Tips to Claim Car Insurance Damage Beyond Repair
A constructive total loss for a vehicle means that the damage is so extensive that repairs would equal or surpass the cost of the vehicle or its insurance limit. This type of loss is common in a head-on collision or total wreck.
In case of complete damage of the vehicle, claiming car insurance for car damage becomes primarily important. This is because repairing such cars becomes extremely expensive, if not impossible. It is understood in such case the major parts of the car, needs to be repaired or replaced hence the total liability on the repair mounts which is quite high and requires huge monetary funding.
Filing insurance claim for such an extensive damage is also similar to any other claim However, one should keep the documents ready and follow some of the important dos and don'ts in order to make the procedure as easy as possible.
What is the documents process involved in such major loss insurance claim for a motor vehicle?
- Spot photos or survey
For private car: Since it is major impact it is advisable to intimate the insurer at the earliest and take clear photos from the spot. This is done to give a clarity to the customer to refer the damages.
For commercial Vehicle and Taxi : As per guidelines any commercial vehicle when met with an accidental claim they need to inform the insurer to for a spot survey. A surveyor will inspect the vehicle to verify and authenticate the damages.
- Report to police authorities / FIR
- It is understood such major accident must have led to any bodily injury to occupants or third party in that case
- Where more than two vehicles are involved in the accident
It is advisable in the above cases a FIR is lodged as the facts of the accident is captured in the FIR by the police authorities. Through this the insurer will be authenticate the facts of the accident. The complaint and FIR copies to be kept with the policy holder for ready reckoner during the process of the claim.
- Final Repair Estimate
The utmost important factor which decides constructive total loss is the repair estimate. After discussions and finalisation between the loss assessor (surveyor) and garage a final repair estimate is prepared. The final repair estimate must be concluded and handed over to the insurer to take the decision further.
- Policy original copy
Insurer will be cancelling the policy for all total loss cases; hence insurer may insist on handing over the original policy copy issued to him
- RC cancellation acknowledgement - Procedures with Regional transport authority
With the recent notification from the regulator IRDAI; have again emphasised the process for total loss claims to cancel the registration allotted to the vehicle at the respective RTO where the vehicle was registered.
To get the process facilitated Insurer will provide a Bonafede letter conveying its claim decision to treat the claim as a total loss. Based on the same the transport authority cancels the registration of the vehicle and provides an acknowledgement. The acknowledgement is to be provided to the insurer.
- Disposal of the salvage (scrap)
After the RC of the vehicle is cancelled the vehicle is no more a registered motor vehicle and will be treated as salvage. The salvage is disposed off by insurer through online or offline auction. Thanks to technology portals for such online auctions. Once the salvage value is finalised the salvage (scrap) buyer will pay the amount to the insured/policy holder.
Now the insurer is liable for the Insured declared value less the salvage amount.
- Hypothecation cases
If the vehicle is under hypothecation then a statement is required from the Financial institution to understand the outstanding loan amount. In case of any outstanding loan amount, the insurer will make a payment in favour of the Financial institution for the Outstanding loan Amount.
Any balance payment after Outstanding loan amount and salvage value discussed above is then made in favour of insured.
*Other documents for the claim remain the same.
- Claim form
- KYC documents of the insured
- Driving Licence: If the vehicle met with the accident while driving then the DL of the Driver on the wheels is required for verification. In case of parked car DL is not required but the proof of parked car is very much required
- In case of commercial vehicle, fitness certificate and permit documents of the vehicle are required
Ready Reckoner Tips For Motor Claims
- Reporting to police authorities: Take a call if reporting to police authorities is required. If the vehicle has multiple damages, accident resulting in Bodily harm and major accidents are the indicators where reporting to police authority immediately is advisable.
- Gather Evidence: Ensure enough proof is recorded to produce the facts to the insurer; this will be window for the loss assessor (Surveyor) to authenticate and approve the claim without any delay. For instance, Photos and video coverage can be taken after the accident. Exchange the details of the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident.
- Intimation must be prompt and immediate: The insurer must be kept informed in an immediate possible manner. Try to call the toll free number or inform your insurance intermediary (email@example.com) for any assistance required
- Parking charges: The Parking charges at a workshop vary from 400/- to 2000/- per day for a vehicle. In that case of a total loss once the vehicle final estimate is finalised and taken into consent from the insurer. The insured may move the vehicle to a convenient place until the salvage is disposed avoid heavy parking charges after informing insurance company.
- Claim form: Fill up the car insurance claim form carefully by yourself with clear facts to reap the utmost benefits. Reach the loss assessor or insurer representative for any assistance required. Never entrust a third party to fill a signed claim for on your behalf.
- Utmost good faith: Be honest about the entire accident filing insurance claim for car damage. Do not hide or skip any important detail, and never interrupt in between their investigation to create an air of suspicion.
- Initiate prompt follow up’s with loss assessor and insurer on the status of a car insurance claim.
What Are The Necessary Details Required By The Insurance Company?
Apart from the details of the accident, as mentioned earlier, while filing an insurance claim for car damage, one must keep these things ready:
- Policy paper including the policy number
- Chassis number
- Engine details and the number
What Are The Options Of Car Insurance Claim Available?
While filing insurance claim for car damage, if the policyholder is moving his vehicle to one of its network garages the he/she may avail cashless facility. But if insured wants to take to workshops/ garages which is out of the network garages of insurer then customer has to opt for reimbursement.
There are certain insurance companies which readily process the car insurance claim up to a certain amount. Along with the necessary documents, one may also provide his/her medical expense bill in case they have acquired physical injuries from the car accident.