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Riots & Insurance: Does Car Insurance Cover Riot Damages?

Team AckoJul 22, 2021

You might be the best driver in town but unfortunately, that cannot guarantee that your car will remain damage-free. There can be instances when your car can get severely damaged without any fault of yours. For example, a tree’s trunk can fall on it and break the windshield. Flash floods can wreak havoc. It can also be parked in a place where a riot has taken place. You might wonder does car insurance cover riot damages or other similar instances. Read ahead for answers.

Riots & Insurance: Does Car Insurance Cover Riot Damages

People are familiar with a car insurance policy as it is a legal requirement. It is one of the documents that the traffic police check. However, not many are familiar with the multiple ways in which a car insurance policy can be helpful in case the vehicle is damaged.

An extensive car insurance policy can be a friend in need during such situations. This article will tell you how. Here’s the detailed information regarding which kind of policy insures your car in case it gets damaged due to external factors such as riots and vandalism.

Car Insurance and Riot Damage Cover:

So, does car insurance cover damages due to riots, protest, civil unrest? The answer is yes. However, there’s a tiny asterisk* sign on top of that answer. Don’t worry, it is not something that will take your money and cancel out the car insurance coverage without a valid reason. But it is a sign of caution, which means you need to buy the right coverage to insure your four-wheeler against man-made calamities.

Here’s the direct answer. If your car is insured with an active Comprehensive Car Insurance policy and you have not violated any of its exclusions, then your insurer should cover car damages due to riots. This is because a Comprehensive Plan offers ‘Own Damage’ cover. This cover is missing from the basic Third-party Liability Policy. 

Points to be Noted:

  • Nowadays, the insurer’s website has all the information you need to buy a car insurance policy online.

  • The type of policy, its coverage, and exclusions will be clearly mentioned.

  • If you are not sure whether the car insurance policy you are looking to purchase or the one you already have covers ‘Own Damage’ or not, you can check it in the Policy Wordings.

  • Another way would be to directly call the insurer and clarify doubts.

Therefore, there is no dedicated cover or an add-on that insures your car against man-made calamities. A Comprehensive Plan offers extensive coverage to insure your car not only against man-made calamities but also natural ones as per the terms and conditions. Damages to your car due to unfortunate, unpredictable, and bizarre events can be covered. However, wilful damage is not.

You should keep your Comprehensive Plan active by renewing the policy before it crosses the expiry date. An expired policy equals nil coverage. It is as good as not having an insurance cover. As a result, you will not be able to claim against the policy.

Also, read: What Does Car Insurance Cover?

What to Do If Your Car is Damaged in a Riot?

Riots, protests, civil unrest, etc. can get violent in a matter of minutes. When such situations go out of control, they can transform into something disastrous. If your car is parked in a place that is riot-affected, primarily think of your safety. 

Do not put your life in danger to check on your car. If it is insured properly, you will get applicable financial assistance. Unfortunately, if you find out that your car is badly damaged due to the riots and vandalism, do not enter the car, keep it as is and collect evidence.

Such evidence can be in the form noting down the details; as in, the time and the exact location when you found out about the damage. Click pictures of the damaged vehicle. Shooting a short video of the damaged vehicle from all possible angles will also be helpful while raising a claim.

Points to be Noted:

  • You should inform your car insurance company about such an incident at the earliest. 

  • If you are hurt or not in a position to inform, then a delay in reporting might be considered. In normal situations, you must intimate the insurer at the earliest. 

  • They will verify your policy details and inform you about the process to be followed to raise a claim.

Documents Required to Raise A Claim for Riot Damage:

Here’s a list of documents that your insurer will need to verify and approve your claim application. Note that this is a generic list. The actual document requirements might be different under different circumstances.

1) Policy Document:

The insurance company will either ask for your policy document, request you to share your policy number, or simply verify the details using your name and contact number. They will check if you have the right coverage.

2) Claim Form:

Some old-school insurers might want you to submit a filled claim form. New-age insurers will have such processes automated where you might be needed to fill just the basic details online without any paperwork.

3) First Information Report (FIR):

You might be needed to get an FIR report from the police regarding the acts of vandalism in your area. Such a document will substantiate your claim to a great degree. 

4) Fire Brigade Report:

If the acts of rioting and vandalism were carried out on a large scale, then there is a possibility that the fire brigade would be involved. A report from their office will be helpful.

5) Newspaper Reports:

If the riots were covered by a newspaper, you can submit a newspaper cutting of it. Alternatively, you can also submit links to online news pieces or reliable news videos that can be of assistance.

