Car Insurance Surveyor – All You Need to Know

Whenever your four-wheeler meets with an accident, you instantly have to inform your car insurance provider regarding the accident and then have to submit all the required documents. After this, your car insurance company sends the surveyor who provides a report of your damaged car to the insurer on the claim settlement amount to be given to you.

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Who is a Car Insurance Surveyor? 

A car insurance surveyor is a person whom you do not want to meet, however, there can be times when you have to meet him/her. In other words, you have to meet with a car insurance surveyor when your car meets with an accident (which you never want for obvious reasons). He is the person who estimates the damages in your car so that your car insurance provider can decide whether to honor your insurance claim or not.

Therefore, whenever your car encounters any damage and you want to raise a claim against it, there is a specific process that you have to follow. So, in an accident, if your car gets damaged, you must inform your insurance provider and submit all the required documents. The insurance company will then send its surveyor.

When Does the Insurance Company Deploy Surveyor?

As per law, a general insurance surveyor is deployed by the insurance company, if the payable claim amount is less than Rs. 20,000. However, if the payable claim amount is more than Rs. 50,000, a licensed surveyor is deployed. Despite the claim amount, every policyholder has the access and right to ask questions to the surveyor for transparent claim settlement.

What is the Process to Communicate with a Surveyor of Car Insurance? 

While you do not want to meet the car insurance surveyor as you only meet him/her in case of some unfortunate event. However, if you have to meet him/her, you should follow the below steps in favor of your case. If you follow these steps, you will be able to communicate your issue in front of a surveyor well and the chances of claim settlement may increase.

  • Try to Leave the Site of the Accident Untouched: In case of an accident, you must leave the site of the accident untouched. It is always best to get repair work of car only after the surveyor completes his/her investigation related to the incident. If you use the damaged car, the insurance company may reject the claim. You must not tow your vehicle in case of an accident.
  • Provide a Complete Claim Report: Your claim reports have to be thorough and they should have proper justification. In case your car gets damaged, you must describe this damage properly. If you leave or forget to mention some dents in your car, and then submit them with some other or a separate claim, the car insurer may reject it. In case of an accident submit a copy of the FIR especially when a third party is injured, photos of your injury, the incident, and statements from eyewitnesses can be helpful in such a case.
  • Save the Records of Dealing and Communication: You must keep a copy of all the records of communication and dealings that you have done with your insurance claim surveyor and insurance agent. For example, you should keep all the emails and text messages with you.
  • You Must Have a Fair Understanding of Old and New Damages of Your Car: At the time of making claim report, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on the latest damages and old damages of your car. It is your responsibility to prove the latest damages to your vehicle. If you do not report new damages at the right time, then the car insurance company may say it is old damage and can reject your claim.

These are the steps that you must follow while putting forward your points in front of an insurance surveyor. However, you must also know the responsibilities of a surveyor, which are:

Responsibilities and Role of Surveyor in Insurance Claim 

Below are the roles and responsibilities of a surveyor, which as a car insurance owner, you must know:

  • Assess and Investigate: The main responsibility of a car insurance surveyor is to investigate and assess the damages and quantify the losses that have been incurred to the car. These losses can also have been sustained by a third party apart from the policyholder. Upon completion, the insurance surveyor submits all the reports to the insurance company.
  • Confidentiality and Neutrality: The surveyor should remain neutral in all the cases that he/she handles. The surveyor must secure the interest of both the parties that are involved in the accident. He/she should not endanger the responsibilities of the insurer or the interest of the policyholder. The surveyor should also not share any personal details of the insurance company with anyone who is not involved in the car insurance claim process.
  • Conflict of Interest: If the surveyor of the insurance company is anywhere related to the policyholder or the incidence, he/she must inform the insurer before the assessment. Any personal relationship of the surveyor with the insured can hamper his/her neutrality and his/her report can be rejected based on conflict of interest.
  • Thoroughness: The surveyor must do his/her job of the survey with thoroughness. He/she should conduct the spot survey personally. After considering the causes of the incidence carefully and evaluating the circumstances at which the incidence happened, the surveyor can comment upon the category of insurance. The surveyor must not miss out on any details due to which the incident happened or the report of the claim that he/she has submitted.
  • Further Damage Prevention Guide: The surveyor should also share the applicable advice to prevent further losses and he/she must share the security and safety procedures.
  • Offer Instant Financial Relief to the Policyholder: The insurance surveyor can recommend on account payment of up to 75% of the liability that is visible. This is to provide instant financial relief to the policyholder.
  • Figure Out Discrepancy: The surveyor should point out all the ambiguities and discrepancies against the policy that he/she has come across.
  • Maintain Timelines: The surveyor has to be appointed within 72 hours from the claim initiation as per the guidelines of IRDAI. He must submit his/her survey reports to the insurance company and its copy to the policyholder, within 30 days of his/her survey appointment. A surveyor can easily extend this process for up to six months, provided that the surveyor has informed the insurance company about the same.
  • Recommend the Depreciation: The depreciation occurs in the car with its age and time.  The surveyor has to determine the approximate percentage of the depreciation and suggest it in the report. They can as well comment on the salvage or disposal as applicable.

Summing It Up!

When your car encounters any damage because of some calamity or an accident, the insurance policy protects you against various types of financial losses. Therefore, to get the actual claim amount, you must keep all the above points in mind.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 19 July 2021
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