All About Car Insurance Claims in India

All About Car Insurance Claims in India

  • Cashless & Reimbursement Claim
  • Financial Benefits to Survivor
  • 24X7 Claim Support
Car Insurance Claim Process

Car insurance is an important aspect of vehicle ownership that provides financial protection in case of accidents, theft, or other unforeseen incidents. However, not every car owner knows the finer details of car insurance claims in India. Many people purchase car insurance without checking the policy-specific processes, which can lead to frustration when filing a claim.

We, at RenewBuy, aim to help you navigate the complexities of car insurance claims in India. Whether you are a new car owner or someone looking to renew your policy, knowing the ins and outs of the car insurance claims process can empower you to make informed decisions.

Understanding your car insurance policy in detail is not just a smart move; it is essential. It can save you time, money, and stress in the long run. By demystifying the car insurance claim process and explaining your rights/responsibilities, we want to make car insurance straightforward and accessible for everyone.

Basics of Car Insurance Claims

Car insurance claims refer to the formal requests a policyholder makes to their insurance company for compensation or coverage following an incident involving their vehicle. These incidents can include accidents, theft, damage from natural disasters, or other events covered under the insurance policy.

When you purchase car insurance, you are essentially entering into a contract with the insurance company. In exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company agrees to cover specific types of losses and damages as outlined in your policy. When such an event occurs, you can file a claim to receive financial assistance or reimbursement for the costs associated with the incident.

Here are some key points to understand about car insurance claims:


Types of Car Insurance Claims

Car insurance claims can be categorized into various types, such as:

  • Own Damage claims for damage to your vehicle caused by accidents, fire, natural disasters, vandalism, etc.
  • Third-party claims for damage or injury caused to another person or their property due to an accident involving your vehicle
  • Theft claims in case your vehicle is stolen
  • Personal accident claims for coverage of medical expenses and compensation for injuries sustained by the policyholder or passengers during an accident.

Filing a Claim

The car insurance claim process typically involves informing your insurance company about the incident, submitting necessary documents and evidence (such as photos, police reports, and repair bills), and getting your vehicle inspected by a surveyor appointed by the insurer (explained in detail below).


Claim Settlement

After reviewing your claim, the insurance company will approve or deny it based on the terms and conditions of your policy. If approved, they will reimburse you for the repair costs or pay the garage directly if it is a cashless claim service.



As a car owner, you need to know what your policy does not cover. Common exclusions can include regular wear and tear, driving under the influence of alcohol, or using the vehicle for illegal activities.

Also Read:Best Add-Ons For Your Car Insurance Policy

How Does the Car Insurance Claim Process Work?

Here’s an overview of the typical car insurance claim process followed in India:


Immediate Action Post-Incident

  • As a car owner, you need to ensure that everyone involved in the incident is safe. Seek medical assistance if necessary.
  • For accidents involving significant damage, injury, or theft, it is mandatory to file a First Information Report (FIR) with the police. This is one of the key claim rules.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to inform them about the incident. Most insurers have a 24/7 helpline for this purpose.

Documentation and Evidence

  • You need to take photographs of the scene, the damage to your vehicle, and any other relevant details. These will serve as evidence to substantiate your claim.
  • Keep copies of your driving license, vehicle registration certificate, FIR, and insurance policy handy.
  • Fill out the car insurance claim form provided by your insurance company. This can often be done online through the insurer’s website or app.
  • Along with the claim form, submit all necessary documents and evidence to support your claim. Ensure you adhere to the claim rules regarding documentation.

Survey and Inspection

  • The insurance company will dedicate a surveyor to inspect the damage to your vehicle.
  • The surveyor will prepare a report detailing the extent of the damage and the estimated repair costs. This report will be used to determine the claim amount.

Claim Approval and Repair

  • Once the insurance company has reviewed the surveyor’s report, it will approve the claim if it meets the policy terms and claim rules.


  • In cashless claims, the insurance company directly pays the garage for the approved repair costs.
  • For reimbursement claims, the insurer will transfer the approved amount to your bank account after verifying the submitted bills and documents.


  • You can keep track of your car insurance claim status through the insurance company’s customer service or online portal.
  • Once the claim is settled, ensure all documentation is completed and retained for future reference.

Now, let us take you through the steps involved in different types of claims.

How to Claim Insurance for Car Damage?

