Traffic on Indian roads is at an all-time high. Nobody is 100% safe on the road. Highly educated and aware people also have road accidents. Hence, getting motor insurance is a must when buying a vehicle.
As the name suggests, it is the insurance of your vehicle. It is a legal contract between you and an insurance company. You will pay a yearly premium to get the insurance. It can cover cars, two-wheelers, and commercial vehicles.
What is a motor insurance claim?
The Indian Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 makes motor insurance mandatory. A claim can cover your costs against accidents, theft, etc. It also saves you from legal troubles in these incidents.
Some road accidents are fatal. In such cases, there is no compensation if there is no motor insurance.
How the insurer will settle claims depends on your policy. They can settle motor insurance claims in a cashless way. This way, they will pay for the repairs. They can also refund you after you pay for repairs.
The motor insurance claim process in detail
The motor insurance claim process is complex. You must first contact customer service. You’ll fill out the claim form and submit it along with relevant documents. Then a surveyor will assess the damages. Only then can you take the car to the garage for repairs.
So let us have a look at this process in detail, step-by-step:
- Inform your policy provider: Inform your insurer of the situation within 24-48 hours. Otherwise, the insurance company might not consider your claim request. Give them the exact details about the incident. Do not try to hide anything or twist the facts.
- File a First Information Report (FIR): You must go to the nearest police station and file a First Information Report (FIR). You may not require an FIR for minor dents. But you will require it for theft, crashes with objects, fire, etc. You will also require it when a third party is involved.
- Collect evidence by taking pictures: Take photos of the damage. This can help you in the event of a legal follow-up. Ensure the photos are clear and the damages are visible. Make sure to click the photo of the number plates of third-party vehicles. They make it easy to examine the extent of on-site physical damage. The claim value is decided on the extent of the damage.
- Fill out the documents: The insurer will provide a motor insurance claim form. Fill out this form with the correct details. Submit supporting documents as required by the insurer. The documents that they ask for are as follows:
- Proof of insurance that mentions your policy number
- Proof of engine number and chassis number
- The odometer reading of the car
- Valid PUC certificate
- Details about the incident: date, time, location, etc.
- Copy of the FIR
- Tax payment receipt
- Registration certificate of the vehicle involved in the incident
- Copy of your driving licence
- Medical receipts in case of physical injuries
- You must submit these documents and the duly completed motor insurance claim form. In case of theft, you need to submit certain other documents, which are:
- The police issued a non-traceable certificate. It states that they couldn’t find your vehicle within a certain time frame.
- Relevant RTO forms viz. Forms 28, 29, 30, and 35.
- Other vehicle accessories like duplicate keys, warranty cards, etc.
- Ask for a surveyor to verify the extent of damages: The insurance company processes your claim submission after their surveyor verifies the damage. Some insurers provide the ease of conducting this survey online.
- Proceed for vehicle repair: This step depends on the type of your claim policy. For cashless claims, you must take the vehicle to the garages specified by the insurer. In other cases, take your car to your garage for repairs. You must keep the expense receipt with you. You can ask for a reimbursement for the amount you paid.
- In cases of car theft, you need to submit a non-traceable certificate. Then the insurance company will pay the current market value of the car.
What are the types of motor insurance?
The type of motor insurance depends on the following two factors:
- The type of the vehicle
Separate insurance categories are made for:
- Private cars
- Passenger-carrying vehicles (PCV) like buses, cabs, etc.
- Goods-carrying vehicles (GCV) like trucks, lorries, etc.
- Miscellaneous vehicles like tractors, excavators, etc.
- The type of policy you want for your vehicle
Under this category, claims made can be of two types:
- Third-party insurance claims: These only cover losses that occur to a third party involved in the accident. It does not cover damages to own self and vehicle.
- Comprehensive insurance claims with add-ons: It is a superior version of the above type. It covers the third party as well as you, the first party. It provides coverage for damage or theft involving your vehicle. It also covers any injury/death of self or third party. With add-ons, it can cover parts of both parties’ vehicles, like zero declines in your vehicle’s value over time, engine damage protection, tyre protection, etc.
Major insurance firms follow the above procedure for settling claims. Just make sure to keep the following few things in mind. Be wise while choosing your insurance policy. Whenever you have an accident, do not run away. Do not try to settle the conflict by exchanging money on the spot. Deal with a calm mind without any arguments with a third party.
File a motor insurance claim using the mentioned steps.