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In India, a car insurance policy is compulsory. These days almost everyone buys a car insurance policy by choice than by compulsion. After all, an adequate car insurance policy offers protection in an emergency situation like an unforeseen accident or any damage or loss caused to a motor vehicle while driving on the road. But what if your car is stolen? You would need to file a car insurance claim!
Car theft is a major problem that bothers almost every city in India. Delhi reports major incidents of car thefts. As per the Delhi police records, in the year of 2016, the numbers of car theft incidents reported were 36,702 that increased to 39,080 in the year 2017 and it has been rising constantly. And in Mumbai, there is an incident of 10 car thefts on a daily basis. And most of the cars that are stolen are not recovered, which causes a huge loss to the car owners.
How Much Will the Insurance Company Payout?
The insurance company will compensate an amount equal to your stolen car’s monetary value in case it is not recovered. Only those you have a comprehensive car insurance policy can get coverage under this situation. Without a comprehensive car insurance policy, your insurer will not pay anything.
So, if your car has been stolen, how will you file a claim? You would need to inform both the police and the insurance company. One of their representatives will take you through the process. In order to lodge a claim, the stolen cover needs to be insured under the comprehensive car insurance policy, that includes accidental cover, third party insurance, theft or fire cover and also risks arising due to natural disasters.
It Can also Get Canceled if the Claim is not Filed Timely. Here is an Instance:
After a few weeks, XYZ’s car theft claim was rejected. The reason for the cancellation was a late notification to the insurer and the police after his car was stolen. Moreover, there was a discrepancy in the supporting documents that were submitted by him. Lack of knowledge on his part led to the rejection of his claim by the insurance company. It left him in a sad state.
Moreover, it will be canceled if the surveyor finds out that you had left your car windows open, or it was not properly locked while parking the car.
Also, if you buy a used car and haven’t transferred it to your name in the insurance documents, the policy will be invalidated and any claim filed in this regard will be rejected.
So, here is a quick rundown of the car insurance claim procedure to help you get timely compensation in case your car gets stolen:
- File an FIR: You must lodge a Policy First Information Report (FIR) as soon as possible. It is one of the most crucial steps. As soon as you get to know about the theft, visit the nearest police station and lodge an FIR. Do not forget this step as it is a pre-requisite.
- Intimate Your Car Insurance Company: Once you have registered an FIR you need to inform your car insurance company about the theft. Every motor insurance company follows its own process and has its own set of formalities for theft claims. Make sure that this is also down within the stipulated time frame.
- Inform the Transport Office: As per the law, you also need to notify the nearest (Regional Transport Office/RTO about the theft. Afterward, you need to transfer documents and other papers from them. Remember, get this done
- Car Theft Claim Form: You also need to call at the insurer’s customer service center and submit the claim form. The information that is required includes car details, policy number, as well as the time, date, and description of the incident
- Submit the Documents: Submit a copy of your car’s Registration Certificate, duly signed claim form, first two paged of the policy documents, driving license, the Police FIR and a theft intimation letter addressed to the Regional Transport Office.
- Approval: You need to transfer your stolen Car’s RC in the favor of the car insurance company once the police submit a final ‘no traceable report’ and your claim is approved. You also need to hand over all the duplicate/original car keys and also give a letter of subrogation to the insurer.
- Reimbursement/Compensation: You also need to submit the original invoice of the repair work and the payment receipts to the car insurance company. Reimbursement will be provided as per the amount that the surveyor approves in the report and the amount will be paid within 7 working days.
Claim document may vary from insurer to another and for each claim. Broadly speaking, for car theft you would need:
- Xerox of driving license
- Car insurance policy documents
- Xerox of RC book
- Original Police FIR copy
- Duly filled car theft claim form
- RTO papers/forms like form 28, 29, 30 & 35
Moreover, you should have the original car keys with you.
Things to Remember
Apply for No-Trace Report: No-trace report/untraced car report is given to you by the police, stating that your insured car is untraceable. This report might take a month to be issued. It is a vital document and the chances are high that your claim request would be rejected if this report is found to be missing.
You would need to immediately obtain a duplicate RC book from the road tax officer’s office.
If your car was purchased on loan then the insurance company will compensate the payout amount to the financer, and you will need to pay the excess amount.
In a Nutshell
So, if your car gets stolen, the policyholder needs to immediately file an FIR with the police, and also need to notify the car insurance provider. All this needs to be done without any delay. Hope the above-mentioned tips would have enhanced your knowledge regarding car-theft claims.
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