How To Claim Car Insurance After An Accident In India?

by SMCIB on Thursday, 16 May 2024

How To Claim Car Insurance After An Accident In India?

For most of us, our car is a loyal companion through life's journey. Remember when you were just a young kid imagining the thrill of cruising down the road? Then, as you grew older, you finally got your very own car, feeling a sense of freedom and independence like never before. It is a symbol of your achievements and aspirations.

And you wouldn't want anything to harm this valuable possession, right? But life can take an unexpected turn any time and this is why you need car insurance. It is like the safety cushion that you buy for your car but hope to never use. You invest in it, not because you anticipate accidents, but because you understand life's unpredictability. But despite our best hopes, accidents can happen and cause distress. When the inevitable occurs and your car meets with an accident, you should ensure immediate action. Filing a claim promptly can alleviate the financial burden and restore your peace of mind.

In this article, we will delve into the essential steps of claiming car insurance after an accident. From understanding the process to navigating the paperwork, let's ensure you are equipped with the knowledge to handle any situation with confidence.

What Is A Car Insurance Claim?

Understanding a car insurance claim is important if you have a car insurance policy. It is basically making a formal request to your insurance company to pay for damages as per your policy.

For instance, let's say Sia bought car insurance with an IDV of Rs. 10 lakhs. On an unfortunate evening, she accidentally dented her car while reversing. Sia gets worried as she did not know how to claim car insurance for own damage. She then contacted her insurance company who guided her throughout the process to cover the repair costs for that damage.

Types Of Car Insurance Claims After Accident

After your car meets with an accident, you have two options for making a claim –

  • Cashless Claims
    When you opt for cashless claims, your insurer directly pays the repair bill to the garage where your car is being fixed. But, remember, this only works if you get your car repaired at a garage approved by your insurer. Choosing a garage from the insurer’s network makes things smoother, as you will not have to shell out money upfront. However, you might still have to cover compulsory deductibles or consumable costs.
  • Reimbursement Claims
    With reimbursement claims, you initially pay the repair bill from your end and then get reimbursement from your insurer by submitting the necessary documents. If everything is approved, the money will be deposited into your bank account. This option comes into play when you get repairs done at garages not listed by your insurer.

For Cashless Claims

When you’re filing a cashless claim, follow these steps –

  • Report The Accident
    You should notify your insurance company immediately about the accident and provide detailed information about the damages.
  • Choose A Network Garage
    Inform the insurance company about the garage where you plan to get your car repaired. For cashless claims, it must be a garage within the insurer’s network.
  • Provide Necessary Documentation
    If there is involvement of a third party or accidental death, you may need to provide a copy of the FIR (First Information Report).
  • Surveyor Inspection
    The insurer will then appoint a surveyor to assess your car's condition. Once approved, the repair work can begin at the garage.
  • Submit Documents
    The surveyor will require some documents from you, which they will submit to the insurer to proceed with the claim.

    Documents To Be Signed
    • Claim Form: This form should be accurately filled out, providing details about the claim.
    • Satisfaction Voucher: Before your claim payment is released, you will be asked to confirm your satisfaction with the vehicle repairs in writing.
    • Discharge Voucher: At the time of claim settlement, you will receive a form stating the amount payable to you. Your acknowledgment of this amount is required by signing the form.

Other Documents To Be Provided

    • RC Copy
    • Driver's Licence
    • ID Proof
  • Verification And Approval

After the repair work is done, the garage will send the bill and invoice directly to your insurance company. They will check these documents, deduct any compulsory deductibles or consumable charges, and then pay the approved amount to the garage. You should note that you will need to cover the compulsory deductible and consumable charges directly to the garage.

For Reimbursement Claims

Here's what you should do for a reimbursement claim –

  • Report The Accident
    Immediately inform your insurance company if your car is involved in an accident.
  • Document Submission
    Prepare and submit necessary documents such as a completed claim form, an estimate from the repair shop, and an FIR copy if a third-party is involved or an accident results in fatality. You should keep in mind that different insurers may require different documents.
  • Surveyor Inspection
    Your insurance provider will then assign and send a surveyor to assess your car at the garage. Once approved, repairs can begin.
  • Cover Repair Costs
    On approval, you should pay the full repair amount directly to the garage when the work is finished.
  • Submit Documentation
    Send the bill, invoice, and any other requested documents to your insurance company for reimbursement.
    Here's the list of documents you will need –
    • A completed claim form that is filled out and signed.
    • Copy of the insurance policy.
    • Tax payment receipt
    • Repair estimate that is signed and stamped by the garage.
    • Original repair invoice, signed and stamped by the garage.
    • Claims discharge and satisfaction voucher, signed across a revenue stamp.
    • Vehicle inspection address if you did not take the vehicle to the nearest garage.
    • Driving licence, original and a verified photocopy to be provided to the surveyor.
    • RC Copy, the original and a verified photocopy to be given to the surveyor.
    • PAN Card
    • Aadhar Card
    • A hardcopy of Pollution Under Control Certificate
    • Cancelled Cheque/Passbook
  • Approval And Fund Transfer

Once your documents are verified by the insurer, the approved claim amount will be transferred to your bank account.

Things To Keep In Mind For A Smooth Claims Experience

Listed below are some important points to bear in mind when you file a claim –

  • Prompt Notification
    You should inform your insurance company as soon as an accident occurs. This is because delays could lead to claim rejection, unless you have a valid reason supported by credible proof.
  • Wait For Surveyor Approval
    Do not rush into repairing your car. Ensure to wait for the insurance surveyor to inspect the damage and approve the repair work. Repairing the car before the surveyor's arrival or approval might result in claim rejection.
  • Avoid Alcohol And Drugs
    If you were found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, your claim will not be approved by the insurer.
  • Declare Additional Accessories
    You should make it a point to inform your insurer about any extra accessories added to your car after purchase, such as external CNG kits, electrical accessories, etc. Make sure these are endorsed in your insurance policy. Failure to disclose them may result in a situation when you’ll be left without coverage for such items if they are damaged or involved in an accident.

To conclude,

Claiming car insurance after an accident might feel overwhelming, but it is crucial to follow the right steps. You should ensure to inform your insurance company promptly. They will then guide you through the process, which often involves an inspection of the damage. If approved, they will provide coverage for the damages, according to your policy. By understanding the process and acting swiftly, you can steer the aftermath of an accident with confidence.


There are two main types of car insurance claims – cashless claims and reimbursement claims.

  • Cashless claims mean you do not have to pay anything out of your own pocket. The insurance company directly pays the repair bill to the garage in their network.
  • Reimbursement claims happen when you pay for the repairs yourself first. Afterward, you can raise a claim for the repair bill to your insurance company for them to reimburse you.

>When you have a third-party or comprehensive car insurance policy, it can help ease your financial burden if an accident occurs. But to get help from your insurance company, you need to immediately inform them about the accident. This is called 'Filing Insurance Claim'. It is the process by which you ask the insurance company to provide coverage for losses, damages, or injuries.

Yes, your insurance claim can be rejected if you fail to inform the insurance company within the specified time frame. They have the right to do this according to their terms and conditions.

Yes, typically, insurance companies require a vehicle inspection after an accident. They will assign an inspector to check your vehicle before processing your claim. It is part of the standard procedure outlined in the insurance terms and conditions.

Once you let your insurer know about the claim, they will initiate the claim settlement process by sending a surveyor to assess the damages. If everything aligns with your policy's terms and conditions, they will proceed to settle the claim for you.

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