Here's a step-wise guide to help you understand how to claim insurance for car damage:

  1. For significant damages or accidents, start with filing an First Information Report (FIR) with the police.

  2. Inform your insurer about the damage as soon as possible.

  3. Take clear photos and videos of the damage to your car, the accident scene, and any other vehicles involved.

  4. If there are witnesses, collect their contact information and statements.

  5. Keep your driving license, vehicle RC, FIR, and insurance policy ready.

  6. Obtain the car insurance claim form from your insurer’s website or office and fill it out accurately. Provide all the required information about the incident and the damage as a part of the car insurance claim process.

  7. Along with the claim form, submit all gathered evidence and documents to your insurance company. Ensure you follow the insurer’s guidelines for documentation.

  8. The insurance company will appoint a surveyor to inspect the damage. Cooperate with the surveyor and provide any additional information they may need.

  9. If your insurer offers a cashless claim facility, you can take your car to one of their network garages. The insurance company will directly settle the repair costs with the garage.

  10. If you choose a non-network garage, you will need to pay for the repairs upfront and submit the car repair bills to your insurer for reimbursement. Ensure you keep all original invoices and receipts.

How to Claim Insurance Benefits for Third-Party Claim?

The car insurance claim process for third-party insurance differs slightly from OD claims. You can follow these steps to deal with a third-party claim:

  • If you receive a legal notice from a third party seeking a claim, do not communicate with them directly. Inform your insurance company first and avoid making any financial commitments or out-of-court settlements without consulting your insurer.
  • Submit a copy of the legal notice to your insurance company immediately.
  • Collect and submit the following documents to your insurer:
    • Vehicle’s RC
    • Your driving license
    • An FIR copy
  • The car insurance company will verify the submitted documents and assess the details of the accident. If the documents and circumstances are found satisfactory, the insurer will appoint a lawyer to represent you.
  • If the third party files a claim with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), you need to attend the hearings and provide necessary evidence as guided by your insurer and appointed lawyer.
  • If the tribunal directs you to pay damages to a third party, your insurance company will handle the payment directly. The tribunal determines the amount of compensation based on the age, profession, and income of the third party.

How to File a Car Insurance Claim for a Stolen Car?

If your car has been stolen, follow these steps to file a car insurance claim:

  • File a complaint with the police and obtain an FIR.
  • Submit a copy of the FIR to your insurance provider as soon as possible to inform them of the theft.
  • Once you receive the final police report, also known as a Non-traceable Report stamped by the court, make a copy and submit it to your insurance company. This report confirms that the car has not been recovered.
  • The insurance company will assign an investigator to handle further investigation related to the claim. Cooperate fully with the investigator to ensure a smooth car insurance claim process.
  • You need to wait for the insurance company to review and approve your claim. This step involves verifying the submitted documents and the investigation findings.
  • Once the claim is approved, you will need to submit several documents to the car insurance company, including:
    • The RC book of your stolen car to transfer ownership to the insurer
    • Duplicate keys of the car
    • A subrogation letter to allow the insurer to recover the vehicle if found
    • A notarized indemnity bond on stamp paper
  • After completing all formalities, the insurance company will disburse the claim amount. The payout will be equal to the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your vehicle.
  • If you have purchased the Return to Invoice cover, you will receive the invoice price of the vehicle, which may be higher than the IDV.

Recommended Read: All About Return to Invoice in Car Insurance

What are the Differences Between Cashless and Reimbursement Car Insurance Claims?

Understanding the differences between cashless and reimbursement car insurance claims can help you decide which option suits your needs best. Here is a comparative table to highlight the key distinctions:

Feature Cashless Claims Reimbursement Claims
Payment Process Direct payment to the network garage by the insurer Policyholder submits repair bills for reimbursement
Garage Network Must be within the insurer's network of authorized garages Can be any garage of the policyholder's choice
Convenience More convenient as the insurer handles payments directly Less convenient due to the need to pay upfront
Out-of-Pocket Expenses Minimal or no upfront payment required Full payment made by the policyholder initiall
Documentation Less documentation required at the time of repair More documentation needed for reimbursement claim submission
Claim Settlement Time Faster, as payment is made directly to the garage Relatively slower, as it involves verification of bills and documents
Inspection and Survey Conducted by the insurer's surveyor before repairs commence Conducted by the insurer's surveyor after repairs, if necessary
Flexibility in Choosing Garage Limited to the insurer's network garages Greater flexibility to choose any garage
Ideal For Those preferring hassle-free repair and payment process Those who prefer to use a specific garage or have no network garage nearby

What are the Roles of a Surveyor in Car Insurance Claims?

