Whether it is Third Party Liability or Comprehensive, valid car insurance helps you stay financially safe in case of emergencies like a road accident or theft. But in order to avail the benefits of your insurance provider, it is important to know the steps involved in making a claim.
Of course, the first step is to inform the insurance company as soon as the incident happens.
But what next?
Read on to know the different modes of claim settlement and the common reasons why your claim may be rejected -
Modes of Claim Settlement
- Cashless claim settlement: Just like the name suggests, under cashless claim settlement you do not have to pay for the repairing cost from your own pocket. You can visit the nearest network car garage authorized by your insurer and fix your car. Your insurance provider will take care of the expenses incurred on your behalf. However, it is important to note that there are some compulsory deductions that you will have to incur if you have not opted for add-on covers.
- Reimbursement claim settlement: Reimbursement claim is a more traditional way of claim settlement. Unlike the cashless claim, you will need to pay for the repairing cost of the damage incurred. Once you have received all the bills, you can file a car insurance claim. Depending on the terms and conditions of car insurance, reimbursement will be processed. You have the flexibility to choose the garage as per your preference. Although it may be a good idea to get your car repaired at a network car garage authorized by your insurance provider. This will ensure the bills and repair receipts submitted are authentic.
Steps to Apply For Car Insurance Claim
1. Inform Your Insurance Provider
If you have been in an accident, inform your car insurance provider as soon as you are feeling better. Ideally, you must let your insurer know within 24 hours. This will help you get the process started early on. All insurance providers have a dedicated number that you can call in order to file for a claim. You will receive a unique Claim Reference Number (CRN) that will help you track the claims’ process.
2. File An FIR
Although it may seem very obvious, make sure you file an FIR (First Information Report) while the details of the incident are still fresh. Once you have lodged the FIR, ask for a copy. Remember, your claim process will not be initiated without an FIR copy.
3. Get A Damage Estimate
Once you have let all the official parties i.e the police and your insurer know, head to the garage. Find the closest network garage and have a professional inspect the damages. Don’t tow the car yourself. This is to avoid any further damage to your car. Most car insurance providers appoint a surveyor within 2 days of intimation to estimate the claim amount.
4. Final Claim Amount Settlement
Following the inspection and approval from the insurer-appointed surveyor, you can do the repairing process for your car. You can review the terms and conditions, the timeline, and the estimated cost of repair. If you have an add-on cover, make sure it is taken into consideration at the time of cost estimation.
*PRO-TIP: Pay attention to the Compulsory Deductible amount since it will not be borne by the insurance provider.
Difference Between Cashless claims and Reimbursement Claims in Car Insurance
|Pointers||Cashless Claims||Reimbursement Claims|
|Repairing Cost||You do not have to pay the repairing costs upfront. *However, there may be some deductions||You need to pay the repairing costs which is later reimbursed by your insurance provider|
|Garage||You can only fix your car at an insurer-authorized network garage||You can only fix your car at any garage of your choice|
|Timeline||Almost instantly||7 - 15 working days|
Documents Required for Claim Settlement
- Self -attested Copy of your ID proof eg: Aadhar card, PAN card
- Claim form signed by you
- Copy of RC of the car along with its original keys
- Copy of your driving license
- Copy of the Original policy
- Copy of the Original FIR (in case of theft)
Common Reasons for Claim Rejection
1. Driving Without Valid Driver’s License: If you meet an accident while driving without a valid driver’s license, it will be considered your fault. In such a case, the insurance provider has the right to reject your claim.
2. Drink and Driving: According to the laws in India, drunk driving is illegal. If you meet with an accident while driving intoxicated, your insurance provider will not be liable to provide any compensation.
3. Missing an insurance renewal: Most insurance providers have a set term of one year for car insurance. If you fail to renew your car insurance, your car will be considered uninsured. Any claims filled while the car is uninsured will automatically be rejected.
*PRO-TIP: In India, it is mandatory to at least have valid Third Party car insurance while driving. Failing to renew your car insurance may lead to criminal charges too.
4. Uncovered Losses: It is important to understand that your car insurance policy does not cover intentional damage. This means if you damage your car on purpose, your claim will be rejected.
5. Negligence: Any negligence on your part like overspeeding or driving recklessly which may lead to undue damage to your car will not be considered during claim settlement.
Before buying car insurance, read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions. You can also use social media and customer testimonials to investigate the ease of claims settlement and quality of service provided by your insurance provider. Although claim rejections are rare in the case of reputed insurers, it is always good to know all the scenarios before making a buying decision.