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Tips To File Your Car Insurance Claim Correctly

Owning a car has shifted from becoming a luxury to a comfort and finally, in today’s age, to a necessity. To promote this growth, even car manufacturers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to offering pocket-friendly cars to customers. When, you loosen your purse strings to buy a car, you don’t have a choice when it comes to buying the mandatory motor insurance policy along with your car.

Just as your driving license is compulsory for you to drive your car, a valid car insurance policy is also essential. Buying car insurance and renewing year on year proves beneficial when you get to make a claim on the policy in any accidents when your car suffers damages.

While buying a car insurance policy is simple, making a valid claim on the same is a harrowing experience for many. A lack of knowledge, the technicalities involved and panic causes the claim filing process a nightmare for many of us. Through this article I intend to unravel the technical mysteries of a car insurance claim and also make my readers knowledgeable enough so that they can file their claims properly and with ease.

So, let’s begin our list –

  • Collect the relevant information – If your car has been hit by someone else’s car, collect the other car’s number plate and the driver’s information (if he has not run away!). This would help you decide whether to make a claim on your coverage (if you have a comprehensive coverage plan) or on the other’s insurance coverage. Even if you damaged your car accidently without any other car in the picture, assess the extent of the damage incurred.

  • Determine the nature of your claim – When a third party is involved in the accident, you have two options – you can either raise a third party claim on the other party’s insurance coverage or you can raise a claim in your own policy (only if you have a comprehensive coverage). The best course of action would be to raise a claim on the other party’s policy so that the No Claim Bonus in your policy would not be harmed and you can continue receiving premium discounts in subsequent years. If you yourself are responsible for damaging your car, you have no choice but to raise a claim on your coverage itself. Assess the course of action you would take.

  • Inform the insurer – The next and the most important step is to inform your insurer about the accident and the consequent claim if you are raising a claim on your own policy. Insurers have a time window when it comes to notifying them about the accident and you do not want your claim to be rejected only because you were careless enough to delay informing the insurer about the claim.

  • File a police report – A FIR is necessary if there is another party involved in the accident and you raise a third party claim on their policy. The insurer would insist on the submission of a FIR to process your claims. So, inform the police and file the FIR so that the claim is processed smoothly.

  • Obtain a No-Trace Certificate from the police – This is relevant only in case of a theft when your car is stolen. After filing the FIR, you would need the No-Trace Certificate which would be issued by the police authorities stating that the vehicle stolen could not be traced. This document is essential in getting the claim settled if your car is stolen.

  • Raise the claim – Whether a third party claim or your own damage claim, raise your claim and submit the required documents to the insurance company. If your documents are complete, your claim would be settled

Points to remember

  • For minor damages, avoid raising a claim and pay the repairing expenses from your own pocket. Not raising the claim would keep your NCB intact which would ensure a good premium discount in the next year. For instance if your NCB entitles you to a premium discount of Rs.5000 in the next year and the cost of repairs is Rs.3000, paying it out of your pocket would make sense as it would still save you Rs.2000.
  • Collect all the documents pertaining to repairs, the FIR , any witnesses and their signatures, etc. and retain them safely so that when the insurer asks, you can easily produce them and get your claim settled easily
  • Whatever the claim, the part of voluntary excess would have to be paid by you up to the specified limit.
  • Follow up with the insurer religiously for a speedy claim settlement

A car insurance claim, though tricky, is not difficult if you understand some basic pointers. The purpose of my article was to provide such easy pointers so that the next time you face any eventuality, you would know how to deal with it.

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