A perfect guide that will help you to make a smooth Car Insurance claim

A perfect guide that will help you make a smooth Car Insurance claim

After purchasing a sophisticated car insurance policy, the second most traumatic thing is to make a successful claim. Purchasing a car insurance plan is somewhere easy in this well connected online-based generation. But to recollect your senses and inform the insurance company is difficult after getting into an accident. 10% of the total claims in India get rejected by the insurance company because they have not intimated within the time range. So, informing the insurance company after getting into an accident is the first and the most important part of the Car Insurance claim.

Whether you are responsible for the accident or not, you should need to inform your insurance provider about the incident. Along with your own damaged car, you can also pay for the other party damages with third party liability coverage. Let your insurance provider decide who is guilty and whether they can approve the claim or not.

Before making a claim, the policyholder should know whether the incident is eligible to make a claim or not. All the damages incurred due to an unpredicted activity are covered under the car insurance policy. Along with the physical damage to the cay, you can also make a claim for bodily injuries. Act of vandalism, theft, and damage due to natural calamities are also considered to make a claim.

It is not necessary to make a claim for every incident that happens to your vehicle. Sometimes you can avoid it too.  Unnecessary and frequent insurance claims will affect your no claim bonus. Also, your insurance credibility will be decreased, the results of which you will not be able to purchase an insurance policy later. Basically, people use insurance policies as a shield to unforeseen damages. But if you take too frequent claims for small damages then it will impact you back. This will also result in increased premiums at the time of renewal. Moreover, some insurance companies don’t prefer to issue a policy to customers with low credibility. So, make sure to take a claim when it is necessary and the repairing expenses are too high.

Types of car insurance claims:

  • Reimbursement claims: The claims in which the policyholder needs to pay the expenses first is called a reimbursement claim. Of course, lately, the insurance company will transfer the overall amount that the insured pays at the service center. You can repair your car at any nearby local garage to make a reimbursement claim. Customers do not prefer this type of claim settlement because in this they have to pay from their pocket.
  • Cashless claims: The most preferred type of claim settlement method is the cashless method. Whether we talk about cars or bikes, we need a claim settlement process in which we don’t have to pay money from our pocket. It is important to repair your vehicle at a network garage to avail of the benefit of cashless claims. All insurance companies have a list of network garages from which you can take cashless repairing service. You just have to pay the deductible amount and the rest of the expenses will be taken care of by the insurance provider.

Documents Required to make a Car Insurance Claim

Whenever you go to make a claim, the insurance company will ask you for some important documents. If you miss providing these documents, they will reject your claim. So, let’s give a look at the list of documents that are required to make a claim.

  • Vehicle registration certificate
  • Documents of the Car insurance policy
  • Driving License of the person who is driving the vehicle at the time of the incident.
  • A valid and duly filled claim intimation form.

In case you want to make an online claim then the claiming process starts just after intimating about the incident. You need the below documents to make an online car insurance claim.

  • Identification proof of the policyholder such as Aadhar card, voter id, or PAN card.
  • A lump-sum estimate of the repairing expenses. In case you want to make a non-cashless claim, then you need to submit these documents after repairing your vehicle.
  • Proper invoice from the garage with all the expenses mentioned on it.
  • Payment receipt
  • Canceled cheque.

The common reason for car insurance claim rejection

  • Providing incorrect documents or any wrong information provided in the claiming form.
  • Illegal use of vehicles.
  • Driving without a license.
  • Asking for repairing expenses without informing the incident to the insurance company.
  • The insurance policy is not on your name (In case of a second-hand vehicle).
  • Violating traffic rules.
  • Accidents caused due to the influence of inhaling intoxicating substances while driving.
  • Making a claim after the policy expires.

Tips to make a smooth car settlement claim

We have provided some points that will assuredly help you take a smooth claim:

  • The policyholder needs to read the policy documents Thoroughly while filing a car insurance claim.
  • Inform about the accident and damage to the insurance company as soon as possible.
  • If you lack understanding of any term in the policy then take the help of customer support.
  • For reimbursement claims, keep a record of all the expenses incurred during the repairing of the vehicle. As the insurance company will need all the proofs and bills of the expenses.
  • File FIR or inform the local police station of that area to reduce your part of stress.
  • If you purchase the policy from an agent then contact the agent to take care of the claim settlement process. He can coordinate with the insurance company on your behalf.
  • Submit only genuine documents along with the claim application form for a smoother and faster claim process.
  • In case the accident happens in a deserted place then make sure to click pictures of the damaged vehicle along with some pictures of nearby locations. This will work as a valid proof of the accident.

