How to go about Car Insurance Claims Process

A number of additional expenses come with the purchase of a new car. The operating and maintenance costs are included in these expenses. Also, at times, some unfortunate instances can take place and leave your four-wheeler damaged. Such unforeseen incidents can be easily dealt with if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy in place.

A car insurance plan will ensure that you don’t burn a hole in your pockets in times of emergencies. If you meet with an accident that leaves your vehicle damaged, a car insurance policy will cover the losses you suffer and reduce the costs you would have otherwise incurred.

Here is the process to go about the claims process for your car insurance policy:

Get in touch with your insurance provider immediately after your vehicle has been damaged whether the damage was a result of your fault or not.

The representative from the insurance company will direct you on how to go on with the claim and the kind of documents that will have to be submitted to support your claim.

A ‘proof of loss’ form may be requested by your insurance company along with the documents to support your claim. These documents may include a police FIR, car repair bills and medical bills.

All the expenses incurred as a result of the accident will have to be recorded so that you can be reimbursed for the same.

All copies of your documents and paperwork must be stored safely in case it is required for reference in the future.

In case you have met with an accident, the first thing you should do is make sure that the injured individuals receive help immediately. The police should be called so that the matter can be reported, and the nearest hospital / medical unit should be informed. Once you have notified the aforementioned entities, contact your insurance provider and they will soon send a representative to inspect the damage so that it can be appraised before you can get it repaired.

What should you check before making a car insurance claim?

Voluntary Excess

Voluntary Excess is basically a specific amount money that a policyholder chooses to bear if he/she meets with an accident, while the rest of the amount will be covered by the policy. The premium payment reduces if the excess is higher. Sometimes the amount of money incurred on damages caused due to an accident is even lower than the voluntary excess amount. In such a situation, it is better  you do not make a claim as you can cover the damages via the voluntary excess itself. However, if the costs incurred are significant, you must certainly file a claim.

No Claim Bonus

Almost all insurance companies offer a No Claim Bonus (NCB)  to individuals who purchase policies. In case a policyholder has not made any claim in the previous policy year, he/she will be eligible for a bonus in the subsequent policy year. The amount offered as no claim bonus will vary from insurer to insurer. While an accident-free year will mean that you will be eligible for a no claim bonus for sure, the same can be claimed even if you have met with an accident in a particular year.

For instance, you select your voluntary excess as Rs.5,000 and you meet with an accident, and the expenses are under the deductible limit, you can compute the no claim bonus for the subsequent year and see if it makes sense to forego the claim this year.

Damages Caused

Prior to undertaking the repairs of the damages caused to your car,  make sure that the costs associated with it are covered by the insurance company. After you have confirmed the costs involved and the coverage offered by your car insurance policy, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you should proceed with the claim. In case the damage is substantial, filing a claim would be the best thing to do. But if the costs are affordable and nominal, a claim can be avoided. Doing so will ensure that you get a discount on your premium payment when renewing your policy.

If you are taking a car loan to purchase a new or used car, make sure you also purchase the appropriate car insurance policy to stay financially protected in times of emergencies. These days you can purchase car insurance online and renew it annually.