6 min read
Updated on Sep 12, 2023
Nisha, a 34 year old school teacher, bought the car of her dreams using her savings. Being a dutiful citizen of the country, she did everything required before taking off on the roads with her car. She first registered her car in the local RTO in her vicinity, and also bought a comprehensive car insurance policy.
Unfortunately she met with a minor accident which caused damage to her car. Now, she wants to apply for the claim against the damage caused to her car. However, being a novice in the field of insurance she doesn’t know the process of claiming her insurance after an accident.
If you too, like Nisha, are struggling with car insurance claim process, and want to know how to claim car insurance in the event of an accident, here is everything you need to know in this blog. Let us start with understanding an insurance claim first.
The request made to an insurance company by the owner of an insurance policy to compensate for the cost of damage incurred on his/her vehicle is known as Insurance claim. The insurance provider offers the reimbursement to the policy holder as per the agreed terms and conditions of the policy.
There are two ways of availing an insurance claim; via cashless process and via reimbursement process. In the first process, the insurance policy owner can use the option of cashless garages provided by insurance companies all across the country where they can get the car repaired by availing the cashless facility. Here, the claim is settled via cashless process as the insurance company directly makes the payment of the damage to the garage.
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In the second car insurance claim process, the owner of the policy can get the damage repaired at any garage of their choice, including the ones not available under the list of cashless garages of the insurance company. Here, the insured will have to make the payment for the damages on their own and later they can make the claim for compensation from the insurance provider.
No one wants to incur any damages on their vehicle while driving on the road. However, due to many unforeseen circumstances, misfortune might take place in the form of accidents, fire and so on. In such a situation, the insured needs to make a car accident insurance claim for the damages incurred on his/her car by contacting the insurance agency at the earliest and submitting a claim. And the insurance company pays for the damages as per the terms and conditions of the policy coverage.
Here is a list of documents required to submit in order to claim for your car insurance:
If you want to know how to claim insurance, below are the steps to follow:
Step1: Notify your car Insurance Company – As soon as the accident takes place, it is important to call the insurance provider and update them about it. Most policy providers offer a timeline of 6 to 7 working days to inform about the accident. If you fail to inform them within that period, it might lead to lapse in your claim settlement.
The documents you need to submit to make a claim include: driving license softcopy, car RC, copy of FIR, and the copy of your car insurance policy’s initial two pages. With all this, you might as well need to provide a letter with details of the accident to the RTO.
Step2: File a complaint/FIR in the Police Station in your vicinity – This is another important requirement. Along with informing the car insurance company, you must also inform the incident at your nearest police station and file a complaint or FIR. Submitting an FIR is a mandatory requirement while filing for a car insurance claim after an accident. It is especially necessary in case of physical or property damages to third party, as well as for theft and fire.
Another important requirement in case of an accident concerning a third party is to file a complaint at the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal of your area.
Step3: Capture images on your mobile phone to use as valid proof – If you are planning to go for reimbursement claim for the damages done to your vehicle, in that case you must capture as many photographs possible of the scene and the damages to serve you as proof during your claim process. Also, it is important to write down the details of any witnesses and of the third party person (if any).
Step4: Submit the necessary documents to the Insurance company – It is also required to submit all the decisive documents to your insurance provider while filing for the claim, like DL, car RC, FIR copy and other papers required.
Step5: Request your insurer to assign a surveyor – Once all the documents are submitted, you can ask your insurance provider to send a surveyor for an inspection on your vehicle. In case of cashless claims, the surveyor will recommend you to a network garage to get the repairs done. However, in case of reimbursement claims the surveyor will inspect your car and its damages and approve the claim accordingly. It takes about two working days for this survey to take place.
Step6: Get the car repaired – Now you can get your car damages repaired via using cashless garage options or can get the repairs done on your own and seek compensation. In case of using network garage, you would be paying only the deductibles, while rest amount is paid by the insurer. In case of reimbursements, you must submit necessary papers, photos everything and seek for a claim. The insurer will compensate the amount as per the policy cover and other conditions.
Car accident insurance claim process a bit tedious. Especially for a novice the process might seem too complicated. Thus, it is important to read and understand the policy terms and conditions concerning accidental claims and other details before buying an insurance.
It is also essential to analyze what all things are covered and what all are not covered under the policy, and to compare among different policies as well as policy providers before finally buying a car insurance.
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If the insurer determines that your claim is legitimate and all of the information provided by the surveyor is satisfactory, they will make payment to you. There are two ways you can request this compensation: Pay for the necessary repairs and have both vehicles repaired at a garage. You will receive payment from your insurer after submitting the bill.
Call the insurance provider as soon as possible and let them know about the damage. Obtain the information about the car that caused the damage and give it to the policyholder. Within the allotted time, the incident must be reported.
One to seven days after an accident, you can file a claim with your auto insurance. The majority of companies have a window of 48 to 72 hours from the time of the accident to file a claim for auto insurance, although you can make a claim with your insurance company within 7 days of the accident.
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