What types of claim facilities does car insurance provide?

Car Insurance Policy

There is a variety of damage for which you can take claim in car insurance. The time taken to claim the settlement depends on the type of damage. If the car is completely damaged then it will take more time to repair it but if there is some minor damage then it will take a few hours only. Here are some important claim types of car insurance:

Roadside assistance claim: This claim will help you to to your vehicle in case it gets damaged in an accident. This is an optional claim that you can avail of. In some cases, the insurance provider pays the complete cost of towing and you don’t have to pay anything for it.

Glass damage claim: This claim will only provide expenses of the glass if your car gets damaged. You have to provide the images and other related information to the insurance provider and they will provide you complete reimbursement of the repairing cost. Further, in this case, they will also provide you the OEM and take the extra cost for it.

Total loss claim: This claim has the lengthiest process among all as it relates to the major monetary loss. Claiming for total loss can take more than one month to settle. Under this claim, the vehicle is in the totaled condition so the owner has to provide all the related images of the damage and the information to the Insurance provider for successful claim settlement.

Physical damage claim: This claim will cover the physical damage in the car and it takes 2-3 weeks to complete the claiming process. If in case the car is drivable then you can drive it, otherwise borrow or rent a car as per your requirement until it gets repaired.

What alternatives can you take if it is taking too much time for claim settlement?

In most of the cases, it will take up to one week when there are some major issues with the vehicle. But there is always an exception so in certain cases it will take a month to get your vehicle repaired or make a claim. If your car is in drivable condition then it will be a cherry on the cake but if it gets completely damaged then you have to search for an alternative option to driving to your office. The backup plan you can take are:

Take a rental car: this is the best suitable substitute you can choose, as it will cost money but will not hamper your time and family. Also, rental cars are safe and cost-effective to use.

Borrow a car from a friend: Maybe it will not cost you money but it is also not possible to keep a car from your friend. Apart from all, it is also not necessary that they will allow you to keep their vehicle for so long. So, this might be risky as you have to take care of the car so well, that even one extra scratch on the car will create a problem for you.

Which type of damage is not covered in the car insurance policy?

A car insurance policy will take care of all the major damage caused to your car but there are some exceptions that will not be covered under a car insurance policy:

  • Wear and tear in the engine due to oil leakage will not be covered.
  • If any damage will happen between the expiry and the next renewal date of the policy then it will not be covered.
  • Loss or damage caused due to nuclear perils or war will not be covered under the insurance policy.
  • The electrical and mechanical breakdown is not covered.
  • Any damage or accident that is dome intentional to harm the other person will not be covered.
  • Tire damage is not covered under the policy
  • Accidental damage that is caused due to Drunk and drive will not be considered under the policy.

Procedure to make a claim after the car accident:

You have to claim for the losses to take reimbursement of the damage caused to your vehicle from the insurance company. After that they will arrange an investigation session to find the genuinity of the accident, whether the accident is caused intentionally or it was real. If they found you true, then they will pay for the damage. By the following steps you can make a claim:

  • First of all, call the insurance company to inform them about the damage.
  • Report a complaint in the nearby police station.
  • Make a record of the details about another car’s driver such as contact number, car number, name and valid id proof. Also, look for the eye witness available at the time of an accident like shopkeepers having their shop near the accident location.
  • Now file a claim online or manually to your insurance company. Ask them to provide an inspector to evaluate the losses and further action will be taken by the insurance company.

At the time of filing the claim form, the insurance company will ask you for some documents. If you are unable to provide those documents, they will reject your claim. Here are the documents that you have to submit at the time of policy claim:

  • Documents of your insurance policy
  • Xerox of FIR that you have filed in the police station
  • Properly filled claim form with your signature mentioned on it.
  • Registration certificate (RC) of your vehicle
  • Xerox of driving license (DL)
  • A detailed estimation of the repairing cost
  • Images of the damaged caused
  • In case of any injuries caused to a passenger, Medical reports are required

If you provide all these documents, then it will take a week to get a successful claim. The time taken to complete the settlement process will completely depend on the authorities. Whether they are doing the process smoothly or not. Further, they will also set up an investigation for this to check the genuinity of the case. If they find anything suspicious then they also have the right to reject your claim.

