Insurance works on transparency. The insured, as well as the insurer, have to be honest while dealing with each other, especially during a car inspection. A car inspection is a formal process by which both parties ensure that they are on the same page regarding the insured vehicle.
There are two types of car inspections; pre-policy and pre-claims. Both these types involve a thorough examination of the vehicle. The vehicle owner needs to provide the necessary information to the insurance company’s official for smooth execution of the car inspection process. Read ahead to know about car inspection and the two types of car inspection processes in detail.
In the usual scenario, insurance companies do not inspect a car before offering insurance. This is why digital insurance companies claim that you can insure your vehicle from them in a span of minutes. They do not even ask for form-filling; the inspection is a long way away. Then where does inspection come in the picture?
Car inspection takes place if there is a gap between policy expiry date and policy renewal date. The second type of car inspection occurs during the claims process. These two instances are termed as Pre-policy inspection and Pre-claims inspection, respectively. Note that different insurance companies might use different terminologies for these processes.
Here’s some crucial information about the Pre-policy car inspection process. The following sections will throw light on the complexities involved in the process.
This type of inspection takes place before the policy is issued or renewed. Mostly, it happens in the case of policy renewal.
Pre-policy car inspection is likely to happen in case there is a gap between policy expiry and policy renewal. Different insurance companies might view this time gap differently. For example, if the gap between policy expiry and policy renewal is more than 30 days, the insurer might want to conduct a car inspection before renewing the policy.
Sometimes, certain car models are not listed on the insurance company’s website. Therefore, owners of such car models find it difficult to insure their vehicles online. In such a scenario, car owners can get in touch with the insurance company by calling them or sending them an email expressing their desire to insure their vehicle. The insurance company might send a team to inspect the car and determine the premium for a Comprehensive car insurance policy. Such steps can be undertaken for a sports car and high-end cars.
The reason for performing a car inspection is to ascertain the car’s condition before insuring it. For example, if the car was involved in a mishap during the time it was uninsured and there was a dent on the car’s door, the inspection officer will make a note of it so that no claim can be raised for such damage. Such instances might increase the car insurance premium payable for renewing a Comprehensive car insurance policy.
Pre-policy inspection can also result in a reduction in car insurance premium in certain cases. For example, positive changes such as the installation of anti-theft devices will also be noted and shall be reflected in the car insurance premium. Such devices lead to a reduction in car insurance premium as the insurance company feels that you have taken a proactive step to reduce the probability of car theft by installing certified anti-theft devices. Do make sure to buy anti-theft devices certified by the authorized agency. In India, the authorized agency is Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
You need to be proactive by informing the insurance company about changes made to your car such as any aesthetic modifications. Hiding such changes might work against you at the time of claims. It is best to renew your policy before the expiry period to evade the pre-policy inspection phase in case of a renewal.
Also, read: Impact of GST on Car Insurance
Here are the essential details regarding the Pre-claims inspection process. The following sections will help you understand the intricacies of the process.
This type of inspection takes place when a claim is raised against the insured vehicle. It happens in cases of major damages.
Suppose your car’s windshield is damaged as a tree’s branch fell on it due to heavy rainfall. You choose to raise a claim. The insurance company will assign an inspector/surveyor to ascertain the damage and authenticate the claim so that it can be settled appropriately.
The reason for the pre-claims inspection is to ensure that the claim is genuine. Also, the inspection process helps to understand the extent of the loss. This way, the insurance company can arrive at the right claim settlement amount.
Also, read: How Does Car Insurance Work In India?
The insurance company might not initiate an inspection process and reject the claim if you take too long to raise a claim from the date of the accident or the unfortunate event leading to damages to the car. You need to raise a claim as soon as possible by informing your car insurance company. Also, the necessary rules need to be followed. For example, you need to file a First Information Report (FIR) at a police station in case of a car accident involving a third party.
Frequently Asked Questions:
A car insurance policy is valid only when it is active. And a car insurance policy can be kept active by renewing it from time-to-time. You will not have to face pre-policy car inspection if you renew car insurance before its expiry.
You can avoid pre-claims car inspection if the reason you are claiming is simple – minor damage to your car. If you are claiming for minor damage to your car, some insurance companies might skip the pre-claim inspection process. They can settle the claim under their Instant Claim Settlement process.
This is because the insurance company will prefer to save time, money, and effort spent on pre-claim inspection as the issue is a minor one and the claim settlement amount is also on the lower side. If they go ahead for pre-claim inspection for a minor issue, they might end up spending more on the inspection that the total amount given in claim settlement.
Renewing your car insurance policy will help you to keep your car insurance prices in check. Car insurance prices can escalate if you haven’t renewed your policy even after the end of the 90-day period post expiry. This is because your No Claim Bonus (NCB) will be reset to zero and you will lose a hefty discount (if applicable). NCB is a discount offered to the existing policyholder for not raising a claim during the duration of the policy.
Make sure to review and renew your car insurance policy at least 10 days before expiry so that you have sufficient time to make a purchase decision. You can renew car insurance online easily. It is a quick and convenient process.
The Pre-policy inspection and pre-claims inspection are not necessary all the time. Their need might be felt on a case-by-case basis.
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