Things to Keep in Mind About a Car Insurance Claim Inspection

All cars are vulnerable to damages. No one can predict when, where and how your car can get damaged. This is why it is important to have a car insurance policy that provides financial assistance to cover the cost of repairing your car. In case your car accidentally hits another person or damages their car or property, your third party car insurance provider pays the applicable compensation on your behalf. So, basically, car insurance takes care of the unforeseen expenses that may lead to the loss or damages of your car.

Car Insurance Claim

The whole purpose of buying a car insurance policy is to stay protected from any financial losses arising out of your car. But to get your car damages covered by your insurance company, you need to raise an insurance claim with your motor insurance provider. For the unversed, a car insurance claim refers to the process of intimating your motor insurance company about the loss or damages sustained by your car and requesting them to pay for the monetary losses. In case you have caused injuries to third parties or their car/ property, you will have to raise an insurance claim to get financial aid from your car insurer and pay compensation to the victim.

Every car owner needs to raise a car insurance claim within a stipulated time frame to get their car losses covered by their motor insurer. Unless the car owner raises an insurance claim, he/ she cannot get monetary aid from the insurance company to pay for the losses resulting out of his/ her car.

However, a motor insurance company does not pay money to the car owner as soon as a claim is raised. The authenticity of the claim is verified by the insurance company before the claim amount is paid. To do so, the insurance company conducts a motor claim inspection.

Car Insurance Claim Inspection

A car insurance claim inspection refers to the process of checking the authenticity and extent of damages caused to a car for which the claim has been raised. It verifies whether the policyholder’s car has been damaged in real and the damages have been caused due to the unforeseen event stated by the car owner. For example, if the car owner claims that the headlight and bumper of his/ her car have been damaged in an accident, the inspection ensures that the said damages have indeed resulted out of the accident as explained by the car owner. It also verifies that the claimed car damages are not excluded under the car insurance policy.

A car inspection is an important part of a motor insurance claim process. However, the inspection is not directly carried out by the insurance company. Instead, it is conducted by a representative of the motor insurance provider. The representative of the insurance company, who conducts the inspection, is known as a surveyor.

Things to Keep in Mind About a Car Insurance Claim Inspection

A car inspection is the first step of a claim settlement process. The inspection report determines whether an insurance company will approve a claim or reject it. Take a look at the aspects of car insurance claim inspection that you must know:

I: Prior to Raising an Insurance Claim

1. Comprehensive/ Third Party Car Insurance

The type of car insurance policy you have matters when it comes to raising an insurance claim. Whether you have comprehensive or third party car insurance, it impacts your ability to raise an insurance claim as they provide a varying level of coverage. While a third party car insurance only covers the third party liabilities arising out of your car, a comprehensive insurance policy covers you against any financial loss arising out of the damages caused to your car. It not only covers the own damages of your car due to accidents, manmade hazards, fire, etc. but also pays compensation to the owner-driver in case of accidental death and disability.

Thus, if you want to raise a claim with your insurance company for the damages of your car as well as for the injuries/ damages caused to the third parties, you need to have a comprehensive car insurance policy. In case you want to raise a claim for only third party liabilities, you can work with third party car insurance.

2. Motor Laws & Policy Exclusions

Another thing to keep in mind to raise a car insurance claim successfully is to follow all the motor laws of the country and take care of your policy exclusions. As per India’s motor laws, it is imperative for every car driver to hold a valid driving license. Besides, the person driving a car should not be intoxicated with alcohol, drugs or any other banned substance. If you are found driving without a valid license or in an intoxicated state, your car insurance claim will be rejected.

Besides adhering to the motor laws, you must also take care of other policy exclusions. For instance, most car insurers do not cover normal wear & tear of the car, non-accidental damages to the car’s tyres, mechanical or electrical breakdown of the car, etc. If the car damages that you want to claim are excluded under your motor insurance policy, your claim will be rejected. Therefore, you must go through your car insurance policy document carefully to understand its terms and conditions.

II: At the Time of the Accident

1. Assess the Damages to Your Car

As soon as your car meets with an accident, check the well-being of people involved in the event, including yourself. Check if the person whom you have accidentally hit from your car as well as the ones seated in your car is safe. Call for medical assistance in case anyone has been hurt in the accident.

Once you have ensured that everyone involved in the accident is safe and unhurt, check the damages sustained by your car. As a rule of thumb, you must click pictures or take videos of the damages caused to your car as evidence. You may be required to present these pictures/ videos to your insurer or surveyor to facilitate your claim approval. Make sure to click pictures of the damages from every angle to get a clearer view.

2. Intimate Your Motor Insurance Provider

After you have taken pictures of your car damages, you must inform your motor insurance company about the mishap involving your car. You must intimate them about the accident/ event as soon as possible as most insurers have a stipulated time frame for the same. To raise a claim, you can call on the toll-free number given at the website of your car insurer or on your policy document.

The customer executive assisting you with the claim intimation may ask you about the working condition of your car. In case your car is in working condition, you will be asked to take your car to a network/ non-network garage. In case your car is not working, you will have to get your car towed to the network/ non-network garage of your choice.

III: Post Occurrence of the Accident

1. Claim Inspection

Once you raise an insurance claim with your motor insurance company, the insurer will initiate the verification process of the claim. To verify your claim and assess the damages sustained by your car, the insurer will appoint a surveyor to visit your damaged vehicle. The surveyor will inspect your car at the garage where it has been sent for repair. In case the car cannot be moved from the accident site and is in non-repairable condition, the surveyor will inspect your car at the accident site itself.

The surveyor may ask you questions about how the car was damaged and based on it will assess the extent to which the car was damaged. He/ she will also check your documents and look at the pictures or videos taken at the time of the accident. Make sure to remain calm and answer all the questions asked by the surveyor honestly. After conducting the inspection, the surveyor will send an inspection report to your insurance company.

2. Claim Approval/ Rejection

On the basis of the claim inspection report submitted by the surveyor to your motor insurer, your car insurance claim will be approved or rejected. In some cases, the insurer may also ask you to submit some additional documents before deciding on approving or rejecting your claim.

In case your car insurance claim gets approved, your insurer will pay the claim amount. If your car has been repaired at a network garage, your insurer will directly pay the amount for the repair bill to the garage. If the car has been repaired at a non-network garage, your insurer will reimburse the amount that you have paid towards the repair of your car.

Summing It Up

Car insurance claim and claim inspection go hand-in-hand. The damages to your car will only be covered by your motor insurance company if you raise an insurance claim with them. And a claim will be approved only after a surveyor inspects its authenticity and assess the damages of the car. Thus, you should cooperate with your car surveyor and provide him/ her with the required information during your car insurance inspection.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 14 December 2020
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