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Car insurance inspection: A comprehensive guide regarding the claim inspection process

Team AckoOct 14, 2022

The car inspection process is among various Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that the insurer undertakes when you raise a car insurance claim. The insurance company’s surveyor examines your car to assess the extent of the damages to process the claim further. Thus, the car insurance inspection is an essential part of the car insurance claim process. But there’s more to it. Read on for a comprehensive guide on the claim inspection process.

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Car insurance claim inspection process: A quick guide

The method of examining the extent and authenticity of damages caused to your car for which you have raised the claim refers to the car insurance claim inspection. Through the process, the insurer can verify whether the accidental damages are genuine and have been caused by an unforeseen event, as stated in the claim.

For example, if you claim the driver’s door is damaged in an accident, the car insurance inspection process ensures the stated damages were caused by the accident. The process also rules out damages not included under the car insurance plan.

What is a car insurance inspection?

A car inspection is a standard procedure by which both the insured and the insurer ensure that they concur on the current condition of the insured car. Primarily there are two types of car insurance inspection — pre-policy and pre-claims. A thorough examination of the insured car is executed in both situations.

Pre-policy inspection

Meaning:

The pre-policy car insurance inspection occurs before the car insurance policy is issued or renewed. Usually, this type of car inspection happens during policy renewal. The pre-policy car inspection is most likely to occur if there is a wide gap between the policy expiry and renewal.

Reason:

The reason for the pre-policy car insurance inspection is to assess the vehicle’s condition before issuing the policy for it. For instance, under this type of car inspection, the insurer can identify existing damages and determine if the car is installed with an anti-theft device.

Pre-claim inspection

Meaning:

The pre-claim car insurance inspection occurs when a claim is raised against the insured vehicle. Typically, the assessment happens in case of significant damages or losses. For example, in case of severe damages to the car’s bonnet, a surveyor/inspector is assigned to inspect the extent of damage and validate the claim so that the claim is settled accordingly.

Reason:

The reason for the pre-claim car insurance inspection is to make sure that the claim is authentic. Additionally, the inspection procedure helps understand the extent of the damage or loss. The insurer can quantify the loss and settle the claim appropriately through this process.

The pre-claim inspection must be transparent between you and the insurer for the correct claim settlement. Ensure you provide accurate information about the damages for a smooth claim settlement.

Vehicle insurance inspection process

Here is the process of vehicle insurance inspection. This is not the norm for buying a policy but can be necessary under specific scenarios. 

Pre-policy:

Once you approach the insurer to issue an insurance policy for your vehicle, the insurer assigns a surveyor or inspector to examine your car. Here is the vehicle inspection process performed by the appointed executive.

  • Step 1: The inspector assesses the vehicle and notes the chassis, engine and registration number.

  • Step 2: The inspector takes pictures and videos as visual proof to document your car’s condition.

  • Step 3: The inspector notifies the insurer about the assessment to further process your request for insuring your car.

Based on the inspector assessment, the insurer determines the premium and issues the insurance policys quote for your car. You can review the insurance plan and then decide if you would like to proceed with the insurance policy offered.

Pre-claim:

In case of significant damages to your car, the insurer assigns a surveyor or inspector to investigate the damages to your car to settle the claim according to the terms and conditions of the policy. Here are the steps of pre-claim car insurance inspection. Note that whether this process is needed or not can also depend upon the severity of the damage. For example, this process might not be required for minor damages.

  • Step 1: The inspector examines the damages to the car and understands the extent and authenticity of the damage.

  • Step 2: The inspector takes pictures and videos to document the damages as visual proof.

  • Step 3: The inspector notifies the insurer about the assessment to process your claim further.

Based on the inspector’s examination, the insurer settles the claim as per the terms and conditions of the policy.

Car insurance inspection for car accident

Here are the crucial aspects of the car insurance claim process in case of an accident.

1. Prior to the accident

To raise a claim against your policy for the damages to your car, you must hold a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy. The Third-party Car Insurance Policy is mandatory and covers you against third-party liabilities; however, it does not provide financial protection against damages or losses incurred by your car.  

Apart from securing your car with Comprehensive Insurance, you should have adhered to basic rules of holding a valid driving license, driving the vehicle without consuming intoxicating substances, etc. Not adhering to these basic rules may result in the rejection of your claim.

The Comprehensive Insurance not only provides financial protection against accidental damages to your car, but it also covers you against natural and man-made disasters, vehicle theft, explosion, and total loss. You can also include valuable add-ons to extend the primary plan’s coverage.

