Team AckoJul 22, 2021
Despite being a good driver, you could be involved in an accident and the result can be very stressful at times. When you are involved in an accident, you need to follow certain steps to ensure all are safe, follow the law and initiate the insurance claim process. Your immediate action is to inform your insurance company and follow the procedure properly to claim car insurance after an accident. Working with your insurer after an accident is crucial to get your claim settled rightly.
The traffic density in India can be very high due to the sheer number of vehicles. While you may drive safely and ensure you follow traffic rules, there may be unavoidable mishaps. The process to raise a claim for car insurance after an accident has evolved over the years. Technology and digitizing of various transactions have made it easier to follow certain procedures. Read on to learn what steps you need to take after an accident in India.
Claiming car insurance after an accident requires a careful understanding of the procedure of registering the claim with your insurance company. Below is a step-by-step guide for making a car insurance claim:
Make a call to your insurance company to inform them about the accident and give detailed information about the damages to your car. Ensure you do not withhold any information from your insurer as it may be counterproductive while settling claims.
Inform the police about the accident immediately and file a First Information Report (FIR), if required. FIR is required in case of theft, road accidents or fire. You may not require an FIR if it is for minor dents and scratches. And you will require it when a third party is involved in the accident.
Make sure you take enough pictures of the damage and the place of the accident. Ensure the photographs are clear and damages are visible so that the insurance company will be able to examine the extent of physical damages and settle the claim accordingly.
To process the claim, the insurance company requires certain documents such as a copy of the insurance policy, FIR, the owner-driver’s Driving Licence, a copy of the Registration Certificate of your car, etc. Ensure you submit these documents and work with your insurer for a hassle-free experience.
You can take your car to the garage to get it repaired. Or, you can ask your insurance company to get the car fixed. If the insurer approves your claim, you will either be reimbursed or compensated for the loss accordingly.
Also, read: Constructive Total Loss
In case your car is stolen, follow the process of informing your insurance company and file an FIR at the local police station. Submit documents such as the RC, your DL, FIR, etc. to the insurance company. If the police are not able to trace the car within a reasonable time frame, they will issue a non-traceable certificate. The insurer will then settle the claim and pay the current market value of your car.
One of the most important aspects while raising a claim on your car insurance is to submit the required documents. Below is the list of documents required while raising a car insurance claim:
Copy of your car insurance policy.
The First Information Report (FIR) from the police.
Copy of the driver’s driving licence.
Duly filled and signed claim form.
Original repair bill, cash receipts, etc.
Copy of your car’s Registration Certificate (RC).
Medical receipts in case of physical injuries.
In case you would like your car repaired with your money and then want to raise a claim to get a reimbursement, you will have to provide additional documents to the insurance company. Below are the documents in case of reimbursement claim:
Original repair bills or cash receipts.
All other documents listed above this section.
There are important precautions that you need to exercise as soon as you meet with an accident. There are actions that you should not be doing as well. Learn what you should not do after an accident:
Deal with the situation instead of facing the consequences later. Running away will make you look suspicious and the claim process becomes even more difficult. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may have to meet legal consequences and end up losing a lot of money. Stay calm and take a softer approach while dealing with people or the law.
Your car insurance policy is designed to cover the financial liabilities arising out of damages to third parties and your car. Not filing a claim within the stipulated time frame may lead to disapproval, causing a dent on your savings.
Do not get confrontational with the third party. Deal the situation with the utmost care and ensure a productive discussion with the third party.
You can make two different types of auto insurance claims which are Own Damage and Third-party claims. Here is the process on how to file a car insurance claim:
In case you have comprehensive car insurance which covers your own damages, you can raise a claim for the damages to your vehicle. Below is the process to file a car insurance claim if you have comprehensive insurance:
Step 1: Inform your insurance company about the accident and the extent of the damages to your vehicle.
Step 2: File a First Information Report (FIR) at the local police station.
Step 3: Submit required documents with the insurance company.
Step 4: Get a surveyor to inspect your car and get the claim settled once your car is fixed.
In case a third party has caused damages or injuries to you or to your car by a third party vehicle, you can raise a claim for medical expenses due to personal injury or property damage. There is no limit on the liability cover for injury or death, while the cover for damages to third party property is limited to Rs. 7.5 lakh. The Motor Insurance Claims Tribunal will decide the compensation amount after due process.
However, in case your vehicle has caused damages to a third party car, your insurance company will compensate for the loss, injury or death of the third party. Below is the process to file the third party claim in both scenarios:
Step 1: Get the insurance details of the third party car and inform the third party’s insurance company about the accident.
Step 2: Inform your insurance company within the stipulated time period.
Step 3: Inform the accident at the local police station and file an FIR. Ensure the FIR has all details of the vehicles involved in the accident.
Step 4: The Motor Claims Tribunal will decide the compensation in case of a major accident.
Also, read: Car Insurance Glossary
Here are a few things to remember while raising a claim on your car insurance policy:
Inform your insurance company immediately without any delay. The time period is usually within 24 hours of the incident. In case of delay, there is a possibility of the claim being disapproved.
Inform the police if required. In case required, ensure you get the FIR filed at the local police station.
Assess the situation and raise the right type of claim. If it is a minor dent and is negligible, you can avoid raising a claim and take advantage of the NCB.
Ensure you enter correct details while submitting the claim form. Avoid incorrect contact details or credentials which may impact your claim.
Try and not make an on-the-spot settlement with the third party to avoid unforeseen hassles.
Do not get confrontational with the third party. Try and settle the issue amicably to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
Abide by the legal formalities in case of an accident and follow procedures of the law department.
Make sure you get all the documents necessary to raise a claim.
If you have the option of a cashless claim facility, then get your car fixed at the network garage to take advantage of the cashless service.
Also, read: Vehicle Scrappage Policy in India
Below are some of the common queries about car insurance claims:
What are the different types of car insurance claims?
Your car insurance policy claims are mainly of two types: cashless claims and reimbursement claims. While the former does not require you to pay from your pocket since the insurer will settle the repair bill directly with the network garage, the latter is when you repair the car and raise a claim for the repair bill and the insurer will reimburse the repair bill. Note: The insurance company will review and then decide on the compensation based on the terms and conditions of your policy.
What do you mean by ‘Filing Car Insurance Claim’?
Both Third-party and Comprehensive car insurance policies help reduce your financial liabilities arising out of an accident. However, for the insurance company to initiate the process and pay for the losses, damages or injuries, you must inform the insurer about the accident. The process of informing your insurance provider is known as ‘Filing Insurance Claim’.
What happens after you file the car insurance claim?
After you inform your insurer, they will begin the process of settling the claim by first assigning a surveyor to inspect the damages. If the claim is within the stipulated norms of your policy, then the insurance company will settle the claim.
When does the insurance company reject the car insurance claim?
Below are some of the common reasons your insurance company will reject the claim:
->Found driving without a valid driving licence.
->Found driving under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances.
->Understand the exclusions of your car insurance policy.->Inactive policy.
->Not informing the insurance company about the accident within the stipulated time.
->If damages were due to your carelessness.
->In case you are driving a second-hand car, the insurance is still under the previous owner’s name.
->If the car is used for illegal purposes.
->If you have repaired the car without informing your insurance company.
->Incorrect information provided in the claim form.
Also, if the repair bill is more than the depreciation cost of the car, you will be compensated an amount equal to the depreciation value.
What are the important factors for choosing the best car insurance company?
To choose an ideal car insurance company, the most important factors that you need to be aware of are:
->Financial stability of the insurer.
->Claim settlement ratio.
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