6) Garage Bills:

If you have not gone for Cashless Claims and chosen to reimburse your car repair bills, then you will need to submit all the garage bills and replacement part invoices at the time of raising a car insurance claim.

7) Others:

The insurance company might ask for documents, apart from the ones mentioned above, on a case-by-case basis. 

Reasons for Claim Rejection in Situations of Riot Damage:

Car insurance companies have a detailed claim verification process. This is in place to discourage fraudulent claims and to ensure that authentic claims are settled in time. There are several reasons why a car insurance company might reject your claim application. You should not worry if you have the right documentation in place. Simply coordinate with the claim supervisor and your application should go through.

Here’s a list of some of those prominent reasons.

  • If the policy has expired.

  • If the coverage does not include ‘Own Damage’ cover.

  • If it is found that the damage to the vehicle was voluntary.

  • If there is evidence of fraudulent activities from the policyholder or associates.

  • If the damage is due to instances not covered by the policy.

  • If the terms and conditions of the policy are violated by the policyholder.

  • If the necessary documents are not submitted.

Protecting Your Car from Riot Damage:

There is no guarantee that your car shall be shielded from rioting or vandalism. However, there are certain precautions that you can take to reduce the probability. Here’s a list of some of these measures.

  • Park your car in a safe spot.

  • If possible, park it in a place that has security guards patrolling the area.

  • Shelter your car with a durable cover.

  • If you sense (from reliable news) that your car is parked in a place or is passing through an area that can be a hotspot for vandalism, make efforts to move your car from there. However, do not jeopardise personal safety in doing so.

  • A Comprehensive Plan can assist you with financial cushioning in case your car is damaged. Also, parking in a place with surveillance cameras can be helpful at the time of raising a claim as the camera’s feed can be submitted as proof.

Finding the Best Riot Insurance Coverage:

As you might have read in the earlier section of this article, a Comprehensive Plan will cover your vehicle and there is no specific riot cover. Thus, make sure you purchase the right car insurance plan. Here are some tips to help you buy a suitable Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy.

  • Check quotes online (visit acko.com for free car insurance quotes).

  • Go through the coverage in detail and make sure your plan covers ‘Own Damage’.

  • Compare quotes, coverage, and services with other insurers.

  • Go through the company’s social media profiles and check reviews.

  • Check out the inclusions and exclusions of the policy and then buy a suitable plan.

Key Takeaways:

Here’s a summary of the key points mentioned in the article.

  • Riot cover is a part of the Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy’s ‘Own Damage’ component.

  • Riot cover is not available with Third-party Car Insurance.

  • Riot cover is not an add-on cover.

  • Claim for a riot cover can be rejected if it does not meet the stated requirements.

  • Check your car insurance’s plan for riot coverage (man-made calamities) before buying it.

Also, read: Car warranty vs insurance. Which is better?

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some common queries regarding vandalism and riot cover in car insurance.

How much amount will I receive if my car is damaged beyond repair in a riot?

Your insurer will offer you an amount equal to your vehicle’s Insured Declared Value if it is damaged beyond repair. This amount can equal to the invoice value of your car if you have an Invoice Protection Add-on.

Is there a way to include a riot cover in my Third-party Car Insurance plan?

No, it is not possible to include a riot cover in a Third-party Plan.

Is it okay I raise a claim after a week if I am unable to do so on the day the damage occurred?

Ideally, the claim should be raised at the earliest. However, if you have a genuine reason for the delay, you can discuss the same with your insurer.

What happens if someone deliberately damages the car and passes it off as it was damaged in the riots and raises a claim for it?

The insurance company will verify the claim request and if it is found out that the policyholder has attempted fraud, the claim shall be rejected. There can be legal consequences to it as well.

 Is ‘Own Damage’ cover mandatory?

No, an ‘Own Damage’ cover is not mandatory. However, it is suggested to consider it as it offers enhanced coverage over the basic Third-party Car Insurance.

Can I opt for a change in coverage at the time of renewal?

Yes, you can change your coverage while renewing your policy. You can also switch insurers. For example, if you just had a basic plan from one insurer, you can opt for a Comprehensive Plan from the same insurer or another one. Make sure to not keep a gap between the policies as you shall be uninsured during that period.

How can I buy a car insurance policy with riot cover from Acko?

Simply visit acko.com > select car & taxi > enter car number > click ‘insure now’ and follow the process.

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