2. At the time of the accident

In case of an accident, ensure you and other road users are okay and, if need be, help them with medical attention. Once you and others are safe, take pictures and videos to document the damages and the cause of the accident. Documenting the evidence helps the insurer settle your claim without much hassle.

Inform your insurer as soon as you have met with an accident. The insurer, in this case, ACKO, will arrange for a pickup, get the car repaired at a network garage and deliver it back to you in 3 working days. Please note that this feature is available only in select cities. 

If the insurer does not offer to pick up and drop service, you may have to take the vehicle to a garage. The insurer will initiate the car insurance inspection after an accident by assigning a surveyor or inspector to assess and authenticate the damages to your car.

3. Claim inspection

Upon raising the claim, the insurer assigns a surveyor or inspector to examine the damages to your car. Coordinate with the inspector for a smooth claim settlement and provide all the required information. Be transparent about the cause of the damages and be supportive during the car inspection process.

Types of car insurance inspection

As mentioned in the above section, there are primarily two types of car insurance inspection processes.

  • Pre-policy inspection: Inspection of the vehicle by the insurer prior to issuing the policy is known as pre-policy inspection.

  • Pre-claim inspection: Inspection of the vehicle by the insurer after you raise a claim against your policy is known as pre-claim inspection.

Why and when is there a need for car inspection?

Here are the details.

Why

Here is why insurers perform car inspections.

  • To determine the sum insured

  • To examine the car for any liabilities before issuing a policy

  • To assess and authenticate the losses of the vehicle in case of accidental damages

  • To settle claims appropriately

When

Here are the common instances when a car inspection is required.

  • There is a wide gap between policy expiry and renewal.

  • You are switching from a Third-party Liability Plan to a Comprehensive Insurance Plan.

  • The insurance plan is transferred to another person.

  • You have installed an anti-theft device or additional equipment such as a CNG kit, etc., and want coverage for the same.

  • The vehicle is damaged due to any natural or man-made disasters.

Self-inspection for car insurance

New-age insurers offer self-inspection for car insurance as well. You may have to click pictures or videos and upload them on their website or mobile app. The insurer reviews the photos and videos and approves the insurance policy for the vehicle.

What is Self-inspection for Car Insurance Renewal?

Self Inspection car insurance renewal is a feature by which you can inspect your car using your smartphone. This feature is also known as Self Video Inspection for Car Insurance as you are supposed to shoot a video of the car and send it to the insurance company. This way, there is no need for the insurance company to send its officials to inspect your car. It saves time and you can renew your car insurance policy quickly.

Before understanding more about self-inspection for car insurance renewal, you need to know the following vital points.

  • When there is a break between expired policy and policy renewal, it is known as a Break-in Insurance.

  • Insurers prefer inspecting a vehicle in Break-in Insurance cases.

  • You should not drive your car during the Break-in period as it will not be covered by the insurance company.

  • Not renewing the policy even after the 90 days of expiry can reset your No Claim Bonus component (if available) to zero.

  • Self-inspection using video is a quicker way to renew expired car insurance compared to the traditional way of waiting for the inspection officer to visit and inspect the vehicle.

How to Perform Self-inspection for Car Insurance Renewal

Different insurance companies have different processes for the self-inspection process. The level of sophistication and simplicity can vary from one insurer to another. The process will depend upon the insurer’s technological strength. Here’s an overview of the commonly followed process.

Step 1: Download App

You will be required to download the insurer’s app through which you will need to perform the self-inspection. The app may or may not be available for Android as well as iOS users.

Step 2: Share Details

Once you have downloaded the compatible app on your smartphone, you will be asked for basic details. These details can be the name, number, vehicle details, policy number, etc. Mostly, a lot of the information will be auto-filled or traced from your registered mobile number so that you do not have to fill the details. Thus, it is crucial to enter the same mobile number and details as mentioned while purchasing the policy.

Step 3: Capture Video

Once the basics are covered, you can proceed towards recording a 360-degree video of the car. Make sure to cover all angles, especially areas where there is any damage. Once you have the video, hit submit.

How to Perform a Self-inspection for Renewing an Expired Car Insurance Policy

Here are the steps to carry out a self-inspection of your car for the purpose of renewing your car insurance policy.

Step 1: Download the insurer’s mobile app

You will find the link to your car insurance company’s app on their website. Download the application from either Play Store or App Store depending upon the operating system.

