Team AckoJul 22, 2021
Sometimes, the most obvious option might not be the most productive one. This line may seem like a philosophical quote from Rumi, but it isn’t. It is practical advice, as it is directly applicable to car insurance. Wondering how? Well, what’s the thing that comes to your mind in case your vehicle suffers any kind of damage? The most likely answer is – car insurance claim, isn’t it? You want to make sure that the car insurance premium you’ve been paying comes to your rescue when it matters. But wait.
Raising a claim might not be in your favour in all situations. It affects your car insurance premium. So, brake before accelerating towards raising a claim, review the situation and then decide. Read ahead to know more.
Here are three vital factors to consider before raising a claim.
Cars depreciate. This is because of the wear and tear faced by vehicles during the natural course of time. Thus, the value of a car reduces as time passes. This means the value of car parts also reduces. Hence, the insurance company will not compensate you for the full value of the damaged part. It will do so for the depreciated value (as per terms and conditions).
There are two types of deductibles in vehicle insurance: Compulsory and Voluntary. In both cases, you have to shell out a predetermined amount of money from your pocket at the time of claim settlement.
Consider it as your (minimal) contribution at the time of settlement. Therefore, the settlement is not entirely about receiving money. It has a component where you have to spend some amount as well.
Insurance companies offer a discount on renewal of Comprehensive car insurance policies, provided no claims (or limited claims in case of a long-term policy) are raised during the previous policy period. This means you get rewarded for driving safely and not raising claims.
This discount is incremental. However, the accumulated discount can crash to zero if a claim is raised (or the limit is breached in case of a long-term policy). NCB can be as high as 50% if you meet the criteria. Thus, it is suggested to think not twice but thrice before raising a claim.
Also, read: Why Does Car Insurance Premium Increase Every Year?
Keep the above-mentioned points in mind while deciding whether to raise a claim or not. Look at the amount after factoring-in depreciation and equate it with the NCB you will lose if you go ahead. Consider the deductible payable as well. After the calculations, you will come to know if raising a claim is beneficial for you or not.
For example, the claim amount after depreciation is Rs. 1000, and your Deductible + NCB lost comes to Rs. 1200. Then, in a way, you are losing Rs. 200 in this claim settlement process. Also, your accumulated NCB will reset to zero.
In simple terms, it is productive to raise a claim for major damages while it is counter-productive to raise a claim for minor ones.
You will be eligible to raise a claim only if your policy is active. And to keep it active, you will have to renew the policy periodically. While you do so, make sure to review and renew.
Whether you just have Third-party car insurance or a wide-ranging cover, make sure to review the services offered by the insurance company before renewing the policy. Remember, you have the option to choose a different insurer if you wish to do so.
In some situations, it is beneficial to raise a car insurance claim. Based on your car insurer, you will have two options: Cashless or Reimbursement. Read ahead to know more about it and how to go about raising a claim in case you have repaired your car from an unauthorized garage.
Car insurance companies usually have tie-ups with garages all over the country. This helps them to settle claims quickly and efficiently. However, it is not always possible for policyholders to take their damaged car to a garage that is affiliated with their insurance company. In such a scenario, they take the car to an unauthorized garage. If you are wondering whether that is the right thing to do, here are some points that will throw light on the subject.
Primarily, there are two types of car insurance claims: Cashless claims and Reimbursement Claims. Cashless claims are those where the insurance company settles the repair bill directly with the garage. You just have to pay the pre-decided deductible.
Reimbursement claims are those where you get your car repaired and then apply for reimbursement from the insurance company. This is where the unauthorized garage comes in the picture.
An important step in the claim acceptance process is the survey or car inspection. A car insurance company sends its surveyor (in-house or Third-party Administrator) to analyse the damage caused to the insured vehicle. This process takes place smoothly in case of a Cashless claim as the insurance company coordinates with the garage and gets the survey completed.
In case of a Reimbursement claim from an unauthorized garage, you will have to ensure that the survey is completed before the car is repaired. The surveyor has to inspect the damaged car and gauge the extent of the damage.
The car should be sent for repairs only after getting the insurance company’s consent. This is the most important step in the process in case of repairs done from an unauthorized car garage. Once this is done, get the car repaired, and then get the repair amount reimbursed (as applicable).
Also, read: Car Insurance Claims
Since the garage is unauthorized, there can be coordination issues between the insurance company and the garage. If the garage repairs the car before it is inspected by the surveyor, how will the insurance company come to know about the damage caused to the car before it was repaired? You do not want to be caught in such a situation because it can lead to rejection due to noncompliance.
Also, it is suggested to answer all questions asked by the surveyor patiently. You need to be transparent and honest with the surveyor. State the facts and explain the nature of the incident that caused the damage as it happened. Any kind of falsification will lead to rejection.
Garages that are affiliated with the insurance company are termed as network garages. You should have a look at the insurance company’s list of network garages before buying or renewing your car insurance policy.
It is best to verify whether good garages in and around your locality are on the network garage list or not. You can confirm this by getting in touch with your preferred insurance company on call or email.
Can I opt for a new car insurance company while renewing my long-term car insurance policy?
If you are unsatisfied with the services offered by your insurer or have found a new and exciting digital insurer, you can opt for a new insurer while renewing your policy.
Should I opt to buy or renew my car insurance policy online?
The choice is yours. You can buy and renew car insurance online in a simple, convenient, and quick manner.
Why is comparing policies on all grounds important before buying car insurance?
Ensure to opt for car insurance comparison before making your final selection. A lot of people are blinded by low car insurance premiums. But car insurance premium is not the only deciding factor when it comes to car insurance comparison. The cover provided and services offered by the company are also important. Claim settlement experience is also crucial. You can check online reviews to be sure.
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