How To Claim Insurance For Car Damage Without FIR?

by SMCIB on Monday, 22 April 2024

How To Claim Insurance For Car Damage Without FIR?

Car insurance plays a very crucial role in protecting vehicle owners in India, offering financial protection against diverse risks such as accident-related damages. Usually, filing a First Information Report (FIR) is standard protocol for insurance claims post-accidents.

However, there are instances where claiming insurance for car damage can be done without an FIR. This guide will elaborate on the process, requirements, and steps involved in claiming insurance without an FIR in India, ensuring a clear understanding of this important aspect for vehicle owners.

What is an FIR in Car Insurance?

An FIR, or First Information Report, is a crucial document created by Indian law enforcement agencies upon receiving information about a cognizable offence. It serves as an official record detailing the incident and is particularly important in car insurance claims involving accidents, thefts, and significant damages to your vehicle.

Let's explore its key attributes in more detail -

  • Detailed Documentation
    The FIR is like a thorough report that documents all the important details about what happened, as shared by the person who reported the incident. It's an official record that tells the story of when and where things took place, who was there, and what exactly occurred, giving a clear picture of the situation.
  • Legal Requirement
    Filing an FIR is a necessary step backed by the Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC). It's like pushing the start button for the legal system to take action on serious offences, getting everything moving in terms of law enforcement.
  • Evidential Significance
    In the world of car insurance, an FIR is like a key puzzle piece. It's vital evidence that confirms exactly what happened, giving insurance companies verified facts they need to handle claims smoothly. This is especially important for incidents like theft or big accidents involving third-parties.
  • Initiation Of Investigation
    Once you file an FIR in the context of car insurance claims, it sets the wheels in motion for the police to investigate the incident. Their findings from this investigation can have a substantial impact on how the insurance claim is processed and settled.

How Does A Claim Work?

In India, the process of filing a car insurance claim generally involves the following steps -

  • Immediate Notification
    Right after your car faces an accident or damage, it's crucial to reach out to your insurance company without delay. Give them all the important specifics like when and where the incident occurred, along with a quick summary of what took place.
  • FIR Filing
    If there's a theft or an accident that causes harm to someone else, results in a loss of life, or damages another person's property, it's important to head to the police station nearby and file an FIR. However, if it's just about your own car getting damaged, you can skip this step.
  • Assessment Process
    Once you inform your insurance company, they'll send a surveyor to check out the damage to your car. This surveyor will carefully inspect your vehicle, gather all the necessary details, and come up with an estimate of how much it'll cost to fix everything.
  • Authorization And Review
    After the surveyor does their assessment and sends in the report, the insurance company will go through it thoroughly. If everything checks out, they'll give the green light for the repairs to go ahead. However, if the repair costs seem on the higher side, they might do a spot check or request more documents.
  • Repair Work
    You have two options for getting your car repaired: you can opt for a network garage where you won't have to pay anything upfront (cashless service), or you can choose a garage you prefer and pay for the repairs yourself, then get reimbursed by the insurance company later.
  • Documentation And Claim Settlement
    Once your car repairs are finished, gather all the documents, including the repair invoice, and submit them to your insurance company. They'll carefully review the paperwork, ensuring everything is in order, and then proceed to settle your claim as per the terms and conditions of your policy.
  • Claim Denial
    If the insurance company determines that your claim doesn't meet the criteria outlined in your policy or after conducting their investigation, they may reject the claim. They'll provide clear reasons for the rejection so you can understand why.

It's crucial to know the details of your policy, including any deductibles or exclusions. This knowledge will ensure a smoother claims process. By following these steps and staying transparent with your insurer, you can help speed up the process of getting your car insurance claim in India.

Situations Where an FIR is Not Needed Before A Car Insurance Claim

It's quite common and straightforward to file a car insurance claim for damages without an FIR, especially for minor accidents. Here's a simple guide on what to do -