Step 2: Log in

Create an account or log in to your old account to renew the policy. Click on your old policy and renew to proceed to the self-inspection part.

Stet 3: Click pictures or a video

Depending upon the terms and conditions of the insurance company, you will be asked to either click pictures of the car, or you can capture a clear video from all angles of the car. 

Step 4: Review and renew

Submit the pictures or video to the insurer and wait for their approval. Once approved, the insurer will send the payment link. Complete the payment to receive your car insurance policy.

Also, read: Break-in Period in Car Insurance

Why to Perform Self-inspection for Car Insurance Renewal?

In case yours happens to be a Break-in policy, either the insurance company will perform an inspection or you will have to do it. Here are some points highlighting the benefits of opting for a self-inspection car insurance renewal.

1) Quick:

Performing self-inspection is certainly quicker than waiting for the insurance company to arrange for it. This is because you do not have to wait for car inspectors to arrive at your doorstep. Sometimes, they can take days or weeks to assign inspectors. Instead, you can perform the review yourself in a matter of minutes and get the policy renewed in just a few hours.

2) Easy:

Self-inspection is easy. It is as simple as recording any video from your smartphone. It’s just that you must ensure to capture the car entirely and shoot the video in a way that the car is properly visible.

3) Convenient:

You do not need any special equipment or gadgets to perform the self-inspection. Your internet-enabled phone should be enough. If you are busy during the week, pick a time on a Sunday and record the video. You can perform the self-inspection as per your convenience.

Also, read: OD Insurance

Factors to Know Before Self-Inspection for Car Insurance Renewal:

Listed below are some factors to know before self-inspection.

  • Download the correct app for the inspection.

  • Ensure your app is updated before initiating the inspection process.

  • Shoot the video from a camera that has a higher resolution for better video quality.

  • Record the video in a well-lit, open area. Avoid spaces such as garages and underground parking lots.

  • Make sure to open the bonnet to capture the engine and chassis number.

  • Take your time. Go for retakes if you do not get it right in the first attempt.

  • Go through the video before submitting it.

  • You will probably need high-speed internet to upload the video.

Factors to Know After Self-Inspection for Car Insurance Renewal:

Listed below are some factors to know after you have finished self-inspection.

  • The insurer can ask you to repeat the self-inspection process if it is not up to the mark.

  • The insurer can reject your renewal application if the requirements are not met.

  • Technical issues can prohibit your self-inspection from going through.

  • Make sure to get some acknowledgement from the insurance company after you have submitted the video. In most cases, you will get a notification. But if you don’t write to the insurer about it.

Also, read: Car Insurance Grace Period

Advantages of Mobile Self-inspection Facility on a Lapsed policy

Traditionally, an inspector would get assigned to thoroughly inspect the car for any previous damage before issuing the renewed policy. However, thanks to smartphones and changes in the insurance industry, the inspection process is much easier. In fact, car owners can now complete the inspection on their own. Here is a list of advantages of performing the self-inspection for renewing a lapsed policy.

1. Self-inspection saves time 

Self-inspection for renewing a lapsed policy saves a lot of time compared to getting the car inspected by the insurance company.

2. Faster approvals

The insurance company will review the pictures or videos you send and, if approved, send the payment link for buying the policy. This process takes around 2 - 3 days in case of manual inspection from the insurer.

3. Special expertise not required

The car owners can simply follow the instructions for performing the inspection and send it to the insurer. They don’t need to know the nitty-gritty of car parts or the technical aspect of an insurance policy. 

4. Self-inspection can be done via any smartphone

No special equipment is necessary for inspecting the car for renewing the insurance policy. A simple smartphone can do the job just right.

5. No hassle of meeting the inspection expert

You don’t have to schedule a meeting for the inspection as you can complete the process by yourself. You can simply click some pictures or videos of your car at your convenience.

Benefits of ACKO Online Car Insurance:

If you want to switch insurers while renewing your car insurance policy, you can do so by visiting acko.com. You can insure your car with ACKO at Zero Commission and Zero Paperwork. Here are some of the benefits of buying car insurance online from ACKO.

  • Easy process

  • Quick policy issuance

  • No paperwork

  • Swift claim settlement

  • Prompt customer assistance

Key Takeaways:

Here are some summary points of this article:

  • Mobile-based self-inspection car insurance renewal is performed via an app.

  • It involves recording a clear video from all angles and uploading it for claim settlement.

