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Is it possible to claim car insurance for damages beyond repair?

Team AckoMay 17, 2022

One of the major events in a car ownership journey could be a total loss. It happens when a car gets damaged beyond repair. But what about the insurance aspect and what to do if you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation? In this article, we will help you understand if you can raise car insurance claims for damages beyond repair.

Is it Possible to Claim Car Insurance for Damages Beyond Repair?

What is damage beyond repair?

Damage beyond repair is a simple name for what is called 'Total Loss'. It is a term your car insurance company will use if you face major car damage. To be precise, a car will be declared as a total loss when its repair cost is more than 75% of the current value. 

Since the repair cost is so high, it is usually a good idea to salvage the car instead of getting it repaired. Your car insurance policy will terminate after you make this kind of major claim.

Can you claim for damage beyond repair?

It is possible to claim for damage beyond repair, however, there is one major condition that you must fulfil. You must have a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy. This is one of the most important conditions because it includes something called the ‘Own Damage’ cover. It covers your car against many types of damages including damages from accidents, fire, natural calamities, and more.

Remember that you cannot claim for damage beyond repair if you have a basic Third-party Car Insurance Policy. Simply because it does not offer insurance coverage against your car. Thus, it is always advisable that you invest money in buying a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy to cover possible damage to the car.

How to ensure smooth damage beyond repair claim?

Here are some tips on how you can ensure a smooth claim process and settlement in case your car gets damaged beyond repair.

1. Contact your insurer

If you are an ACKO customer, you can contact us by calling 1860 266 2256 or sending an email to [email protected]. Our customer care executive will guide you through the claim process. Ensure that you adhere to the instructions for a smooth and quick claim settlement process.

2. Get the right documents

One of the most important documents for filing a Total Loss claim is the First Information Report (FIR) filed at the nearest police station. It provides a detailed report of the damage, especially in case of an accident. You will also need to submit soft copies of documents like your car insurance policy number, driver’s licence, ID proof, residential proof, etc. as requested by the car insurance company.

3. Get evidence to support your claim

Thanks to technology, you can record a video of the damage or take pictures. This will help you create a strong case to support your Total Loss claim. 

But first things first, if you got into an accident then getting help and the necessary medical treatment will be your priority. Once you and/or other passengers are safe and stable, then you can think about collecting evidence for raising a claim.

4. Stick to the claim process

Your next step is to follow the insurer’s claim process and submit all possible details. At ACKO, we will ask you some questions when you raise a claim on the website or the mobile app. Your answers will give us a fair idea about the nature of your car insurance claim and the current situation.

Other insurers may ask you to fill up a physical claim form. You can take the help of a middleman to do so. 

5. Be truthful about what happened

Being honest about what really happened will help you to get the best possible support from your car insurance company. But if you provide false or misleading information then your claim will get rejected and it will be upon the insurer’s discretion if they want to continue the coverage.

How do insurers calculate total loss?

The insurance regulator has fixed certain values for calculating the depreciation on the car. They refer to the following table when they get a total loss claim.

Age of the car Age-wise depreciation (percentage of ex-showroom price)
Under 6 months 0.05
Between 6 and 1 year 0.15
Between 1 year to 2 years 0.2
Between 2 and 3 years 0.3
Between 3 and 4 years 0.4
Between 4 and 5 years 0.5
Beyond 5 years To be decided between car owner and insurer

Depreciation decreases the value of a car due to regular wear and tear, and usage. This is why the market value of your car reduces with each passing year. 

Depreciation also plays an important role in case of a total loss claim. The insurance company will first calculate the cost of repairing damage to the car. Then they calculate depreciation on the car. Now if the repair cost is more than 75% of the car’s value then it is declared as a total loss claim.

Things you should avoid in damage beyond repair claim

Here is a list of things that you must avoid if you wish to get a successful claim settlement for damage beyond repair.

  • Not informing the insurance company - This can lead to claim rejection as the insurance company does not know the actual state your car is in.

  • Trying to get the car repaired before filing a claim - For a successful car insurance claim settlement, you must inform your car insurance company and get the car surveyed. In case of a Total Loss, the car is extensively damaged. So, trying to get the car repaired in such a scenario would be a very costly affair. Assuming that the insurer will pay the repair cost can be counterproductive as not informing the insurer can lead to claim rejection.

Wrapping up

A claim for damage beyond repair is one of the major claims you can make against your Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy. After claim settlement, you can choose to buy another car or use the money for any other purpose as you deem fit. But remember that the policy will end with this claim. Your next car insurance policy will be to cover the new car.

Another situation when you can file a Total Loss claim is in case of car theft. Even if this comes under Total Loss, the claim process is slightly different than for damage beyond repair claims. Here you need to submit documents that seal the fact that the car is stolen. For example, you need to get the ‘non-traceable’ report from the police department. 

Frequently asked questions

Following are some of the common questions related to total loss and damage beyond repair in car insurance.

When should I notify the Regional Transport Office (RTO) about the total loss damage?

Under Section 55 of The Motor Vehicle Act, the maximum time for notifying the RTO is 14 days from the date of the accident. 

Do I need to buy a separate car insurance add-on to cover damage beyond repair in car insurance?

If you have a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy then you don’t need to buy a separate car insurance add-on to cover damage beyond repair.

How is IDV related to total loss?

IDV i.e. Insured Declared Value is the amount your insurance company will pay in case of Total Loss. You need to set this value while buying your Comprehensive Car Insurance Plan.

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