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Accidents happen! You need not to poach you heart over the one you just had. So cool off your head, pull yourself together and start on your way to get the claim amount to suffice your loss.
Do this First
The first thing to do, when you get involved in an accident, is report to the police. Take photographs of the accident spot, get phone numbers of the eye-witnesses, and more importantly the details of the other driver involved especially when he's at fault.
If you injured yourself or injured the other party or got injured by the other party, visit a nearby hospital and get yourself and the other party the proper treatment. And one thing that you need to do all along is to keep a track of all the post accident expenses that you had to incur.
To Claim or Not to
The second step is to ask yourself whether or not to make a claim. The question is whether your loss was big enough and is it worth to break your earnestly earned no claim bonus for it. If it's a minor accident, let it go, better pay it off out of your own pocket. The question becomes all the more important when you have opted for a big deductible, to be paid prior to getting the claim amount.
Suppose the deductible you have opted for in your policy is Rs 10,000. And the accident caused you a loss of Rs 12,000. Obviously, you should pay the expense, all by yourself because you will be paying a big chunk of the loss by yourself even if you make a claim.
Filing a Claim
If the loss is big enough and you decide to claim, then you should not wait anymore. Intimate your insurer about the incident as soon as you can. Never, ever miss out reporting a claim (to your insurer or party-at-fault insurer, as the case may be), not even if the party-at-fault assures you to pay for the loss out of his pocket.
- When you end up harming yourself - Once you notify your insurance company about the accident, a claim adjuster will be assigned for your case. The adjuster will examine the case by inspecting your car and visiting the accident spot. Eventually, he'll come out with the payable coverage amount on behalf of the insurer. The paid out amount will be based on the collision coverage.
- When you harm the other party – The process goes almost the same way as above with the exception that here you claim for the liability coverage rather than the collision coverage.
- When the other party harms you – You file a third party liability claim on the party-at-fault insurer. His insurance company will make a thorough investigation of the case to ascertain whether or not the insured (party-at-fault) caused a damage to you or your vehicle. Subsequently, you'll be offered a settlement amount.
- Don't think that filing a claim and getting a round off of the payable claim amount finishes your business. You need to follow up and get the latest status on the claim.
Don't Give Up
If all your attempts to get what is rightfully yours, fail, you can either invoke an appraisal clause or take the ombudsman services. Invoking an appraisal clause involves intervention of a third person, better known as an umpire, to come out with a verdict, agreeable to both the parties. The last resort is to approach Ombudsman, the authoritative body for addressing out the grievances related to motor insurance in India.
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