  • Immediate Notification
    First, as soon as the incident happens, reach out to your insurance company to let them know about the damage. You can do this by dialling their customer service hotline, visiting their official website, or using their mobile app.
  • Documentation Of Damage
    Make sure to take clear photographs of the damaged areas of your car, capturing different angles and perspectives. This will provide a comprehensive view of the extent and nature of the damage, helping the insurance company assess the situation accurately.
  • Witness Information (If Applicable)
    If there are any witnesses present during the incident, it's helpful to collect their contact information. While not always necessary, having witness statements can occasionally speed up the claim process and provide additional support for your case.
  • Claim Form Completion
    Fill out the claim form that your insurance company provides. This form will ask for information about what happened, your details, and a description of the damages your car sustained.
  • Submission Of Supporting Documents
    Make sure to include all the necessary documents along with the claim form. These documents typically include your vehicle's registration certificate, your driving licence, and your insurance policy document.
  • Damage Assessment By Surveyor
    The insurance company will promptly send a surveyor to assess the damages to your car and estimate the repair costs. This assessment is crucial as it forms the basis for approving your claim and determining the settlement amount you'll receive.
  • Repair Work
    In case of cashless claims, you can take your vehicle to a network garage. These are repair shops that have partnerships with your insurance company. The advantage is that the insurer will directly settle the bills with the network garage, making the process hassle-free for you.
  • Reimbursement Claim Process
    If you decide to go with a garage that's not in the insurance company's network, you'll have to foot the bill for the repairs upfront. After that, you can file for reimbursement by sending all the bills and receipts to your insurance provider.
  • Claim Settlement Procedure
    After you submit your claim, your insurer will carefully review it. If everything checks out and your claim is approved, they'll either reimburse you for the repair costs (if you went to a non-network garage) or settle the bills directly with the network garage, depending on your arrangement with them.

Situations Where an FIR is Needed Before A Car Insurance Claim

Filing an FIR is an absolute must in certain situations where it's required by law, and insurance companies need it to verify and process claims. Here are the scenarios where lodging an FIR is crucial -

  • Car Theft
    In situations where your vehicle is stolen, filing an FIR is absolutely necessary. It serves as concrete legal proof of what happened, and without it, insurance companies won't consider claims for stolen vehicles.
  • Major Accidents
    If the accident leads to serious injuries, loss of life, or major damage to other people's property, it's crucial to file an FIR. This report is like a solid record of what happened, which is not just important for insurance claims but also for any potential legal actions that might follow.
  • Accidents Where Multiple Vehicles Are Involved
    In situations where more vehicles are involved in an accident or there's a chain of collisions, filing an FIR is vital. It's like creating a detailed map that outlines the entire sequence of events, making it easier to determine responsibilities accurately.
  • Third-Party Claims
    When there's a claim involving damage to someone else's property or injuries to third parties, it's mandatory to file an FIR.

How To File An FIR For Car Insurance?

Filing an FIR is a simple process, and understanding the steps involved can make it smoother and less of a hassle.

  • Report To The Police
    Right after the incident, the top priority is safety. If there are any injuries, it's crucial to seek medical attention first. Once everyone's well-being is ensured, head to the nearest police station.
  • Detail The Incident
    You need to provide a clear, concise description of the incident including all crucial details such as the involved parties, the sequence of events, time, and location.
  • Accuracy And Verification
    It's important to be accurate in your account as the police officer will review it for the FIR, which is a crucial legal document. Any inaccuracies could cause complications down the line.
  • Obtain A Copy Of The FIR
    After filing the FIR, you're entitled to receive a free copy of it. This document is super important for your insurance claim and any legal proceedings that might occur.
  • Online Filing Options
    In some areas, you can file an FIR online for minor offences. It's worth checking your local police department's website to see if this option is available and to understand the process involved.

How To Claim Insurance For Car Damage Without An FIR?

When it comes to minor car accidents, filing an insurance claim without an FIR is quite common and straightforward. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to claim insurance for car damage without an FIR -

