Team AckoJun 9, 2021
The one-word answer to the question: does car insurance cover a natural disaster is—Yes. However, it is also accompanied by ‘but’. To understand more about the ‘but’, it is crucial to rewind a little and have a look at the concept of insurance.
Essentially, an insurance policy is a contract between a policy seeker and the insurance company. The policy seeker purchases the policy from the insurer by paying the insurance premium and becomes the policyholder. The insurance company accepts the premium and offers a promise bound by certain terms and conditions. The ‘but’ mentioned above is the terms and conditions. Therefore, the one-sentence answer to the question posed in the title of this article is: yes, car insurance covers natural disasters but subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. Read ahead to know more about it in detail.
There is no specific cover, add-on or otherwise, known as a national disaster car insurance policy. This is a part of the Comprehensive Car Insurance policy. It is covered under the Own Damage section of the Comprehensive Plan. Therefore, your car shall automatically be covered against natural disasters if you opt for a Comprehensive plan.
You will not be able to avail this benefit if you buy only the minimalistic Third-party Car Insurance policy. The liability plan is compulsory but does not feature the Own Damage cover and therefore does not cover natural disasters. A Comprehensive plan includes this compulsory coverage thereby extending its scope.
Here are some points that will help you acquaint yourself with the concept of a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy.
This policy is more expensive than the basic cover but offers wide-ranging coverage.
Different insurers can charge differently for this policy, which is not the case for a third-party plan.
You have the option of buying add-ons or extra covers along with this policy.
You can buy this cover online within five minutes.
This policy covers car theft and damage from fire, natural calamities, and man-made calamities.
Now that the question ‘does car insurance cover natural disasters?’ is ticked, the next natural question is: what to do in case your car is damaged because of a calamity like flash floods or a cyclone? First, you need to be concerned about yourself and your near and dear one’s safety before worrying about the car. Yes, a car is important and if you have an active Comprehensive plan, then the expenses for repairs should be taken care of.
Once you are safe and the calamity is over, approach your car and click pictures from all angles. Shoot a video covering the damaged spots. Prepare a flow of events with date and time concerning the car’s journey. All this will come in handy after you raise a claim and are questioned by the insurance company’s surveyor. Do not tamper with the car. And do not repair the damages without discussing it with the insurer.
People have been renting cars in India for a long time. However, this industry has seen organised visibility and growth only in the recent past. Now, you can rent a car online. There are dedicated mobile applications and websites for it. All cars need to be insured if they are to be driven on Indian roads. Thus, cars given for rent are also insured.
To know more about rental insurance and whether it covers natural disasters or not, you will have to discuss with the organisation from whom you are renting the car. The answer will depend upon their insurance arrangement and the terms and conditions of the policy.
If you are wondering how we can claim car insurance for natural disasters, then the following points will let you know about the process in detail.
Step 1: Click pictures and make a video of the damaged car.
Step 2: Contact your insurer and initiate the claim process.
Step 3: Depending upon the insurer’s process, you may be asked to fill in forms or submit the required details such as policy details, accident information, etc. via email.
Step 4: A surveyor will be allocated to inspect the damages.
Step 5: Cooperate with the surveyor and answer all questions honestly.
Step 6: After successful verification by the surveyor, the car will be repaired at the garage.
Step 7: The claim will be settled based on the chosen process: Cashless or Reimbursement.
If you have purchased your policy from a digital-first insurer, mostly you will not be asked to submit hard copies of your documents. All the necessary details will be sourced from your account with them or via your policy details. If there is a form involved, the insurer will most likely ask you to fill and submit it online.
In the case where you have purchased the policy from an agent or an insurance company’s branch office, they might ask you to fill claim application forms, attach supporting documents like a cancelled cheque, etc. The exact list of documents will depend upon the extent of the damage and the insurance company’s claim process.
Also, read: How To Find My Car Insurance Policy Number
The quickest way to opt for a car insurance policy is to opt for online car insurance. Note that it is not mandatory to buy or renew car insurance from the car dealer or an office-based insurance company. A car insurance policy purchased from a certified insurance company via the online mode is a completely valid document.
Before heading online to search for a suitable policy, you must ask yourself what kind of insurance coverage do you need? You must analyse your car insurance requirements based on the age of your car, the type of your car, the location or the area where you drive your car the most, the frequency of road trips, and the amount of money you are willing to spend on availing the insurance cover.
For example, if you are someone who has purchased a new car and uses it for the daily commute and once-a-month road trips, then you need a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy with suitable add-ons like Roadside Assistance and Zero Depreciation for adequate coverage.
Once you are aware of the kind of policy you want, you can search online for the best match. Compare policies based on the coverage, services, and the premium. An inexpensive policy can mean low coverage and low-quality services.
Choose an insurer that offers a policy at a low cost, with the right coverage and top-class services. Their claim settlement record should also be encouraging. You can speak to friends and family and check online reviews before selecting the right car insurance policy.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions related to car insurance coverage in the case of natural disasters.
How will I come to know if my current car insurance policy covers damage against natural disasters?
If you own a Comprehensive policy, it will cover natural disasters. To be sure, you can check your policy document. For more details, you can check the Policy Wordings available on the insurance company’s website. Another way of doing so is calling your insurer and asking them about it.
What kind of natural disasters are covered under the Comprehensive plan?
To check the detailed list of natural disasters covered by a car insurance policy, you can have a look at the respective plan’s Policy Wordings.
Will my third-party policy cover natural disasters if I renew it for the long term?
No, a Third-party Liability policy does not cover natural disasters.
Do I need a First Information Report (FIR) to raise a claim against natural disasters?
In most cases, you will not need an FIR for raising a car insurance claim against a natural disaster. The insurance company will specify if it is required due to complexities in the case.
Do I have to pay extra to receive Natural Disaster coverage?
Natural Disaster cover is not an add-on. It is a part of the Comprehensive coverage. Thus, you need to pay for the Comprehensive plan, nothing extra.
How long does the Natural Disaster coverage last?
The Natural Disaster coverage lasts until the Comprehensive plan stays active.
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