Follow these steps to make a successful claim on your car insurance
Along with the luxury and comfort of owning a car, comes the added regular costs on its maintenance. A comprehensive car insurance is a smart choice when buying a car. While Third-Party Insurance is mandatory by law, a comprehensive car policy will insure you against any own unforeseen damage. Read about the process of making a successful claim on your car insurance, in the event of any accident or undesired circumstance.
Making a Car Insurance Claim After an Accident
Following steps need to be followed to make a claim after your car has met an accident:
1. Inform Your Insurance Company
Immediately intimate your insurance company when your car has met an accident. Most of them follow stringent timelines, mentioned in the policy document. Remember if you fail to inform your insurer within 48-72 hours of such incident, you may lose your claim. Do this as soon as possible, even if you are away from home or someone else has caused the accident.
2. Report to the Police
There are no two ways about this. You need to file an FIR with the police, or else your claim will not be settled. Though not mandatory for accidents, it’s always a good idea to lodge an FIR and hold a copy of the same.
3. How Bad Is It?
The damage suffered by your car needs to be assessed. Once you’ve notified the insurer, an inspection will be scheduled. A surveyor will come and ascertain the extent of damage. You’ll also be guided to the nearest network garage and your car will be towed there.
4. Final Settlement
After the scrutiny is done, your insurer will send you and the garage an approval of the estimated repair costs. This is where you can ask the garage to start the repairs. Once the insurance company has evaluated and agreed upon the damage and timeline involved in the repair, you can sit back and relax!
Making a Car Insurance Claim in Case of Theft
For making a claim in case of theft, you need to lodge an FIR with the local police and inform your insurance company with supporting documents. These include 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 will issue a final Non Traceable Report, usually after six months of trying to locate the car. After this, complete the procedure of transfer of RC of your lost car, in the name of your insurance company along with a letter of subrogation. The claim settlement will be done once all the documents are submitted to the insurance company.
Whether or Not to Make a Claim?
In every car insurance claim, certain expenses have to be borne from your own pocket. This figure is called Voluntary Deductible, which the insured agrees to pay and the rest gets covered under the policy. There is also a No Claim Bonus (NCB) that insurance companies offer. This is a discount you earn on the annual premium of your policy if you do not claim in a given year and the policy is renewed.
For example the NCB applicable to you is 10% which is ₹5,000. And the voluntary excess you’ve agreed to pay is ₹3,000. In a scenario where your car has suffered minor damages and the bills are somewhere close to your voluntary excess figure, it is advisable not to claim and bear all the repair costs. Safeguard your NCB for future renewals as it can significantly reduce your premium. However, if the damage is serious and repair costs are high, go for the claim.
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