  • Notifying Your Insurance Company
    Right after the accident, it's crucial to inform your insurance provider about the damage. You can do this through their customer service hotline, official website, or mobile application. This quick notification helps kickstart the claims process and ensures timely assistance for your car repairs.
  • Documenting The Damage
    Take photos of the damaged areas and make sure to capture clear shots from different angles and perspectives. This thorough documentation provides a comprehensive view of the damage, which is vital for your insurance claim process.
  • Gathering Witness Information (If Applicable)
    If there were witnesses to the incident, it's helpful to gather their contact information. While not always required, witness statements can sometimes speed up the claim process by providing additional clarity and support for your case.
  • Completing The Claim Form
    Be sure to fill out the claim form provided by your insurer thoroughly. This form typically asks for information about the incident, your policy information, and a description of the damages suffered.
  • Submission Of Supporting Documents
    In addition to the claim form, remember to submit essential documents such as your vehicle's registration certificate, driving licence, and policy document.
  • Damage Assessment By Surveyor
    The insurance company will promptly assign a surveyor to evaluate the damages and estimate the repair costs. This assessment is critical because it determines the approval of your claim and the amount you'll receive as a settlement.
  • Repair Work At Network Garage
    For cashless claims, take your vehicle to any one of the network garages that has a tie-up with your insurance company. At these garages, the insurer will settle the repair bills directly, making the process more convenient for you.
  • Reimbursement Claim Process
    If you decide to use a non-network garage, you'll have to cover the repair costs initially. Later, you can seek reimbursement by submitting the bills and receipts to your insurance provider.
  • Claim Settlement Procedure
    Once you submit your insurance claim, your insurer will thoroughly review it. If approved, they will either reimburse you for the repair costs (if you used a non-network garage) or settle the bills directly with the network garage, depending on your arrangement with them.

Importance of an FIR in Car Insurance Claim in India

In India, filing a First Information Report (FIR) with the police is crucial for car insurance claims, especially in cases involving a theft, third-party injury, death, or property damage. Here's why an FIR is important -

  • Legal Requirement
    As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and other relevant laws in India, filing an FIR is mandatory for accidents involving third-party injury, death, or property damage. Not complying with this requirement can often lead to legal complications and may impact your insurance claim negatively.
  • Crucial Evidence For Claims
    An FIR is essential evidence supporting your insurance claim. It contains critical details about the accident, like the date, time, location, and nature of the incident. These specifics are crucial for determining liability and evaluating the extent of the damage, making the FIR a crucial document in the claims process.
  • Support For Third-party Claims
    An FIR is essential for claims involving third-party injury or property damage as it initiates legal proceedings and supports your claim for compensation. Without an FIR, establishing the facts of the case and proving your claim can be challenging.
  • Insurance Verification Requirement
    Insurance companies often ask for an FIR in the claims process, especially for third-party claims. This helps them verify the claim's validity and understand the accident's details effectively.
  • Fraud Prevention Measure
    Filing an FIR helps prevent insurance fraud by ensuring that claims are legitimate and based on real accidents. It acts as a deterrent against false or exaggerated claims, promoting honesty and transparency in the insurance system.
  • Essential For Documentation
    Apart from an FIR, several other documents are crucial for supporting your insurance claim, including the police report, repair estimates, and photographs of the accident scene. The FIR typically serves as the initial step in gathering these essential documents.

In summary, filing an FIR is a crucial step in car insurance claims in India, especially for serious accidents or theft. While it's not always needed for minor incidents, understanding when it's necessary is vital for car owners. The FIR acts as strong evidence, starts legal processes, and helps prevent fraud. Along with the FIR, providing other required documents and promptly informing the insurance company after an incident are key to a smooth claim settlement. It's important to know your rights and responsibilities to navigate the insurance process effectively and protect your interests.


Filing an FIR with the police is a free service, and you're entitled to receive a free copy of the FIR once it's registered.

Not submitting an FIR in cases where it's mandatory, like theft or major accidents, can lead to your claim being rejected.

Filing an FIR promptly after the incident is really important. Doing it right away helps keep the details fresh in your mind, making the report more accurate and trustworthy.

Usually, you'll need to submit several documents for your claim, including a claim form, an FIR if it applies, your vehicle registration certificate, driving licence, policy document, and the repair bills once the work is done.

The time it takes for claim settlement can vary, but typically, if all your documents are in order, it can take anywhere from 7 to 30 days after you submit them.

It's important to note that discrepancies in the FIR can cause complications during the claim process. Make sure the FIR accurately reflects the incident's details, as it's a crucial legal document.

It's a good idea to wait for the insurance surveyor to assess the damages before getting repairs done. Unauthorised repairs might not be covered by your insurance provider, so it's best to have the assessment first.

An FIR is necessary for specific situations like car theft, major accidents, third-party damages, or accidents involving multiple vehicles, but it's not mandatory for every claim.

In some states and cities, you can file FIRs online for minor offences and accidents without injuries. To know more about this option, you can check your local police department's official website.

When filing an FIR, it's important to include details such as the location, time, parties involved, sequence of events, damages, and any injuries sustained during the incident.

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