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How To Make Car Insurance Claim In 4 Simple Steps

You’re happy about getting done with work early and driving home on an almost empty road. So happy that you almost missed the puppy crossing the road. CRASH, BOOM, BANG! Thankfully the puppy is safe but you’re now stuck on the side of the road with a badly dented, injured car.

You may be the best car owner in your neighborhood, but your car needs more than just your careful driving skills on the city roads.

You can use your comprehensive car insurance policy to make claims. Just be aware of the nitty-gritty of making a successful claim! Read on to know everything about the claims process on your motor insurance.



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Making Claims for Own-Damage

Damaged your car in an accident (minor or major)? No problem. If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can always claim the damages from your insurance company.

Follow these 4 simple steps:

Inform the insurance company

You must intimate your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Actually, the sooner the better. Most insurance companies follow stringent timelines (which are mentioned in their policy wordings). All companies have a number that you can call on to make a claim. It is important to do this before you make a claim because it just eases the entire process. If you’ve bought your motor insurance policy through coverfox.com, you can call us on as well. We’d help you with the entire process. Besides of course, cheering you up about the sad, inconvenient situation you’re in. We’re friendly folks like that!

Report to the cops

File an FIR! Seems very obvious, but you just got to, no two ways about it. Your claim won’t be settled without it. Even in case of accidents, it is always a good idea to lodge an FIR, though not mandatory for claim settlement

Evaluate Status of Damage

Once you’ve called the insurance folks, an inspection will be scheduled. A representative will come and evaluate the damage to your car. You will also be guided to the right network garage nearest to you and your car would be towed there. Don’t tow the car yourself. This is just to avoid any further consequential damage to your car. Most car insurance companies will schedule the survey within 1-2 days of the car insurance claim intimation.

Settle Claim

After the survey & scrutiny of your claim request, your insurer will send you and the garage an approval for the estimated repair costs. Now you can ask the garage to start the repairs! Once they’ve evaluated and agreed on the damage and the timelines involved in the repair, you can go home and relax. In every car insurance claim, certain repair costs have to be paid from your pocket. Once you settle these expenses, you are free to enjoy your drive.

Third-Party Liability Claims

Despite the best of your efforts, you banged your car into someone else's car/property, or a person suffered
an injury during a mishap. Chances are that this person will claim for the damages on your insurance policy.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Lodge an FIR

    To file a claim on the Third-Party Liability policy, you or the third-party must file an FIR at the local police station of the spot of the accident. Keep a copy of the FIR with you.

  • Sharing policy documents

    You must share the copy of your car insurance policy with the third-party, so that they can make a claim on your insurance policy. You cannot avoid this, even if you wish to!

  • Claiming in Motor Tribunal

    By the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, all third-party liability claims are settled. This is done under the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT). The third-party involved has to file for the claim at this tribunal. It could be located near the place of the accident or where the victim or his dependents reside. It can also be done where the owner of the vehicle or the driver involved resides.

  • Remember

    Compensation for death or disablement of the third party is not limited. It just depends upon various factors including the earning capacity of the affected.

    The liability towards any property damage is limited to Rs. 7,50,000. Any compensation amount over and above this (if required) is to be borne by the car owner.

  • Note

    Due to the involvement of various parties, including eye-witnesses, such settlements can extend. That’s a major low point! Thus, in most cases, it’s encouraged to settle the claim amicably outside the tribunal.

How to Make a Claim for Your Stolen Car

Can there be anything worse than a stolen car? Perhaps not. That’s why it’s important to know what goes into making claims under this scenario.

  • Lodge an FIR

    If you find out that your car has been stolen, (after you're done freaking out!) the first thing you must do is lodge an FIR at the local police station.

  • INTIMATE YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY

    And raise a claim for it. Submit the following documents alongside. This includes copy of your car's registration certificate (RC), copy of the FIR, copy of your driving license. Also, the first two pages of your policy document, and a detailed letter addressed to the RTO.

The police department issues a final 'Non Traceable Report' (usually after six months of trying to locate the car). After this, complete the formalities of transferring the RC of your lost car. This has to be done in the name of the insurance company along with a letter of subrogation.

The claim will be settled once all the documents are submitted to the insurance company.

Major Reasons for Car Insurance Claim Rejection

Even small mistakes can get your car insurance claim rejected. Check them out below:

No valid license

Have an invalid license or your license is fake or it has expired, or it is for a different vehicle category? then it is possible that your insurer will reject your claim. Genuine documents are as important as your insurance policy.

Second-hand car but no insurance

If you own a second-hand car and the insurance is in the name of the first owner, do ask the seller to transfer the insurance in your name. If not, the policy is considered null and any claims made would be rejected.

Delay in informing your insurer

In case your car has met with an accident or has been stolen, ensure you inform your insurer within the stipulated time frame. If you fail to do so within 48-72 hours, you can say goodbye to your car insurance claim.