  • The process followed by insurance companies might vary.

  • The app-based process is not complicated and can be performed with minimal assistance and complications.

  • Note that the final call regarding approving a claim application sent via the self-inspection process is with the insurance company.

Also, read: Vehicle Scrappage Policy in India

Frequently asked questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about car insurance inspection.

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Is car insurance without inspection possible?

Yes and no. Yes, if your car insurance policy has lapsed and the insurer needs to inspect for liabilities before renewing the policy. No, if you renew your car insurance policy within the stated due date.

What are the things that are checked during the car insurance inspection?

The surveyor checks the damages and the vehicle’s condition if you have raised a claim against your policy or if there is a considerable gap between the due date and the date you wish to renew the policy.

Is there a way to avoid pre-policy car inspection?

A car insurance policy is valid only when it is active. And a car insurance policy can be kept active by renewing it from time-to-time. You will not have to face pre-policy car inspection if you renew car insurance before its expiry.

Is there a way to avoid pre-claim car inspection?

You can avoid pre-claims car inspection if the reason you are claiming is simple – minor damage to your car. If you are claiming for minor damage to your car, some insurance companies might skip the pre-claim inspection process. They can settle the claim under their Instant Claim Settlement process. This is because the insurance company will prefer to save time, money, and effort spent on pre-claim inspection as the issue is a minor one and the claim settlement amount is also on the lower side. If they go ahead for pre-claim inspection for a minor issue, they might end up spending more on the inspection that the total amount given in claim settlement.

Can the car insurance premium increase if I don’t renew my policy on time?

Renewing your car insurance policy will help you to keep your car insurance prices in check. Car insurance prices can escalate if you haven’t renewed your policy even after the end of the 90-day period post expiry. This is because your No Claim Bonus (NCB) will be reset to zero and you will lose a hefty discount (if applicable). NCB is a discount offered to the existing policyholder for not raising a claim during the duration of the policy.

When should I renew my car insurance policy?

Make sure to review and renew your car insurance policy at least 10 days before expiry so that you have sufficient time to make a purchase decision. You can renew car insurance online easily. It is a quick and convenient process.

Are pre-policy inspection and pre-claims inspection processes necessary all the time?

The pre-policy inspection and pre-claims inspection are not necessary all the time. Their need might be felt on a case-by-case basis.

How can I perform a self-inspection for car insurance renewal?

Insurance companies usually have set processes for self-inspection for car insurance renewal. This process is mostly done via their mobile applications. Some insurance aggregator websites might also have such processes. If you are not sure if your insurance provider has an app that supports self-inspection, you can simply call them up and ask about the way ahead. If they do not support self-inspection, they will assign an inspector and help you out with car insurance renewal.

Is it going to be beneficial for me if I opt for a self-inspection process over the traditional inspection process?

The app-based self-inspection process offers a lot of benefits over the traditional method. For instance, you can be done with the car insurance renewal process in a quick way. You do not have to wait for the insurer’s officer or team to arrive, be present at that time, and run them through the details. Self-inspection is convenient. You can do it based on your preferred time of the day. Busy on a Monday? Perform the self-inspection on the weekend or late at night. You have the power to choose.

What is the meaning of video-based self-inspection for car renewal?

This is just another name for app-based self-inspection. It is called that way because the process involves shooting a video of the to-be insured car by the policyholder.

How to go about performing the mobile-based self-inspection for car insurance renewal?

You simply have to follow the instructions mentioned in the app concerning the self-inspection process. The major aspects of the process include shooting the video in daylight, covering all angles, and uploading it with a high-speed internet connection.

What is the meaning of Cashless Self-video Claims?

The answer to this question lies in understanding Cashless Claims and Self-video Claims. Cashless Claims is a process where the insurance company deals with the garage directly. They have a set process when it comes to settling bills. Thus, you as a policyholder simply pay a nominal amount and the claim is settled. A Self-Video Claim is a process by which you send a claim application and add a video to it. This video is of the damaged part of the car. This way, the insurance company comes to know of the damage and they immediately settle the claim by making a one-time payment. Or else, they can approve the claim and settle it in a Cashless Manner with the garage without the need for physical inspection. Therefore, a Cashless Self-video Claims process involves you sending a video of the damaged part of the car to your insurance company for instant claim settlement. Usually, such a feature is only available for minor damages. Major damages resulting out of accidents and damage due to fire mostly need a physical inspection.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet; and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content and before making any insurance-related decisions.

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