Things to Know About First Notification of Loss in Car Insurance

When you purchase a car insurance policy, you expect it to compensate you at the time of claim without much hassle. However, for the claim to be successful, you will be required to take the first step of informing the insurer as soon as your car meets with an accident. This is the First Notification of Loss that you provide to the insurance company. Let us understand more about FNOL in car insurance in the article.

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What is First Notification of Loss (FNOL)?

The First Notification of Loss or FNOL is the initial notice provided to the insurer by the policyholder when the insured car meets with an unfortunate accident. It can be considered as the first required step to file a claim under a car insurance policy.

Thus, in the event of a total loss, theft, or damage to the insured car due to any unforeseen incident, the initial intimation to the insurer is termed as the First Notification of Loss.

How to File a First Notification of Loss?

The procedure of filing an insurance claim entails several steps from the time an incident is reported to the time of claim settlement.

The First Notification of Loss or FNOL is the first step of this claim process. It takes place when you inform the insurance company about the loss or damage sustained by the insured car.

In the case of motor insurance, a driver/owner informs the insurer of the accident involving the insured vehicle by calling their customer care team, which is mostly available 24*7.

Based on this FNOL, the insurance company sends a surveyor who examines the extent of damage sustained by the insured vehicle. Based on the surveyor report, the insurance company settles the motor insurance claim.

Documents Required to File an FNOL

The First Notice of Loss in car insurance does not require any document as such but it requires you to provide certain information to the insurance company. This information includes:

  • Your car insurance policy number
  • Date and time of the damage, loss, or theft
  • Location of the incident
  • Police FIR number
  • A personal account of the incident.
  • Details of the party at fault
  • Relevant details of the insured vehicle

In the case of third party liabilities, the details of third-party damages should also be given to the insurance company.

Inspection of Damages After FNOL

Once you have sent the First Notification of Loss to the insurance company, it becomes their responsibility to get the insured car repaired and settle the claim at the earliest. Therefore, the need for inspecting the car damages becomes important after the First Notice of Loss is submitted by you.

Depending on the surveyor's inspection report, the insurer will determine whether the insured car has suffered a total loss, theft, or damages that can be repaired in a garage. Losses can be irreparable, such as loss due to theft or a total loss in the fire. In such cases, you will receive the Insured Declared Value of the insured vehicle.

On the other hand, losses can also be repairable when the insured car sustains damages due to an accident or collision. Under a reparable loss, the insurance company will pay for the repairs of the insured vehicle via cashless repairs or reimbursement claim settlement.

However, all of this is only possible after the First Notification of Loss is submitted to the insurance company.

Importance of First Notice of Loss in Car Insurance

Everyone would want their car insurance claim to be settled without much effort and at the earliest hour possible. However, for this to happen, a policyholder needs to intimate the insurer about the loss or damage to the insured car soon after the incident. Even if it is your first claim, you must make sure to duly inform the car insurance company about the accident to the insurer.

Moreover, make sure to provide accurate information about the incident to the insurance company. Any discrepancy may result in the rejection of your motor insurance claim.

Thus, a policyholder should consider FNOL as an important step under the car insurance claim process.

For a car insurance company, the First Notification of Loss is an opportunity to gain the trust of its policyholders. If customers get a faster claim settlement after notifying about the loss to the insurer even if it is their first time making a claim, it will create a positive impact on them. Moreover, by providing an automated omnichannel solution for First Notice of Loss in car insurance, a motor insurance company can provide faster claim settlement with an instant communication process.

Thus, the first notification of loss is equally important for both policyholders and insurers.

Wrapping Up!

As stated above, the First Notice of Loss is the initial but critical step in the car insurance claim process. From a policyholder's point of view, it is the foremost step to get their compensation fast. On the other hand, for a car insurance company, FNOL is an opportunity to improve the customer's trust and reliability in them. Hence, make sure to file the First Notice of Loss as soon as your car meets with adversity.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 19 April 2022
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