How to file an insurance claim for a cyclone-damaged bike? A step-by-step guide

Learn how to file a bike insurance claim after cyclone damage with this comprehensive guide tailored to assist those affected by recent storms.

Rakesh Goyal
Published26 Dec 2023, 11:41 AM IST
Here's a detailed guide for making an insurance claim if your bike sustained damage from the recent cyclone.
Here’s a detailed guide for making an insurance claim if your bike sustained damage from the recent cyclone.

Cyclones are an unfortunate yet common occurrence in some parts, especially along coastal regions. These powerful storms can cause widespread destruction, including damage to personal vehicles and property. If your bike was damaged due to a recent cyclone, here is a comprehensive guide to filing an insurance claim.

Understanding bike insurance

Most banks and non-banking financial institutions offer bike insurance policies. The two main types are third-party insurance and comprehensive insurance. Third-party only covers liability towards other parties but not your own bike. Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for damage to your vehicle as well. It is advisable to have a comprehensive policy for maximum protection.

Policies have an add-on natural calamity extension that covers damage due to cyclones, floods, earthquakes etc. Check your policy documents to confirm you have purchased this essential extension for cyclone coverage. Policies may have an excess amount that is deducted from each claim as per terms. Familiarise yourself well with your policy coverage and conditions.

Reporting the loss

The first step after a cyclone damages your bike is to contact your insurance company immediately. Have your policy number and other details ready when you call. Report the incident, location, and nature of damage briefly. Ask for the next steps to lodge a formal claim.

Gathering documents

You will need to submit certain documents as proof of ownership and damage. Collect your bike's registration certificate (RC), valid driving licence, and recent photos clearly showing the damage. Obtain a repair estimate from an authorised service centre. News reports or weather warnings about the cyclone can help establish the loss was storm-related.

Inspection by surveyor

The insurer will appoint a licensed surveyor to assess the loss. Cooperate fully during inspection - this helps determine liability and claim amount objectively. Explain the damage verbally and through photos to the surveyor. Get an endorsement of the inspection report for your records.

Receiving claim form

Based on the survey report, the insurer provides a claim form. Fill it carefully with accurate details of yourself, policy, incident, and damaged parts. Provide extra information or documents if requested. Incomplete forms cause delays.

Repair estimates

Collect written estimates for repairing or replacing each damaged part from authorised service centres. Get estimates from multiple garages for fair cost comparison if major repairs are involved. Attach all estimates to the claim form.

Submitting documents

Submit the completely filled claim form along with all supporting documents to the insurer via their portal, email, post or in-person. Retain copies safely. Follow up if an acknowledgement is not received within 3 working days.

Claims assessment

The insurer will examine documents for around 2 weeks to determine liability and settlement amount as per policy terms. You may be asked for clarifications if needed during this period.

Settlement options

An approved claim can be settled via cash payment or repair at an insurer-approved garage. Cash settlement is usually a depreciated value minus excess. Opt for repairs only if you trust the garage's workmanship. Inspect repairs thoroughly before signing the final bill.

Grievance redressal

In case of partial/full rejection, you can file an appeal to the insurer with relevant policy clauses and case laws. Approach the insurance ombudsman if the appeal is also declined. They will pass an unbiased judgment to resolve disputes as per regulations.

Tips for a smooth claim process

  • Being proactive: quick reporting and follow-ups.
  • Keeping all documentation in order.
  • Seeking assistance from the insurance company's customer service if needed.

Common pitfalls to avoid

  • Errors in documentation and information.
  • Delays in reporting the damage.
  • Misunderstanding policy clauses related to natural calamities.

With diligent documentation and cooperation with surveyors, you can get your rightful cyclone claim processed smoothly. 

Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance Broker

 

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First Published:26 Dec 2023, 11:41 AM IST
HomeMoneyPersonal FinanceHow to file an insurance claim for a cyclone-damaged bike? A step-by-step guide

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