How To Make A Car Insurance Claim?

How To Make A Car Insurance Claim?

Buying your own car is a dream come true. You put in your hard-earned money to buy this precious possession and take all necessary steps to keep it in stellar condition. This includes purchasing a car insurance policy so your car will be protected if any untoward incident like an accident or theft happens.

But, just owning an insurance policy isn’t enough. You need to understand the most important facet of it, i.e., the claims process. If you are well-versed in the process, you can ensure trouble-free claims approval.

So, how do you make a claim under your policy? What are the documents you will require? Can the insurance company deny the claim?

Let’s discuss all this and more!

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What is a Car Insurance Claim?

You should know what an insurance claim is if you have an insurance policy. It is a formal request made to your insurer to claim or cover the losses incurred, as mentioned in terms of the policy.

Let us understand this better with an example

Sheetal insured her car with an IDV value of 5 lakhs. When she was returning home on a rainy day, she accidentally hit a post and dented the bonnet of her car. Now, she can contact her insurance company to raise a claim for the affected part and get the repair costs covered under the policy.

Types of Car Insurance Claims

There are two types of car insurance claims -

  • Cashless Claims
    Cashless claims, as the term implies, are claims done on a cashless basis. The payment is made directly by the insurer to the garage where your car is getting repaired.

    Please note that a cashless claim will be approved only if the repair work is carried out at a garage on the insurer’s list of network garages. Getting your car repaired at a network garage will make the claims process easy for you since you won’t have to pay for the repairs from your own pocket. However, you will be required to pay compulsory deductibles or consumable costs, as applicable.

  • Reimbursement Claims
    Reimbursement claims require you to pay for the repairs to the workshop/garage yourself. You can later claim the bill amount from the insurer by submitting the required documents. On approval, the claim amount will be credited to your bank account.

    You will have to use this option when the repairs are carried out at garages not listed by the insurer.

Understanding The Claims Process

  • If You Are Making A Cashless Claim
    Here are the steps you need to follow -

    • If your car has met with an accident, inform the insurance company as soon as possible about the accident and damages caused - in detail.
    • Give the insurance company the name and address of the garage, where your car will be repaired. For the claims to be settled cashlessly, you will need to take your car to a network garage.
    • If any third party is involved or accidental death has occurred, the insurance company may also ask you for a copy of the FIR.
    • Once the insurance company receives all the relevant information, they shall appoint a surveyor who will visit the garage and check your car’s condition.
    • If the surveyor gives their approval, the garage can commence the repair work.
    • After completing the repair work, the garage will send the repair bill and invoice to the insurance company directly.
    • The insurance company will verify the documents. Compulsory deductibles and any consumable charges will be deducted from the final bill amount.
    • The insurance company will pay the approved amount to the garage. You will be required to pay the compulsory deductible and consumable charges to the garage.
    • Note: You can avoid paying the consumables charges if you have a Consumable Protection add-on in your policy.
  • If You Are Making A Reimbursement Claim
    Here are the steps you need to follow -

    • If your car has met with an accident, the first thing you should do is inform your insurance company.
    • You will be required to submit documents like a duly-filled claim form, a body-shop estimate given by the workshop, and an FIR copy in case any third-party involvement or death takes place in the accident. This list of documents may vary across insurers.
    • The insurance company will appoint a dedicated surveyor who will visit the garage to inspect the car. Once the surveyor gives their approval, the garage will start with the repairs
    • When the repair works are completed, you will be required to pay the entire amount to the garage.
    • You will then have to send the bill, invoice copy, and other documents as requested by your insurance company for getting the reimbursement.

List of Documents

  • Duly signed and filled out claim form
  • A copy of your insurance policy
  • Tax payment receipt
  • Repair work estimate given by the garage. Ensure that it is signed and stamped by the garage.
  • Original repair invoice and payment receipt, duly signed and stamped by the garage
  • Claims discharge and satisfaction voucher that is duly signed across a revenue stamp
  • If you have not taken the vehicle to the nearest garage, the vehicle inspection address details
  • Your original driving license and a verified photocopy is to be given to the surveyor
  • Your original RC and a verified photocopy is to be given to the surveyor
  • PAN Card
  • Aadhar Card
  • A copy of the Pollution Under Control Certificate
  • A canceled cheque/passbook
  • Once the documents are verified, the insurance company will transfer the approved claim amount to your bank account.

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Things to Keep in Mind for A Smooth Claims Experience.

Just owning an insurance plan will not ensure that your claim gets settled quickly. Here are a few things you should keep in mind so you have a hassle-free claims experience -

  • Timely Updates
    Make sure you inform your insurance company at the earliest when an accident happens. Any delays can increase the probability of your claim getting rejected. If, however, there is a genuine reason for the delay, the insurance company might ask you for supporting credible proof.

  • Wait For The Approval Of The Insurance Surveyor
    Refrain from showing hastiness in repairing your car. Wait till the appointed insurance surveyor inspects the damaged car and approves the repair work. If the car is repaired before the arrival or the approval of the surveyor, the insurer might reject the claim.

  • No Coverage For Accidents Caused Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs
    If you are found to be drunk or under the influence of narcotics when the vehicular damage took place, the insurer will not approve your claim.

  • Undisclosed Accessories Will Not Be Covered
    If you have any extra accessories fitted to your car after purchase, inform your insurer about it and get the same endorsed to your insurance policy too. If you fail to do so and the accessory is damaged, it will not be covered by your policy.

Wrapping Up!

Knowing the car insurance claim process is as crucial as getting your car insured, to avoid delays and unnecessary hassles. Now that you know about the car insurance claim process, you can be less worried about your next drive!

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