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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

How you can claim your car insurance

The process of filing claims for theft and damage are slightly different. Read on to understand the two processes

A comprehensive car insurance policy to insure your car against damage and theft apart is a must buy—apart from the mandatory third-party cover. The own-damage portion of the policy covers damage to vehicle and theft. However, the process of filing claims for theft and damage are slightly different. Read on to understand the two processes.

Regardless of the type of insurance policy you have—health, life or assets—the first thing to do when initiating a claim process is to be prompt. So, if your vehicle meets an accident, call your insurer to inform. A delay can cause problems as the insurer would enquire about your reasons for the delay. However, keep in mind that a genuine claim cannot be denied on grounds of delay alone.

Typically, your insurance company will help you tow the vehicle to a garage for repairs. You will need to fill the claim form, which among other things will ask if there was any injury to a third person or property. In case of injury or major damage to property, you will be required to furnish a first information report. The insurer will appoint a surveyor who will assess the damage and work out the cost the insurer will pay—out of the total estimated repair amount. In case of a cashless facility, the insurer will pay the garage directly. Keep in mind that your insurer may not pay the entire bill and you may need to pay a part of the claim. This part is called deductible and it is that portion of the claim amount which is not covered by the insurer and has to be paid by you, before the benefits of the insurance policy can kick in. Other than that the policy will also deduct depreciation. There are add-on covers that you can buy to make sure you don’t pay these costs from your pocket.

In the case of damage to your car, the insurer will assess the cause of loss. In case of loss due to an illegal activity like driving under the influence of alcohol, the insurer can deny your claim.

The process of making a claim for theft of vehicle is slightly more detailed. You first need to inform the police station in your area about the theft and register a first information report. The police can take about 90 days to try and track your car, failing which it issues a non-traceable report.

Give that report to your insurer, along with other documents such as your policy and vehicle registration certificate. Note that at the time of inspection, the insurer will ask you for the keys of your vehicle. It’s important to have the car keys in order to prove that the car was stolen.

After submitting the report, the insurance company will also make some enquiries at its end. After all procedures have been undertaken, the insurer will settle the claim.

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