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Motor Insurance Surveyor: Roles in Insurance Claims

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Damages to your car can be heart-wrenching, but, as a policyholder, you can depend on the insurance policy to cover such losses. Sometimes the damages can be extensive, and a car insurance surveyor is required to assess the extent of the damage.

In order to arrive at the right claim settlement amount, insurers appoint surveyors to ensure a smooth claim settlement process. In this article, you will learn about motor insurance surveyors and their role in insurance claims.




Who is a car insurance surveyor (or) Claim assessor?

When you raise a claim against the motor insurance policy, it is the responsibility of the insurers to assess the claim and settle it fairly and reasonably. For this, insurers need a technical report from a professional surveyor having good knowledge in the automotive field.

A car insurance surveyor is assigned the task of assessing the cause and extent of the damage. Their primary role is to inspect the damaged car, discuss the cost of the repair or replacement of damaged parts with the garage and submit the report with the insurer.

A motor insurance surveyor is tasked with the responsibility of bringing about a fair and prompt inspection of the damage. The surveyor has to be objective and independent while assessing the damage to the car. The assessment should be based on the terms and conditions of the car insurance policy for a fair claim settlement.

Roles and responsibilities of a car insurance surveyor

A car insurance surveyor’s primary function is to carry out a physical inspection of the damaged vehicle. It is the responsibility of the car surveyor to assess the damage or loss without any bias to the policyholder or the insurer. Following are the primary roles and responsibilities of a vehicle insurance surveyor.

1. Investigate and assess

The surveyor will assess and verify the damages and quantify the extent of the loss incurred. The loss can be incurred by the insured or third parties. After inspecting and assessing the loss, the surveyor will submit the survey report to the insurer.

2. Maintain Neutrality

One of the primary responsibilities of the surveyor is to maintain a neutral stand in all cases and ensure that both parties’, insurer and policyholder interests are secured.

3. Disclose conflict of interest

If the surveyor is related to the incident or the policyholder, they must disclose it to the insurer before the survey. Any personal relationship with the insured may prevent the neutrality of the surveyor, and the assessment by the surveyor may be rejected by the insurer due to a conflict of interest.

4. Attention to detail

The surveyor must perform a careful and detailed assessment of the damages and personally conduct the inspection on the spot. After a thorough examination, the surveyor can comment on the extent of damage and ensure that they do not miss out on any details about the incident.

5. Advice on prevention of further damage

The surveyor should provide advice on any actions that may further damage the vehicle and share about the procedures of safety and security. For example, not starting an engine in case the car is flooded with water due to floods.

6. Identify discrepancy

If there are any ambiguities or discrepancies in the content of the insurance policy, then the surveyor should point out those discrepancies.

7. Recommend the consideration of depreciation

The car insurance surveyor shall make recommendations on possible depreciation that may be applicable while settling the claim. They need to determine the amount of depreciation and suggest the same in the survey report. The surveyor can also comment on the salvage or disposal of the vehicle in case the damages are beyond repair (total loss).

8. Adhere to timelines

The surveyor needs to complete the assessment of the damaged vehicle within the stipulated timelines. They need to adhere to the timelines to ensure that the insurer receives the surveyor report on time and the insured can receive the claim settlement at the earliest.

When do you need a car insurance surveyor?

Accidental damages to your car can be minor or significant. At ACKO, claim settlements for minor damages are faster and can be settled within a few hours. Visit our website or mobile app, raise a claim, and based on the severity of the damage or loss, we may settle your claim almost immediately. However, in case of claim settlements for severe or extensive damage, we have to appoint a car insurance surveyor to assess the extent of the loss. 

As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) under Regulation 12 of IRDAI Regulations, 2015, the insurer (ACKO) shall appoint a surveyor to assess loss under a car insurance policy of more than Rs. 50,000. However, ACKO will decide if a surveyor needs to be assigned if the damages are severe and require an assessment before the claim settlement.

Also, read: How To Maximise Your Motor Insurance Policy Cover?

Steps to effectively communicate with a car insurance surveyor?

For a smooth claim settlement, the surveyor’s entire assessment and inspection process must happen without any issues. Hence, your communication with the surveyor must be clear and transparent. Follow the steps below to communicate with the car insurance surveyor.

  • Leave the accident area untouched: Let the accident area be untouched until the car insurance surveyor examines the damages or loss. If you attempt to tamper or repair the damages ahead of the inspection, your claim could be rejected.

  • Ensure to provide a completed claim report: The claim you raise should include all the details, even the smallest. Let the report be exhaustive. Provide even minute information and justification for the same.

  • Record communication and transactions: Ensure that you record all communications and dealings with the surveyor. Emails, messages, etc., are crucial evidence in case of a dispute in your claim.

  • Categorise old and new damages: Transparency is essential for a smoother claim settlement. Ensure that you differentiate between the old and new damage. If you do not inform ACKO about new damages on time, there are chances that the claim will be rejected.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions about car insurance surveyors.



What is needed to appoint a car insurance surveyor?

The insurer requires a car insurance surveyor to assess the loss/damage incurred without any bias or prejudice.

What will happen if I am not able to provide all the details required by the surveyor?

If you are unable to provide the details required by the insurance surveyor, there could be a delay in the assessment or even a rejection of your claim.

If the insurer appoints the car insurance surveyor, do they favour the insurer?

A car insurance surveyor shall maintain neutrality, confidentiality without jeopardizing the liability of ACKO and the claim of the insured (policyholder).

What do car insurance investigators (surveyors) look for?

Car insurance investigators examine the extent of the damage, enquire, verify and check upon the causes of the damage/loss, including the nature of the ownership and insurable interest. Additionally, they also provide an estimate, measure, and determine the extent of the loss.

Can I negotiate with the car insurance surveyor?

While you may coordinate with the insurance surveyor to provide all details of the damages or loss, you cannot negotiate or ask for a favour from the insurance surveyor for a higher claim settlement. Ensure that you reveal all the details of the damages so that your claim settlement process is hassle-free.

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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