Car Insurance Claim Process
Car insurance is a must for every person who has a car. It protects you financially and compensates you if your car is stolen, damaged, or in need of costly repairs. Car insurance has an expiration date like any other policy and must be renewed regularly. In India, it is mandatory to insure your car as per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. Each year, as the number of traffic accidents increases, so does the number of car insurance claims. However, many people still do not know how to file a claim for car insurance after an accident. Here is a step-by-step guide that walks you through the process of filing a car insurance claim.
What is Car Insurance Claim?
A car insurance claim is a process in which an insured seeks compensation from his insurance company for damages caused to his car due to an accident. It also occurs when the insured asks the insurance company to represent or intervene on its behalf in case the insured is liable for unintended losses to a third party. After paying the car insurance premium, the policyholder has the right to file a claim if he/she is involved in an accident.
Types of Car Insurance Claims
There are two types of the claim process in car insurance plans i.e. Cashless claim process and the Reimbursement claim process.
Cashless Claim Process
In the cashless claim process, you do not have to pay any upfront amount to get your car repaired at a network garage. On behalf of the policyholder, the car insurance company settles the claims with the garage. But, policyholders need to check whether the damage is covered under the coverage benefits of the policy.
Reimbursement Claim Process
Under the reimbursement claim process, you will need to pay the cost of repairing the car at the garage. Then later, the car insurance company reimburses you the total amount through NEFT within 8-10 days.
What is Covered Under Car Insurance?
Own car damage and third-party liability are the two main components that are covered under the car insurance plans.
Coverage under own Damage
- Loss of Vehicle
- Natural calamities
- Act of terrorism
Coverage Under Third Party Liability
- Damages to your car caused by someone else ca
- Injuries to someone caused because your car hits them
- Any damage to third-party property
Car insurance also offers a personal accident cover to the policyholder in which the insurer pays a lump sum amount to the insured in case of the death of the owner due to an accident.
How To Claim Car Insurance in Case of Your Car Damage?
If you have damaged your car in an accident, you can file a claim for damages with your car insurance companies:
- Inform your car insurance company about the damage to your car immediately.
- Inform the police and file an FIR (First Investigation Report) if your car has caused multiple impacts, bodily injuries, and casualties to anyone in the accident.
- You can visit the car insurance company's website or reach out to the D2C Insurance Broking website "RenewBuy.com" for claim support to find the nearest cashless garage. The car insurance company takes the car to one such network garage. After the car was taken to the garage, repairs were estimated after the survey began.
- A surveyor from an insurance company visits and discusses the estimate with the garage.
- Once the surveyor finalizes the estimate and gives his approval, the garage will proceed with repairs accordingly.
- The duration of claim settlement is decided by the car insurance company and it varies from company to company.
- The policyholder will have to pay some repair cost out of his pocket and it depends on the policy chosen by the policyholder.
How To Claim Car Insurance in Case of Theft of Your Car?
In the unfortunate event of a car being stolen, below are the steps to file a claim under car insurance:
Inform the Police Authority
You have to file a complaint at your nearest police station or where the incident took place.
Intimate the Insurance Company about the Incident
After informing the police authorities, you have to inform the insurance company about the incident.
The car insurance company appoints an investigator who verifies and certifies the facts of the claim.
Submit the Keys
Submit the duplicate keys of the car along with the subrogation letter.
Original RC Document
You need to submit the original RC document to the car insurance company for making a theft claim.
Inform the RTO Authority
To avoid any fraudulent activity from your stolen car, you need to inform the RTO authority about the car theft.
The policyholder needs to give a detailed statement to the car insurance company, including where the car was parked, the time and date on which the car was seen for the last time, stolen data, etc.
Once all the formalities are completed, the car insurance company pays the claim.
How To Claim Car Insurance in Case of Third Party Claim?
Below mentioned is the car insurance claim process for filing a third-party claim:
- Do not speak directly to a third party who sent you a legal letter notice for a claim before contacting your car insurance company. Also, talk to your car insurance company before making any financial commitments or settlements out of court.
- Submit a xerox copy of the legal notice along with the RC books, driving license, and a copy of FIR to the car insurance company.
- The car insurance company verifies the documents and appoints a lawyer for your case.
- If the court orders you to pay damages to a third party, the car insurance company will pay the amount directly to the third party on your behalf.
How to File a Cashless Car Insurance Claim?
Below-mentioned are the steps to file a cashless car insurance claim:
Register your cashless claim on the car insurance company's toll-free number or through its official website, mobile app, or e-mail.
The insurance company will provide you with a claim registration number that can be used for future communications and future claims.
Take the damaged car to any of the authorized network garages of the insurance provider for repairs.
Submit all the required documents to the car insurance company.
The car insurance company directly settles the bill with the garage.
How to File a Reimbursement Car Insurance Claim?
Follow the below-mentioned steps to make a reimbursement car insurance claim:
Register your reimbursement claim by contacting your car insurance company through its website, email address, or toll-free number.
The policyholder will receive a claim registration number from the insurance company that can be used for future claims and communications.
Take your damaged car to any nearest garage for repairs.
Submit all the necessary documents to the car insurance company.
The car insurance company will confirm the liability and initiate the claim settlement process.
Documents Required For Car Insurance Claim
The following is the list of documents that you need to submit for different types of car insurance claims:
- Duly filled and signed claim form.
- Xerox copy of FIR.
- Xerox copy of Driving License.
- Xerox copy of the car insurance policy document.
- Xerox copy of RC.
Car Theft Claim
- Xerox copy of the registration certificate.
- Xerox copy of the driving license.
- Xerox copy of the FIR.
- Xerox copy of the first two pages of the car insurance policy document.
- Original letter addressed to the RTO.
The police will try to find your vehicle. If the vehicle is not found even after 6 months, the police will issue a 'Non-Traceable Report', completing the process of transferring the RC of your lost car to the Car Insurance Company, and a subrogation letter will also be submitted. The claim will be settled after the insurance company gets all the required documents.
Car Accident Claim
- Duly filled and signed claim form.
- Xerox copy of your car’s RC.
- Xerox copy of your Driving License.
- Xerox copy of your policy document.
- Xerox copy of the FIR.
- Original bills, and payment receipt.
Reasons For Car Insurance Claim Rejection
Following are the situations in which your car insurance claims get rejected:
- Second-hand car with no insurance
- No valid license
- Drink and Drive
- Delay in filing claim
- Unregistered CNG Kit
- Consequential damages
- Exceeding limitation of use of the car
Conclusion : You can file a car insurance claim only if you have a car insurance plan. Accidents can happen at any time and we have to be prepared for them. No matter how carefully you drive your car, you can still have an accident. Hence, you should buy a car insurance plan at the earliest to comply with the law and protect yourself financially in case of emergencies like accidents, thefts, or other road calamities.