A surveyor plays a crucial role in the car insurance claim process, acting as an intermediary between the policyholder and the insurance company. Here are the key responsibilities and functions of a surveyor in car insurance claims:

  1. He inspects the vehicle to assess the extent of the damage following an accident or incident.

  2. He documents the damages through photographs and detailed notes, which are critical for the claim evaluation.

  3. He reviews all relevant documents, such as the FIR, driving license, and registration certificate, to verify the authenticity of the claim.

  4. He ensures that the details provided by the policyholder match the actual circumstances of the incident.

  5. He estimates the cost of repairs required for the vehicle which forms the basis for the claim amount.

  6. In the case of cashless claims, the surveyor approves the repair process at the network garage based on their assessment.

  7. He prepares a detailed report outlining the findings of their inspection, the estimated repair costs, and any discrepancies noted.

  8. The surveyor also communicates with the policyholder to gather additional information if needed and to explain the next steps in the claim process. They coordinate with the repair garage to ensure that the repairs are carried out as per the approved estimate.

  9. After the repairs are completed, the surveyor may conduct a final inspection to verify that they have been done satisfactorily and as per the approved estimate.

Points to Remember While Filing a Car Insurance Claim

Filing a car insurance claim requires attention to detail and adherence to specific procedures. Here are some important points to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and successful claim process:

  • Notify your insurance company about the incident as soon as possible. A delay in reporting may affect the processing of your claim.
  • Ensure that you have all necessary documents ready, including the FIR, copy of your insurance policy, driving license, vehicle registration certificate, and any other relevant paperwork.
  • Provide accurate and detailed information about the incident when filing the claim. Inaccurate or incomplete information may lead to delays or complications.
  • Cooperate fully with the surveyor appointed by the insurance company. Provide access to the vehicle for inspection and any additional information or documentation they may require.
  • Adhere to the claim rules specified by your insurance policy. Failure to comply with these rules may result in claim rejection or reduced compensation.
  • Stay in touch with your insurance company for updates on the status of your claim.
  • Preserve any evidence related to the incident, such as photographs of the damage, witness statements, and repair bills. This evidence may be crucial in substantiating your claim.
  • Familiarize yourself with the coverage and exclusions of your insurance policy. Knowing what is covered and what is not will help you manage your expectations during the claim process.
  • Be honest and transparent in your communication with the insurance company. Providing false information or exaggerating claims can lead to serious consequences.
  • Be prepared for the claim process to take some time. Stay patient and persistent in following up with the insurance company until your claim is resolved satisfactorily.

Most Common Car Insurance Claim Rejection Reasons

While filing a car insurance claim, you must be aware of the common reasons why claims get rejected. Here are some of the most common reasons why car insurance claims may be rejected and what you can do to avoid the same:

Claim Rejection Reason How to Avoid Claim Rejection?
Policy Exclusions Review your policy document carefully to understand what is covered and what is not
Delayed Reporting Report car insurance claim within a specific time frame after the incident occurs
Lack of Documentation Ensure you have all necessary documents when filing your claim
Policy Lapses Keep your insurance policy active with timely renewals
False or misleading information Always be honest and transparent in your communication with the insurance company
Damages existing before the policy purchase Get the car inspection done thoroughly while buying the policy
Unapproved Repairs Always follow the insurer's procedures for repair authorization
Driving Violations Avoid violating traffic rules
Non-Disclosure of Information Related to Modifications or Previous Claim History Always provide complete and accurate information to the insurer
Policy Coverage Limitations Understand your policy's coverage limits and adjust them accordingly if necessary

How to Claim Insurance for Car Damage without FIR?

If your car sustains damage and you're unable to file an FIR with the police, you may proceed with your insurance claim. Here’s how:

  • Notify your insurance provider promptly and ask about the process followed without an FIR (if possible), detailing the incident's time, date, and location.
  • Capture photographs of the damage from various angles to serve as crucial evidence.
  • Seek estimates for repair costs from reputable garages or workshops. These estimates should be detailed, outlining all necessary repairs.
  • Once obtained, fill out the car insurance claim form provided by your insurer accurately.
  • Accompany your claim form with supporting documents, including photographs of the damage and the repair estimates.
  • Your insurance company may appoint a surveyor to assess the damage.
  • Cooperate fully with them, providing any additional information or documentation required for the claim assessment.