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How Does Car Insurance Help During Natural Disasters?

By Juhi Walia
13 October 2022, 3:35 PM

In case of natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, storms, or cyclones, your four-wheeler will be covered under a car insurance policy. You should make sure that your vehicle is covered under comprehensive car insurance. A third-party car insurance doesn't cover natural disaster-related vehicle damage.

These can be understood as comprehensive car insurance policies, which cover the latter's liability towards third parties, as well as damage to the vehicle caused by a natural disaster, an accident, an unnatural disaster, fire, or theft. On the other hand, the third-party car insurance policy only covers the car owner's liability to third parties. 

Comprehensive insurance policies in India cover both natural and artificial disasters. Moreover, your car insurance policy covers damages without charging you an additional fee. 

However, there is no coverage for the damage caused due to natural disasters under a third-party car insurance policy. Apart from a comprehensive policy, a standalone own damage plan also covers natural disaster-related damages to your car. But due to the lack of mandatory third-party cover in this policy, a comprehensive policy should win more customers seeking protection against damages due to natural calamities.

Coverage for Comprehensive Car Insurance

You can learn more about comprehensive car insurance by reading the following points.

  • It offers a broader range of coverage than the basic policy.
  • The price of this policy can vary between insurers, which is not the case with third-party plans.
  • In addition to this policy, you can purchase extra coverage or add-ons.
  • You can buy this cover online within 5 minutes.
  • It covers theft, fire, natural calamity, and artificial calamity-related car damages.

Calamities and Disasters: What Should You Do?

Following the question 'does car insurance cover natural disasters?' ticked in the answer, what should you do when your car is damaged by cyclones or flash floods? Before considering the vehicle, you should consider your and your loved ones' safety. There is no denying the importance of a car, and a comprehensive plan will cover the costs of repairs.

You should photograph your car from all angles once you are safe and the calamity has passed. Make a video highlighting the damaged areas. The car's journey should be outlined in a flow chart with dates and times. You can use all of this information when filing a claim and being questioned by the insurance company's representative. The car should not be tampered with. Don't repair the damage without consulting your insurance company first.

What are the Coverage Options for Natural Disasters in Renter's Insurance?

Renting cars has been a common practice in India for many years. Recent years have only seen organised visibility and growth for this industry. Online car rentals are now available. A mobile application and a website are available for it. For a car to be driven on Indian roads, it must be insured. Therefore, rental vehicles are certified as well.

The organisation from whom you are renting a car will be able to provide you with more information about rental insurance and whether or not natural disasters are covered. The answer will vary depending on the terms and conditions of their car insurance policy.

What are the Steps to Making a Natural Disaster Insurance Claim?

Under your comprehensive car insurance policy, you can file a claim if a natural disaster has damaged your car. Getting your car insurance company to pay your claim is as easy as following these steps:

  • Firstly, take photographs and videos of the damaged vehicle from all angles and publish news articles related to the natural disaster.
  • Keep your car at the spot of the natural disaster and write down the date and time when it occurred.
  • Inform your insurer about the damage sustained by your vehicle as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Insured vehicles are inspected and evaluated by surveyors designated by insurers. Following the surveyor's inspection of the matter, the insurer will approve your claim after receiving the survey report.
  • Your insurer will assist you if your car needs to be towed to a garage for repairs.
  • Your insurer will require all the necessary documentation for the claim process.
  • You pick up your car from the garage once it has been repaired.
  • Your insurer will pay the repair bill directly if you use a cashless claim settlement garage.
  • Your car insurer will verify the documents after you submit the statement and the payment receipts to settle a reimbursement claim. Once the documents are verified, your insurer can pay your claim.

Required Documents

Usually, a digital-first insurer won't ask you for hard copies of your documents if you purchase your policy online. Getting all the necessary information through your account with them or through your policy details will be possible. You will probably have to fill out and submit a form online if one is involved.

You will likely need to fill out claim applications and attach supporting documents, such as a cancelled cheque if you purchase the car insurance policy from an insurance agent or a branch office of the car insurance company. Depending on the damage extent and the insurance company's claim process, the exact list of documents may vary.

Wrapping Up

Coverage against natural calamities is included in all comprehensive car insurance plans. The best car insurance companies in India offer relevant add-on covers you can purchase to extend the coverage of your 4-wheeler insurance policy. Be sure to follow the guidelines above to get your car insurance claim approved by your motor insurer.

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1. Does car insurance cover natural disasters?

The good news is that it does. Natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, earthquakes, storms, etc., should be covered under your 4-wheeler insurance policy. If you own a car, you should ensure that it is fully insured.

2. Can you claim insurance for floods?

Natural disasters, such as floods, are not covered by comprehensive car insurance alone. However, you can file a claim if you have special perils coverage.

3. Can you claim car insurance for flood damage under a third-party policy?

No, a third-party policy does not cover the damage sustained by your car due to floods.

4. Does a standalone own damage insurance cover damages due to natural disasters?

Yes, a standalone own damage car insurance policy cover damages caused due to natural disasters. 

5. What to do when your car sustains damages due to natural calamities?

Firstly, inform your car insurer and do it immediately after the incident. A surveyor will come, inspect, make a report and submit the same to the insurance company. Based on the report findings, the company approves or rejects your car insurance claim.

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