All You Need to Know About Car Insurance Reimbursement Claims
The insurance industry has brought about a rather seamless process for claim settlement. Therefore, the responsibility lies in your hands to take advantage of this and make timely claims to ensure that there are no lapses in settlements.
It is prudent to claim it at the earliest to avoid any questions being raised on the legitimacy of the insured’s claims. It is important to choose an insurance policy that will cater to your need for a preferred settlement mode.
What is the difference between cashless and reimbursement claims?
|Basis||Cashless claim||Reimbursement claim|
|Meaning||A cashless claim settlement facility is where the insurance company directly settles the expenses incurred or the bills with the network garage in case of car insurance and medical bills with the hospital in case of health/Mediclaim insurance.||A reimbursement claim is where the policyholder has to pay the bills first and will be reimbursed thereafter.|
|Payment||No payments need to be made by the policyholder upfront. The insurance provider will settle the claims.||Payment has to be made by the insured and reimbursement will be received only if all the documents are duly submitted.|
|Time taken||The claim is settled instantaneously.||The claim settlement takes time.|
|Drawbacks||Might not be completely cashless as certain deductibles and default depreciation have to be covered by the policyholder.||The treatment or repairs needn’t be done in the network hospital or the network garage.|
|Example||Anjali's car got collapsed with another car, she informed her insurance company and raised a claim. On reaching the network garage, her damaged car got repaired and she did not pay anything. Yes, her car insurance policy comes with a cashless facility hence Anjali had no hassle during the claim settlement process.||Ankur on the other hand had also raised a claim for his damaged car. After his car reached a local garage, he paid the repairing expenses from his own pocket. Later on, Ankur submitted all the repairing bills to his insurance company to get the claim settlement.|
5 things to keep in mind while making a reimbursement claim:
1. Understand the policy correctly
Understanding the terms and conditions of the policy is of utmost importance before making the claim in order to know if the claim is covered in the first place. The policy will also serve as a guide to the procedure of making the claim, the timeline involved, and the persons that must be approached. Go through the fine print and do not omit any information believing that it is insignificant or inapplicable.
2. You will have to take the initiative
The reimbursement of one’s expenses is entirely dependent on the initiative of the policyholder as unlike a cashless claim policy, the insurer will not take the initiative to deal with the payment of bills firsthand. One must diligently follow up and ensure that the claims come through.
3. Be ready with all the necessary documents
The chances of dealing with a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) is high and one must be well prepared with all the documents in place. Follow the instructions provided by the car insurance company in the policy document. Also, keep enough additional copies of the document for reference purposes and submissions in case of need.
4. There will be intense scrutiny of your claim
A two-fold check will be conducted by the insurance company or the TPA to ensure that the claim made is firstly authenticated and secondly that the amount claimed is correct and not exaggerated.
5. It can be a long and tedious job
The reimbursement claim process is slightly longer than a cashless claim process as there are rounds of verification that have to be completed by the insurer. A well-documented, precise claim statement will make the process smoother and reduce the time taken. A little additional effort, in the beginning, can go a long way in saving the time and effort of both the policyholder and insurer.
How to file a reimbursement claim?
- The reimbursement claim process in car insurance is as follows –
- Inform the insurer about the Claim Intimation Number at the earliest. The CIN can be found out by calling the toll-free number of the insurance company.
- Submit a claim form along with requested "proof of loss" documents in the correct format to the insurance company.
- A surveyor will be appointed to inspect the car and assess the damage caused.
- Payment will be made by the insured directly to the workshop/garage.
- All bills, receipts, and documents (in original) have to be submitted to the insurance company.
- The insurer will reimburse the amount spent to the insured, if the claim is accepted, within a stipulated period.
What are the documents required for making the claim?
- Original insurance policy document.
- Tax payment receipt.
- Duly filled and signed claim form.
- Copy the vehicle’s registration certificate (RC).
- License copy of the driver driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.
- An estimate of the vehicle repair cost.
- Repair bills and payment receipts (original).
- Vehicle inspection address details.
After the submission of these aforementioned documents, the insurer will take around 14–28 days to settle the claims. However, this may vary from insurer to insurer and the company’s terms and conditions.
Comprehensive car insurance offers some respite in the event of damages to one’s vehicle. All that paperwork, legal jargon, and minuscule fine print of your car insurance might make this process all the more unnerving.
It is imperative that one exercises all due diligence learns of the terms and conditions of the policy and makes the claim well within time, following the requisite procedure, in order to derive the maximum benefit out of it.