How to Claim Car Insurance After Meeting an Accident in India?
Insurance Claims Process: Browse our step by step guide on car insurance claim process in India.
What is an Insurance Claim?
An insurance claim is an official request that a policyholder makes to an car insurance company for compensation for losses incurred by them. Under the insurance contract, compensation is paid as per the coverage provided by the insurance company to the policyholder.
Insurance claim can be made in 2 ways – cashless way and reimbursement way. In the case of car insurance, when a policyholder gets their car repaired at an insurance company’s partner garage, the claim is settled cashless as the insurance company pays the garage directly for the repair costs incurred.
However, if the policyholder gets their car repaired at a garage that is not part of the insurance company’s request, the policyholder needs to pay the repair costs to the garage itself and the policyholder is then reimbursed. Insurance provider, subject to Sum Assured.
Car Insurance Claims Process – Driving a car on the road can save you miles, but the driver needs to be responsible for it. Accidents can happen on the road at any time despite taking precautions. It could be an accident, theft, fire or any other unfortunate event. To claim all the benefits of the insurance company, you need to contact your insurance agent or company immediately.
Please note that you can claim benefits for damages and other causes depending on the nature and coverage of your car insurance policy.
Documents required to process a car insurance claim
The car insurance claim settlement process requires the policyholder to submit certain documents to validate and accept the car insurance. You need to complete the insurance claim document along with submitting the required documents. The following documents are required in this claim settlement process.
- Copy of insurance policy
- A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged at the police station
- Copy of driver’s license
- Copy of car registration certificate
Additional documents in case of compensation claim
- Brief estimate of repairs
- Medical report in case of physical injury
- Original records of other expenses
6 Simple Steps to Making a Car Insurance Claim After an Accident
How to make a car insurance claim? To get the most out of your car insurance policy, report the accident and the extent of the damage immediately to your car insurance company and, of course, to the police.
If your insurance company finds your claim to be true, they will reimburse the amount after inspecting your vehicle or other aspects. Here are some steps to help you successfully claim for your damages –
Step 1: Notify the insurance company
Call your car insurance company immediately and report the incident to them in the first place. As the timeline is restrictive, you need to report the accident to the insurance company within seven working days, failing which your claim settlement period will be deemed to have lapsed. To file a claim, you need to submit important documents like soft copy of your driving license, car registration certificate, FIR along with first two pages of your insurance policy. You may also need a detailed letter addressed to the Road Transport Office (RTO).
Related: Know which are the best car insurance companies in claim settlement in India
Step 2: File an FIR at the nearest police station
Inform the police and lodge an FIR as this is a mandatory step in the car claim settlement process in incidents like theft, fire or road accidents, which involve third party damage. An FIR can be avoided in situations where there are dents and scratches on the vehicle. It is essential when there is any bodily injury or third party accident. The police will visit the spot to identify the fault and make a clear distinction as to whether the accident is due to a mechanical fault. He will also record all necessary details of the driver, vehicle, passengers and witnesses or other aspects in the FIR.
Additionally, you need to file a case with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal that has jurisdiction where the accident occurred between you and the third party. It is only necessary when a third party is involved in the accident.
Step 3: Capture photographs as valid evidence
Some people choose to proceed with a compensation claim. In such cases, capturing the scene of the incident with a photograph can be helpful. You can take some pictures of the accident involving damage to your car, physical injuries, etc. and serve as valid evidence during claim settlement. Also, you can record your witnesses name, contact number, third party (if any involved) so that they can help you throughout the process.
Step 4: Submit all the documents to the insurance company
The next step after the FIR is to proceed towards settlement of the claim. It can be started only once you submit all the crucial documents to the insurance company. Make sure to submit all copies of documents like driving license, car registration certificate, FIR and other required information.
Step 5: Ask the insurance company to send a surveyor
File a claim with your insurance company and ask them to assign you a surveyor to begin the thorough investigation process. You can also claim online by visiting the insurance company’s website or other web portal if they provide any such facility. In case of cashless claim settlement, a representative will be sent by the insurers who will try to assess all significant damages to your car.
It will help in the proper network of garages where your car can possibly be towed down. The vehicle will be towed by the insurance company to prevent further damage. The survey is usually done within one to two business days of notification of a car insurance claim.
Step 6: Repair the car
Get your car repaired and start the claim process. Claim settlement can be done in two processes. If a person opts for cashless claim, he does not have to bear the burden of the repairing cost. In such cases, it is recommended to take the vehicle to the list of network garages prescribed by the insurance company. The policyholder needs to pay only for the deductible amount and the remaining amount is covered by the insurance company.
On the other hand, if a person goes ahead with a compensation claim, he needs to pay for all the damages from his own pocket. In this case, he has to submit original bills, receipts, medical reports, photographs etc. to the insurance company. The insurer will reimburse the full amount of repairs after deducting all deductibles. Here the policyholder can get his car repaired at a favorite garage.
After your claim is found to be true, your car insurance company will reimburse the amount as per the terms and conditions mentioned in your insurance cover. The amount to be reimbursed and the incidents to be covered will also depend on the car insurance policy you have. Third-party insurance is mandatory in India as per the Motor Tariff Act 2002, and it will only cover the cost of loss due to the involvement of a third party. A comprehensive car policy offers comprehensive coverage under a single umbrella, and you can also enhance it with comprehensive add-ons.
The claim settlement process can be a bit complicated, and therefore, it is suggested that the policyholders should carefully read the policy documents, which the insurance company sends. All inclusion and exclusion reports will be provided in detail. A third opinion can also be taken from a lawyer in this regard.
Points to remember after a car accident to file a claim
No matter how much you know about your insurance company’s claims process. After an accident or mishap, there are a few points that are crucial to keep in mind to ensure a hassle-free claim settlement process for you. Here are some points you should remember after a car accident to make a successful claim:
- Inspect yourself and your car immediately after the accident to confirm and determine if there are any major bodily injuries or damage caused by you or the insured car. Depending on the level of damage or injury, you may call for medical assistance or any other assistance.
- Raise a claim for damages within the time set by your insurance provider, which is usually within 24 hours of the accident. Delay in raising the claim may lead to its rejection.
Try to note the car registration number, car make, model and variant and/or color of the car involved in the collision or accident to catch the culprit or better and successfully sue.
- Talk to the witnesses present at the scene of the accident and note down their names and contact details so that you can get in touch with them in the future to confirm the person or persons responsible for the mishap or accident.
- If you feel that the accidental damage to the insured car is minor, in such a case, you can avoid raising the claim to protect your no claim bonus. You should assess this type of situation at the earliest and take immediate action accordingly.
- You should not engage in any kind of altercation with a third party person after the accident. Doing so may cause unnecessary trouble for you in future.
- Do not make a statement or share any information with the police or your insurance company if you are unsure or until you are sure of your next steps.
- Move your insured car away from the accident site for repairs or related purposes only after obtaining permission from the police and your insurance provider.
- Keep all the necessary documents handy as you will have to submit several documents along with the duly filled and signed claim form to the insurance company for settlement of the claim. You may also need to present some documents to the surveyor during the inspection of your car.
- If your insurance company provides cashless claim facility, in such a case, you can take your car for repair to a network garage where you can get it repaired without paying anything from your pocket. In such situations, the garage will be paid for directly by your insurer.