Influence of alcohol or drugs

At the time of accident, if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then forget about claiming the insurance. Intoxication or drunk driving is a big exclusion.

Consequential damages

If you are careless, and crank the engine in a water-logged car or leaving your car unattended will definitely lead to rejection.

Your car is too old to be repaired

After examining your old car, if your insurer thinks that the repair cost is higher than its depreciated value, your claim will be rejected.

Car Repairing without informing your insurer

Never repair it before the surveyors from the insurance company arrive at the spot. This is because they need to estimate an approximate repair cost.

Installing unregistered CNG kit

If you install a CNG/ LPG kit in your car and haven’t registered it with the RTO (Regional Transport Office) or your insurance company.

Exceeding limitation of use

Using your car for commercial purposes (as a taxi) and your insurance policy states personal use.

What about Partial Claim Settlement

There may be reasons why your insurer may pay some but not the full value of your claim. This happens when the insurer’s assessment of the level of car damages differs from your assessment. It generally depends on the specifics of the claim, type of coverage, and terms and conditions related to the relevant policy.

In short, your claim is not completely rejected but you don’t receive the entire compensation. It’s always better to go carefully check the policy wordings to avoid such scenarios.

Things to Remember

Want your claims to be approved without hassles? Then here are some things that you should always keep in mind.

Never leave your car unlocked, even during anxious times.

Always keep a copy of your insurance document in your car.

Follow the traffic rules, and do not drink and drive.

Know what’s covered and what’s not covered in your policy.

Always make sure that you read the policy document carefully. This will help you NOT getting shocked at the eleventh hour.

Making a car insurance claim means giving up on your No Claim Bonus (NCB). So, do a little math and figure out if the claim is worth being made.

Avoid claiming for minor scratches and dents to safeguard the NCB discount on your renewal as it can significantly reduce the premium

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions!

What happens if I don’t inform the insurance company at the time of repairing the car?

In such a case,

  • There may be lack of transparency in terms of the parts replaced, the charges incurred and so on.
  • You may un-knowingly cause more consequential damage to the car. Probably, by driving it to the mechanic without having the damage evaluated first.
  • You may be overpaying the labor charges if you go to an unauthorised mechanic.
  • You may have to deal with the partial or total rejection of your claim. You will not be aware of the kind of costs or damages that your car has incurred and which of those costs is claimable or not.
  • Cashless services will also not be available to you. You would unnecessarily have to wait a long time before the money gets reimbursed in most of the cases.

So be smart about choosing the right car insurance policy.

Are they any situations where I should not be claiming on my car insurance?

Let's assume, a neighbor while parking his car bumped your car giving it an ugly dent. In such a situation, you can file for third party insurance claim. When it is evident and is proved that the accident is not your fault, you can easily refrain from making any claim on your policy. In this case, your neighbor's insurance company will pay for the repair of your car.

Be aware, in case of an accident where a third party is at fault, you will have to file an FIR with the local police and obtain a charge sheet. If you are able to prove third party’s involvement and fault, you stand strong chances to receive approval on your third-party claim.

Also, you could end up losing your No-Claim Bonus discount at the following renewal if you claim on minor damages. If the repair expenses are lesser than your NCB discount at the next renewal, there is truly no benefit in claiming the same. You should only claim the repair expenses, only if the amount is more than the NCB discount.

Just remember that more number of claims make you riskier for them.

This will lead to higher premium and thereby an increased cost. Hence, it may not always be advisable to claim car insurance.

What are the documents that are required to be submitted for a Car Insurance claim?

The policy document is a ready reckoner that you can refer for the complete list of documents to be submitted if you have a Car Insurance claim. The documents which you would generally require are:

  • The duly filled claim form
  • The Registration Certificate (RC) copy of the vehicle
  • Original estimates of loss
  • Repair invoice and payment receipt

If you are availing the cashless facility then only the repair invoice would be required. For theft claims, you would need to file an FIR with the local policy. The copy of the same needs to be submitted to the insurance company along with the keys of your vehicle and a non-traceable certificate.

What is a cashless claim and reimbursement claim?

A cashless claim is the complete responsibility of the insurance company. Most of the companies have their own garage network, which can repair the damaged vehicles. The owner does not have to worry about the expenses apart from the consumables (not covered in the policy). The payment of only the difference amount as confirmed during the process of the claim needs to be made.

If you decide to choose your own garage for repair works (not a part of the insurer’s garage network), then you can claim reimbursement for the same. You will need to submit the original bills, payment receipts to the insurance company. This has to be done once you settle the repair amount from your own pocket.

What are the documents required to be kept in the vehicle while plying public places?

You need to keep certain documents in the car while plying public places. They are:

  • Certificate of Insurance
  • A copy of the Registration Certificate
  • The PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificate, and the Xerox copy of the driving licence of the person who is driving the vehicle.