provide documented proofs (medical bills from the hospital or doctor treatment certificates) showing that you underwent a medical treatment soon after the accident, then you will have a strong point to claim your insurance.
3. No Proof of Accident
If you want to file your car insurance claim, you must take photographs of the damages and the injuries caused due to the accident. In case you fail to do so before leaving the spot, then the insurer might argue on during your claim settlement.
Things to keep in mind to ensure a Smooth Claim Settlement
Below are following points to remember when you apply for a car insurance claim settlement in case of car accidents:
Firstly, inform the police and lodge an FIR. In any bodily injuries, immediately arrange for medical aid.
Take note of all the details of the driver involved such as name, phone number, and address.
Take note of the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses present at the time of accidents.
Click photographs of the accident scene. This includes pictures of injuries, property damage, traffic signs, and skid marks (if any).
4. In Case Your Policy is Inactive
In order to avail insurance coverage, the car insurance policyholder must pay a fixed amount of premium to the insurance company before the due date. If the insured pays the policy premium before the due date, then the insurer shall provide insurance coverage at the time of unfortunate incidents as per policy terms and conditions. However, if he/she doesn’t pay the car insurance premium on time for any reason, then the insurer may not help him/her in times of need and deny the claim.
5. Filling False information in Insurance Policy Application
Insurance is an agreement that is built and survived on trust between the insured and the insurer. In order to save some money, many applicants fill-in wrong information in the application form.
Some lie about their driving experience, previous car mishap records, car-related information such as mileage and speed.
In case you file a car insurance claim, and the insurance company finds out about the false information, then it won’t process your claim. Not only the claim will be rejected, your insurance policy can be canceled for lying.
It is important for you to be honest and provide accurate personal as well as car-related information. Just to save some money, you will lose out on more. The money you have paid as premiums would be such a waste when your policy will be canceled.
6. You Waited Too Long To File Your Claim
Every car insurance company in India has its own set of terms and conditions. There is a specific time frame that is set by each insurance company to file car insurance claims in times of accidents. In case of an accident, the insurance company must be intimated as soon as possible. Many insurance companies have a standard deadline of claim imitation from 48 hours to 72 hours. If the policyholder didn’t stick to the deadline is, then the insurance company has all rights to reject the claim.
A number of insurance companies do not consider consequential losses. For instance, if your car is damaged due to a collision, but you still decide to drive that leads to further wear and tear of the vehicle, then your insurance company has the right to deny your car insurance claim.