By Ashwini Dubey
Buying a car is a major and time-consuming financial decision for most Indians. From choices covering brands, models, prices and colors to shortlisting the one that will meet all requirements and your budget is not easy. But you invest time in the process. It’s also important to think about how to protect your vehicle and the importance of car insurance.
Around 11% of the world’s road traffic deaths occur in India. Moreover, with 450,000 accidents per year, India has the highest road accidents in the world, according to a 2021 World Bank report. Under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, the government provided the first layer of security for all car owners by involving third parties. compulsory liability insurance. This protects them from third-party accidents or other damage.
But he does not cover damage to his own car. Therefore, comprehensive car insurance is recommended to save you financial and mental agony. This type of insurance, while covering standard civil liability, also protects your own car against situations such as theft, natural disasters, injury or death caused by an accident, etc. This is the starting point for a gentle ride.
Understanding Auto Insurance Claims Settlement
If a car is damaged due to an accident or calamity, the policyholder can file a claim with the insurance company against the damage suffered. This process can be done online and offline, regardless of how the policy was purchased.
Now let’s see what to keep in mind for a smooth auto insurance claims settlement:
Inform your insurer: inform the insurer of the accident and report claims online within hours. This step must be carried out as soon as possible or within the time allowed; otherwise, the chances of the application being rejected may increase. Indeed, the insurance company demands every minute detail related to the incident, and any slip-up is treated as a red flag. So inform quickly and accurately. If filing online, the customer may also be required to upload evidence such as relevant photos and videos of the vehicle and the incident, a copy of the registration certificate, driver’s license, etc. It is advisable to click on the images and make a video immediately after an accident. because the insurer may require them at the time of the claim.
Drive to network garages: Once notified, the damaged car can only be driven to the nearest network garage as directed by the insurance company. The number of deposits in the network may differ from one insurer to another. You may find a claim form at the workshop, or you may need to download it. An expert will be appointed who will verify the extent of the damage suffered and share a repair estimate, using scientific tools and data analysis. Finally, get a receipt for a repair order from the service station and have a report made to find out about any expenses.
Proof of accident or loss: To obtain reimbursement of the loss, it is essential to gather proof in the form of photographs of the damage suffered by the vehicle. Also record the names and contact details of the other person involved and any witnesses. This information validates the accident and strengthens your case at the time of compensation. A copy of the policy FIR is also required, which must be submitted to the insurer. In the event of theft or hooliganism, the insured can obtain a non-trace certificate from the police authorities to certify that the car is stolen and cannot be found.
Determining the type of claim: This is crucial because it impacts the non-claims bonus at the time of payment of the renewal premium and can also be a reason for rejection. Therefore, it is essential to determine the type of accident and the claim to file for it. For example, if it is an accident involving a third party, the options available are to make a claim under your insurance policy or to select the other party’s insurance coverage only if this is not possible. is not your fault. However, the latter retains the discount for non-complaint at the time of renewal. The right can be made through the cashless route, where the insurance provider settles the amount directly with the gas station in the network. This can also be done by choosing the expense reimbursement method, which pays the insured for repair costs incurred during the claim process.
Never hide anything from the insurance company: facts are facts, they must not be exaggerated, hidden or fabricated. In this case, the accident will be considered fraud and the claim will be rejected.
Read the policy document carefully: When filing a claim, read the policy document carefully to understand the settlement process, extent of coverage and formalities required.
In conclusion, here are some things to remember for a simple auto insurance claim settlement. But there are instances where the insurer cannot file a claim, such as an informal compromise with a third party after the incident, driving without a valid license or under the influence of alcohol, and if your policy has expired .
Select a policy that provides comprehensive auto coverage and offers online and offline claims payment. Be careful and file the claim wisely to minimize your chances of waiving it.
The author is the head of Motor Insurance Renewals, Policybazaar.com. Views are personal