How much estimated time it will take to settle a car insurance claim?

Car Insurance Claim

If your car gets damaged and you want to claim the insurance then it can be a terrifying task. It will take a long time and also hamper your work. If you drive your car to go everywhere, then you have to delay your plans until you get your car back from the repair centre. These days having a working car is a necessity for all of us not just for work but also for maintaining status in society. So, it is important to repair your car as soon as possible. If you are already a car insurance holder then it is high time to think about your car insurance claim. If you are thinking that the time taken by your insurance provider to claim the settlement is too long then you can go for a change and get the best available in the market.

Process of approving a claim settlement:

In the insurance claim process, it will take a long time because the claiming process is not in the hand of any single person. It involves certain criteria and procedures that a team has to follow and it makes the process more time-consuming. It needs lots of investigation and approval of a senior person to approve the claim. If a single person is not willing to approve the claim then it will hamper the whole process and your claim settlement gets delayed. After all of this, if the authorities find anything suspicious or misleading about your claim then also, they can reject the claim at the last point.

Want to choose for the Right time to make a claim: If you are worrying whether you can make the claim or not for a minor accident. Then just think about the repairing expenses, whether you can afford it or not. If someone gets injured in that accident or too much damage caused to the vehicle then you can surely take a claim. However, if there is only minor damage or scratches caused to the car then you can pay and repair it by own. As frequent claims will affect your goodwill and some companies will also increase the premium rates on frequent claiming.

Here we are providing some pointers that will surely help you to make a successful claim:

Collect your evidence: On the first go if you meet with an accident anytime and you know that it is not your mistake then make sure to take multiple pictures of the accident location, the damage caused to your car, the condition of the other driver, check whether anyone is injured or not. Pictures play a vital role in applying for claim as without pictures insurance providers are also unable to process your claim further.

Check for the time limit: Different insurance companies have different deadlines to report the claim after the accident happens. If you will not report that within the time period that you will not be able to make the claim.

File a FIR in the nearby Police station: If it is not your mistake then file a report in the nearby police station. If you don’t take this step and the other driver is responsible for the accident then he will try hard to put the blame on you and you can do nothing at that time.    

Don’t be over-smart and admit your guilt: Whether the accident is caused by your mistake or not, don’t ever try to admit your guilt. At the time of the accident if you are covered with insurance then your insurance company is your lawyer. Let the insurance company and the police take the charge and decide who is guilty. Admitting mistakes at that sort of time will put you in major problems.

Factors that delay the claim settlement process: 

Everything takes time, but for every work there is a predefined time especially when it comes to any monetary losses. Same goes with the insurance claim settlement process, if your insurance provider is taking more time than usual, then there is surely something doubtful about it. This is not a perfect world that everything here will go effortlessly. Below are some major factors that can be a barrier to your claim settlement process

Lack of communication: At the time if the claim settlement insurance company will make an investigation or call you to confirm the exactness of the incident. If you are unable to take the call on the first go or delay in replying then the whole procedure will be postponed. They have other clients and other settlements to do, so it will not be possible for them to call you again and again. It will be helpful if you try to take the call on the first go and provide the complete, relevant and correct information for smooth processing of the claim.

Wrong information was given to the insurance provider: At the time of purchasing the car insurance policy, you have to provide the correct information to the company. If you have provided the wrong information then at the time of claiming if they will find anything mismatch then they will not approve your claim.

Misinterpretations about coverage: If you are thinking that the insurance provider is providing the OEM coverage and you apply for that. But after applying for the claim you get to know that OEM coverage is not included in your policy then your claiming process will be delayed.

Dissatisfied with the provided repairing service: If the repairing service is done in a rush as you want your car back urgently. The paint job done on your car is not looking good or the car is still creating a problem while driving, then the best you can do is to report the problem immediately to the service provider. By this you can get it correct whenever your car is free to repair or the insurance provider will provide a discount for this.

Shortage of cash: At the time of claiming you have to pay the deductibles from your pocket. So, if you have a shortage of cash and don’t have money to pay a deductible then hold off the process of repairing until you don’t have enough cash to pay off the deductibles.

Apart from these there are many problems that you can face while claiming the process. If anything serious problems arise then contact your insurance agent and talk with them about it. They can’t help you directly but surely will provide you some suggestions to solve your problem. The insurance agent can call to claim representative or manager of the repair centre on your behalf, that will also guide you with alternative solutions to get rid of the problem as soon as possible.