Motor Vehicle Inspection: Guide on Vehicle Inspection in Insurance Claim Process


5 min read

Updated on Jan 05, 2024

Everything you need to know about motor vehicle/car inspection as part of the insurance claim process.

A car is one of your most valuable assets and considering the substantial amount of money that you invest into buying one, you’d naturally be extra careful while driving it. Yet, accidents happen. They are a part of life. Sometimes, they can happen even for no fault of ours. With an inevitable and unpredictable incident like this, all we can do is be prepared to face its outcome. This is why car insurance is a vital part of purchasing a car and driving it on the roads. It is designed to help you, the owner, to file a monetary claim in case your car gets involved in an accident. However, the insurer would first need to ensure that the claim is genuine. For this reason, it would initiate something called vehicle inspection.

What is Vehicle Inspection in Car Insurance Claim?

When a car owner files a claim to the insurance company for accident damage, the insurer first needs to verify the authenticity of the claim. In other words, the insurer needs to know that the damage to the vehicle, which the owner has stated in his/her claim, has indeed been done under unforeseen circumstances and has not been “faked” to extract money from the insurance company.

The insurer conducts this verification process via vehicle inspection. The company sends over an official representative to the site of the accident to examine and inspect all damages to the car, as have been stated in the claim. Once the inspector examines all the damages and submits the report, the insurer would process the claim application for approval.

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When is Car Insurance Inspection Needed?

Generally, car inspection is mandatory in case of car insurance renewal, i.e., when the insurance policy has lapsed its validity. In addition to this, a car insurance inspection may be carried out by the insurer under the following circumstances:

      • In case of transfer of car insurance to another owner
      • In case of an accident or damage due to any unforeseen circumstances, as specified by the insurer in the policy
      • In case of a gap between the policy expiry and the due date for its renewal
      • In case of any extra accessories fitted in the car such as a CNG kit or anti-theft devices
      • In case of a change of the policy from third-party only to comprehensive

When is Car Insurance Without Inspection Possible?

We discussed above the circumstances when car insurance is mandatory. However, there are some situations when the insurer would agree to car insurance without the mandate requirement of an external inspection.

      • No car inspection is required in case of claims filed as part of third-party car insurance. Only comprehensive insurance plans cover car inspections.
      • Car inspection may also not be needed in case of timely policy renewal.

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How is Car Inspection Carried Out by the Insurance Company?

Most insurers conduct the car inspection process in two ways:

      1. Pre-policy
      2. Pre-claim

Let us look at each of them in detail.

  • Pre-Policy Car Inspection: In this case, the insurer carries out a thorough inspection of the vehicle before issuing the insurance policy to the owner. The insurer would generally conduct such an investigation in case of a lapse of the insurance policy or if the owner files for insurance for any additional fitted accessories, such as a CNG car kit or an anti-theft device. A pre-policy inspection validates the healthy physical condition of the car, including that of the suspension and brakes.
  • Pre-Claim Car Inspection: This refers to the inspection carried out when the owner files a claim for damage to the vehicle. The insurer investigates to verify the genuineness of the claim and to validate that the damages stated in the claim have indeed been incurred under unforeseen circumstances, as stated in the policy. The surveyor or inspector also provides a rough estimate of the cost of repair of the damages to the insurer. The inspection of the vehicle is carried out both physically and mechanically.

What is Self-Inspection in Car Insurance?

Some insurers provide the insured the exclusive benefit of self-inspection to facilitate ease of convenience. It simply means that in case your insurance policy has lapsed, i.e., you failed to renew it by the due date, you can conduct a self-inspection of the vehicle (on your own) using your smartphone. It is also sometimes known as Self Video Inspection. This means that you can take a video of the vehicle and send it to the insurer. This saves the owner time, effort, and cost to get a physical inspection done by the company. It is also one of the simplest and most convenient means to renew a lapsed car insurance policy.

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Summing it Up

Car insurance in India is mandatory at the time of buying a new vehicle as per the Indian Motor Vehicles Act. Most insurers initiate a car inspection at this stage which does away with the need to conduct a further investigation until a claim for damage reimbursement is raised. Also, in some cases, if the policy has lapsed, an inspection is carried out for renewal. It is therefore important to ensure the timely renewal of your policy to avoid unnecessary intervention.

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FAQs on Motor Vehicle Inspection

Why is car inspection necessary?

A car inspection helps both parties (the insurer and the insured) to know what parts of the vehicle require repair, servicing, or replacement. This also extends the longevity of the car. Also, car inspection helps in case of transfer of ownership of the car to another person, ensuring that the vehicle is in good condition at the time of transfer.

At what point inspection should be carried out?

Based on the circumstances in question, car inspections may sometimes be carried out monthly, bi-annually, or annually.

Can the no-claim bonus be retained in case of lapsed motor insurance?

In case of failure of timely policy renewal, the no-claim bonus expires too and cannot be retained. 

How much NCB (No Claim Bonus) do you lose after a claim?

At least two years of NCB can be lost during one claim made during the specified insurance period. 

What is the maximum no-claim bonus in car insurance in India?

A total of 50% of NCB can be availed as part of a car insurance policy in India. 

What is the IDV value of a car?

IDV is short for Insured Declared Value. It is essentially the current market value of the car. IDV is the maximum sum insured pre-determined by the insurance company to be provided in case of theft of the vehicle or a total loss of the insured car. 

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Jan 05, 2024
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PayBima Team
PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.

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