Your car is stolen. What next? You need to make a smart car theft claim. Check out the step-by-step procedure and ensure you play your part well in the process.
When you possess a car, parking becomes a huge hassle. You may go shopping, or to a pub or restaurant, it’s natural to worry about your car getting burgled.
However, if you have a copy of your car insurance papers in place, you need not worry.
What does theft cover include and how you can put it to use in case your car is stolen?
Let’s find out.
Car Thefts in India
Car theft is an urban plague that hassles every metropolitan city in the world. Of the approximately 22,000 vehicles reported missing in 2014, only 2,322 were ultimately recovered.
The grand total of stolen vehicles was 26,330 in 2013. Nationwide more than 36,000 cars were stolen across India in 2013, out of which 3,800 were from Mumbai.
Though, as a crime, car theft occurs frequently, it's by no means any less stress-inducing than any of the others that are of a more grave.
Your comprehensive policy also covers theft.
You did know that your comprehensive policy covers third party liability, as well as damages and losses caused to your car and you.
Apart from natural disasters, it also covers man-made calamities from which theft is considered to be a major one.
Remember one thing:
All the coverage you’re eligible for will be deemed valid when the claim that is made is suitable, convincing and complete. In the event of car theft or burglary, you need to keep calm and handle the situation with a strong presence of mind.
Procedure to make a smart claim.
With minimum delay,
1. File an FIR
When you discover the theft of your car, your first reaction is to head to the relevant police station and lodge a complaint. That’s what we call as the First Information Report or the FIR.
This is the foundation of a compelling claim. You shouldn’t skip this step under any circumstances.
2. Inform your Insurer
The next step is to inform the insurance company soon after. The company has its own procedure to kick start once you have placed a call to them. Make sure you do that at the earliest.
3. Inform the RTO
You are also required to inform the transport department by law. So, don’t forget to notify the Road Transportation Office (RTO). After all, they have to furnish you with the RTO transfer papers and one key document as you will see in the relevant documents’ list below.
4. Collect all the documents in this list
After you have informed all the relevant departments, you should start collecting all the required documents to make a claim. As soon as you have them all, submit them along with the requisite claim form duly filled in to the insurance company.
Every kind of claim will have its own particular set of documentation requirements. When you are faced with a case of car theft, you are required to submit the following:-
- The original FIR copy,
- Copy of the policy documents,
- The duly signed claim form,
- A copy of the driving license,
- The original car keys to the vehicle,
- Copy of the vehicle’s RC, and
- RTO transfer papers duly signed along with the necessary Forms (form 28, 29, 30 and 35).
5. Get the no-trace report
Don’t forget to also acquire the no-trace report. Also known as the untraced vehicle report, you will get this document from the police saying that the vehicle cannot be located.
Without this document, your car theft insurance is unlikely to be processed. Remember that the police needs almost a month from the date of the incident to generate this report.
Keep calm and don't lose patience.
Once you inform your insurer, they will employ specialist investigators to try to trace your car. This person or team will also help you get all the necessary documents from the police. These investigations and related measures may require up to 60 days. So do NOT fret!
Another point to remember:
After filing the FIR, if your car is not found, it will take about 90 days for the insurance company to generate the Insured Declared Value or IDV of your car. So don’t lose patience, that’s the nature of the procedure.
You've started the claim process in the right way. You're following the correct steps.
Do not despair because the entire procedure will take up to 3-4 months. Do your part well, and wait.
If you have followed all the rules, you have nothing to fear.
All you need to do is keep patience and wait for your old car or the claim to be sanctioned.