When it comes to making a car insurance claim, the inspection phase is a very important step in the whole process. This is the time when the insurance company sends someone to inspect your car for the damages, and then make a report about it, based on which you will get your claim cleared. Now, this process can be a little tough for some people as they do not really know what happens in the whole process.
Here, we take you through some points that will help you better understand the whole process. Before that, here are the two things that you need to keep in mind before the inspection.
- You must know where the inspection will be carried out. There are three scenarios that can play out in this case. First, the insurance company may very well send out someone to inspect your car at the scene of the accident itself. The other option is that the car insurance company will ask you to tow your car to a garage authorized under them. Lastly, some insurers will accept the inspection report of the garage chosen by you as well. Therefore, it is important to understand the step you need to follow at such a juncture, beforehand.
- You must read the policy thoroughly to make sure that you do not miss out on any of the points. You should be aware of the procedure to be followed and the exclusions listed in the claim. This will help you make a successful claim, more often than not.
How to be Prepared for a Car Inspection?
- Make sure you are ready with important documents such as a copy of your policy, identification proof, car registration papers, driver's license, claim form, and any other paperwork that the inspector may want to see.
- Make sure you have ample photographs of the damage, scene of the accident, any injuries you may have incurred and so on. These documents count as evidence and can help your claim get approved.
- Get a rough estimate about the cost of repairs from a trusted garage. In case your car insurance provider has a network of garages, you should visit one of them so that the company can verify the estimates at their end easily.
What Happens at a Car Insurance Claim Inspection?
No matter which car insurance company you have availed the car insurance from, the objective behind the inspection is the same – to assess the damages done to the car and evaluate the cost. Here, we have listed the four major steps that are involved in the inspection process.
- Detection of fraud
The very first step taken by the inspector is to detect whether you are making a fraudulent claim. It is done because there have been many cases in the past where the claimant has added previous damages in the claim to get them repaired as well. So, if the inspector identifies any such discrepancies, then it will lead to the rejection of the claim.
This is the exact reason why you should always tell the truth to the inspector. There is no point in losing out on the whole claim, just because you wanted to save a couple of hundred bucks while repairing an older dent. Be honest about what happened in the incident so that the inspector can make an accurate assessment.
- Evaluation of the damage and the repair cost
The next step is the evaluation of the damage and the estimation of the cost of the repair work. This report acts as the foundation on which the whole claim will be settled. Here, the inspector can identify the estimate all by himself/herself or come up with a figure with the help of the workers at a garage.
Now, here is where you have to be a little careful. We all know how the prices of repairs can vary from garage to garage as there is no fixed rate card. Therefore, if you feel that the estimate given by the inspector or the garage is not accurate, feel free to get a quote from a garage of your own choice.
Once the report of the estimation is finalised, you and the insurance company will move forward with that till the settlement is done.
- Collection of evidence
Now comes the time when the inspector collects all the evidence related to the incident. For this, he/she clicks photographs and makes explanatory notes under each of the mentioned damages. It is these notes and photographs that later act as evidence for you to complete the whole claim process successfully.
- Report of the cover the insurer will provide
The final step of the inspection phase is when the insurance company provides you the report of the claim. In here, everything will be mentioned, including the cause of the accident. If the damages are caused by a natural calamity, it will be mentioned specifically and the claim amount too can differ in such a case.
The points mentioned here are the things that usually happen during the inspection of your car after making a claim. One thing to note here is that you should be ready to negotiate with the inspector to tip the balance in your favour. This way, you can get the settlement that you think you deserve.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should ask the insurance company if they are ready to do a video call to inspect the vehicle. This is not just a much faster way to get the inspection done but a much safer option as well, especially with the pandemic going on. This will help you possibly avoid exposure to the virus and keep you safe. Just like in the case with Ankita, where she requested for the video inspection and her insurer agreed to do so. Hence, just from the comfort of her home, the inspection of her car took place on a video call. And, the insurance company inspector saw the damages of the car and noted down the same. Since Ankita was very transparent with her insurance company and raised a genuine claim request, her claim was accepted and settled by her insurance company.
In conclusion, keep in mind that the whole inspection phase is arguably the most crucial part of the whole car insurance claim process. If you can get this part right, you should be able to get the insurance cover for all of your expenses. Finally, to fast-track the process, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary documents ready with you.