How to Claim Car Insurance for Own Damage?

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Whether you are an experienced driver or a beginner, having a valid car insurance policy is mandatory in India. To get the benefits of your motor insurance plan, you must know the process to claim for own damages incurred while driving on the roads. Let's understand the procedure to file car insurance claims for a damaged car.

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          What Is an Own-Damage Car Insurance Claim?

          Under your standalone damage cover or comprehensive car insurance plan, you can claim for the damage caused to the insured car during an accident.

          However, you must have to inform the insurer and submit the necessary documents to proceed with the own-damage car insurance claim process.

          • The insurer then sends a surveyor to the accident site to analyze damages.
          • After the surveyor submits the report for approval, you can claim for the damage/loss costs.
          • Here you also have an option to choose between 'cashless claim settlement' and 'reimbursement claim settlement'.

          Before we provide details of these terms, let us understand the difference between these two claim settlement processes.

          Types of Claim Settlements

          Under a comprehensive car insurance plan, there are two types of claim settlement processes-

          1. Cashless Claim Settlement

            Under this process, you can get your car repaired at a network garage listed under your motor insurance provider. The entire process is cashless as the insurer directly settles the claim amount with the network garage where your insured car is sent for repair.

            As per the policy norms, the policyholder is only required to pay for the compulsory deductibles or voluntary deductibles (whichever was opted at the time of purchase of the insurance plan).

          2. Reimbursement Claim Settlement

            Under this process, you get your car repaired at a non-network garage and share the bill with the insurer to get reimbursement.

            In other words, you pay for the repair costs at the garage of your choice and later claim the repair cost reimbursement to the insurer.

            After evaluating the damage, the insurer promises to pay the reimbursements to your bank account after adjusting the applicable deductibles.

          How to Claim Car Insurance for Own-Damage?

          To raise the own-damage car insurance claims under your comprehensive car insurance or standalone damage cover, follow these basic steps-

          1. Inform Your Insurer

            You must inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as it occurs. The sooner you inform, the quicker the claim settlement process gets. You must note that you can only claim the policy within the specified number of days from the date of the accident.

            Any claim after that period is not considered eligible. You must either confirm it with your insurer or read policy documents to know the details.

          2. File an FIR

            File the First Information Report (FIR) at your nearest police station as soon as possible. The accident report is crucial to claim a car insurance policy. If you can, file an FIR on the day of the accident or else as soon as possible.

          3. Evaluation of Damages

            Once you've filed an FIR and informed your insurer, the damage or loss evaluation is carried out by the surveyor sent by the insurance company.

            As per the final report of the surveyor, your insurance company will settle claims for the damages under the cashless settlement claim or reimbursement settlement claim, whichever you choose. Also, it is advisable to never tow the car yourself to avoid further consequential damage.

          4. Claim Settlement

            Upon submission of the final report by the surveyor, the repair costs are settled with the network garage in case of a cashless claim settlement process. However, claims are settled after you submit repair amount receipts to your insurer in case you have opted for the reimbursement settlement claim process.

            You must note that while your insurance company pays a vital amount for repairing the car, you will have to cover some part of the total costs incurred which are known as compulsory deductibles.

          Things to Remember While Raising Own-damage Car Insurance Claims

          You are eligible for raising own-damage claims only if you have a standalone own damage cover or comprehensive car insurance plan. Here are a few pointers that you should keep in mind while raising own-damage claims-

          1. File a claim within the stipulated time given by your insurer. In case of any delay, the claim might be denied.
          2. Do not forget to note down the registration number of the third-party vehicle involved in the accident.
          3. For faster approval of claim requests, take photographs or record a video of the place of the event from your smartphone.
          4. Take the name and contact of the eyewitnesses present at the time of the accident. This might help you further at the time of policy inquiry.
          5. If you find that damages are minor dents and scratches which you can pay from your own pocket, it is advised not to raise the claim. As this might affect your accumulated bonus (known as NCB).
          6. Do not move the vehicle from the accident spot without the permission of the police and the insurer.
          7. Do submit all the necessary documents for the successful completion of the claim process.

          In a Nutshell

          You can choose the own-damage claim settlement process from the two available methods provided by your insurer. Both the settlements come with alluring benefits and you can use them when the need arises. Moreover, follow the above-mentioned points to get paid for the damages caused to your vehicle.

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